Healthier Choices

Healthier Choices 

I've always been at least slightly overweight, even as a young boy. My mother Marian, a cook by trade, brought up my sister and I after separating from my father when I was around 6. She very much equated food with love and her idea of looking after you was to feed you giant portions of her very delicious home cooked food. In later years, when we ran a part time bed and breakfast in Whitby, she was only really satisfied if the guests left the dinner table completely stuffed and actually in pain! Even though I cycled many miles up and down the hills near Whitby in my youth, I was always slightly podgy. Physical Education classes at school were always a struggle and I was resigned to being one of those boys who finished last in the cross country running. 

In the early days of Marillion my weight started to creep up, especially around the time of our first Scottish tour in 1981, getting up to 17.5 stone (around 111 kilos), probably too much beer and too many bridie's (a meat and onion pasty) 

It dropped back down to 16 stone around the time we recorded the   Market Square Heroes EP. 

After we finished the Script tour I found myself single and determined to do something about my weight! I'd had to move into a grotty mice infested bedsit outside of Aylesbury (since demolished) and as I didn't have a car at the time, I started cycling everywhere. I also started following a high fibre diet and combined with the cycling managed to get down to 11.5 stone over the next few months. This gradually crept back up to 16 stone over the next few years until Steve H joined the band when  I felt motivated to go back on the high fibre diet for the rebirth of the band and got back down to 13 stone. 

It was only after we got dropped by EMI in the mid nineties that my weight really started to spiral out of control. It was quite a depressing time with a lot of uncertainty about the bands future. I found it impossible to maintain my weight. I tried various diets but nothing really worked for me until I started the Atkins low carb diet in 2004. I managed to get back down to just over 17 stone from the 23 stone I'd reached. My weight then started to yo-yo between 22 and 18 stone for the next ten years. I found it hard not to put weight on whenever the band toured, having a very limited choice of food at the venue combined with missing my family made it very difficult. I found it almost impossible to resist the temptations of junk food especially when travelling on a tour bus where a huge stack of pizza and a fridge full of cold beer awaited me each evening after the concert. I find it very difficult to sleep on a tour bus at the best of times and I find it impossible without several drinks to counteract the adrenalin of the performance. 

I was diagnosed with type 2 Diabetes during this period so I tried the Cambridge Diet (800 calories and three meal replacement drinks a day) on the advice of my Diabetes nurse. This worked for a short time but my metabolic rate had slowed down severely and I put the weight back on very quickly! I used the MyFitnessPal app to track my calorie income (an app that I'd recommend as it also tracks your weight). The last few years has been as much about trying to control my diabetes as lose weight. After a couple of years of dealing with it quite well, I made the mistake of having more sweet things (some people love savoury food, some sweet and some like me, both!) My blood sugars went crazy whenever I had any carbs and I had rebound hunger whenever I ate anything that wasn't just fat or protein. I started getting the diabetes under control again in 2018 after reading  Michael Mosley's 8 week blood sugar diet book and my weight came down a little and stabilised. 

When the early information from the pandemic showed a greater risk for anyone with Diabetes and/or who was obese, I knew I had to make a real change in my life to give me the best chance possible if I ever did get the virus. The difference this time is that I'm not looking on it as a diet, more of a change of lifestyle. Understanding how my body responds to a low carb diet (good and bad) has enabled me to tailor what I eat (combined with a lot more exercise) and still enjoy food while losing weight. Good food is one of life's pleasures and I believe the trick is to understand what your body needs and to avoid as much as possible the pre-packaged, ultra processed food we finish up eating out of convenience most of the time. 

After losing the first couple of stone I did try Michael Mosley's Fast 800 diet but after several days of feeling very irritable and starving hungry, I decided it wasn't for me, especially as I was already losing nearly a stone a month. The good thing I did take from the book was the concept of intermittent fasting, the idea that, as much a possible, you consume all your calories within a ten hour period (in my case between 9am and 7pm). 

I think, in my experience, you need to prepare your body to stop eating the usual amount of salty and or sweet foods that give us pleasure and make us hungry and hour or so later and you also need to prepare psychologically for the change in long established habits. You will have to give up some things you love, at least in the short/medium term, but it will be worth it. 

I'm still enjoying an occasional glass or two of red wine or my favourite whisky but beer/cider/cocktails are out! For any cocktail lovers, I would recommend you waiting until after the Couch Convention (when I demonstrate my favourite cocktails) before starting. I won't actually be drinking any of them by the way! ;-) 

What works for me is to cut out foods in stages, 

Week one - no beer or sweet foods of any kind (with the exception of fresh fruit - apples, pears, nectarines, blueberries, strawberries and raspberries) 
There is so much sugar hidden in foods these days that this is a lot more difficult than you can imagine. Also, no diet drinks as I've found from personal experience that they still impact your blood sugar and drive hunger. You should be drinking six large glasses of water a day and trying to resist any of those delicious flavoured hot or cold coffee drinks, an occasional standard black/white coffee or black or green tea is fine. No orange juice, you can get all the vitamin C you need from fresh fruit and vegetables.
Try to walk at least thirty minutes a day. 

Week two - start to cut back on carbohydrates. Pizza has to go as does most fast food. Great food you can enjoy include Steak, chicken, grilled/steamed/baked fish, tinned tuna, fresh prawns etc. Try to substitute brown rice for white, wholemeal/granary bread for white and at least occasionally (with apologies to my Italian friends), wholemeal pasta for normal pasta. It's about changing habits, one of the most difficult of which is what we consume for breakfast. 
What you want is something that will give you what you need nutritionally, tastes good and that will keep you feeling full until lunch time. The bad news, most breakfast cereals, even the ones that infer that they have some health benefits (bran for fibre, added vitamins etc) are junk. The only ones I can personally recommend are unsweetened porridge (oatmeal) made with semi skimmed milk with fresh berries on the top, and unsweetened musli (you have to be careful of the dried fruit content). Scrambled/poached eggs on wholemeal toast makes a nice change but my usual breakfast consists of 160g of unsweetened but full fat (5 or 10%) greek yoghurt with a small amount of pine nuts on top and a selection of berries (strawberries, blueberries and raspberries). Occasionally I'll have half a banana sliced on top too but you have to be careful with bananas, especially when they get too ripe. This keeps me feeling full until lunchtime.

Try to walk at least fourty minutes a day.

