How rapper and humanitarian Michael Franti acquired into the perfect form of his life at 54

You know the saying: old habits die hard. These habits caught up with the musician and filmmaker Michael Franti in March 2019 when he stepped on the scales and saw £ 240. But he had serious doubts about overcoming them. After all, he had lived this way for decades – on the go, 18-hour days, four hours a night (if he was lucky) and sugar as a crutch to increase the decreasing energy level.

How to create a training routine

Not surprisingly, he felt exhausted most days. Aside from practicing yoga a few times a week, he said the only other exercise he got was to burn as many calories as possible every night to walk around the stage. After most shows, he usually ate half a pizza and rinsed them off with margaritas before collapsing in the tour bus bed.

And while this way of life is essential for most tour artists, Franti thought: man, I have to do something different. So he vowed to make some changes.

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“The only problem was that I had two knee surgeries at 53 [on the same knee from overuse injuries]and I couldn’t jump back like I did when I was 23, 33 or 43, ”he says. He also had just added an energetic boy to the family who wasn’t going to wait for him to sleep in it.

Something has to give

All in all, Franti didn’t know how “uncomfortable” he really was.

“I just assumed that I felt crappy most of the time and the extra middle I put around my stomach was part of over 50,” he says.

And although Franti was a former recreational runner and college basketball player, he wasn’t sure where to start. But as fate would have it, Christina Farias, a fan who also happened to be a wellness coach, accessed social media offerings this summer to help him get back in shape.

“She told me it would take six weeks to create new habits, six months to make them feel effortless, and after a year of creating new habits, they would stay with me for a lifetime,” explains he. “I didn’t believe her. Or it wasn’t that I didn’t believe her, I didn’t think I had the ability to do it.”

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But in June, Franti committed – if he felt better after working with Farias for six weeks, he would go on hoping to achieve his goal of losing 25 pounds and building muscle.

“Farias told me that wellness was not about losing 10 pounds – although this could be a goal – but rather about creating great habits,” he says.

Create new habits

First, they rated Franti’s diet. His impulse to eat something with sugar – liquorice, chocolate, ice cream, cakes, cookies; You name it – was to go first. Next, he cleared out all the other junk foods and made a high-protein, plant-based menu.

“I made a food calendar and started doing weekly food preparations for the tour bus,” he says.

He also exchanged juice, soda and kombucha for normal water to drink 3-5 liters a day.

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The only calories he drank came from vegetable protein powder smoothies, blueberries, oats, peanut butter, water, and ice cream. “These were more like a full meal, and when I was done I was full,” says Franti. “I had to make sure I was eating on a schedule [roughly four meals a day] So I was never hungry. “

His next job was on the list. Gone are the days when sporadic yoga and performance on stage were described as a “training routine”. Franti started training five days a week, focusing mainly on HIIT training and keeping things interesting with dumbbells, resistance bands, medicine balls, a Bosu ball and even a Pilates ring. He also continued to practice yoga a few times a week and started using an activity tracker to keep track of his daily steps, which was a “game changer,” he says because he hadn’t walked much before. “I would drive from the tour bus to a car and that’s it,” he says.

But since I installed the tracker, “On days when I wasn’t training, I have made sure that I have taken my steps,” says Franti. “Before I knew it, strength and flexibility in my knee came back to life and lower back problems that troubled me for years disappeared.” Soon he could run again.

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The biggest battle

While it was difficult to cut out sugar and stick to HIIT, it wasn’t that difficult to improve your sleep hygiene. “Sleeping was the biggest challenge for me,” he says. “I’m very worried, and part of it has to do with not being able to turn off my brain at night.” The biggest culprit was another vice: alcohol.

“Alcohol fell asleep at first, but then, about two hours later, I woke up and couldn’t sleep,” he explains. So Franti first reduced his drinking to two drinks a week, then one, then none – no small thing.

He also made sure that all screens were turned off an hour before bedtime (since it was shown that the blue light emitted by technology was affecting your sleep-inducing hormones), but also “everything I got from emails, messages and messages I read Instagram stressed me out and spun my bikes all night, ”he explains.

These efforts caused Franti to sleep more and more over time: what started as three to four hours a night turned into five, then he tried to add another 15 minutes and so on until he successfully slept six and a half hours most nights.

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See progress

Every week he contacted Farias to report what worked, what didn’t, where he was neglected and what he could improve in the coming days. But the results spoke for themselves: Franti slept more, drank less, gained strength, and lost 25 pounds six months after his trip. “But something much more important happened at that point,” he says. “I felt better.”

While working with Farias and the dedication he found in himself, he realized that the weight loss (and the initial number that he saw on the scale) really only skimmed the surface of what this lifestyle transformation was really about went.

Now Franti says: “I am less tired, less stressed and lighter on my feet. I can easily walk for miles. I can run every day. I play basketball five days a week. I am physically stronger in every way. I am rested and therefore sing better. My eyes are clearer and I look fitter, but most of all I’m happier. “

A new outlook on life

Franti says he wants to apply the methods he learned to replace bad habits to other areas of his life. “It’s easier for me as a father to pick up my baby,” he adds. “My wife and I talked a lot about training, preparing food and eating better together.”

In addition, his entire perspective on wellness has changed. “It’s not just about eating an organic salad every now and then, like eating shit between meals,” he says, “and it’s not about having a really mindful yoga class two days a week and never sleeping . ” Wellness is about feeling great and knowing that you have done something good for yourself every day and are better prepared for life’s stressors – feeling healthier and happier, he adds.

Since then, Franti has lost another six pounds and even started doing yoga retreats at his Soulshine Bali estate, a boutique hotel where you can find him, his wife, and Taj, who are now 20 months old. crouching during coronavirus quarantine. While you can’t catch Franti in Down Dog so quickly, you can check out his latest album, Work Hard and Be Nice, which will debut on June 19.

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