The 2020 it was for Shaquille O’Neal one of the hardest years of his life, where tragedies hit him squarely and they impacted in his state of mind. This was revealed by the legendary Lakers basketball player in an interview with the site Men’s Journal.

“My sister passed away, then Kobe Bryant, and also 28 other people passed away. There were many losses. It was a really bad year, and I didn’t want to do anything,” lamented the 49-year-old former player, who tried to channel his anguish and moments of depression with food and long hours of television marathons.

“When that happens, but you want to avoid other kinds of problems, there are two things you can do: eat and Netflix,” assured the NBA legend that he has 49 years and has been out of professional activity for a decade.

However, before the end of a 2020 for oblivion, the four-time NBA champion became aware of what was happening and he thought about his bad eating habits after seeing an “old man in his 70s with muscles all over the place.”

“I saw this 70-year-old man there, and he had muscles all over the place. So I decided to change. I started eating better and making better decisions,” he acknowledged.

“My problem is that I have always been a sandwich guy. Sandwich for lunch, sandwich for dinner, sandwich for snack. And when everything came crashing down on me last year and I couldn’t sleep, I got up and made myself a sandwich at three in the morning, another at five. I realized I couldn’t go on like this, and I told myself to myself, ‘I want to take my shirt off on Instagram for the last time,’” said the former Olympic champion.

This is how his diet began: “No more bread, no more late night chocolate lemon cookies, no more cakes, nothing like that. I’ve been doing this for six months, and I only eat fruits, protein shakes, salads, fish, chicken, and asparagus or other veggies. Very small portions and eating every day has helped me lose 25-30 pounds (11 and 13 kilos).

As the days go by, and thanks to a perseverance to reach its purpose, Shaq explained: “I started seeing things that I hadn’t seen in 20 or 30 years, like a marked abdominal. And I haven’t had one of those since I was on the Miami Heat in 2006.”

In addition to a good diet, The former NBA also modified his training routine, and it takes an hour a day to do it: “I do 20 minutes of cardio, and then a little bit of chest, biceps, triceps, abs and back. I still have pain in my hip and joints so I can’t be jumping and running. Although I will try to start running a little”.

“The body is a temple, and we have to keep it in shape. I know how things are, people 45 and over, we have even been great athletes, we have jobs, children, we come home late and we really don’t have much time to ourselves. We just want to sit, watch TV, rest, relax, and go to sleep. But if you can find an hour a day to go to the gym and get in shape, it will help you feel better, look better and do more things during the day,” he said.

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