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We all know one thing to be true: the older we get, the harder it gets to keep the pounds off. Stellar Award-winning gospel artist JJ Hairston knows this firsthand.

The 15-year music vet was relatively skinny most of his life – weighing about 150 pounds while standing at 5 feet, 9 inches. He didn’t like his small size so much, at times, that he tried to get gains through drinking protein shakes.

But then he hit his mid 30s, and he noticed that the foods he ate would stick with him much longer. Last year, he hit a surprising 191 pounds. The extra weight affected him tremendously.

While directing his group Youthful Praise during a performance last year, he found himself gasping for air and feeling tired.

“I felt like I had to stop even though we were, like, halfway through the song,” Hairston, 41, recalled. “I felt like if I didn’t stop, I was going to pass out.”

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