One year into a worldwide health pandemic, millions of Americans continue to hope for the day when we can all return to some semblance of normal — from eating at our favorite restaurants and enjoying live concerts to traveling or working out at the local gym.
And while many lament the changes that have been necessary since COVID-19 impacted our lives, for health advocate and entrepreneur Jean Titus, a changing world hasn’t stopped him from making the most out of every single day or opportunity.
In fact, Titus, 52, founder and owner of Titus Unlimited and a recent transplant from Silver Spring, Md., to Miami, has continued to improve upon his brand, increase visitors to his website – well over 100,000 – and remained steadfast in maintaining his daily workout regimen and consulting schedule.
The self-identified trainer, nutritionist and Instagram sensation sports a 48-inch chest, 18-inch biceps, limits his caloric intake to 3,400 calories/day and trains for 90 minutes, five days a week – all the while sporting a mound of gray hairs on his face and body.
And he has a growing base of others, including but certainly not limited to seasoned Black men like himself, who refuse to accept the notion that life is over when one reaches a certain age – whether that’s 40, 50 or beyond.
“Some believe that going to the gym is tough and that after reaching the age of 40, it’s harmful to your body as your muscles begin to disappear,” he said. “But I know better and I have well over a decade during which I’ve developed a method that encourages a lifestyle that promotes longevity and greater self-preservation while shattering the myths associated with growing older.”
Titus recalls how his mother’s death in 2002 served as a pivotal period in his life – a seminal moment in time which led him to embark upon a new road and a new way of living, eating, reflecting and ultimately thriving.
“For those who want to stay fit ‘forever,’ I advise them to focus on the daily tasks: fall in love with the process, be consistent which is tantamount and to remember that you are your only competition. In other words, make every effort to beat yesterday’s output in order to achieve your goals,” said Titus, often referred to as the ‘Ripped Grandpa.’
“After losing both of my parents to cancer, especially my mother who had been in great health throughout her life, I began to question my own mortality,” he said. “I knew I needed to do something different and realized that I was on a runaway train that would land me in the same situation if I didn’t make changes. I began to educate myself about nutrition and examine my way of living.”
“I had been working out, lifting weights for about 30 years and I’d always been an athletic kind of person but I was still about 237 pounds. I was carrying a lot of excess weight. So, I began to clean out my body – to detox.”
“Folks say that those pains are part of growing older but I learned that they were really due to our diet – or more appropriately nutrition. That’s what serves as the essential element toward achieving a longer life and a better quality of life. As I began to develop my personal method, which took about 10 years, I eventually made it into a plan and then into a business. That’s how Titus Unlimited was formed. Others wanted to adopt my plan and process and I grew tired of saying the same thing over and over again. It was working for me and I realized that I had come upon something for which a lot of people had been searching.”
“Look, I am not a personal trainer,” he said. “I mean, you can find a million videos of folks who say they can teach you the ultimate workout plan. Truthfully, you’re only in the gym for about one or two hours. The time remaining should address your diet and lifestyle. If you eat crap, you’re going to look like crap. If you’re serious, just as we make time for our jobs and everything else important, you must make time for your health and wellness.”
“It’s amazing but American physicians devote about one day in their total medical training to nutrition,” he said. “And that’s what’s killing Americans, young and old – a lack of knowledge about nutrition. Take the problem of obesity. Statistics indicate that in the U.S., the rate is around 43 percent – I say it’s higher.”
“The numbers say that Black women are the most obese of all Americans at 55 percent. Again, I say the number is higher. But we’re not talking about being overweight. We’re talking about being obese. Seventy percent of Americans are overweight. And with children, that’s because the food they eat is low in nutrients – mostly processed foods.”
“Consider that the average male, 18 to 35, actually has a lower level of testosterone than men like me born in the 1970s or 60s. Why? Because their baseline level of nutrition and activity are significantly different from men in their 50s or older. That’s why they’re more likely to suffer from obesity, hormonal imbalances and erectile dysfunction.”
Titus, as part of his company’s benefits, offers a series of health supplements that he both developed and now markets as part of his business. But he says there never was and never will be a magic pill.
“There’s so much false information out there,” he said. “And there’s more money in keeping people unhealthy. But when social media got a hold of me and the volume became unbelievable, I began to market my self-preservation program. There’s great profit in people remaining sick or in debt in U.S. capitalism. What we don’t learn as youth are nutrition or financial literacy.”
“My goal is to help people become and remain healthy. Consider the cancer rates which have increased 10 times since 1980. Instead of a cure, let’s talk about the things we can do to prevent cancer. That’s what folks aren’t talking about – certainly not enough.”
Titus also works with a group of Black men known as the Silver Fox Squad and he says it’s been a joy.
“Most of the brothers are over 50 and they’re all influencers and businessmen, successful in their own right,” he said. “But like me, they’ve begun to realize they have a lot to give to the world and that they have a lot of things left which they want to do. Collectively, we seek to inspire one another and those committed to keeping the fire burning. And believe me, at 52, I have a lot of life left and I plan to enjoy every day and every moment.”
To find out more about Jean Titus or his business and recommendations for healthier living, visit his website, www.titusunlimited. He’s also on Facebook, Instagram and other social media platforms – all under his business’s name, Titus Unlimited.