Shaq NBA on TNT

Shaquille O’Neal has always been a big man, one of the reasons he was an unstoppable force during his NBA career.

Yet when O’Neal became so huge recently he could not climb stairs, he knew he needed a change.

The NBA on TNT analyst told Entertainment Tonight that he has lost 55 pounds in recent months, and is now down to 351 pounds. A little quick math shows he topped out at more than 400 pounds. The 7-foot-1 Hall of Famer’s weight ranged between about 315 and 395 pounds during his playing days.

To be carrying more weight than that at age 51 is not healthy.

“I was getting chubby and couldn’t even walk up the stairs,” O’Neal admitted. “I didn’t like the way I looked in the mirror. I was like, ‘I’m gonna lose 20’ and then I was trying to lose 20.”

Losing 55 pounds is quite a feat. Shaq says he learned more about nutrition to jumpstart the process.

“A friend of mine called me and said, ‘You’re fat,’ and she gave me this guy’s name, and he did some blood work,” O’Neal said. “He was saying, ‘You can do this, you can’t do that, [eat] more vegetables, [your] iron’s low.’”

“Once I just started changing those certain things, it dropped. It’s all about eating right.”

O’Neal’s feeling so much better, he’s ready to joke about his weight. Most fitness buffs want to build a “six-pack” of abs. O’Neal says he currently has “a little 4.9 pack.”

“I’m not at 100 percent ninja mode yet. I’m still 75 percent,” he joked.

[Entertainment Tonight]

About Arthur Weinstein

Arthur spends his free time traveling around the U.S. to sporting events, state and national parks, and in search of great restaurants off the beaten path.