On his Fuse TV reality series Fluffy Breaks Even, standup favorite Gabriel Iglesias devours dangerously delicious meals across the country with his close cadre of personal friends.
But after they’ve savored the last bites from hilariously unhealthy places like the Heart Attack Grill in Las Vegas, the real challenge begins: Finding a way to work off the exorbitant amount of calories they’ve just consumed in order to “break even.”
“I love the way that the show has turned out and I hope it is showing people to learn to find balance in life,” Iglesias said of the series, which returns April 7 for its second season. “I love to eat and I love over-the-top meals, but you have to find different ways to balance that by working out. Going through these episodes and having some of my closest friends and comedians at my side has been a great experience.”
Known by his nickname “Fluffy” — a term he says he borrowed from overweight people in the 1940s — Iglesias has long confronted his waistline in his act, including his popular standup specials, I’m Not Fat… I’m Fluffy and Hot & Fluffy. But as he details in his 2014 standup film, The Fluffy Movie, Iglesias was staring down some things so serious that no amount of laughing could make them go away. At his heaviest, he was diagnosed with type II diabetes and given only two years to live. It was not a joke anymore. Since then, he’s dropped more than 100 pounds and continues to live healthier.
“When faced with a serious condition, you should take it seriously mostly for yourself, but also for your loved ones who want to have you around for a long time,” Iglesias said. “It has been challenging to work out on the road, but I have good support around me, like [friend and fellow comedian] Martin [Moreno] who will not hesitate to say, ‘What are you putting in your mouth?’ and encourage me to go to the gym with him.”
Despite the rigorous demands of Fluffy Breaks Even, at 39, Iglesias is the healthiest he’s been in a long time. Just don’t expect him to look like his former cast mates from the Magic Mike movies any time soon.
|Comedian Gabriel Iglesias
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“Those guys were on the strictest diets — the tips that they would have given me were too unrealistic,” he said of working with the likes of Channing Tatum and Matthew McConaughey. “They would walk by a craft services table and I’m sure they were crying on the inside while I was helping myself.”
Most of Iglesias’ actual workout tips now come from his personal trainer Hilda Pastoriza, aka “Kill-Da,” back on his home turf of Long Beach, Calif.
“It is usually her voice I hear in the back of my head when I’m ordering from a restaurant,” Iglesias said.
During the few days that he’s not out on the road doing standup, Iglesias has kept busy working on a pilot for ABC. It’s loosely based on his own life.
“I wanted it to be a multi-cam show and be shot in front of a studio audience. That way we could get the immediate reaction from the live audience,” he said.
He’s also given back to the standup community that has given him so much over the years by hosting his own comedy showcase, Stand Up Revolution, both on Comedy Central and on Sirius XM Radio. The program allows him to give wider exposure to his friends and other up-and-coming comedians.
“I keep myself grounded by remembering that it could all go away at any time,” Iglesias said of his own stardom. “I once spent time living on the porch of a family member’s home. That keeps you humble and remembering where you have come from.”