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Grief Over Deaths of His Sister and Kobe Bryant Led Shaquille O'Neal to Gain 30 Pounds!

Home / Entertainment / Grief Over Deaths of His Sister and Kobe Bryant Led Shaquille O'Neal to Gain 30 Pounds!

By TheBlast Staff on November 24, 2021 at 9:00 PM EST
Updated on November 24, 2021 at 9:57 PM EST

Shaquille O'Neal was one of those folks that really had a miserable year even before the COVID-19 pandemic hit. Things got real bad for Shaq at the end of 2019. In October his sister passed away from cancer. Life would have yet another blow for the big fella with the death of longtime teammate Kobe Bryant. Dealing with grief and being locked indoors as was the case for virtually everyone in 2020 Shaq heavily indulged in what he personally calls a sandwich obsession. Thankfully things seem to be better now for the former Laker great. He may have used some unconventional motivation to be able to get himself back in shape as well!

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Shaquille O'Neal On Coping With A Grief Filled Year

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Shaq told Men's Journal why he gave in to the self-declared sandwich obsession that he suffers. Detailing that there just wasn't much that he could do to try and deal with the rough times that he was going through. Netflix and eating were the two things that he felt were best at the time to keep himself out of trouble. The number of people though that he claims to have lost in a one-year span is over the top. No wonder he was so down on himself. He mentioned,

"My sister passed away before Kobe. And then Kobe passed away and then I had 28 other people pass away. [2020] was a really bad year and I didn’t want to do anything. So, when you don’t want to do anything, but you need to stay out of trouble, there’s two things you can do: eat and Netflix."

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Shaq's Sandwich Obsession


Joey from Friends' love of sandwiches looks like amateur hour next to Shaquille O'Neal's real life diet. According to the man himself he was capable of having the same meal for breakfast lunch and dinner. To add insult to injury, the grief and the uncertainty over the situation that he was going through in the darkest days of the pandemic gave Shaq insomnia. To calm the nerves he would whip up a sandwich. Shaquille O'Neal mentioned,

"My problem is, I’ve always been a sandwich guy. Sandwich for lunch, sandwich for dinner, sandwich for snack. And when all of that was going on last year, I couldn’t sleep. So, I’d wake up at three in the morning and make a sandwich, five in the morning and make a sandwich."

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Finding Motivation In Charles Barkley To Lose The Weight

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[Photo via Mega Agency]

Luckily, Shaquille O'Neal seems to be in a better frame of mind. He mentioned that he didn't like what he was seeing in the mirror as he was starting to look too old. So, he decided to cut down the carbs and head to the gym. His gym routine is nothing special. He starts out with 20 minutes of cardio and then hits the weights. That and cutting down on his beloved bread have him down at least 25 pounds! Perhaps though it's a phrase that he mentioned in his interview that's really helped him lose the weight. The big Aristotle came up with some wise words declaring that,

"An hour a day will keep the Charles Barkley belly away."

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