Back in 2001, the game show host had to undergo an angioplasty procedure after he narrowly escaped a massive heart attack.
The Price Is Right is one of the most loved shows in America. The engaging concept of guessing the right cost of items has a thrill, which was well maintained by the show's host, Drew Carey, for 10 years. He also became popular with his other shows like Who's Line Is It Anyway? and The Drew Carey Show. Right after the first host, Bob Barker, took retirement from the longest-running show, in 2007, Carey took over and built his own legacy around the game show.
However, behind the ever-smiling face was a struggle that most of us would relate to... his weight. He weighed around 262 pounds while hosting the show. But there came a point in his life after which he realized that he had to do something about his health to be around his son, Connor, for a longer time.
Connor is the son of his ex-girlfriend, Nicole Jaracz. Although Connor was born from Jaracz's previous relationship, the game show host considers him his own. And there was nothing more he wanted than to go back home and play with his son, but his weight didn't allow it.
Talking to Success magazine, he disclosed, “I couldn’t play with Connor for more than about 10 minutes before I’d be exhausted. I’d get really tired at work. I’d finish The Price Is Right, and my feet would just be killing me."
During the shoot, his diet wasn't great as well. He revealed that during breaks all he consumed was Pepsi, a big plate of pasta, and a bag of chips. “I had no energy to even get up the stairs to go to bed,” he said. “I would take an Ambien to get to sleep and have coffee in the morning to wake up. I thought that was normal. I wasn’t eating food. I was just consuming calories.”
The 62-year-old also revealed that back when he was doing The Drew Carey Show, the situation was the same. "When I was doing [The Drew Carey Show], I was eating a lot of garbage. I was drinking a lot, so I had a lot of mood swings. I had diabetes.”
Then in 2001, he narrowly escaped a massive heart attack and underwent an angioplasty procedure because of his high cholesterol, unhealthy eating habits, and extra weight. He brought a serious change in his lifestyle and lost about 40 pounds. At the time he told ABC, "I feel fantastic. I've never felt better in my life." However, the happy days didn't last for too long.
According to CTV, he was back to his older self by 2007 when he started hosting The Price is Right. The wake-up call came when he started experiencing shortness of breath and couldn't keep up with his son anymore.
“My kid made the difference,” he told Success. “I wanted to stay alive long enough to see him graduate from high school, and I was doing some math in my head, and I thought, If I don’t stop what I’m doing, I’m not going to live long enough for that.”
By 2010 he lost almost 100 pounds, following a strict diet and exercise. He was also able to control his diabetes without medication. “I had to change my whole belief system," he said. "It wasn’t like, Eat this for 90 days and lose 20 pounds. It was: Eat like this for the rest of your life. I mean, I was at a wedding on Saturday, and I ate cake. I’m not a maniac about it. But 95 percent of the time, I’m right on the money.”
And boy, what a change it made! The no drinks, coffee or sports drinks, and alcohol policy worked out for him. Water became his savior. He realized that he could not only play with his son but run marathons as well. “I went to Africa and hiked around and never got tired,” he revealed. “I’ve been super-happy lately,” he says. “I’m eating better, taking better care of myself."
If Carey can change his entire lifestyle, we can too. He's our new hero!
Cover image source: Getty Images | Photos by (L) Frederick M. Brown, (R) Jesse Grant