*To many, rapper Heavy D looked better than ever on BET’s Hip Hop Music Awards show, keeping up with the dancers and reciting classic lyrics everyone knows.

His shape was no accident. The rapper had begun a weight loss plan and kept a regular workout regime. Although he weighed 344 pounds at the time of death, he was on his way to better health.

Tony Wisniewski, the rapper’s trainer at the Ultra Body Fitness gym in Los Angeles, set Heavy up on a fitness plan three months before his death. Wisniewski is the same trainer that helped him lose 150 pounds back in 2008.

Heavy also knew that if wanted to kick his acting career into high gear he would have to lose some heft. So he dad. in 2002 he shed 135 pounds.

the rapper/actor shared with reporters at the 2003 Television Critics Association this advice from a director.

“I went on a couple auditions, and one director was kind enough to say, ‘Look, you would’ve had this part but you’re not fitting, you’re stifling yourself.’ He was right. I kind of always knew it in the back of my mind.”