He jumps out of the car and dashes up the stairs, ravenous. Charlotte is there, waiting with a big bowl of...white rice.
Head looks like a man who would very much like to cry.
Only two hours and two pounds to go now. Head wakes up and reads his daily meditations on, basically, how to be a to-heaven-with-it guy. Then he slips out of his suburban-Atlanta apartment (he owns a home in Pittsburgh) at around 5:30 a.m., before heartless individuals like Count Cho-cula and Cap'n Crunch start showing up.
Head sneaks into the empty locker room at 5:45 and turns the sauna up full blast, takes a bucket of ice and throws it on the coals so the temperature gets 2° past aluminum smelter, and he steps in. "Maybe you shouldn't write that," he says. "They don't know I do this."
Now he starts doing jumping jacks until there is so much sweat in his eyes he can't wipe it away fast enough. Ten minutes of that, and he gets out and does 200 sit-ups. Now into the weight room for pull-downs and curls. Fifteen minutes to go. He is dripping like a July Popsicle. Shower.
Head is so skinny these days that many people don't recognize him. His mother might not. The last time she saw him was three years and 90 pounds ago. Oh, they talk by phone, but she is a diabetic and is deathly afraid of escalators, so she doesn't travel much. And Head does not go back to Passaic. There are too many reminders of that old life waiting for him there.
"That's O.K.," says his mother. "I know he's got his life and I've got mine."
Then again, many people do recognize him. In September, Head was walking into the locker room at the Superdome for a game against his old club when the Saints' 350-pound equipment man, Glennon (Silky) Powell, took him aside and whispered, "Head, guess what? I quit drinkin'!"
Ironhead Heyward a role model?
"It's like a big brick has been lifted off my shoulders," he says. "I don't have to hide behind the b.s. anymore."