More to follow in the next post.

61 comments

  • Markus Dick
    Markus Dick Germany
    Thank you Steven, this is a great inspiration.

    Thank you Steven,
    this is a great inspiration.

  • Nina
    Nina Germany
    Yes, i think you got it. It is all about changing the habits that lead to our weights... Keep going 💪

    Yes, i think you got it. It is all about changing the habits that lead to our weights... Keep going 💪

  • Dave
    Dave Kildare Ireland
    Hi Steve-as a fellow see-saw weight victim I appreciate your post. I was diagnosed with Type 2 in November 2018 and put on Metformin (3x dailY). At the time I was 46 year old married father of three, and I was put in mortal fear of not being around for my family. So I resolved to change. I immediately cut out fizzy drinks, white foods and as much sugar as I could. I switched to porridge every day (actually found I loved it!), which was a big change from pastries/muffins and the more than occasional breakfast rolls. Lunch was salad as opposed to wraps and sambos, and dinner was home cooked and healthy. Big rule was no eating after 8pm. Starting weight was 249lbs and blood sugar was 12.1mmol/l. By April 2019 I was down to 218lbs and 5.7mmol/l and had cut the dose back to 1xdaily. By September 2019 I was 203lbs and off the tablets with blood sugar at 5.5. I hope you keep up your journey-your work on FEAR is some of my favourite stuff in the 30 odd years I've been a fan. Keep it up Steve!

    Hi Steve-as a fellow see-saw weight victim I appreciate your post. I was diagnosed with Type 2 in November 2018 and put on Metformin (3x dailY). At the time I was 46 year old married father of three, and I was put in mortal fear of not being around for my family. So I resolved to change. I immediately cut out fizzy drinks, white foods and as much sugar as I could. I switched to porridge every day (actually found I loved it!), which was a big change from pastries/muffins and the more than occasional breakfast rolls. Lunch was salad as opposed to wraps and sambos, and dinner was home cooked and healthy. Big rule was no eating after 8pm. Starting weight was 249lbs and blood sugar was 12.1mmol/l. By April 2019 I was down to 218lbs and 5.7mmol/l and had cut the dose back to 1xdaily. By September 2019 I was 203lbs and off the tablets with blood sugar at 5.5. I hope you keep up your journey-your work on FEAR is some of my favourite stuff in the 30 odd years I've been a fan. Keep it up Steve!

  • Gerdine
    Gerdine Breskens Netherlands
    dear Steve, Thanks for sharing this. I have been struggling with the same problem since childhood. I also like both savory and sweet food. my difficult moment is usually in the evening, during the day it is fine. Changing lifestyle instead of diet is the best solution. I hope to follow more of you and I will participate too! doing well! greetings Gerdine

    dear Steve, Thanks for sharing this. I have been struggling with the same problem since childhood. I also like both savory and sweet food. my difficult moment is usually in the evening, during the day it is fine. Changing lifestyle instead of diet is the best solution. I hope to follow more of you and I will participate too! doing well! greetings Gerdine

  • Chris While
    Chris While
    Hi Steve, Thank you for a very detailed and somewhat moving account of your life! I feel like much of what you have written I could have penned myself, especially the bits about school and the reaction to the 800 calorie diet! Really good blog post, I look forward to more, and hopefully the inspiration I need to once again strive for smaller clothing!! Cheers Chris

    Hi Steve,

    Thank you for a very detailed and somewhat moving account of your life! I feel like much of what you have written I could have penned myself, especially the bits about school and the reaction to the 800 calorie diet!

    Really good blog post, I look forward to more, and hopefully the inspiration I need to once again strive for smaller clothing!!

    Cheers

    Chris

  • Grant Pearse
    Grant Pearse Australia
    Hi Steven, Well said. I once lost 50kg once diagnosed with diabetes only to see it balloon out again. I once thought it was a fight I had won but has proved to be something I will have to battle all my life. Hard to stay away from the bad stuff when working too hard.

    Hi Steven,

    Well said. I once lost 50kg once diagnosed with diabetes only to see it balloon out again. I once thought it was a fight I had won but has proved to be something I will have to battle all my life. Hard to stay away from the bad stuff when working too hard.

  • Andrew Glennon
    Andrew Glennon Cheshire
    Great blog and very helpful Steve. I also struggle with my weight but since Co-Vid have lost 2 stone with increased activity (cycling) and reduced carbs (not extreme Atkins, just swerving breads, chips and processed stuff). I am 80% to my target weight and feel so much better. Maybe I'm kidding myself, but I dont think wine or whiskey are too bad - the only risk being to cheat when getting a bit squiffy. My goto snacks are nuts or maybe dark chocolate (70%+ cocoa) - I think meal planning is also critical - we all start to fail if the only thing in the cupboard is pizza or bread to make a quick butty! Good luck!

    Great blog and very helpful Steve. I also struggle with my weight but since Co-Vid have lost 2 stone with increased activity (cycling) and reduced carbs (not extreme Atkins, just swerving breads, chips and processed stuff). I am 80% to my target weight and feel so much better. Maybe I'm kidding myself, but I dont think wine or whiskey are too bad - the only risk being to cheat when getting a bit squiffy. My goto snacks are nuts or maybe dark chocolate (70%+ cocoa) - I think meal planning is also critical - we all start to fail if the only thing in the cupboard is pizza or bread to make a quick butty! Good luck!

  • Helen
    Helen Manchester, England
    Hi, Steve. I've been a Marillion fan since 1987, and also love The Wishing Tree. I just wanted to say that you have now inspired me with this healthy lifestyle, as well as soothing my soul with your music. I was diagnosed with coeliac disease in 2009, and it was so hard adjusting to a new diet. It was surprising how much food contains wheat, and the first time I went shopping, it took me almost two hours, as I had to read every label. I miss Super Noodles most of all, as they were a quick meal when I got home, as I work nights at a hospital. My gallbladder was removed last year, and had to reduce fatty foods. As a consequence, I have lost a bit of weight, but not as much as I should. Like yourself, I have struggled with my weight most of my life. I went from being 6 stone to almost twenty. I am now 15 stone, but need to get down to 12, as I am five eight. These last few a being stubborn, but what you have written will really help. You have done so well, and I hope to see you live very soon. Take care

