Steve Aaron-Sipple use to think a few extra pounds looked good on him. As a 20-something actor in London, he says it even helped him score a few roles. However, by the time he hit his 30s, Aaron-Sipple’s few extra pounds turned into a few too many, until he hit 282 pounds on his six-foot frame. But some major life changes would ultimately inspire him to lose weight and transform his body—all the way down to 189 pounds.
“I’ve always been a bit of a yoyo in terms of my weight,” Aaron-Sipple tells Men’s Health. It used to be easy to put on and take off in his younger years, bus as time went on, it became harder and harder to lose the weight after he packed it on—especially after the birth of his daughter.
“When my daughter was born, I piled on the weight very quickly because I suddenly stopped exercising,” he says. “I was so tired! Life outside of being a dad became about ease. Not exercising was the easy option. Getting [takeout] was the easy option. I don’t like saying it about myself, but I chose the lazy option every time.”
After his daughter came into the world, Aaron-Sipple says he stopped getting acting work because he felt and looked “terrible,” and he lost all his confidence along the way. “I didn’t realize at the time, but me choosing the easy option when I was tired was me digging myself into a deeper hole mentally and physically.”
At 29 years old, Aaron-Sipple’s world was turned upside down when his doctor diagnosed him with diabetes. “It was a serious punch in the face,” he says. “I had abused my body so much that a part of it stopped working properly. An early death was the lightbulb moment I needed to really take back control of my health.”
Before his health scare, Aaron-Sipple always lost weight through fad diets and quick fixes. This time, he went for the long-haul approach instead. “I read everything and anything to do with fitness and healthy eating, including Men’s Health,” he says. (We swear he said that.) “And honestly, the simplest way to lose weight is to eat a little less and exercise a little more. I know, shocking, right?”
He started by joining a local gym. Next, he went on the internet to calculate how many calories he should consume a day for a calories in, calories out diet. Then he just made small tweaks in his diet.
He started eating fewer carbs. Then, he ate less fat and added in more protein. He then cut out all refined and added sugars both for his diet and his diabetes diagnosis.
“I would say my biggest hurdle in the beginning was weekends,” he says. “I had become so accustomed to drinking and getting [takeout] at the weekend, I felt a bit lost.”
Aaron-Sipple quickly got over his weekend struggles, because he started seeing results—quickly. His clothing started getting looser, and his belts needed a few new holes in them. Within a few months, he’d lost about 70 pounds. But he wasn’t done.
Aaron-Sipple kicked things up a notch by hiring an online coach from Charlie Johnson Fitness to write him a bespoke nutrition and training plan with his diabetes diagnosis in mind. Now, Aaron-Sipple was hitting the gym several days a week for full-body workouts paired with cardio several days a week.
Hiring a coach, “made me accountable to someone,” he says. “He would get in touch to ask about my progress, and you didn’t really want to let him down.”
Aaron-Sipple didn’t let anyone down. Within a year, he lost a total of 93 pounds to hit his new weight of 189.
“It feels amazing. I grew up as the fat kid, and then chunky adult, not once did I ever think I would feel comfortable taking my top off,” Aaron-Sipple says of how it felt to lose all that weight. “I always convinced myself that being big was just my body type and that abs and muscle definition was just something I wasn’t capable of achieving. Putting the right food in my body and exercising not only has made me feel better physically, but it has also helped me fight off years of anxiety and depression. Life hasn’t got easier, but I just feel better equipped to deal with it now.”
As for how you can get there, too, Aaron-Sipple recommends making small changes instead of overhauling everything at once. He also says consistency was key. And if you veer off-course one day, just put it behind you
“I’ve been guilty of it in the past: A bad meal turns into a bad week, bad month, and then suddenly I’m back where I started, or worse,” Aaron-Sipple says. “But I got told something that helped transform my mindset: When you build a house, and you take a day off, you don’t go back and knock down everything you already built, you just pick up where you left off.”