Today’s Tim ain’t the Tim you remember. Timothy Zedd Mosley (a.k.a. Timbaland), the musician, rapper, and record producer who’s worked with everyone from Jay-Z and Kanye to Coldplay and OneRepublic, and who curated the top-40s soundtrack to the last 20 years of your life—that Timbaland—is still very much here. But there’s also another Timbaland weight-sled-driving into 2020. He’s 47 now, a bit smaller, and sober. And he says he’s found his “value.”
Men’s Health caught up the the legendary producer at his home in Miami to find out how Tim became Tim.
Timbaland says his turning point came when looking at himself. “I would look at pictures and I was like: no way,” he remembers. He says one time when standing next to a girl, he realised their anatomy, well, aligned more than he would have liked. “I looked at my breast, I looked at her breast, and I was like: we both can’t …” He says after, when he went to the doctor, he learned that his weight wasn’t just an aesthetic concern; he was at risk for diabetes. Enough was enough.
Timbaland then entered what he calls a “two-year 360” where he revamped his diet and fitness, and was able to cut out the prescription drugs he said had kept him in the “sunken place.” That includes addiction, low energy, failed relationships, and a clouded mind.
Now, Timbaland keeps it simple. He’s adopted a diet that more resembles a bodybuilder’s routine than any mainstream trend. He calls it “Plain Jane,” (perhaps a reference to A$AP Ferg?) or, in other words, “you’re not eating for taste; you’re eating for fuel.”
Timbaland says a portion of his meals now are prepared and delivered—like chicken and greens. He enjoys the consistent Plain Jane fuel. Still, Timbaland’s fridge isn’t without colour, and part of what’s helped him stave off cravings and maintain his new weight is his fridge’s flavour array. Inside, he stores lose pineapples, Tupperware filled with fruit (he’ll add kiwis, almond milk, strawberries, and cantaloupe to his protein shake along with kale “to give it that thickness”), and rows upon rows of juice and water—including a gallon of alkaline in which Timbaland adds some lemon slices for hydration.
But Timbaland says the biggest part of shedding the old Tim was honing the motivation that made him successful to begin with. He always had it within him, just hiding behind some pounds.
Now, he’s up at 7 a.m. and in the gym by 9. He says the clarity and weight change has also re-shaped his own business savvy. “It makes me not just focus on Tim and makes me understand what the brand of Timbaland is,” he says. “I don’t believe I understood my value when I was the other Tim.” His value, he says, is to find the next version of himself, the “guy who did the most prolific beats to make people dance.”
Sounds like exactly what we all need in 2020.
This article originally appeared on Men’s Health