Although rapper Biz Markie may or may not be getting paid by Zevia (the zero-calorie soda made with stevia sugar substitute) to endorse their product, we can’t say we’re not proud of the 49-year-old hip-hop legend for dropping 141 pounds. Biz was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes—a disease which affects 8.3 percent of the U.S. populationthree years ago, which is exactly when he decided to drop some pounds by exercising, eating healthier, and cutting back on sugar. So far, the rapper has slimmed down from 385 to 244 pounds and hopes to lose 30 more before his 50th birthday next April, reports NY Daily News.

“I walk. I do the treadmill, I walk around the mall,” Biz, 49, told the NY Daily News. “I do a little crunches with my stomach, not that much. Just enough to get the engine going cha-cha-cha-cha-cha-cha! Vroooommmmm.”

Biz says he got off that sugary soda and onto his new Zevia kick because, “It’s like God said, ‘Yo, we need you on earth a little longer!'” He eats healthy and organic on the set of Yo Gabba Gabba, (a Nickelodeon Jr. TV show for which he is the resident beatboxer) and cooks healthy food at home. “Chicken stir fry, chicken pad Thai with peanut butter sauce. Sugar-free lemon cupcakes. I make anything you want,” he tells NY Daily News.

After Biz lost 40 pounds on VH1’s first “Celebrity Fit Club” in 2005, he immediately gained all the weight back. Biz’s close friends in the entertainment industry, including Will Smith and Magic Johnson, bet him that he couldn’t lose weight (again). “I guess they love me, ’cause they want me to stay around,” says Biz.

But lose weight, he did, and now Biz is trying to inspire others to eat healthy and get in shape. Of his hip-hop friends, the rapper says, “They see that I did it, and they know I was the greedy, greasy person. So if I can do it, anyone can do it.”

Here’s a picture of the rapper with two students at a low fat cooking class he taught back in January, found on Sherryn Daniel’s personal blog. Spread that gospel, Biz.

[via NY Daily News]

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