Elvis Duran, the host of one of the top morning radio shows in the country, has never shied away from sharing aspects of his private life, from his dramatic weight-loss journey, to revealing on air that he is gay, to talking about how he got into meditation.
Duran first became a household name in the New York tri-state area after he launched his daily program, “Elvis Duran and the Morning Show,” on New York’s Z100 in 1996. Still host of what is now a nationally-syndicated show. Duran has long been known for not being the stereotypical “morning zoo” host because he doesn’t go the “shock jock” route.
“It’s easy to go into, ‘I’m going to insult you for a laugh at your expense’ vain, I don’t want to do it. There’s nothing smart about that,” Duran told ABC News’ Dan Harris during an interview for his “10% Happier” podcast. “I really feel that leading by example is the best way for people to see who you are and let them connect with you.”
He said some friends living in Santa Fe, New Mexico, first introduced him to the idea of meditation years ago. Duran eventually bought a house there as a place where he could get away from bustling New York City, and while there, he started reading a book called “8 Minute Meditation” by Victor Davich.
“It really taught me that in eight minutes, in a busy lifestyle, I could actually form these habits,” Duran said. “After about two weeks of doing eight minutes a day, I really started to feel something different.”
“I felt like I was observing myself, my body, my physical cues my body was giving me at the time, overweight, whatever,” he continued. “I was an observer of myself rather than a participant in life and I thought that was very unique.”
In December 2014, Duran underwent a bariatric surgical procedure called a “gastric sleeve,” where 85 percent of his stomach was removed. It led him to lose 105 pounds in eight months.
“I am a different human being,” Duran said. “Everything has changed. My attitude has changed, the way I look at life, the way I enjoy life, everything has changed.”
“When you’re overweight for so many years of your life, it’s these little things,” he continued. “Like for instance, if I see the ‘Don’t Walk’ sign is flashing I know I have to get across 6th Avenue really quickly. I run to get across and I realize, I just ran and I’m still breathing, I don’t have a lack of oxygen. In the old days it would take everything to get across the street and recover from that. ”
Duran said he continues to exercise and practice meditation on and off, depending on his daily schedule, but doesn’t usually meditate for longer than 15 minutes a day. When he can find time to do it, Duran said he’ll notice a positive change in his mood.
“And I know when I’m doing more or less [meditation] because I see the results, after maybe a week of getting into it, I definitely see the results,” he said. “I see me calming down.”