USA TODAY - After years of following a strict workout and nutrition regimen throughout their pro careers, plenty of NFL players finally relish the opportunity to take it easy once they've played their final down.
Former Baltimore Ravens center Matt Birk is clearly not one of them.
The 37-year-old called it quits in February after winning a Super Bowl in his 15th NFL season and got to work a month later whittling his 310-pound frame down to a more reasonable weight for a retired father of six.
According to the Baltimore Ravens team site, Birk has lost 75 pounds and 10 inches from his waist since retiring.
Birk was relegated to the life of a lineman at a young age. He was obese as a kid and playing football in the trenches was a good excuse for him to stay big.
But when Birk got to the NFL, he became a freak about nutrition and training.
"That was the only way I was going to be able to survive in the NFL," he said. "That was really the only edge I had on my competition was to know more and learn more and do more."
After 15 years in the league, Birk knew it was time for a change to his diet and lifestyle. He wasn't going through grueling practices anymore and it wasn't healthy for him to stay that large.
"I wasn't going to go to Chipotle and get two burrito bowls at 9:30 at night anymore," Birk joked.
The site says that Birk is currently in the running to be a cover model for a magazine sponsored by fitness company Visalus, an honor which would have to find room alongside his 2012 NFL Walter Payton Man of the Year award on his mantle.
To vote for Birk, go to challenge.com/vimodel/vote/3183530.
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