Anthony Anderson

*Fear can serve as a powerful motivator. Actor and comedian Anthony Anderson has learned first hand that maintaining an exercise regimen and developing strong eating habits requires more than an uneasy conversation with a doctor to stay motivated.

Most people can attest to having ignored the “if you don’t change you’re going to die” warning from physicians. But Anthony took heed to this warning and has discovered that having a strong sense of obligation to his family and making healthy living a priority are crucial elements in the fight against lifelong bad habits, losing weight, decreasing the chances of a heart attack and gaining control over his Type 2 diabetes.

During a Q&A with the LA Times, Anthony provides insight into his ongoing battle with diabetes.

Were you active growing up?

I played every sport except lacrosse and hockey. I loved football and basketball but also played baseball and did a bunch of track and field.

I was always a husky kid, slightly overweight, but that didn’t stop me from being active. It was pretty impressive for a guy of my size to be 200-plus pounds and 5 foot 10 and be able to dunk a basketball. I’ve always been able to wear the weight well.

Talk about the path that led to your health issues and being diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes.

The extra weight started when I was in college and I was living on my own. I was still active playing basketball but not as much as I was in high school. I was cooking and eating when I wanted, and there was alcohol too. I mean, it was college.

I was working and burning the candle at both ends when I was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes 11 years ago. The symptoms I had I attributed to being overworked, doing two movies at once and developing a television show and doing press and moving my family to a new home. I just thought I was working too hard. Being lethargic hit me first. The second wave was unquenchable thirst. The third wave was constant urination. I wasn’t putting any of this together at the time. One night I drank 5 gallons of water in an hour and a half, and that’s when I knew I had to go to the doctor.

Get more of the story at LA Times.