    Hi, Steve. I've been a Marillion fan since 1987, and also love The Wishing Tree. I just wanted to say that you have now inspired me with this healthy lifestyle, as well as soothing my soul with your music. I was diagnosed with coeliac disease in 2009, and it was so hard adjusting to a new diet. It was surprising how much food contains wheat, and the first time I went shopping, it took me almost two hours, as I had to read every label. I miss Super Noodles most of all, as they were a quick meal when I got home, as I work nights at a hospital. My gallbladder was removed last year, and had to reduce fatty foods. As a consequence, I have lost a bit of weight, but not as much as I should. Like yourself, I have struggled with my weight most of my life. I went from being 6 stone to almost twenty. I am now 15 stone, but need to get down to 12, as I am five eight. These last few a being stubborn, but what you have written will really help. You have done so well, and I hope to see you live very soon. Take care

  • Laurens
    Laurens 's-Heerenberg (Holland)
    Wow Steve, this is fantastic! Luckily there are a lot of delicious things to eat to not gain weight. Since my chemo about 17 years ago my thyroid is working less and i'm drinking a lot of water instead of Cola (which I like very much) and try to walk for at least 30 minutes 3 or 4 times a week to keep my weight at around 90 kilo. Until now I can still eat some junk now and then, but I'm trying to eat a lot of chicken and fish dishes. One salat I like very much and can reccomend contains paprika, red onion, pickles, tinned tuna and lettuce. Keep up the good work and I hope to see you soon in a jaw dropping slim and healthy state!

    Wow Steve, this is fantastic! Luckily there are a lot of delicious things to eat to not gain weight. Since my chemo about 17 years ago my thyroid is working less and i'm drinking a lot of water instead of Cola (which I like very much) and try to walk for at least 30 minutes 3 or 4 times a week to keep my weight at around 90 kilo. Until now I can still eat some junk now and then, but I'm trying to eat a lot of chicken and fish dishes. One salat I like very much and can reccomend contains paprika, red onion, pickles, tinned tuna and lettuce.
    Keep up the good work and I hope to see you soon in a jaw dropping slim and healthy state!

  • Yaprak
    Yaprak USA
    Bravo 👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼 Thank you for sharing your journey. You are an inspiration.

    Bravo 👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼 Thank you for sharing your journey. You are an inspiration.

  • Kevin Michael
    Kevin Michael Ontario
    I empathize with your struggle. There comes a point where your metabolism breaks down and duets cease to work. Longvterm lifestyle changes become the only option. I spentvaxyear on the Dr. Bernstein diet (low calorie, low carb and fat, high protein). I lost almost 50 kilos before I host of medical problems hit: gout, GERD, esophageal spasm. Even now, I have recurring kidney stones. But the pandemic has been good for me: minimal travel means no more impulse buying of snacks and junk food. I wish you the very best if luck with your efforts.

    I empathize with your struggle. There comes a point where your metabolism breaks down and duets cease to work. Longvterm lifestyle changes become the only option. I spentvaxyear on the Dr. Bernstein diet (low calorie, low carb and fat, high protein). I lost almost 50 kilos before I host of medical problems hit: gout, GERD, esophageal spasm. Even now, I have recurring kidney stones. But the pandemic has been good for me: minimal travel means no more impulse buying of snacks and junk food. I wish you the very best if luck with your efforts.

  • Nicky
    Nicky Middelharnis, The Netherlands
    What a detailed story. You're on ! You know the way. You know what works. You know what doesn't work. And your working ! Sounds easy but the switch is so hard. Good luck Steven I tried several diets and ways of living. In the end I had an operation, gastric bypass, what helped me. I'm looking forward to the couchconvention. And see the guitarplayer with a lot lost weight, congrats and succes.

    What a detailed story. You're on ! You know the way. You know what works. You know what doesn't work. And your working ! Sounds easy but the switch is so hard. Good luck Steven I tried several diets and ways of living. In the end I had an operation, gastric bypass, what helped me. I'm looking forward to the couchconvention. And see the guitarplayer with a lot lost weight, congrats and succes.

  • Rhys Morgan
    Rhys Morgan UK
    Steve, this is a very brave post. Sharing weight info is very, very personal but as well as in your music, your health blog is also inspiring many now. I just wanna thank you for being who you are. I’m so happy for you with your new outlook on life and long may it last.

    Steve, this is a very brave post. Sharing weight info is very, very personal but as well as in your music, your health blog is also inspiring many now. I just wanna thank you for being who you are. I’m so happy for you with your new outlook on life and long may it last.

  • Ardi
    Ardi HELLEVOETSLUIS
    I'm proud of you. I know how difficult it is. I'm also on myfitnesspall and eating the same healthy things as you do. But it's so hard to keep up with this. Especially when you're feeling down (in my case) or having a party/vacation. But we can do this and we can beat the kilo's. Next time i'll see you at a concert we're both slim and healty that's a promiss. Love from Holland

    I'm proud of you. I know how difficult it is. I'm also on myfitnesspall and eating the same healthy things as you do. But it's so hard to keep up with this. Especially when you're feeling down (in my case) or having a party/vacation. But we can do this and we can beat the kilo's. Next time i'll see you at a concert we're both slim and healty that's a promiss. Love from Holland

  • Vinny Lambroia
    Vinny Lambroia New York
    Congratulations,and thank you Steve

    Congratulations,and thank you Steve

  • Darren Meredith
    Darren Meredith Wolverhampton
    I have always had weight issues since my liver transplant 22 years ago I went from 10.5 stone to 16 stone in a matter of months due to steroids I lost it all (took me 8 years to shift it) back to 12 . Unfortunately needed corrective surgery and yet again more steroids Went back upto 16 stones ....loving your journey so i am inspired to get it back down again ......thank you

    I have always had weight issues since my liver transplant 22 years ago I went from 10.5 stone to 16 stone in a matter of months due to steroids
    I lost it all (took me 8 years to shift it) back to 12 .
    Unfortunately needed corrective surgery and yet again more steroids
    Went back upto 16 stones ....loving your journey so i am inspired to get it back down again ......thank you

  • Phil Gowler
    Phil Gowler Woodley
    Steve, thank you for sharing this. My battle with weight is very similar to yours, except that I am now working towards a gastric bypass operation. I am lucky in that I have avoided diabetes, but my weight just wont budge. As I'm sure you know weight loss is far from easy and it is not just a case of calories in/calories out. What is fantastic is that you have found a way that works for you. I know how hard it can be, so well done! Phil

