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EXCLUSIVE: 'American Idol' Alum Big Mike Talks Fatherhood and 90-Pound Weight-Loss

The Idol alum credits his 90-pound weight-loss to exercise and a healthy diet.
Father’s Day is coming up on Sunday and American Idol alum Michael “Big Mike” Lynche has twice as much love coming his way now that he’s a dad of two.

Lynche and wife Christa welcomed son Kingston Michael Lynche on February 22nd. His first daughter, Laila Rose, was born while Lynche was a contestant on season nine back in 2010. To add, Lynche is working on his debut album, and has lost over 90 pounds since changing his lifestyle in November. He spoke with ESSENCE.com about his dramatic weight-loss, debut album and shared what fatherhood means to him.

ESSENCE.com: What have you been up to since Season 9 of Idol?
BIG MIKE: I’ve been working on my self-titled debut album for a little more than 15 months, pretty exclusively. I’ve been trying to really craft just the perfect, perfect record. I really want to make something for the lovers out there. We took a lot of time to make the music right. And I wrote all the songs.

ESSENCE.com: We hear you’ve also lost a ton of weight.
BIG MIKE: Yeah, I’ve lost 90 pounds since November.

ESSENCE.com: That’s a lot. You know we want to know what you did.
BIG MIKE: Well, I do a run in the morning and then in the evening I do a late workout, six days a week. I eat about 1,000 calories a day. It works for me. I think you’ve got to find whatever your balance is. I had a lot of extra to live off of, so a 1,000 calories is just something I set to see if I could do it.

ESSENCE.com: What’s your motivation?
BIG MIKE: Part of it was just the fact that I wanted to be more active and mobile for the long term. I also love having something to focus on and be disciplined about. I think that adds to whatever you’re doing. So that was part of it, and then it was also just time to do something because I have these goals. I would love to run the New York City marathon next year. I recently ran my first 5k and it’s just kind of a hobby of mine, something else to focus on other than music.

ESSENCE.com: Your wife Christa gave birth to your daughter Laila Rose during your run on Idol. And you recently welcomed a son. What’s it like being a dad?
BIG MIKE: It’s been amazing. I feel like I really didn’t grow up until having a kid. Having a kid really puts so much more focus on not being a hypocrite. You really have to do and be the person that you want them to be. I want them to see me being successful; I want them to see me working hard; I want them to see me doing the right thing. I want my son to know women by how I treat my wife, and my daughter, how I treat my in-laws, how I treat my brothers and sisters. So it’s just important to me at this point, more than ever, to really be who you say you are. There’s no way to fake that with the kids because they’ll see and they’ll call you on it, which is great.

Big Mike’s self-titled debut album comes out August 14.