Tim McGraw on Forgiving Himself for His Past: 'It's Always a Work in Progress'

Tim McGraw might be a living example of how to eat well and take care of your body, but that wasn't always the case. The 52-year-old spent several years overeating and drinking too much, which came to a head when his wife, Faith Hill, gave him an ultimatum. But there were still several dark years in his life, which McGraw admits still haunt him from time to time.

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"It's always a work in progress," McGraw said in a clip he shared on social media, from his recent chat on the Aubrey Marcus podcast. "And I think that you'll find, when you get my age, you start finding that sometimes those things creep back in harder than you expect them to, and they'll hit you unexpectedly and for a long period of time and you have to really dig in and work on them."

"It's not a one time thing and it's over," he continued. "Life is always going to be a progression forward and sometimes you've got to fight with a shield at your back."

It was Hill who gave McGraw some tough love, when his health was quickly deteriorating, as were his relationships with his wife and three daughters.

“My emotional absence was noticed and it was not scoring any points,” McGraw wrote in his new book, Grit & Grace, which chronicles his journey to a healthy lifestyle. “[Faith] has always offered unconditional love in every situation and never for a second have I doubted her willingness to support whatever step I needed to take to find my way back to health. Yet in that instance, she knew that someone had to lay down the law. Getting real like only she can do, Faith told me, ‘Partying or family, take your pick.'”

The Louisiana native now realizes that his unhealthy lifestyle was part of a bigger problem, one he was desperately trying to mask.

“I wasn’t comfortable sitting back, watching and waiting in stillness,” McGraw admitted. “In hindsight, I think it’s because if things got quiet, I’d hear the old ghosts that tend to follow at my heels like shadows. The ones that say, You’re just a small-town country singer on a lucky streak — what do you know about success? Working hard and playing hard kept things noisy enough inside to drown them out.”

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“But when you’re a partner and a parent, if you don’t leave intensity at the door when you come home, it starts to strain the bonds," he continued. "You don’t even realize you’re using worldly stresses and pressures as a way to check out of something harder to navigate — like intimacy and being there emotionally for the people who love you most.”

Photo Credit: Getty / Rich Fury