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Randy Jackson is well-known for his 12-season seat in the judge's chair on the Fox hit television show American Idol, but his career began long before that. In the '80s, Jackson played bass guitar as a session musician for jazz, rock, pop, and R&B performers. He continued his career in the music industry by producing music for Columbia Records and MCA Records.
In 2020, Jackson was rehired to be the bassist for the American rock band Journey. Today, the American Idol alum continues to produce and manage up-and-coming music talent. He is also the bandleader for Name That Tune, a music competition show.
Amid his flourishing career, in 2003, during season 2 of AI, Jackson was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. Jackson told Today in an interview, "Years ago, when Idol first started, I was like 358 [pounds]… What I did is, I went through, I had gastric bypass. I started Unify Health Labs, my own vitamin line. I had a food divorce, is what I usually say. I had to let it all go and start over." The music industry veteran revealed it all in Body With Soul, a book published in 2008 chronicling his lifestyle choices and diagnosis with type 2 diabetes.
During an interview with WebMD, Jackson shared, "Food was always my thing because I grew up in the South where food and good times were king." He recalled being on tour, "After the show, everybody hangs out and eats and drinks. There are all kinds of sandwiches plus chips, cheeses, cookies, cakes, candy, beer, wine."
According to People Magazine, Jackson was able to lose and keep off 114 pounds, to which he credits fitness, nutrition, and mental health experts, in addition to the bypass surgery.
"Eating's all emotional. I needed to really get it together so I could keep it off," Jackson said in an interview with People. He divulged that he avoids binge eating by consuming five clean meals per day consisting of fish, veggies, and rice or potatoes. Jackson also snacks on fruits, cheese, protein shakes, and bars. Of sweets, he says, "If I really feel like I need to have a piece of candy, I have a small piece so that in my mind, I'm not saying, 'No, no, no,'" he says of finding balance. "The more you deny yourself, the more you're going to go on a bender and have 18 candy bars without stopping at some point."
Jackson practices Pilates or spinning each morning to remain physically and mentally fit. He told People on May 4, "I think if I had not figured it all out, I would've gained at least half, if not more, of that weight back," he said. "And I'm proud to know that we did something that helps me, that helps everyone else, and takes the guesswork out of it for everybody."
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