No Going Back

 

It was an incredible experience to take part in the first Marillion Couch Convention and a very uplifting event. 

However, I was alarmed to see how unhealthy I looked in the Brave Live 2013 video! My weight was probably around 22 and a half stone (143 kilos) at the time. It was quite shocking for me to see as you're not really aware when you're gaining weight - it sneaks on like a thief in the night, but it made me even more determined that this time, I'm really not going to go back to the bad habits responsible for my weight gain. 

When you have a lot of weight to lose you have times in your life when you feel really motivated to do something about it. You buy a new exercise bike then the latest diet book, restock the fridge and pantry with whatever it is this time (powdered shakes, low carb food and on one occasion tuna and beetroot!) And off you go! 

Usually a few months in, you've lost several stone and you're feeling good about yourself but there will always be a special occasion; birthdays, Christmas, Easter, weddings etc just around the corner, waiting to trip you up. If you're like me you'll probably think I'll just have that one piece of cake or slice of pizza (how quickly we forget)! In my case that's all it would take to flick a switch, and probably due to my uncontrolled diabetes at the time, the painful food cravings and rebound hunger from low blood sugar would return and the weight that I'd worked so hard to lose would quickly come back. You get depressed because you've put weight back on so you eat something to cheer yourself up! 

I'm determined to break that pattern this time. My understanding of the mechanism of weight loss and what is I personally need to do is greater than it ever has been. It isn't a diet, diets fail. This is a re-balancing of eating habits combined with exercise. I think the only way to see this, is as a long term (12-18 month) goal. There will be times when I slip but the important thing is to come back to it. Walking for over an hour most days has really helped too, not just for the calories burnt but for the increased fitness. 

I weighed myself at the beginning of lockdown in March but now only every month or so. I've found that a better way to measure progress is by waist size otherwise we drive ourselves crazy that we haven't lost as much weight as we expected to, so feel despondent (or that our weight has even gone up a couple of pounds). 

Food can still be a pleasure but there are some changes needed to eating habits to really make a difference. The following is what's working for me. 

Alchohol 

Some alcohol if you really can't give it up (a large glass of wine or a shot of spirits) a couple of times a week but definitely no beer/cider or mixers. 

Nothing sweet 

No cake, biscuits, chocolate etc 

Snacks 

Nuts, a small handful, preferably unsalted (as you tend to eat less). 

A very small portion of hard cheese. 

Fruit, apples, pears, nectarines, peaches, and berries 

Breakfast 

160g 5 or 10% full fat Greek yoghurt with strawberries, blueberries, raspberries and 1/3 banana. This keeps me feeling full until lunch time 
or 
Unsweetened porridge (oatmeal) made with semi-skimmed milk with strawberries, blueberries, raspberries and 1/3 banana 

Lunch 

Two poached eggs on wholemeal bread with crushed avocado (with finely chopped red onion and a squirt lime juice) 
or 
Tuna and sweetcorn with mayonnaise and finely chopped red onion, lettuce, cucumber and tomato on wholemeal bread 
or 
Hummus, wholemeal pitta bread and crunchy salad 
or 
Mixed salad with 1/4 pack of feta cheese and half an avocado, with a virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar dressing and salt and pepper 
Two large tomatoes sliced with fresh buffalo mozzarella cheese, chopped red onion, with a virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar dressing and salt and pepper 
Occasionally something like a toasted cheese sandwich on wholemeal bread 

Dinner 

Steamed or baked fish - Haddock, Cod or Salmon 
a small portion of new potatoes, steamed vegetables including broccoli, cauliflower, carrots and asparagus 
Home made Ratatouille usually with either steamed vegetables or wholemeal pasta 
Home made Chicken curry with brown rice 
Steak with mushrooms and steamed vegetables 
Parsnip and sweet potato fajitas 
Vegetable chili 
Butternut Squash chili 
Kedgeree made with mackerel fillets, fried onions, red peppers, sweetcorn, brown rice, soy sauce and a sliced boiled egg 
Sunday roast - either chicken or beef with steamed vegetables and gravy (a couple of roast potatoes very occasionally) 

Treats 
70% Dark chocolate - a couple of squares. I'd recommend Green and Blacks or better yet Godiva 

Very Occasional Treats 
Clotted cream (this is great with strawberries with a few squares of melted dark chocolate drizzled over the top. 
Fresh warm homemade cheese scones with butter 

If you have a bad couple of days, don't give up! This is a marathon, not a sprint! 

