At one point in his life, Jean Titus was much larger than his current chiseled frame. The latter propelled him to create his own clothing line, Black by Jean LeVere, because of a lack of choice choices available “off the rack.” Dubbed the “Ripped Grandpa,” without any grandchildren, the personal trainer developed his brand in the Washington, D.C., metro area to include fashion consultation and words of encouragement from social broadcasts posted to his Facebook page. In anticipation of maintaining this year’s resolutions, The Undefeated spoke with Jean about his wellness journey.
BEST WAY FOR SOMEONE TO GET INTO FITNESS
Be realistic with yourself, start slowly. Find something you can do. Focus on
bettering each day’s effort so the only person you have to compete with is yourself.
I’ve maintained a regimen for a while. I got more serious about fitness and my workouts after watching a lot of people I know die, get sick and lose their health. You can do as much as you want and make as much money as you want, but there is nothing in this world more valuable than your health.
STAYING IN SHAPE AFTER 50
There’s a decision you have to make, and then there’s information. Most people fail because mentally they don’t commit. I’m not Superman. There’s nothing particularly different about me other than I made a commitment. If you change your diet and habits and actually diligently work and work and work towards it, you will get better, period.
Fall in love with the process, learn the process. A lot of people want to focus on the results but they don’t want to focus on the process. The results will take care of itself.
KILL ONE HABIT AND DEVELOP A HEALTHY ONE
Stop talking about all the foods you’re going to be missing and actually look forward to your success. Our society right now is being overrun by sugar. We are killing ourselves with our choices. Right next to the unhealthy choice is the healthy choice; it’s usually one pace away. Kicking those habits are very difficult. Your body literally goes through withdrawal when you kick the habit.
What you’re going to save in eating healthy today is a fraction of what you’re going to spend for high blood pressure and diabetes medicine, especially for people who are predisposed to it already.
FINDING TIME TO WORK OUT
You make the time. It’s important. If you go into it thinking this might be futile, you’re already defeating yourself.
CUSTOM-MADE SUITS OR WORKOUT GEAR
I’m comfortable both ways. It depends on what the occasion calls for. All of the things you see me do [on social media] are actually reflections of my natural personality. I’ve worn a suit for a long time, so I’m extremely comfortable with that as well.
I am not a grandpa [he says with a smile.] But my daughter is old enough for me to be a grandpa. “Ripped Grandpa” was a headline used in an article.
MOTIVATED BY PEARLS OF WISDOM FROM A REGGAE LEGEND
I had the fortune of watching my father die. My father was a doctor, and for many years he was affluent with cars, houses and a lot of stuff. Watching the parade of people coming in the house, the weeks before he died, and seeing how he affected their lives. Everybody talked about how he made them feel and how he treated them. When people tried to pray for him to live longer he would say, “Pray for me to die faster ’cause I’ve done everything I’ve wanted to do.” That, in itself, put life into perspective for me. So truly Bob Marley was right when he said, “The greatness of a man is not in how much wealth he acquires, but in his integrity and his ability to affect those around him positively.” That is what motivates me. To have a positive impact on the people that come around me.