During the Great American Truck Show in Dallas, TX in August of 2014. I had the opportunity to meet Tony Justice and his wife Misty, and sit down for a brief interview with Tony. In the brief time I had with him and have been able to speak with him since. I have been greatly impressed by his passion for his Faith, Family, Music, Friends and for the Trucking Industry in general.
When we were setting up the interview I gave Tony a choice on what he would like it to focus on. Either a life lesson that he would like to share with drivers and the general public, that he felt was important. Or things that he does to stay health and sane on the road with both careers with a dual career as a driver and musician. Without hesitation he picked driver health.
Road Tested Living (RTL).
What do you feel are some off the keys to staying healthy, especially for those who are constantly on the road?
Tony Justice (TJ)
Staying healthy on the road is a challenge as we are faced with many challenges. They range from tight schedules to choices that are less than healthy. 32 years ago I did not worry about what I ate. I knew/figured my metabolism would take care of it and why should I worry? I have come to realize that “you are what you eat.”
Why do you think that drivers tend to gravitate towards the less healthy foods?
We work in a stressful industry. We have the stresses of being away from our home and families, schedule, weather, DOT, finances and many more. Eating is our one unstressful moment, it gives us a chance to leave behind the stresses of the day. For most of us eating is one of the few if not only thing we do not have to worry about while on the road.
As a result we tend to lean towards the foods that are the most comforting and taste the best to us. For me I have found that many of the foods that I enjoy the most are the ones that are the least healthy for me. One of my favorite foods to eat are deep fried gizzards. I realize they are not the best for me but I love them. I try to stay away from fried foods as it is easy for me to over eat them.
How do you try and eat healthy for when your on the road?
As a rule of thumb I do not keep snacks on the truck. If I do not have them on the truck I am not tempted to over eat. I also do my best to eat at least 3 meals a day. I will start my day off with some water and an oatmeal bar. I do keep some Beef Jerky on the truck as a snack/meal replacement for those days I am on a tight schedule. I know that it can be high in sodium but I find it filling and gives me energy to get down the road. Also I eat a lot of Subway and Arby’s wraps. There are healthy options on the road you just have to seek them out. One of my personal favorites is the Market Fresh BLT on whole grain bread that you get at Arbys.
What is your motivation for being healthy? Do you focus on it due to your dual career as a musician and professional driver?
While eating and trying to stay healthy on the road is good for both careers. I do it simply as I do not like the way I feel when I do not eat right. When I started driving 14 years ago I weight about 206, I currently weigh about 225. I think I have done a pretty good job of keeping my weight with in reason especially as my body changes as I get older, and the demands of driving.
One thing I often wish for is the energy of my youth, with the knowledge that I have today gained from experience.
How do you maintain your weight on the road do you have a diet you follow?
I personally do not diet I have found they don’t work for me. Instead I do my best to stay mindful of what I eat. For me making it a lifestyle of making better choices works better than trying to keep up with a diet plan or program. 1-2 times a week I will take the time to stop and have a meal that I really enjoy and that I want. I also stop eating before I become overfull. Doing this helps keep me from over-eating especially during extremely stressful moments.
Tony I would like to thank you for your time today in the last few moments we have left. Have you found anything at this years show that you feel drivers should know about. Whether it be a product, service, or vendor?
The one thing that truly stands out to me that drivers should learn more about is Trucker’ Against Trafficking. They have just launched their new Freedom Driver’s Project. This is group that is working hard to educate driver’s about human trafficking and how we can and should work together towards ending it.
Since we sat down with each other at GATS. Tony has been extremely busy. He has a boxed set that is scheduled to be released this year available at truck stops across America. It will be Apple Pie Moonshine and his first album On the Road. The Boxed set will be called For the Long Haul Gear Jammer Special. In addition Mr Justice is now a music video star. Yes he has done his first music video, Eighteen Wheels and Jesus.
I wish Tony the best with his projects, and thank him for his generous support and time during GATS. As well as his commitment to improving the trucking industry.