Few, if any professional athletes put their bodies through the wringer like NFL players.
Russell Okung provided the latest example on Sunday. The two-time Pro Bowl left tackle retired from the NFL after the 2020 season. In his prime, he protected Russell Wilson and blocked for Marshawn Lynch en route to a Super Bowl win.
He posted an image of himself on social media Sunday afternoon after two-plus years away from football.
That is not the body of a man who belongs anywhere near an NFL offensive line.
Okung’s listed playing weight was 310 pounds. He didn’t include a weigh-in with the image, but it’s safe to venture that he’s carrying far fewer than 310 pounds on his 6-5 frame. Here’s a picture of Okung with the Los Angeles Chargers in 2018:
Okung isn’t the first lineman to show off dramatic weight loss in his post-playing days. In 2019, now-Hall of Fame left tackle Joe Thomas did the same. The 10-season NFL veteran showed off side-by-side images of himself as a member of the Cleveland Browns and in street clothes a year-plus after retiring.
He was truly unrecognizable. As is Okung in his image shared on Sunday.
More than anything else, offensive linemen depend on body mass and strength to do their jobs. This requires unnatural eating habits and intense caloric intake. For Thomas, that meant consuming 6,000-7,000 calories a day.
Thomas told GQ in 2019 that his typical breakfast previously consisted of “a big bowl of oatmeal, a big thing of Greek yogurt with berries, granola, flax seed, honey, and then maybe 8-10 scrambled eggs and 4-5 pieces of bacon.”
That was all before a pre-lunch snack that might be a “high-calorie smoothie” before two more massive meals and ending his day with a bedtime snack of “a sleeve of Girl Scout cookies and a bowl of ice cream, or sometimes a freezer pizza in the oven. … and a big casein protein shake before bed with some milk.”
Okung didn’t go into those kinds of details with his post. But it’s safe to assume that he was on a similar calorie-dense diet that he’s since abandoned because he doesn’t have to block Von Miller anymore. Judging from the “Reborn” caption on his post, he’s happy with the changes.