Good luck :-) 

Steve

23 comments

  • Bill Kelsey
    Bill Kelsey 7222 Deframe Ct. Arvada, Colorado 8005
    Hello Steve. I certainly admire your persistence in following a proper diet. I’ve being trying hard and am struggling with type 2 diabetes. It hasn’t been easy because I live with my sister who eats constantly. It’s not healthy foods but lots of junk so it’s always in the house. It’s like these foods are calling out to me and I try hard to resist. I am a former chef and love to cook. I’ve been making healthy dishes and trying to walk more but it seems my weight loss is such a slow process. Any secrets that may help me? Thanks

    Hello Steve.
    I certainly admire your persistence in following a proper diet. I’ve being trying hard and am struggling with type 2 diabetes. It hasn’t been easy because I live with my sister who eats constantly. It’s not healthy foods but lots of junk so it’s always in the house. It’s like these foods are calling out to me and I try hard to resist. I am a former chef and love to cook. I’ve been making healthy dishes and trying to walk more but it seems my weight loss is such a slow process. Any secrets that may help me? Thanks

  • Stephen Joyce
    Stephen Joyce Kansas City Missouri
    Steve, I myself made the transformation 7 years ago. I dropped 95lbs. It wasn't necessarily easy and it wasn't always fun; but it's not the impossible task most make it out to be. Keep up the good work and stay consistent, that's key! Take care and thanks for the decades of great music!

    Steve, I myself made the transformation 7 years ago. I dropped 95lbs. It wasn't necessarily easy and it wasn't always fun; but it's not the impossible task most make it out to be. Keep up the good work and stay consistent, that's key!

    Take care and thanks for the decades of great music!

  • Gabe Treiyer
    Gabe Treiyer Buenos Aires
    Amazing Steve! So proud of you!!! You will make it , i'm pretty sure of it. Cheers!

    Amazing Steve! So proud of you!!! You will make it , i'm pretty sure of it. Cheers!

  • Cyndi Selby
    Cyndi Selby USA
    Glad to see that you've lost weight. My husband and I had the same revelation as you when looking at a picture of me after my father passed. Both my husband and I went on a diet and have lost much weight. A change in eating habits, exercise routine, and not consuming carbs has made quite a difference. He's lost 50 pounds and I have lost 40 so far. We're still working on taking off at least 20 more this year. Keep up the great effort. You'll have such a better outlook on life. We do, and our mental health is much improved, too.

    Glad to see that you've lost weight. My husband and I had the same revelation as you when looking at a picture of me after my father passed. Both my husband and I went on a diet and have lost much weight. A change in eating habits, exercise routine, and not consuming carbs has made quite a difference. He's lost 50 pounds and I have lost 40 so far. We're still working on taking off at least 20 more this year. Keep up the great effort. You'll have such a better outlook on life. We do, and our mental health is much improved, too.

  • Dale Jensen
    Dale Jensen Daytona Beach
    Steve; congrats on making a life changing decision! I started a healthy eating program in January, and I’m down 80 pounds, 14 more to go for my goal weight, the upper end of the “healthy” BMI index. It’s been a bit of a journey, but it’s all been one step at a time and the constant progress is encouraging. Stay active and it will build on itself — in January, I could barely walk around the block, yesterday I ran Mark’s virtual 5k and it was the second one of the weekend!

    Steve; congrats on making a life changing decision! I started a healthy eating program in January, and I’m down 80 pounds, 14 more to go for my goal weight, the upper end of the “healthy” BMI index. It’s been a bit of a journey, but it’s all been one step at a time and the constant progress is encouraging. Stay active and it will build on itself — in January, I could barely walk around the block, yesterday I ran Mark’s virtual 5k and it was the second one of the weekend!

  • Diana Lovatt
    Diana Lovatt Sweden
    You are so on the right track and that’s so nice to know. You can do it!

    You are so on the right track and that’s so nice to know. You can do it!

  • Colin
    Colin Sheffield
    You are definitely on the right track. Earlier this year my wife and I cut out carbs and sugar and it had a dramatic effect. We didn't worry about portion, just eating the right things. I also substituted red wine for pints as the lesser of evils and this helped socially. Stick with it, the weight loss and fitness will become an addictive high. Take care.

    You are definitely on the right track. Earlier this year my wife and I cut out carbs and sugar and it had a dramatic effect. We didn't worry about portion, just eating the right things. I also substituted red wine for pints as the lesser of evils and this helped socially. Stick with it, the weight loss and fitness will become an addictive high. Take care.

