I changed my diet and lost 20 pounds. I still want to lose 3 or 4 more. Now I eat a lot of chicken and fish. A lot of salad, too. No red meat; that stays with you. And less potatoes and sweets.
Before I didn't like that kind of diet, but now I do. I feel better when I eat healthier. I don't feel heavy. I realized if I wanted to get my game to another level, I had to get in better shape. It was something I needed to do.
I still will eat some pizza if I haven't had it in a while. I used to have it one night, and then the next two or three nights in a row. I can't do that anymore.
It always feels good when you get off to a good start. It's still early, and I want to stay this way all season. Be consistent, that's the most important thing.
Every year in baseball, you learn more about the game. The next year, you feel more confident. You have more experience, and you know what's going to happen in certain situations.
I realized I needed to slow down the game a little bit. Not try to do too much. When you try to do big things, nothing happens. Slow the game down, and big things can happen.
I studied videos of my swing. I'm trying to keep my hands inside more. I want to be more compact, shorter to the ball. Before I was too long with my swing, and it made me hit a lot of ground balls. When you stay inside, even if you're late on a fastball, you still can inside-out the ball, and maybe it's a blooper for a hit. That's what experience does for you. You learn to figure out what's good for you, and what's not.
This has been an exciting time for me and my family. My wife, Anakarina, and I are expecting our second child. I kept asking her, "Is it going to be a girl or boy?" She wouldn't tell me. She knew and wanted to keep it a surprise. Then on Opening Day, they played a video on the scoreboard. My daughter Annarella says, "It's a boy." I almost cried. I can't wait to play catch, and take him with me to the locker room.
I have been with the White Sox now since 2013. I know baseball is a business, but I'd really like to stay here a long time. I love Chicago. Everything is terrific: Great restaurants, great downtown. And more than anything else, I love my teammates and coaches. I think we have a good thing going here.
I haven't always had the results I want, but I'm still young. In life, you're going to have some ups and downs. You try to stay positive and keep working.
I'm feeling really good right now. The most important thing is that my family and I are healthy. That's all you can ask for. It's a blessing.
As told to Ed Sherman.
Avisail Garcia is the right fielder for the Chicago White Sox This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.