Manuel: 'I knew I was heavy, but I didn't know how heavy I was.'

Inquirer columnist Michael Klein penned two interesting stories on health and nutrition related to the Phillies in today's paper. The first, about manager Charlie Manuel, who has lost about 50 pounds while on a Nutrisystem diet, begins like this:

Phillies manager Charlie Manuel remembers the night he knew he had to lose weight.

It was early last season, and he was at home, watching a replay of a game.

Manuel weighed 286 pounds - 125 pounds more than he carried on his 6-foot-4 frame at Parry McCluer High School in Buena Vista, Va., and about 85 pounds more than his typical weight over his 15-year career as a player.

Though Manuel said some of his players would rib him about his weight, it was no joke. Manuel, now 66, was a type 2 diabetic with a frightening health history. Twenty years ago, he suffered a heart attack and had surgery. Fourteen years ago, at 52, he had another heart attack. Ten years ago, his colon ruptured after a bout with diverticulitis and he underwent four surgeries in less than a year and a half.

Manuel said he had tried quite a few diets, including a juice diet that knocked off 25 pounds in two months, but the weight came back.

"One of the biggest problems I have is I love to eat and I eat a lot," he said.

Read the rest of the story on Manuel here.

Michael also wrote about changes in the food served in the Phillies' clubhouse with better nutrition as the clear goal. Both stories offer an interesting look inside topics we rarely discuss in baseball.