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JJ Hairston

We all know one thing to be true: the older we get, the harder it gets to keep the pounds off. Stellar Award-winning gospel artist JJ Hairston knows this firsthand.

The 15-year music vet was relatively skinny most of his life – weighing about 150 pounds while standing at 5 feet, 9 inches. He didn’t like his small size so much, at times, that he tried to get gains through drinking protein shakes.

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But then he hit his mid 30s, and he noticed that the foods he ate would stick with him much longer. Last year, he hit a surprising 191 pounds. The extra weight affected him tremendously.

While directing his group Youthful Praise during a performance last year, he found himself gasping for air and feeling tired.

“I felt like I had to stop even though we were, like, halfway through the song,” Hairston, 41, recalled. “I felt like if I didn’t stop, I was going to pass out.”

After the performance, he sat down. “I’m literally hunched over after the song is over, trying to catch my breath,” he added.

It was the last straw for Hairston, who also lost his grandfather and mother to cancer in the last 10 years. It was time for him to change his diet and become a healthier person.

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“The first thing I did was take out all the sweets,” Hairston said. Instead, he eats cashews and walnuts to curb his sweets craving. “I didn’t realize how much I was eating until I stopped eating them.”

Gospel Artist JJ Hairston’s Life-Changing Performance: “I Was Going To Pass Out”  was originally published on

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