    Steve, thank you for sharing this. My battle with weight is very similar to yours, except that I am now working towards a gastric bypass operation. I am lucky in that I have avoided diabetes, but my weight just wont budge.
    As I'm sure you know weight loss is far from easy and it is not just a case of calories in/calories out. What is fantastic is that you have found a way that works for you. I know how hard it can be, so well done!
    Phil

  • Zenek
    Zenek France
    Dear Steve I bow down! I am Polish but live in south of France so not really having problems with proper nutrition! sea food, tons of vegeatables etc... I am 52 and I am very worried about young generation attracted by junk fast food. Keep going lovely man. Zenek

    Dear Steve I bow down! I am Polish but live in south of France so not really having problems with proper nutrition! sea food, tons of vegeatables etc... I am 52 and I am very worried about young generation attracted by junk fast food. Keep going lovely man. Zenek

  • Glad it works out this way for youSteve. As you said, it’s a change in lifestyle that will get you there. I will start with mine after the convention and hope to lose 20 kg.

    Glad it works out this way for youSteve. As you said, it’s a change in lifestyle that will get you there. I will start with mine after the convention and hope to lose 20 kg.

  • Chris
    Chris Tavistock
    I found intermittent fasting too. Went down over a stone a month for a couple of months, and then a house move buggered it up for a couple of weeks (takeaways mainly) but back on it again now and feeling the best I’ve done for years 😎

    I found intermittent fasting too.
    Went down over a stone a month for a couple of months, and then a house move buggered it up for a couple of weeks (takeaways mainly) but back on it again now and feeling the best I’ve done for years 😎

  • Chris Elliott
    Chris Elliott Northampton, UK
    If I didn't know otherwise, I would think you'd been listening in on a Slimming World Diet session (https://www.slimmingworld.co.uk/what-can-i-eat). Your diet is very similar to how they put it together. I found eating tons of fresh greens, particularly salads, made me lose really fast. But I did reach a point where loss slowed down and I bimbled around 12st 3lb for months, despite continuing on the same diet. Pleased for you Steve, well done and keep it up!

    If I didn't know otherwise, I would think you'd been listening in on a Slimming World Diet session (https://www.slimmingworld.co.uk/what-can-i-eat).

    Your diet is very similar to how they put it together. I found eating tons of fresh greens, particularly salads, made me lose really fast. But I did reach a point where loss slowed down and I bimbled around 12st 3lb for months, despite continuing on the same diet. Pleased for you Steve, well done and keep it up!

  • Claude micallef attard
    Claude micallef attard MALTA
    Great stuff. My experience. We are what we eat . I lost weight. Less carbs and nothing after 6pm . Good balanced diet . No fast food and other rubbish . Alcohol does not help. This is what worked on me . Everyone is different From xl/xxl I am a medium . All this thanks to my better half . She is my rock. Xx Good luck

    Great stuff.
    My experience.
    We are what we eat .
    I lost weight. Less carbs and nothing after 6pm .
    Good balanced diet .
    No fast food and other rubbish .
    Alcohol does not help.
    This is what worked on me .
    Everyone is different
    From xl/xxl I am a medium .
    All this thanks to my better half .
    She is my rock. Xx

    Good luck

  • Hugh
    Hugh Newmains Scotland
    Hi Steve as a extremely overweight type 2 diabetic I will be giving some of these ideas a go it does seem a lot like slimming world which was working for me I had lost 2 stone in the first 8 weeks but the class changed time and I couldn't find another class that suited my work schedule so I've basically put it back on so I'll just have to get my finger out of my arse and get started

    Hi Steve as a extremely overweight type 2 diabetic I will be giving some of these ideas a go it does seem a lot like slimming world which was working for me I had lost 2 stone in the first 8 weeks but the class changed time and I couldn't find another class that suited my work schedule so I've basically put it back on so I'll just have to get my finger out of my arse and get started

  • Chris Lyons
    Chris Lyons France
    Brilliant stuff Steve. Mosley is one of the good guys who knows what nutrition and weight are about. Aseem Malhotra is another - he has just done a book called the 21 day immunity plan. In these crazy days, more people should change their lifestyle and get healthy. Power to your elbow - once you are in this type of lifestyle of enjoying real food, there is no going back

    Brilliant stuff Steve. Mosley is one of the good guys who knows what nutrition and weight are about. Aseem Malhotra is another - he has just done a book called the 21 day immunity plan. In these crazy days, more people should change their lifestyle and get healthy. Power to your elbow - once you are in this type of lifestyle of enjoying real food, there is no going back

  • Shirley Savoie
    Shirley Savoie Glenville,NY
    Thank you for sharing your journey with us all. I’m also Type 2 , Fibromyalgia, chronic pain and severe arthritis in my back amongst other issues and have struggled with weight loss for some tome. My Dietician suggested intermittent fasting as well But evening time I’d get hungry and munch. I turned them to making healthy shakes and changed my diet to Pescaterian. I will also now be working out with my daughter and a trainer! You are an inspiration and by reading your first blog , I know I can do this!! Best to you on your health journey 🙏🏼

    Thank you for sharing your journey with us all. I’m also Type 2 , Fibromyalgia, chronic pain and severe arthritis in my back amongst other issues and have struggled with weight loss for some tome. My Dietician suggested intermittent fasting as well But evening time I’d get hungry and munch. I turned them to making healthy shakes and changed my diet to Pescaterian. I will also now be working out with my daughter and a trainer! You are an inspiration and by reading your first blog , I know I can do this!! Best to you on your health journey 🙏🏼

  • David
    David Long Island, NY
    Excellent first blog! Candid, informative and inspirational. We’ve adopted many of these habits and choices that you write about over the last year or so here, which Josh of all people pushed us to do, insisting on a healthier way of life, and it really helps. And you’re right, the pandemic provided a scare yet and opportunity to focus and tackle things like you have been. I love that you’re on this path, Steve. We’re all there with you. Thanks for sharing. Looking forward to the next one!

    Excellent first blog! Candid, informative and inspirational. We’ve adopted many of these habits and choices that you write about over the last year or so here, which Josh of all people pushed us to do, insisting on a healthier way of life, and it really helps. And you’re right, the pandemic provided a scare yet and opportunity to focus and tackle things like you have been. I love that you’re on this path, Steve. We’re all there with you. Thanks for sharing. Looking forward to the next one!

