CC Sabathia attempting to get healthier by getting … fatter?
CC Sabathia has enlisted the services of a personal chef to get healthier. But the way in which he is attempting to do so seems counterintuitive: By putting on weight.
In fact, Sabathia, thanks to a new diet, bulked back up to 305 pounds this past offseason, hoping that the added weight will help him return to form after two terrible seasons when he was much lighter.
After losing some weight in 2011 by shunning Cap’n Crunch, Sabathia arrived at spring training in 2013 a drastically leaner version of himself. Typically topping out at around 300 pounds — often even heavier — throughout his career, the pitcher arrived at camp weighing a svelte 275 pounds. It was such a radical transformation the pitcher’s weight loss was parodied in a “SportsCenter” commercial.
And then he struggled.
Sabathia went 14-13 in 32 starts to go along with a career-worst 4.78 ERA. It was believed that coming in lighter would lessen the likelihood of excessive wear and tear on his body, thus lowering the potential for injury. It didn’t work out that way, as his 2013 campaign ended early when he was shut down with a strained hamstring.
Sabathia shocked the world when photographs surfaced in January 2014 looking even slimmer, but it didn’t translate to good things on the field upon his arrival at spring training.
His 2014 season, like the year before, was effectively derailed by injury right from the get-go. Sabathia made only 8 starts, going 3-4 with a 5.28 ERA and was shut down midseason, then undergoing knee surgery on July 23.
Sabathia decided this past offseason to reverse course on his weight-loss ways, enlisting the services of personal chef Jerome J. Maxwell, who was the same man who put the pitcher on a no-carbohydrate diet that prompted the drastic weight loss in the previous years.
But just because Sabathia wanted to put on weight doesn’t mean Maxwell gave him carte blanche to eat whatever he wanted. The chef apparently doubled the protein in Sabathia’s diet and reintroduced complex carbs to meals and snacks.
Here’s what Sabathia had to eat in his first two meals on Wednesday (via NJ.com):
Before throwing a bullpen session at George M. Steinbrenner Field that morning, Sabathia had three eggs — over medium — two pieces of whole wheat toast, two slices of applewood smoked bacon, a side of fruit and a bottle of water.
Lunch? Try not to drool: baked chicken parmesan sans breading with whole wheat pasta, covered in homemade tomato sauce filled with onions and peppers.
The results of his new diet, and the added weight — the goal is to keep the pitcher around 305 pounds — seems to be already paying dividends health-wise for Sabathia, says his personal chef.
“Man, he said he feels great,” Maxwell said. “He tells me he feels strong. He feels he’s at a good place. I really do believe that. I do believe it’s going be a great year for him.”
So far this spring training, the weight gain hasn’t translated to on-the-mound success, as Sabathia has allowed 6 earned runs, three home runs in two appearances spanning 4 2/3 innings, per the New York Post.
(photo credit: Charles Wenzelberg)