Alan Faneca isn’t missing much about his old self -- the aching joints, the Santa Claus belly, the big and tall clothing shops.

But there is one memory that still haunts his thoughts.

“Those chocolate, peanut butter protein shakes with big scoops of peanut butter,” Faneca said with mock sadness in his voice. “They were about 1,000 calories each, and I used to eat three a day. I definitely miss those.”

Since retiring from the NFL and the Cardinals in 2011, the nine-time Pro Bowl guard has dropped about 100 pounds from his playing weight between 315 and 320 to his current weight of 220. He lost the first 70 in about three months, which had friends and family members jumping to conclusions.

“People thought I was sick or something because it was coming off me so fast,” said Faneca, who played 10 of his 13 seasons with Pittsburgh. “If you didn’t see me for two weeks, I’d look totally different the next time. It was hell on my closet. I couldn’t buy clothes fast enough. They would just hang on me like drapes.”

Faneca wasn’t sick. In fact, he was shedding weight to avoid just that problem. While a lot of attention – warranted – has been paid to brain injuries and their impact on players’ long-term health, Faneca believes weight is another significant issue that deserves more discussion among retired players.

“Most guys should think about it,” he said. “Especially in this new era of the NFL. Big today isn’t necessarily all muscle. You can you be 340, 350 and still move. But that’s not necessarily healthy, and it’s not going to prolong your life, especially when you’re out of football dealing with post-football injuries.”