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Jim Morris, Bodybuilder
How Vegan Diet Can Help You Stay Healthy

Rafid Nassir
Published by Rafid Nassir
Fact checked by Markus Oliver, BHSc FACT CHECKED
Last updated: January 8, 2021

How old do you think the man is pictured above?

Perhaps you have excellent guessing skills or have already heard of the legend and have a hunch, but I’m convinced most of you wouldn’t have guessed that the vegan bodybuilder Jim Morris was 78 years old when this picture was taken!

Yes, this incredible looking athlete had kept this young and healthy look even in his late years. So what was his secret?

Who was Jim Morris?

Jim Morris The BodyBuilder

Before we dive in, some quick background info, Jim Morris was an accomplished professional bodybuilder who won awards for Mr. America, Mr. USA, Mr. International, and Mr. Universe, among other things!

He was a renowned fitness instructor and even worked as Elton John’s bodyguard for a time!

Morris practiced fitness from a very young age and always strived for the top.

He had to face difficulties and prejudice throughout his career due to his ethnicity at a time when being African-American was more frowned upon.

Did I mention he was also gay?

Despite all this, he was committed to bodybuilding and a healthy lifestyle and didn’t let anything stop him. He had managed to leave his mark and become a prominent figure in the world of healthy athletes.

Unfortunately, Jim never got the recognition he deserved despite all of his awards. When people think of bodybuilding and fitness, their mind usually immediately races to celebrity figures such as Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Even though more humble, his story is one of inspiring success. Jim sadly passed away at the age of 80 in 2016 but remains a health and fitness model for many.

The Switch to Veganism

It’s important to note that Morris had switched to a vegetarian lifestyle at age 50. He realized that removing meat from his diet would mainly help his digestive problems, which troubled him for years.

Fifteen years later though, bodybuilder Jim Morris became a full vegan! He stated that this was the best decision he had ever made, and if anything proves this, it’s how healthy he looked at such a late age. As a vegan he looks just as good, nay, better than when he competed for Mr. America and Mr. Usa because now he is cruelty free.

Now vegan bodybuilder Jim Morris, went vegan not only for health reasons but for ethical reasons as well. He was firmly against animal cruelty:

“Most people have a problem becoming a vegan or stopping eating meat but because of how I want to live in this world and because of how I want to treat other creatures I have to be a vegan. In order for me to eat meat, I would have to change all my other beliefs.”

Jim Morris
- lifelong fitness

If you haven’t watched the documentary, Jim Morris lifelong fitness it is a good watch. He is a strong man with a heart of gold, Morris wanted to put a stop to animal abuse leading by example.

youtube

Weight and Health Problems

weighing scale

There was a time, however, when Jim wasn’t living a healthy life. He weighed around 474 pounds and couldn’t walk for long without getting winded.

Other than digestive issues, he suffered from heart problems as well. At one point in his life, the doctors even had to put a pacemaker and a defibrillator on him.

This was a time when he ate a lot of meat for protein. Jim then realized that he could get enough protein and get healthier by switching to a plant-based diet entirely.

He stopped eating sugar, fast food, fried food, and had set his mind on becoming healthier and even made his own plant based vegan diet plan.

In the short time span of two years, Morris had dropped from 474 pounds to a staggering 185 pounds!

6 Jim Morris’s Personal Healthy Tips

Before we get into details of his vegan plant based nutrition, let’s look at some tips Morris had shared for keeping up a healthy diet [1]:

  1. Watching television while eating is a recipe for a disaster
  2. Don’t make excuses
  3. Just like alcohol and nicotine, food can also become an addiction. One difference is that you can never completely stop eating, so it’s essential to be mindful of what you eat
  4. Devise your own nutrition plan- what works for one person doesn’t work just as well for everyone!
  5. Keep a food diary since it helps monitor what you eat and when
  6. Get in the habit of doing exercises

So What Does Jim Eat?

fruits and grains

When he retired from bodybuilding and became a vegetarian, he still ate fish from time to time because it was something he enjoyed.

His diet consisted mostly of very healthy food such as:

  • All kinds of fruit
  • Vegetables
  • Grains
  • Beans
  • Nuts

After going full vegan, however, he cut out fish from his diet as well and never looked back. The Jim Morris vegan diet plan can work for any of us.

As a vegan, personal trainer, former Mr. Universe, Jim truly is an inspiration.

What Jim Morris’s Story Taught Us

If there’s something we can take away from Jim's story, it’s that it’s never too late to change your lifestyle, especially if we want to live just as long as he did!

Although he became a vegan later in his life, he has proved that staying healthy at an old age is attainable through sheer determination and commitment to a healthy lifestyle. It’s a change that helped him overcome his health issues and become happier.

Jim had also shattered the common prejudice that animal-based products are necessary for impressive muscles and physique in the world of bodybuilding.

But it’s not all about building a great body. As he puts it, “Being vegan makes me feel better about how I relate to other creatures.”


References:

  1. https://richmond.com/entertainment/fitness-jim-morris-succeeded-by-creating-his-own-diet-and-exercise-routine/article_360291cd-1d01-5434-978e-078517eef158.html

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