1. Your name, title, and age? What do you do (or did you do) for a living?
Anthony Dorsett Jr./ Former NFL Player/ 39
I played 8 years in the NFL, 4 with the TN Titans and 4 with the Oakland Raiders. Currently, I provide skill training for high school students through Camp Deep Threat as well as host the Dorsett Health Spectacular, a national tour that coordinates free health screenings in under served communities.
2. Who was the person that inspired you as a child to eat healthy and stay fit? What was their relationship to you?
As a child it was easy for me to stay fit because I loved to be outside playing. All the kids in the neighborhood would be outside playing ball, riding bikes and running up and down the street. As far as food goes, we lived with extended family. My aunt Chookie did most of the cooking and she had a garden so she made EVERYTHING from scratch. I grew up on good home cooked food, someone in the house cooked everyday.
3. What did they do to inspire you?
My aunt and the rest of my family inspired me in many ways but when it comes to health and nutrition I think we were more health conscious because there are so many athletes in our family. The terrain also had a lot to do with it and the fact that we did so much walking. I spent a lot of time in Pennsylvania and West Virginia. If you have ever seen that part of the country you know it has a lot of hills. We used to walk and run hills for fun and to stay fit. Growing up it seemed normal but I now realize how fortunate I was to have a family so focused on living a healthy lifestyle, even if that wasn’t their direct intention.
My family taught me what good food was all about and they never cooked with salt. That was the best thing my aunt Chookie ever did for the family. As African-Americans we don’t always eat healthy due to some generational bad habits. She found better ways to cook things that were not always the most healthy to eat. I still enjoy eating soul food but I know that there are healthy ways to prepare it. To this day I don’t cook with salt and prefer others don’t use it when preparing my food.
5. Do you convey their message to kids in your life presently?
I try to instill these lessons in the kids that I coach as well as when I organize the health fairs. It is important for people to realize the impact their diet not only has on their weight but also on their overall health. A lot of student athletes think that being bigger is better but they don’t realize the overall effect that high sodium intake or too much cholesterol can have on their long term health. I try to educate them about working out and staying fit in the gym but I also help them to understand that they have to have the same discipline with their diet.
6. What would be your main message to children today to lead healthy lifestyles?
Kids today need to put down the video games and get outside and play! That is one of the biggest things that has changed over the years, kids don’t play outside. When kids lead an active lifestyle, it is easier to combat some of their bad eating habits but the combination of eating junk food and not being active is going to hurt them in the long run.
7. Do you have a web site you would like to promote….web address only?
Follow me @dorsettjr on twitter. Hit me up on FaceBook, Anthony Dorsett, Jr. NEW website coming soon.