  • Mike Rubery
    Mike Rubery Bridlington
    Hi Steve, I seem to mirror your story entirely...I've always been "big boned" lol. I love carbs and sweet food equally. Beer and a curry in my late teens early twenties was followed by almost 20 years in the Royal Naval submarine service where lack of exercise and excessive partying on run ashores ended with mee too being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. I peaked at around 18stone 42" waist and out of breath going up hills. 3 years ago I decided to try and change my lifestyle...easier said than done. I started a fitness regime of every morning spending an hour in the gym and a 1200 calorie diet. It paid off and in around 6 months I was down to 36 waist and 14 stone....However the lock down killed it. I've found my metabolism is so slow now that lack of exercise and just a little over eating as piled on the weight and I'm now at 15. 5 stone 😤😤 I will be following your progress and attempting to lose at the same time. Good luck Steve...See you when we're both at the perfect BMI 😁

    Hi Steve,

    I seem to mirror your story entirely...I've always been "big boned" lol. I love carbs and sweet food equally. Beer and a curry in my late teens early twenties was followed by almost 20 years in the Royal Naval submarine service where lack of exercise and excessive partying on run ashores ended with mee too being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. I peaked at around 18stone 42" waist and out of breath going up hills.

    3 years ago I decided to try and change my lifestyle...easier said than done. I started a fitness regime of every morning spending an hour in the gym and a 1200 calorie diet. It paid off and in around 6 months I was down to 36 waist and 14 stone....However the lock down killed it. I've found my metabolism is so slow now that lack of exercise and just a little over eating as piled on the weight and I'm now at 15. 5 stone 😤😤

    I will be following your progress and attempting to lose at the same time. Good luck Steve...See you when we're both at the perfect BMI 😁

  • Steve G
    Steve G Liverpool
    Great post Steve. Thanks for sharing this personal information in such detail. Have you looked at Keto lifestyle. It’s tremendous and very easy to maintain. By the sounds of it you’re halfway doing it. Take care and keep up the great work. See ya soon.

    Great post Steve. Thanks for sharing this personal information in such detail. Have you looked at Keto lifestyle. It’s tremendous and very easy to maintain. By the sounds of it you’re halfway doing it. Take care and keep up the great work. See ya soon.

  • Sascha Woell
    Sascha Woell Germany
    Thanks a Ton for the glance into your Life and details on nutrition....fighting the same fight....its worth it!

    Thanks a Ton for the glance into your Life and details on nutrition....fighting the same fight....its worth it!

  • Fran
    Fran Geneva Switzerland
    This is great News. I aldi start a Year ago with a Nutritioniste to change my way of eating. I lost 17kg. No more gluten , no carbs unless sport session, no lactose.

    This is great News.
    I aldi start a Year ago with a Nutritioniste to change my way of eating. I lost 17kg. No more gluten , no carbs unless sport session, no lactose.

  • Diana Lovatt
    Diana Lovatt Sweden
    This is BRILLIANT!! Well done Steve! you are on the right track with this. I'm doing the LCHF "diet" since 2010 with a short break after 3 years of bulling that I was stupid doing it and it was dangerous with all this fat instead of carbs a.s.o. but I went back on it because I felt like shit and I'm still on it and will not go back to what I used to eat because as you know, when you do you feel it and your heart starting to race and you feel really bad. It is hard in the beginning, I know, but after a while you loose the craving for sugar and that is a great feeling and you can sit next to someone eating crisps and drinking beer and it doesn't bother you. Stop counting calories and don't drink water unless you are thirsty, otherwise you are flushing out important stuff in your system (electrolytes) that you need to feel and work properly and skip all fruits apart from Grapefruits, lemons and lime, berries are fine. Beer, cider and cocktails are out for me too but I do have G&T every now and then (bad girl) and I do have whiskey, wine (dry white is the best) and cognac/brandy. I eat no bread what so ever these days or any grain related things like porridge, pancakes, waffles.. No rise, pasta potatoes (I do have chips and roasted potatoes sometimes but very rarely and I shouldn't, I know). It's scary to see how much carbs/sugar there is in everything we normally eat and by reading the ingredients on everything you buy, you starting to understand why so many these days are overweight, having diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and cancer. Intermittent fasting is "gold" and this is when you really burn your own body fat. I don't want to sound like a doctor, telling you what to do or anything, I'm just telling you from my own experiences because I have been doing this for a very long time and by following your journey it will help me to not slip back to old habits and I have about 20 kilos left that I want to get rid of. Well done and Good luck!! You can do it!

    This is BRILLIANT!! Well done Steve! you are on the right track with this. I'm doing the LCHF "diet" since 2010 with a short break after 3 years of bulling that I was stupid doing it and it was dangerous with all this fat instead of carbs a.s.o. but I went back on it because I felt like shit and I'm still on it and will not go back to what I used to eat because as you know, when you do you feel it and your heart starting to race and you feel really bad. It is hard in the beginning, I know, but after a while you loose the craving for sugar and that is a great feeling and you can sit next to someone eating crisps and drinking beer and it doesn't bother you. Stop counting calories and don't drink water unless you are thirsty, otherwise you are flushing out important stuff in your system (electrolytes) that you need to feel and work properly and skip all fruits apart from Grapefruits, lemons and lime, berries are fine. Beer, cider and cocktails are out for me too but I do have G&T every now and then (bad girl) and I do have whiskey, wine (dry white is the best) and cognac/brandy. I eat no bread what so ever these days or any grain related things like porridge, pancakes, waffles.. No rise, pasta potatoes (I do have chips and roasted potatoes sometimes but very rarely and I shouldn't, I know). It's scary to see how much carbs/sugar there is in everything we normally eat and by reading the ingredients on everything you buy, you starting to understand why so many these days are overweight, having diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and cancer. Intermittent fasting is "gold" and this is when you really burn your own body fat. I don't want to sound like a doctor, telling you what to do or anything, I'm just telling you from my own experiences because I have been doing this for a very long time and by following your journey it will help me to not slip back to old habits and I have about 20 kilos left that I want to get rid of. Well done and Good luck!! You can do it!

  • Dennis Cheatham
    Dennis Cheatham ORLANDO
    All the best! Thank you for the inspiration. It helps to realize others know the struggle.

