- Singer and DJ Mark Marsden was more than 26st at his heaviest
- He said his dream of playing football with his kids inspired him to halve his body weight
- The 31-year-old dad says he’s never felt better
An obese dad who weighed over 26st says his dream of playing football with his kids helped him lose more than half his weight.
Mark Marsden, 31, was 26st 7lb at his heaviest but now says he’s ‘never felt better’ after slimming down to far more healthy 13st.
The professional singer and DJ admitted that ‘pure greed’ and his ‘addictive personality’ had led him to pile on the pounds throughout his 20s.
And in 2021, he needed to be fed by his brother for three months after he was left bed-bound from agonizing back spasms brought on by his weight.
During this time, he had to be ‘supervised’ when seeing his son, Riley, now 11, and daughter, Amelia, now five, as he was physically unable to look after them.
Singer and DJ Mark Marsden, 31, (pictured, middle) was 26st 7lb at his heaviest
He’s managed to slim down to a far more reasonable 13st
Mark said he put on the pounds during his 20s
Mark felt particularly saddened that he couldn’t be ‘bothered to play football’ with his little lad due to his hefty frame.
But he turned his fortunes around when he undertook a weight loss programme with Slimming World – and said his relationship with his kids is now ‘fantastic’.
The dad-of-three said: ‘It’s horrible to think that at one point a father couldn’t be bothered to play football with his son, but I didn’t have it in me.
‘I was too tired and I didn’t have the mindset that I could be active and have fun.
‘The relationship with my kids is now fantastic, and my son has picked up my healthy lifestyle choices.
He said his dream of playing football with his kids pushed him to lose weight
He says he’s started booking Fridays off to spend time with his children
The DJ says his time at WeightWatchers helped him lose weight
‘I’ll actually book Fridays off – I won’t do any DJing or singing. We might just go to the beach or play football.
‘A lot of the time we’ll go to the gym. I’ve just picked up a six-month pass, and that way I will go twice a week.
‘I’ve never felt or looked better in my life.’
Mark, from Aston in South Yorkshire, said he’d got into harmful eating habits during his childhood when he was being looked after by his entertainer dad.
During this time, he said he’d become used to gorging on a diet of takeaways – while being allowed to tuck into mostly fast food whenever he liked.
Mark said: ‘My dad was a bloke and didn’t really cook meals. We looked after ourselves. We’d eat whatever he was fancying. It wasn’t a healthy meal.
Mark said his dad dictated his diet when he grew up
He mostly ate takeaway food without thinking about his health
‘A lot of times it was takeaway. It might have been a buffet at a kid’s party or at a karaoke or something – it was always fast food.
‘As I got to maturity, I got that freedom to eat when I wanted, whatever I wanted, and I massively piled weight on.
‘The main reason was pure greed and obviously convenience as well.’
Mark said friends and partners hadn’t criticised his weight gain, telling him they liked him how he was during his 20s.
But just over two years ago, in May 2021, his eating habits finally took their toll when he was left bedridden for three months due to painful back spasms.
He said: ‘I’d got nerve damage in my back through the excess weight I was carrying. My muscles went into protection mode and tensed up.
He also said his friends and family never said a word about his weight gain
He was forced to spend three months in bed due to debilitating back pain
Mark said he managed to lose around three stone once he had become mobile again simply by moving around
Mark, who now goes to the gym at least twice a week, said he’d lost his job as a car painter during his period of paralysis and had to take a job in an office
‘I couldn’t move. I’ve never been in worse pain in my life.
‘For a solid three months, I was being fed in bed by my brother, and my kids were just being brought round to the house to see me.
‘I couldn’t really do anything for them. I just spent that amount of time in pain and misery – it was the worst time of my life.
‘[My daughter] needed a lot more attention than I could give her. That made me really upset and got me down.’
Mark said he managed to lose around three stone once he had become mobile again simply by moving around.
And although he’d tried various diets, he decided to join Slimming World in November 2021, where he spent the next year cutting down his weight.
He said: ‘Within six months I’d lost seven stone just through following their food plan, a lifestyle change sort of thing.
‘After that, I started exercising, and I felt really good – like I wanted to exercise.’
Mark, who now goes to the gym at least twice a week, said he’d lost his job as a car painter during his period of paralysis and had to take a job in an office.
But he had never given up singing and DJing, which is his life passion.
And he’s now been able to turn this into his main profession, touring around the country while singing everything from power ballads to swing and jazz.
He added: ‘I’m actively trying to get to the front of the stage and I buy a new suit every week – it’s fantastic.’
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