Urban radio king Kurt “Big Boy” Alexander weighed in at more than 500 pounds before he underwent gastric bypass surgery 10 years ago. Now, at 195 pounds, he’s sharing the story of his weight-loss journey and the success of his radio career in his new book, An XL Life: Staying Big at Half the Size. In the book, released last month and published by Cash Money Content (yes, the same Cash Money that brought us Lil Wayne), Big Boy spills his guts about it all: his love affair with music, food and his wife, and all challenges he’s overcome to get where he is.
Big Boy spoke with The Root about being healthy, the dangers of weight-loss surgery and why he’s so surprised by the reaction to his book.
The Root: Was writing a book always in your plans?
Big Boy: I never thought about writing a book. I never thought that my story was interesting, but once I had the gastric bypass, I became sort of a health ambassador in a way.
TR: You underwent the most drastic form of gastric bypass. Why did you decide to do it? And would you recommend the procedure to others?
BB: I felt like if I didn’t do something drastic, I was going to be dead in a year. [The procedure] added years to my life. I was over 500 pounds, so I was severely obese. But I had lots of complications.
If anyone were to come up to me and say, hey, I am thinking about doing it, I would tell a person that’s the last thing you want to do. You don’t know what you’re getting yourself into. Even after researching, talking with doctors and patients and thinking I knew everything about the procedure, I didn’t know a fraction of the stuff I should have known until I was post [surgery].
I had a lot of complications, so if I went down Seventh Avenue and someone beat the hell out of me, I would advise people not to go down Seventh Avenue. I just tell people, this is the effect this procedure had on me.