I have been aware of Al Sharpton for at least 25 years. I don’t ever think about his politics or even his controversies throughout his long career. But I absolutely admire him because of his dramatic physical transformation and his ongoing dedication to maintain that.

There was a moment in 1996 when I asked my aunt to put a perm in my hair because Michael Jackson was wearing his hair that way at the time. I wanted the hair on top to be a perm, but I had planned to shave the sides to give myself kind of a “white boy bowl haircut,” with straight hair courtesy of the perm.

I envisioned myself having hair similar to MJ, who I had adored since childhood. My aunt responded with an emphatic “no” at about the same time that I commented that I would look nothing like Jackson if I had gotten the perm and that I would instead look more like Sharpton.

It was great self-awareness and hilarious, but I said it because I was a morbidly obese person of about 300 pounds. MJ was about 135 pounds and was two inches taller than me, while also several shades lighter.

Sharpton was also a morbidly obese guy who exceeded 300 pounds and he also happened to wear his hair in a perm. That is where the comparison came from. But the modern-day Sharpton is a very far cry from the version of himself that existed in ’96 or even 2006 for that matter. He is rail-thin!

Every time I see photos of him, it is very jarring and fascinating. Apparently, he put himself on a very clean eating food plan and he makes it a point to exercise 7 days a week.

The fact that he is 66 years of age makes it all the more amazing. For decades, Sharpton was a really fat guy with a perm who rocked sweatsuits. In many ways, he looked like a sideshow. Now, he is very slender and wears phenomenal suits.

He was once an insatiable consumer of meat but has been without it for close to a decade. He is committed to getting early morning workouts in and broadcasting them on Instagram.

Whenever I look at photos of him from years gone by, I continue to marvel at the ginormous difference in his appearance as a result of his colossal weight loss. This is even more encouraging given the fact that he made this huge change once he hit his 50’s.

As a guy in my position, Sharpton is a huge part of my faith in myself to do similar things with my transformation.

Personal Development Writer | Deante Unlimited podcast, Host | Deante: Under Construction web series, Star | Deante Young Enterprises, Chief Creative Architect

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