    All the best! Thank you for the inspiration. It helps to realize others know the struggle.

  • Aigars
    Aigars Latvia
    Hi Steve, Thanks for letting us in on what most people with similar issues would rather keep to themselves. I can relate to a lot of things you have been going through so I give you my thumbs up for commencing an interesting and -- hopefully -- fruitful journey towards a 'healthier self'. Just one thing: what about salt intake? Every nutritionist / dietitian I've spoken with recommends using very little (up to 3 grams a day) to no salt at all. It worked for me, but the big plus was learning the real taste of a lot of things that are usually seasoned with salt. Keep going! :)

    Hi Steve,
    Thanks for letting us in on what most people with similar issues would rather keep to themselves. I can relate to a lot of things you have been going through so I give you my thumbs up for commencing an interesting and -- hopefully -- fruitful journey towards a 'healthier self'. Just one thing: what about salt intake? Every nutritionist / dietitian I've spoken with recommends using very little (up to 3 grams a day) to no salt at all. It worked for me, but the big plus was learning the real taste of a lot of things that are usually seasoned with salt.
    Keep going! smile

  • John Wenlock Smith
    John Wenlock Smith Sandbach cheshire
    Thanks for sharing your thoughts and feelings about your weight this is very commendable and also very brave in your honesty I wish you well in this journey to a more balanced life and diet your openness and honesty will be a source of great relief and happiness to inspire others thank you for this

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts and feelings about your weight this is very commendable and also very brave in your honesty
    I wish you well in this journey to a more balanced life and diet your openness and honesty will be a source of great relief and happiness to inspire others thank you for this

  • Joan  Bell
    Joan Bell
    Hi Steve I'm type 2 diabetic too.. I managed to lose 3 stones and got my blood sugar down from 101 to 46... Unfortunately due to medication my weight has gone up by 16 pounds which has me quite low... My daughter has said not to do fasting as I'm diabetic but after reading your comments I'm very tempted to try it. 😊 Do you fast every day or intermittently?... Well done on your weight loss and changing your way of thinking about food.. That's how I managed my loss.... Only this time send more harder... Thanks for reading.... Hope to hear from you soon and keep up the good work xx

    Hi Steve I'm type 2 diabetic too.. I managed to lose 3 stones and got my blood sugar down from 101 to 46... Unfortunately due to medication my weight has gone up by 16 pounds which has me quite low... My daughter has said not to do fasting as I'm diabetic but after reading your comments I'm very tempted to try it. 😊
    Do you fast every day or intermittently?...
    Well done on your weight loss and changing your way of thinking about food.. That's how I managed my loss.... Only this time send more harder... Thanks for reading.... Hope to hear from you soon and keep up the good work xx

  • Scott Fisher
    Scott Fisher Rochester NY
    Hi Steve, I've been in the same boat for years. Check out Dr. Jason Fung. He's in Canada, and has some great insight into type 2 diabetes, controlling it with intermittent fasting. Very informative!

    Hi Steve,
    I've been in the same boat for years. Check out Dr. Jason Fung. He's in Canada, and has some great insight into type 2 diabetes, controlling it with intermittent fasting. Very informative!

  • Peter Arthur
    Peter Arthur Northampton
    Hi Steve, like yourself I have both a sweet and savoury tooth. I find that I binge on crisps, chocolate and beer in the evenings. Riding my hybrid cycle has been my saviour really. Between twelve and Forty miles at leas three times a week. Great for metal and physical health. Have you tried drinking Rooibos tea (Redbush), I find it delicious and drink it throughout the day. It is a great antioxidant and like green tea doesn't need sugar or milk. Thanks for posting, I find writing my blog very therapeutic as I'm sure you do too. Good luck with the future weight loss!

    Hi Steve, like yourself I have both a sweet and savoury tooth. I find that I binge on crisps, chocolate and beer in the evenings.
    Riding my hybrid cycle has been my saviour really. Between twelve and Forty miles at leas three times a week. Great for metal and physical health.
    Have you tried drinking Rooibos tea (Redbush), I find it delicious and drink it throughout the day. It is a great antioxidant and like green tea doesn't need sugar or milk.
    Thanks for posting, I find writing my blog very therapeutic as I'm sure you do too.
    Good luck with the future weight loss!

  • Tarun
    Tarun Yateley
    This is great Steve. I also went through such a journey 5 years ago, exercising regularly and watching my food intake. As a result I'm much more energetic and feel so much better. You're an inspiration for many and I know the health benefits will be well worth the sacrifices.

    This is great Steve. I also went through such a journey 5 years ago, exercising regularly and watching my food intake. As a result I'm much more energetic and feel so much better.

    You're an inspiration for many and I know the health benefits will be well worth the sacrifices.

  • Marco
    Marco Italia
    Grazie Maestro, I have a blood condition that requires me to monitor my weight closely. I don’t follow diet. like you as a boy, I cycle a lot. fresh fruit, fresh vegetables, simple and home-cooked food, no salt, no sugar, no packaged fruit juices, lots of coffee and green tea but without sugar, no spirits, little beer and more red wine. it's working for me. ride an indoor bike!!!!

    Grazie Maestro,
    I have a blood condition that requires me to monitor my weight closely. I don’t follow diet. like you as a boy, I cycle a lot. fresh fruit, fresh vegetables, simple and home-cooked food, no salt, no sugar, no packaged fruit juices, lots of coffee and green tea but without sugar, no spirits, little beer and more red wine. it's working for me. ride an indoor bike!!!!

  • Anonymous
    Anonymous Florida, USA
    Thanks for doing this Steve. No one understands the issues like someone else who is fighting too. Please keep updating. Good news or bad, your goals mirror mine (and many, many others I suspect).

    Thanks for doing this Steve. No one understands the issues like someone else who is fighting too. Please keep updating. Good news or bad, your goals mirror mine (and many, many others I suspect).

  • JV
    JV New York
    Thanks for sharing your journey. One of the things I found so helpful was the understanding that food is for the brain, not for the stomach. That was the switch that flipped for me.

    Thanks for sharing your journey. One of the things I found so helpful was the understanding that food is for the brain, not for the stomach. That was the switch that flipped for me.

