Nick Fairley hires a chef to help his diet

ALLEN PARK, Mich. -- After the Detroit Lions demoted defensive tackle Nick Fairley two weeks ago, he vowed publicly he would win back his starting job by the beginning of the season.

At the time he was heavier than he wanted to be and had not been playing how he -- or the Lions coaches -- wanted him to. His weight had always been an issue and part of the reason he ended up as an inconsistent yet gifted player his first three seasons in Detroit.

It was then where Fairley called his agent and agreed to a suggestion his agent had made months earlier to help control Fairley’s sometimes-bad eating habits. Nick Fairley would hire a chef.

“He started,” Fairley said. “His first day was two Saturdays ago.”

Before, Fairley’s weight would legitimately fluctuate by the week depending on what he ate. If he stopped consistently for fast food, he’d be up at least at 315 pounds. If he stayed and ate at the Lions’ cafeteria, he said he would be at the weight he wanted, which is 305 pounds.

Right now, he says, he weighs between 305 and 310 pounds. To keep the weight where it is, the chef drops off a week’s worth of meals, including breakfast, lunch and dinner -- with dinners sometimes being baked chicken, salmon or meatloaf. He’s also had a bunch of baked potatoes.

His chef even made him stir fry.

“You should see my freezer,” Fairley said.

To make sure he’s eating right, Fairley said he brings his breakfasts and lunches to the facility and then eats dinners at home -- all to avoid the temptation of fast food. After all, two weeks ago he said his diet was not out of control, but not where it should be.

As Fairley worked on his eating habits, he also found that the “rust” he hoped to shake off during the month-long preseason would shed itself. And each week, he felt he played a little bit better than the week before.

He understands his consistency is key this season -- not only for his personal future but for any Lions success.

“Just going out there, being around the ball more than what I would be,” Fairley said. “Each and every down making plays, being the best teammate I can be.”