Al Roker is a beloved Today weatherman and journalist, known for his famous catchphrase, “here’s what’s happening in your neck of the woods.” He has taken part in a variety of highly-televised events from the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade, to Who Wants to Be a Millionaire and Celebrity Family Feud. The 64-year-old is known for his classy style, always seen in tailored suits and trendy accessories. However, many might forget that he was once fighting a weight loss battle since the beginning of his career.
Roker opened up to Good Housekeeping about his drastic weight loss and his motivation behind getting back in shape. He said he grew up loving food, coming from a family of six siblings. His father was a bus driver and his mother had to find creative ways to feed her children on a low budget. Though he never went hungry, he didn’t always have the healthiest options available to him. When he married his wife, Deborah Roberts, in 1995, Roker said he felt pressure due to their notable differences in weight. His wife became frustrated when it seemed he didn’t care enough about his health to make a change.
“My wife is a size 4; she runs, she works out and it became a problem in our marriage. On a Saturday she’d get up, get dressed to run and I’d be sitting on the couch or making breakfast for the kids.”
Still, it wasn’t until 2011, prior to his father passing away, that Roker knew he had to lose the weight for the sake of his family and himself. Before his father died, he made Roker promise him that he’d drop the weight. He knew that after making a promise like that he couldn’t let his father down.
“I don’t know if you’ve ever had to make a deathbed promise to someone you love, but if you have, you know the kind of guilt and massive responsibility I felt in that moment,” he said.
Roker’s weight loss journey was not without a few setbacks along the way, but he was eventually able to drop from 340 pounds to an impressive 190. To maintain his weight, he says he focuses on strength training and limiting his portion sizes. He also had to learn how to avoid unhealthy eating habits. He stopped eating out of boredom and made it a rule in his home that the television isn’t on during meals. As far as his diet itself, he focuses on unprocessed food that are high in protein and low in carbs.