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    Randy Jackson Tackles Weight Loss, Diet, and Diabetes

    American Idol judge reveals how he lost 100 pounds and tamed his diabetes. Plus, a slimmed-down recipe and his iPod playlist!

    Randy Jackson's Struggle With Obesity continued...

    Take the run-up to season eight, for example, which airs in January. Jackson and his cohorts visited eight cities over five weeks starting in July, dropping into Louisville, Phoenix, Salt Lake City, and San Francisco, among others, for two full days of hard-core judging on each stop.

    Long auditions are packed with off-key contestants (and a few promising performers) -- and, yes, plenty of M&Ms and cookies. The pre- and post-show buffets do offer some healthy options, but junk food is in good supply, and who wouldn’t be tempted?

    But Jackson says he’s up for the challenge. “It’s all about being aware of who you are, knowing your body, and accepting that,” Jackson says.

    Randy Jackson's New Book

    This relentlessly practical point of view is the heart of Jackson’s new book, Body With Soul: Slash Sugar, Cut Cholesterol, and Get a Jump on Your Best Health Ever, releasing on Dec. 2. “I am not some trainer with a half-percentage of body fat; I am a real guy dealing with obesity,” he says. “I am the guy who knows what it’s like to be walking around with 100 extra pounds.”

    You can’t get more real than that. In an oversaturated market where weight-loss books hawk get-skinny-quick gimmicks, Jackson’s gimmick is that there is no gimmick. He is all about being real, exercising and eating in moderation, and accepting yourself for who you are.

    His chosen profession has forced him to be diet-conscious as well. While many of his peers in the music industry battled drugs and alcohol, “food was always my thing,” Jackson says, “because I grew up in the South where food and good times were king.” And this love affair with food continued as he toured and played bass for Carlos Santana, Jerry Garcia of the Grateful Dead, Bob Dylan, Aretha Franklin, Elton John, and Whitney Houston, plus a lengthy stint as the bassist for Journey. He has also recorded with such luminaries as Madonna and Celine Dion.

    A well-stocked deli tray is set up like a welcome mat for the band, and that’s just before the event. “After the show, everybody hangs out and eats and drinks. There are all kinds of sandwiches plus chips, cheeses, cookies, cakes, candy, beer, wine,” he recalls.

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