Another thing was drinking at least 100 ounces of water a day. I was never much of a water drinker, but now I’m pounding water. Like, boom, I’ll drink 34 ounces—glug, glug, glug. You just gotta retrain your body, and once you’re able to do that, it isn’t so bad. I can still have a drink. I have my little shot glass for a little vodka, and it’s fine.
So it was just a lifestyle switch, and when you get to that first weigh-in, you’re like, “Hold on, I can’t believe it.” When you see the results, that’s all you need. That’s what really hooked me. To this day, I’m that guy that carries a scale with me everywhere. If I’m over 210, I pull back. If it’s under 210, well, then I’ll have a cheeseburger. If it’s 205, then I’ll have a cheeseburger and a pizza. If it’s 215, then I’ll be strict on the diet for a couple days. Once you get there and maintain it, it’s okay. You just have to know where you’re at.
Right, so it sounds like you’re not nearly as restrictive as you were at the start.
The first couple months I was super enveloped with it. But we’re human beings, you know what I mean? You can’t fucking live like that forever. The beginning was like going cold turkey almost, no pun intended—because I would’ve loved some cold turkey at that time. But you really have to just focus, and I’m still very motivated. Once I got into it, you can’t get me out of it. I still keep a scale with me to measure the ounces of meat, because if it says to do eight, I’m doing eight. I’m not doing 8.5 or 7-point-whatever. That’s it.
And once you’d shed the weight, you had that big comeback moment on Dynamite.
Well, I wasn’t able to wrestle for a couple of months [after the blood clots]. I was still on the show doing commentary and backstage stuff, but nobody saw me with my shirt off. So once I was able to wrestle again, that’s when people saw the big transformation. And it all tied in together with the debut of the [new wrestling faction] Jericho Appreciation Society, so it really was a reinvention.
And I was smart about it, because I wasn’t going online and posting, like, “Working on my diet!” with a mirror shot. I was like, “I’m just gonna do all of this, and then when the time is right, people will notice.” And when the time was right, it was like, “Holy shit, what did you do?” I’m thinking to myself, “I’ve been doing it the whole time. I just didn’t post thirst trap pictures to get pats on the back.” I just went, boom—suddenly it’s a whole new guy.
How did that massive reaction feel?
It felt great, man, it really did. You know, my matches never suffered, but I could feel the difference. Imagine having a wrestling match, or boxing, or riding your bike, with a 30-pound weight belt wrapped around you. Then you take it off, and it’s just like, holy shit. It was a whole new thing. And listen, I’ve got pretty thick skin, but it was kind of a drag when you read, “Oh, Jericho’s fat,” and all this stuff. People are pretty cruel. But here’s the best part: When I lost all the weight, there was no, like, “Oh wow, Jericho’s not fat.” It was like, “Oh, he went and got ab implants! That’s what he did!”