  • Tamara James
    Tamara James Virginia US
    Thank you for the excellent advice and inspiration! I too use the MyFitnessPal app and it seems to be the only thing that really helps when my weight creeps up. I know how difficult it is to break a lifetime of bad eating habits!

    Thank you for the excellent advice and inspiration! I too use the MyFitnessPal app and it seems to be the only thing that really helps when my weight creeps up. I know how difficult it is to break a lifetime of bad eating habits!

  • Sally
    Sally North Essex
    Thanks Steve well put, a lot of what you say is very familiar to me too. Who knows Marillion could end up being famous for having the healthiest Fan base too. Keep inspiring us with your amazing journey. 😊

    Thanks Steve well put, a lot of what you say is very familiar to me too. Who knows Marillion could end up being famous for having the healthiest Fan base too. Keep inspiring us with your amazing journey. 😊

  • Pieter Otten
    Pieter Otten North Carolina
    Thanx, weight struggle sounds all too familiar. Had to google how much a stone is....I'm a 51 year old dad of a very active 13 year old adopted boy from Bulgaria and realized if I want to keep up with him and be around as long as possible to work with him to be a productive citizen, dealing with all the long term adoption traumas I need to stay in shape. And yes, covid-19 was a huge wake up call for all of us 50 plus folks. Good luck, I bet you'll be the most handsome of the 5 when you achieve your goals.

    Thanx, weight struggle sounds all too familiar. Had to google how much a stone is....I'm a 51 year old dad of a very active 13 year old adopted boy from Bulgaria and realized if I want to keep up with him and be around as long as possible to work with him to be a productive citizen, dealing with all the long term adoption traumas I need to stay in shape. And yes, covid-19 was a huge wake up call for all of us 50 plus folks. Good luck, I bet you'll be the most handsome of the 5 when you achieve your goals.

  • Pablo Parisi
    Pablo Parisi Argentina
    Felicitaciones Steve!!! Todo lo que se hace con compromiso y dedicación da sus frutos, seguí adelante, te mando un abrazo! Larga vida a Marillion

    Felicitaciones Steve!!! Todo lo que se hace con compromiso y dedicación da sus frutos, seguí adelante, te mando un abrazo!
    Larga vida a Marillion

  • Peter Brockwell
    Peter Brockwell Aylesbury
    All I have to say is. All the best. This information will be a huge help to anyone in a similar situation. Keep it up and good luck. P.S. I remember selling most of the band bikes (from Halfords) back in '81/'82 and you were probably the only one to use them. Hahaha!

    All I have to say is. All the best. This information will be a huge help to anyone in a similar situation. Keep it up and good luck.

    P.S. I remember selling most of the band bikes (from Halfords) back in '81/'82 and you were probably the only one to use them. Hahaha!

  • Rob
    Rob Hampshire
    I've found that spite/anger can also help: I managed to completely cut out sugar from tea & coffee some years ago, after realising that someone at work was anonymously helping themselves to my box of sugarcubes. Just to annoy them, I didn't replace the box once it was empty, and I've never had sugar in tea or coffee since.

    I've found that spite/anger can also help: I managed to completely cut out sugar from tea & coffee some years ago, after realising that someone at work was anonymously helping themselves to my box of sugarcubes. Just to annoy them, I didn't replace the box once it was empty, and I've never had sugar in tea or coffee since.

  • Steve Mac aka Jaco45er
    Steve Mac aka Jaco45er Uk
    Brilliant read Steve, informative too.

    Brilliant read Steve, informative too.

  • Chris Lambertus
    Chris Lambertus
    Thanks for sharing, Steve. I've had a lot of similar experiences with my weight, and since I started low-carb, I've gotten very interested in the science behind it. If you haven't already, I would highly recommend reading "The Obesity Code" by Dr. Jason Fung. It's a fascinating read on human metabolism, and offers a lot of actionable information on using intermittent fasting as a tool for weight loss. Best wishes, I look forward to following your story!

    Thanks for sharing, Steve. I've had a lot of similar experiences with my weight, and since I started low-carb, I've gotten very interested in the science behind it. If you haven't already, I would highly recommend reading "The Obesity Code" by Dr. Jason Fung. It's a fascinating read on human metabolism, and offers a lot of actionable information on using intermittent fasting as a tool for weight loss. Best wishes, I look forward to following your story!

  • Jonathan Wilkes
    Jonathan Wilkes Exeter
    Hi Steve, a very honest and personal account you have decided to share with us, Thankyou, I myself was diagnosed with type 2 Diabetes in 2018 and I was determined to treat it with diet but this was failing so was put on tablets, I neglected testing my blood sugar as often as I should have believing the tablets where doing their job, only to lose 20 kg and become very ill in a short amount of time, blood tests confirmed my type 2 had turned into type 1 which I found hard to deal with mentally, but eventually injecting insulin after my body had been trying to function without insulin for about 3 months nearly leafing to organ failure has become 2nd nature and I feel alot better these days, and Marillion has always been with me right by my side, I stood beside you once at the Marquee club at a Jadis concert (you prob won't remember that gig?) also met you all again, at Carnglaze Caverns in Cornwall, wonderful evening 😊😊😊

    Hi Steve, a very honest and personal account you have decided to share with us, Thankyou, I myself was diagnosed with type 2 Diabetes in 2018 and I was determined to treat it with diet but this was failing so was put on tablets, I neglected testing my blood sugar as often as I should have believing the tablets where doing their job, only to lose 20 kg and become very ill in a short amount of time, blood tests confirmed my type 2 had turned into type 1 which I found hard to deal with mentally, but eventually injecting insulin after my body had been trying to function without insulin for about 3 months nearly leafing to organ failure has become 2nd nature and I feel alot better these days, and Marillion has always been with me right by my side, I stood beside you once at the Marquee club at a Jadis concert (you prob won't remember that gig?) also met you all again, at Carnglaze Caverns in Cornwall, wonderful evening 😊😊😊

  • Dominic
    Dominic Switzerland
    Excellent post Steve; thanks for sharing.

    Excellent post Steve; thanks for sharing.