  • Andy Smith
    Andy Smith Askam in Furness, UK
    Steve, thank you so much for the inspiration

    Steve, thank you so much for the inspiration

  • Ian Marillion Madeley
    Ian Marillion Madeley Manchester
    Well done Steve ! You should be very proud not only in yourself, but also in the way you’ve written that lovely insight into what you do and have done ! It will encourage people to carry on and stick with it ... as you’ve said ... “it’s a marathon, not a sprint !” **Indeed**

    Well done Steve ! You should be very proud not only in yourself, but also in the way you’ve written that lovely insight into what you do and have done !
    It will encourage people to carry on and stick with it ... as you’ve said ...
    “it’s a marathon, not a sprint !”
    **Indeed**

  • Craig Lawton
    Craig Lawton Oakville, ON
    Steve, thanks you so much for doing this. I started walking in June (half-heatedly) but then really kicked on in July. Since June I’ve lost 30lbs, I actually weighed myself today. I totally agree about not becoming scale obsessed but when you get on the surprise is a huge motivator. I’m down about 3-4 inches on my waist size, this is really noticeable on a belt I bought in May! Next step for me is improving my diet, even though I’ve cut back on the chocolate and biscuits/cakes. I’m still having a few beers across the week though! Thanks so much for sharing your journey with us and allowing us to be aware of what can be done to improve ourselves. Keep up the great work and please keep sharing.

    Steve, thanks you so much for doing this. I started walking in June (half-heatedly) but then really kicked on in July. Since June I’ve lost 30lbs, I actually weighed myself today. I totally agree about not becoming scale obsessed but when you get on the surprise is a huge motivator. I’m down about 3-4 inches on my waist size, this is really noticeable on a belt I bought in May!

    Next step for me is improving my diet, even though I’ve cut back on the chocolate and biscuits/cakes. I’m still having a few beers across the week though!

    Thanks so much for sharing your journey with us and allowing us to be aware of what can be done to improve ourselves. Keep up the great work and please keep sharing.

  • Craig Lawton
    Craig Lawton Oakville, ON
    Steve, thanks you so much for doing this. I started walking in June (half-heatedly) but then really kicked on in July. Since June I’ve lost 30lbs, I actually weighed myself today. I totally agree about not becoming scale obsessed but when you get on the surprise is a huge motivator. I’m down about 3-4 inches on my waist size, this is really noticeable on a belt I bought in May! Next step for me is improving my diet, even though I’ve cut back on the chocolate and biscuits/cakes. I’m still having a few beers across the week though! Thanks so much for sharing your journey with us and allowing us to be aware of what can be done to improve ourselves. Keep up the great work and please keep sharing.

    Steve, thanks you so much for doing this. I started walking in June (half-heatedly) but then really kicked on in July. Since June I’ve lost 30lbs, I actually weighed myself today. I totally agree about not becoming scale obsessed but when you get on the surprise is a huge motivator. I’m down about 3-4 inches on my waist size, this is really noticeable on a belt I bought in May!

    Next step for me is improving my diet, even though I’ve cut back on the chocolate and biscuits/cakes. I’m still having a few beers across the week though!

    Thanks so much for sharing your journey with us and allowing us to be aware of what can be done to improve ourselves. Keep up the great work and please keep sharing.

  • Sascha
    Sascha Limburg germany
    Thank you Steve, 100% with you..will try out some recipes.......we make Scones here..after the Jamie Oliver receipe....but never tried cheese scones.....are they very different to make? :) Kind regards Sascha

    Thank you Steve, 100% with you..will try out some recipes.......we make Scones here..after the Jamie Oliver receipe....but never tried cheese scones.....are they very different to make? smile Kind regards Sascha

  • Stinne
    Stinne Greenland
    Strong going Steve! You sound clear and confident about it, I wish you the very best on your journey. I’m with you here from Greenland, down 5.5 kg after almost five weeks (about a tenth of what I need ). Due to food choices sometimes being limited up here, I can’t follow specific plans, but I can count calories and I have become really motivated to exercise from home, the big difference for me this time round is the source of my inspiration, for the first time, it’s not desperation but love, and to quote one of your songs, only love will turn you around.. Go strong, it’s inspiring seeing you take this journey!

    Strong going Steve! You sound clear and confident about it, I wish you the very best on your journey. I’m with you here from Greenland, down 5.5 kg after almost five weeks (about a tenth of what I need ). Due to food choices sometimes being limited up here, I can’t follow specific plans, but I can count calories and I have become really motivated to exercise from home, the big difference for me this time round is the source of my inspiration, for the first time, it’s not desperation but love, and to quote one of your songs, only love will turn you around..

    Go strong, it’s inspiring seeing you take this journey!

