Robert Snodgrass blames his daily journeys of 280 miles to Birmingham and dines at service stations to return to West Ham last summer out of shape.
Manager Manuel Pellegrini has warned the Scot, who spent last season on loan to Aston Villa, had to lose weight if he wanted a place on his side Hammers.
Snodgrass did as he was told and is now relieved to start Premier League matches rather than live on the highway.
Robert Snodgrass trained on Friday before the West Ham United match with Crystal Palace
"I told the director:" Try to travel from London to Birmingham and eat services and follow a balanced diet! "I was traveling for almost 280 miles a day," said Snodgrass during Saturday's clash with Crystal Palace.
"I was up and down the whole country, since I was on loan last year, it was hard to find a balance or a routine, it was probably the hardest year of my life, but it's the sacrifice that do to play football.
"I was trying to be a family man and a footballer, so it's hard. I said, "I will give you my all, give me only a good chance and I will take it with both hands – if I do not, then I have only myself to blame."
"That's why I wanted to be in West Ham. I never wanted to come and just take part in. I wanted to be a team player, to scale and earn my salary, there's no other way for me.
"It does not matter if a player earns £ 100,000 a week or £ 1,000 a week – the first thing you need to do is work hard for your team.
This is the difference sometimes with top managers. They motivate the players to work hard.
"The football was really good at Villa, it was worth it, I was very good at Villa."
Snodgrass is back in the first West Ham team after a meeting with Manuel Pellegrini (above)
Snodgrass's new commute in West Ham's Rush Green training camp is just five miles and gives Pellegrini credit for forming the team.
"See who is at the top of the rankings now? Man City: the best players work hard Liverpool: the best players work hard," said Snodgrass.
This is what the manager is trying to do. Give players who are really good players all those who are buying what they are trying to do.
"It took about a month to come to terms with the results, you need to make sure you have a team of happy players waiting to do their best for you."
Saturday Pellegrini will face the 71 year-old manager of the Palace Roy Hodgson at the London stadium, and says he would also like to work in his seventies.
"I hope to continue for many years," said the 65-year-old Chilean. "I hope to work for more than 75 years! If I'm in good shape I will do it".
Pellegrini is about to expire and Sportsmail understands that he will bring 21-year-old Xande Silva to the Saturday team.
The Portuguese striker was signed in the summer for £ 1m and scored six goals in eight games for West Ham's Under-23s.
Snodgrass spent last season on loan to Aston Villa and struggled to maintain his ideal weight