Shaquille O’Neal opened up about his recent weight loss journey — including the acronym he used as motivation.
“I wanted to become PHAT: pretty, hot and tempting,” O’Neal, 51, exclusively told Us Weekly on Monday, September 18, while chatting about his partnership with Fantasy Lab Las Vegas. “I just had to change the way I ate. I started taking my supplements, GF-9 and just a lot of exercise and working out and it’s great. So now, when I go back to the Fantasy Labs, I can take my shirt off and I could be sexy while I’m in Vegas.”
As for his current motivation, O’Neal joked, “I want to be able to take my shirt off on Instagram more than last time … I got a four pack, but I want a 12 pack.” Currently at 350 lbs., the athlete told Us his goal is to get to 325 lbs.
Last month, O’Neal revealed he couldn’t walk up the stairs before adopting a new diet and losing 55 pounds. Despite his goal to become PHAT, the former NBA star told Us it is still hard to find the motivation to stay active.
“I was the world’s greatest athlete. It was easy, but now, you wake up and you got so much to do,” he explained. “My excuse is, ‘I’ll do it later,’ but when I was playing, you had to do it then. So, I just had to restart my mindset. Now when I wake up, I eat fruit, I don’t eat a meal, and then, in order for me to get a meal, I got to go work out.”
In addition to his busy schedule and workout routine, O’Neal has his hands full as Fantasy Lab Las Vegas’ official Chief Fantasy Officer. The immersive sensory experience uses technology and art to transport guests into a variety of colorful and creative exhibits.
“It’s my job to curate the fun, curate the people there, help bring the fun experience and it’s a great job,” O’Neal shared. “It’s seven different rooms. It brings you through seven different mind changes. We have a scary room. We have a room that’s just going to let you just feel free. … This is a place that we would love to make it a go-to destination in Las Vegas.”
He continued: “It’s just going to help elevate your mind, help let your mind be free. We have great food, we have great drinks. We know Vegas is the entertainment capital of the world, but if you want to enhance your fantasies, come to Fantasy [Labs].”
The experience is one that the whole family can enjoy. O’Neal, however, has yet to experience it with his own kids. “They’re working and they’re in college and they’re doing their thing,” he stated. (O’Neal shares daughter Taahirah, 27, with ex Arnetta Yardbourgh, and kids Shareef, 23, Amirah, 21, Shaqir, 20, and Me’arah, 17, with his ex-wife, Shaunie O’Neal. The basketball star is also stepfather to Shaunie’s son, Myles, 26, from a previous relationship.)
Fantasy Lab Las Vegas’ new exhibit, SHAQ’s Fantasy Lab, launches to the public in October.
With reporting by Christina Garibaldi