Los Angeles Lakers big man Dwight Howard has some advice for anyone who will listen: Take care of your body. Howard would know. As a young professional athlete, Howard had some awful eating habits, which included eating 24 candy bars a day.
But the 33-year-old Howard is a changed man now. He’s realized the value of healthy eating, and is no longer consuming “McDonald’s, chicken wings and honey buns every single day,” according to Bill Oram of The Athletic.
"Back then I thought I’d be able to play forever, thought I could eat McDonald’s, chicken wings and honey buns every single day, but I realized as you get older, you’ve got to really take care of your body, you’ve got to listen to your body. ...— Bill Oram (@billoram) November 6, 2019
"So, my advice for anybody is try to eat as healthy as you can. Health is wealth. A lot of people try to get rich with money, but try to get rich with your body."— Bill Oram (@billoram) November 6, 2019
Howard handed out that advice after he was asked about being one of the last players to go straight from high school to the NBA. Howard didn’t really answer that question. Instead, he provided commentary on how it feels to be young and indestructible.
Howard was just 19 when he made his NBA debut. Like most college-aged people, he had an aura of invincibility. He could do anything.
Over time, that fades. How many 33 year olds do you know who can still survive on a diet consisting of only soup in a cup? How many can still go out every night and not pay for it the following day?
Ultimately, Howard came to the same realization as every other person in their 30s: Things have to change. Candy bars need to be replaced by vegetables. Video games need to paused for more frequent trips to the gym.
Howard seems to have taken that advice to heart, and it’s fueled his resurgence with the Lakers. No, Howard isn’t putting up monster stats every night, but he’s at peace with his role. He understands what he has to do to stick around.
As any 33-year-old can attest, that’s a good thing.
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