  • Andrew Harvey
    Andrew Harvey Wiltshire
    So right, definitely a food attitude re-adjustment. Like your meal plan.👍 My go-to for lunch was 2x Thick wholemeal toast, prefer self cut. With a flaked tin of macarel in tomato sauce spread over. sliced tomato on top. Very filling, tastyand only 600 ish calories. 👍

    So right, definitely a food attitude re-adjustment.
    Like your meal plan.👍
    My go-to for lunch was
    2x Thick wholemeal toast, prefer self cut.
    With a flaked tin of macarel in tomato sauce spread over.
    sliced tomato on top.
    Very filling, tastyand only 600 ish calories. 👍

  • DelandeM Nicolas
    DelandeM Nicolas
    Hi Steve, first world comes into my spririt is CONGRATS ! I'm sure you'll win... Thanks you sharing this part of your life. Also thanks for this couch convention I hope to see you one fine day in France ....

    Hi Steve, first world comes into my spririt is CONGRATS !
    I'm sure you'll win...
    Thanks you sharing this part of your life.
    Also thanks for this couch convention
    I hope to see you one fine day in France ....

  • Anthony
    Anthony Virginia USA
    Great job, Steve! I’m very encouraged by your journey. One thing I’ve done over time is pay attention to the sorts of foods that seem to pack a lot of calories in a small amount. Peanut butter, for example. I try to be careful around those items. All the best!

    Great job, Steve! I’m very encouraged by your journey. One thing I’ve done over time is pay attention to the sorts of foods that seem to pack a lot of calories in a small amount. Peanut butter, for example. I try to be careful around those items. All the best!

  • Scott Bishop
    Scott Bishop Utah USA
    I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes last October while getting treated for a large abscess. I can definitely relate to your struggle and I want to share my congratulations on your progress. It's a journey, no doubt, and not the easiest, but the rewards are so worth it. I spend a lot more time outdoors (Utah is a perfect place for it) wandering in the mountains and glad that I am still able to do so. Keep it up and know that there are so many of your fans out here pulling for you and thrilled with your success!

    I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes last October while getting treated for a large abscess. I can definitely relate to your struggle and I want to share my congratulations on your progress. It's a journey, no doubt, and not the easiest, but the rewards are so worth it. I spend a lot more time outdoors (Utah is a perfect place for it) wandering in the mountains and glad that I am still able to do so. Keep it up and know that there are so many of your fans out here pulling for you and thrilled with your success!

  • Marco
    Marco Italy
    come on hold on!

    come on hold on!

  • I too have given up using scales and I'm going by waistline. I must have bought 4 or 5 of them over the last 5 years, and have worked out how to cheat all of them. Since June I have lost 3 inches and I go running 3-4 times a week.

    I too have given up using scales and I'm going by waistline. I must have bought 4 or 5 of them over the last 5 years, and have worked out how to cheat all of them.
    Since June I have lost 3 inches and I go running 3-4 times a week.

  • Julie Griffiths
    Julie Griffiths UK
    Great to read this. You are a real inspiration. I am on a similar eating regime as you (I recognise all your meals!) and have done well - 38lbs so far. This last month has been hard. Bad habits creeping back, Reading your blog has really lifted my determination to succeed . Thank you

    Great to read this. You are a real inspiration. I am on a similar eating regime as you (I recognise all your meals!) and have done well - 38lbs so far. This last month has been hard. Bad habits creeping back,
    Reading your blog has really lifted my determination to succeed .
    Thank you

  • Gabriel Agudo
    Gabriel Agudo Argentina
    Great Steve! U will finally fullfil this new epic transformation! We are very proud of you!

    Great Steve! U will finally fullfil this new epic transformation! We are very proud of you!

  • Jonas  Grønn
    Jonas Grønn Oslo
    Brave. This process will contribute to increased quality of life on many and different levels. Best wishes for you.

    Brave. This process will contribute to increased quality of life on many and different levels. Best wishes for you.

  • Chris Wadsworth
    Chris Wadsworth Geneva, Switzerland
    Well done for writing about this, it is quite a thing to stand up and be counted! Refined sugar is the killer, quite literally. I've met a few people who have managed to complete reverse even severe cases of diabetes, in a matter of weeks their blood sugar levels were completely back in shape, by cutting out refined sugars of all forms.

    Well done for writing about this, it is quite a thing to stand up and be counted! Refined sugar is the killer, quite literally. I've met a few people who have managed to complete reverse even severe cases of diabetes, in a matter of weeks their blood sugar levels were completely back in shape, by cutting out refined sugars of all forms.

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