  • Hi Steve ! Thanks a lot for sharing and congrats for all your efforts.... Thank you for all the details on this life changing! it's very encouraging to read you when i'm overweight. Very appreciative of your efforts, lockdown in France did not help me lose weight ... quite the contrary ... I have been taking charge since the beginning of August ... and it is so important ! Thanks Steve

    Hi Steve ! Thanks a lot for sharing and congrats for all your efforts....
    Thank you for all the details on this life changing! it's very encouraging to read you when i'm overweight.
    Very appreciative of your efforts, lockdown in France did not help me lose weight ... quite the contrary ...
    I have been taking charge since the beginning of August ... and it is so important !
    Thanks Steve

  • Paul Forrester
    Paul Forrester Stoke on Trent
    Thank you so much for the detailed , inspiring and personal blog. I shall endeavour to follow your plan.

    Thank you so much for the detailed , inspiring and personal blog. I shall endeavour to follow your plan.

  • Tina Gillis
    Tina Gillis Canada
    Hey Steve! Thanks for sharing! I too have struggled with my weight my whole life and belong to the yo-yo club, I feel your pain! A decade ago I was loosely diagnosed (didn't have the proper tests, doc was guessing) with celiac disease and lead a gluten free life for about 7 years. During that time I ate NO processed food of any kind. I dropped probably 30 kilos in 4 months! Over the years since I was never affirmatively diagnosed I started eating more processed foods and gluten. And I gained. So while I put a few extra pounds on for good measure during the lockdown, I am back on no processed food and no gluten. I eat basically meat, veg and fruits. I am walking 30 mins a day and about 15 mins of weights a day!! We can do this!

    Hey Steve!
    Thanks for sharing!
    I too have struggled with my weight my whole life and belong to the yo-yo club, I feel your pain!
    A decade ago I was loosely diagnosed (didn't have the proper tests, doc was guessing) with celiac disease and lead a gluten free life for about 7 years. During that time I ate NO processed food of any kind. I dropped probably 30 kilos in 4 months!
    Over the years since I was never affirmatively diagnosed I started eating more processed foods and gluten. And I gained.
    So while I put a few extra pounds on for good measure during the lockdown, I am back on no processed food and no gluten. I eat basically meat, veg and fruits. I am walking 30 mins a day and about 15 mins of weights a day!!
    We can do this!

  • Jason
    Jason Hausman
    Good stuff, brother!! 👊

    Good stuff, brother!! 👊

  • Dale Jensen
    Dale Jensen Florida
    Steve, thanks for sharing your journey, it's similar to mine (although I don't get all of that "stone" stuff, it's pounds over here :-) Since January 6, 2020, I've been on a healthy eating program called Optavia, and it's focused on changing your attitude about food -- making you see it as fuel, not as an indulgence. The main program is called "5/1", where you have five fuelings, food that comes from the company -- bars, shakes, soups, pastas, etc; and 1 "lean and green" which is a meal made up of measured lean protein and a low sugar vegetable. Tonight, as an example, we had Italian Turkey Sausages and shredded and stir fried zucchini. Since January, I'm down 80 pounds and about 15 pounds away from being a "healthy weight," BMI wise. When I started this journey, I could barely walk around the block. Since May, I've run a 5K every week and run 2.5 miles every morning. Keep it up! You're doing great!

    Steve, thanks for sharing your journey, it's similar to mine (although I don't get all of that "stone" stuff, it's pounds over here :-) Since January 6, 2020, I've been on a healthy eating program called Optavia, and it's focused on changing your attitude about food -- making you see it as fuel, not as an indulgence. The main program is called "5/1", where you have five fuelings, food that comes from the company -- bars, shakes, soups, pastas, etc; and 1 "lean and green" which is a meal made up of measured lean protein and a low sugar vegetable. Tonight, as an example, we had Italian Turkey Sausages and shredded and stir fried zucchini.

    Since January, I'm down 80 pounds and about 15 pounds away from being a "healthy weight," BMI wise. When I started this journey, I could barely walk around the block. Since May, I've run a 5K every week and run 2.5 miles every morning.

    Keep it up! You're doing great!

  • Martin Nash
    Martin Nash Northampton, England
    Hi Steve, this is inspirational, i wondered if coeliac disease added to your diabetes was mentioned in any of the diets, and one other thing, do /did you suffer with diabetic gastroparesis? Im looking forward to reading your next blog entry. Best wishes, Martin

    Hi Steve, this is inspirational, i wondered if coeliac disease added to your diabetes was mentioned in any of the diets, and one other thing, do /did you suffer with diabetic gastroparesis?
    Im looking forward to reading your next blog entry.
    Best wishes, Martin

  • Jürgen Jung
    Jürgen Jung Flensburg, Germany
    Hey Steve, das ist eine gute, sehr gute Entscheidung. Diäten bringen wirklich nichts. Ich bin auch Typ 2 Diabetiker und kenne die Problematik mindestens genau so gut. Für Dich alles Gute und bleib stark... best wishes Jürgen

    Hey Steve, das ist eine gute, sehr gute Entscheidung. Diäten bringen wirklich nichts. Ich bin auch Typ 2 Diabetiker und kenne die Problematik mindestens genau so gut.
    Für Dich alles Gute und bleib stark...
    best wishes Jürgen

  • Ricardo Savoia
    Ricardo Savoia Argentina
    Congrats mate, I wish to see you soon in Buenos Aires Best regards Rick

    Congrats mate, I wish to see you soon in Buenos Aires
    Best regards

    Rick

  • Paul Hazeldine
    Paul Hazeldine Surrey
    This is amazing thanks.. I mm stick in the same place of fighting my demons of desperation to lose weight but struggling to do it and yo-yo up and down doing it. I’ve taken to the keto diet, and it’s actually amazing... quite hard to give up things you spent years eating, and so so hard missing bread and sweet things but it works if you stay focussed Happy to have a keto buddy if it helps you get through the tough times with me!

    This is amazing thanks.. I mm stick in the same place of fighting my demons of desperation to lose weight but struggling to do it and yo-yo up and down doing it. I’ve taken to the keto diet, and it’s actually amazing... quite hard to give up things you spent years eating, and so so hard missing bread and sweet things but it works if you stay focussed
    Happy to have a keto buddy if it helps you get through the tough times with me!

  • Henning
    Henning Denmark
    Thanks for sharing Steve. Very inspiring read. Working from home has made my weight climb, and I want to change my habits. Keep up the good work. Really excited to hear about a new Marillion album next year 🤩

    Thanks for sharing Steve. Very inspiring read. Working from home has made my weight climb, and I want to change my habits. Keep up the good work. Really excited to hear about a new Marillion album next year 🤩

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