We hear about it all the time – NFL players once at the top of their game and in prime physical fitness retire and become the antithesis of health. It’s not just pro football players, it happens to professional athletes of all kinds.
“What happens is you have a very regimented, controlled environment (practice times, nourishment to survive the season) year after year after year. Then imagine one day it stops – no routine, left to your own devices,” described Reggie L. Smith, former NFL player and President of the National Football League Players Association in Chicago. Just this week he was also named as the new Vice President of Business Development for Retrofit Weight Loss, an exciting new nutrition and fitness program.
“We don’t had another system to go in to,” explained Reggie of himself and his peers. Like many retired NFL players, Reggie settled comfortably in to civilian life and put on an unhealthy amount of weight. But that’s in the history books now, as is his All American status at the University of Kansas. In the past year he’s lost an impressive 70 pounds, a lot of it thanks in part to Retrofit Weight Loss.
“It’s exciting,” he told us of his personal success. He found Retrofit Weight Loss when his NFLPA chapter was approached by the company. They wanted to work together to help the guys get in better shape and regain their health. That’s when Reggie says he got on the program himself, and describes the brand as a “wonderful service and product. It’s an awesome idea and they’re doing good things.”
He liked the company so much, especially praising the wonderful people behind it, that he signed on not only as a client but as a member of the company’s leadership team. “I’m very excited. My role will allow me to let people know about Retrofit, talk to large employers about bringing better health to their employees.” He explained that, from a human standpoint, it’s the right thing to do, and from a business perspective it’s a smart thing to do.
“Health of the workforce impacts the bottom line in a major way,” said Reggie, explaining that often the second or third highest expense for a company after payroll is health care. When you can deliver a corporate wellness program, for instance in the form of Retrofit Weight Loss, you’ll save the company a lot of money, see improved employee morale, and even an increase in productivity.
While certainly not as large as some of the leading companies Reggie plans to approach in Chicago and throughout the country, the NFLPA chapter that he is working with is already seeing progress as a result of its members joining Retrofit Weight Loss. In addition to the 70 pounds lost by Reggie, another retired player has lost 22 pounds so far and another is down 10.
“Everyone is smiling, looking good, they have great things to say,” reported Reggie. “Six months ago, myself included, we were not talking about things like this,” referencing their enthusiasm over buttoning old suit coats and discussing food choices.
For Reggie, those food choices aren’t anything dramatic. One of the unique things about the program he praises is that it creates a custom program that looks at the individual’s life and builds a program around that. “It’s not rigid and there’s no deprivation,” he said. “You take ownership, you make compromises.”
For his own plan, Reggie hadn’t been eating anything during the day and then inhaling all of his calories at night. “I was a night time nibbler,” he confessed. Now, he explains how he eats every two to three hours throughout the day to keep up his metabolism.
As for fitness, he said that’s one area that’s hard for all of the retired players to restart. They psyche themselves out over what it’s going to be like, especially the pain.
“With Retrofit, the idea is not to get in and start tearing up the gym. It’s just to get active again,” said Reggie.
For him, that meant doing the little things like parking even a half mile away from his destination and walking the rest and taking the stairs instead of elevators. “Those little things add up to an extra two to five miles of movement in a day, where before you hadn’t had any.”
While Reggie celebrates his own personal weight loss success and that of his fellow retired NFL players, he’s excited about the prospects of celebrating weight loss at the hands of Retrofit throughout the country.
“My hope is for Retrofit to have a national presence, and even become a household name.”
August 23rd, 2012