As Take That return to the stage as part of King Charles’ Coronation concert, fans of the iconic boyband will no doubt be delighted to see their favourite stars back together again.
For the special performance, band members Gary Barlow, Howard Donald and Mark Owen will once again be belting out their classic tracks to audiences around the country as they join in the historic celebration.
The performance will mark the first time the trio have performed a show together since 2019, when they brought their Odyssey Tour to a close.
Yet while three of the band members will be returning two stars from the original lineup fans won’t be seeing are Robbie Williams and Jason Orange, unless rumours are to believed of a last minute reunion to mark the historic occasion.
At the height of their popularity, the band were virtually unstoppable in the charts, as they sold out tour after tour and dominated the UK singles chart with every new and catchy track.
But falling the band’s first split in 1996, lead singer Gary Barlow found himself at a bit of a crossroads when he was also dropped as a solo artists in 1999.
Heartbroken by the loss of his dear friends – and his livelihood – Gary soon found himself on a downward and self-destructive spiral as his previously healthy diet quickly became an unhealthy combination of chocolate, takeaways and alcohol as well as heavily smoking cannabis and cigarettes.
Hiding away from society as his former bandmate Robbie enjoyed solo success, Gary’s weight began to balloon as he continued to follow his dangerous new lifestyle, with the star even previously opening up about what his diet was like at the time in a heartbreaking interview.
"There was a little menu any given day for 1999, breakfast spliff – wake and bake – 11am Quality Street, eat all the ones you like, leave all the ones you don’t, 1pm more food … and then 4pm all the Quality Street you didn’t eat in the morning and then 6pm the doors are open, it’s party time, Jack Daniels and Coke, oh and cigarettes, 40 on a bad day, 60 on a good one,” he explained.
He added: "One morning I caught myself in the mirror and I thought, 'Oh no, I’ve got to do something.”
Over time, Gary’s unhealthy lifestyle began to catch up with him and as he struggled to cope, he found himself developing the eating disorder Bulimia.
Speaking to James Corden about this period in his life back in 2020, Gary admitted he had “lost himself” during the period of depression and change, as he confessed he realised he had “lost control.”
He shared: "I had a rough period with food that I'm not proud of, where I really lost control of myself.
"I remember one particular day just thinking: 'How have I got here?' I was just so disappointed with myself.”
It was at that point that Gary decided something had to change.
Overhauling his life with the help of a number of health and fitness professionals, Gary embarked on a new healthy diet and exercise regime to help him shed the weight he had put on – something which lead to the star losing an impressive 5 stone in total!
One thing he found to help, was to not have cheat days, and to stay away from “trigger” foods he knew he couldn’t resist, such as chips, Chinese takeaway or crisps.
"They were giving me a couple of minutes of a food coma, taking me out of the real world. It's just not good, that,” he told James.
He added: "So I decided not to have cheat days, and just stay away from those foods. I'd love to have the odd cigarette now and then but I can't. I can't start smoking again.”
Since transforming his body – and his life – Gary has found himself to be in a far better headspace, and regularly updates fans with what he’s been up to in the gym on Instagram.
Showing off everything from cycling, weight lifting and HIIT, through to activities such as rowing and skipping, Gary has developed quite a flair for embracing all aspects of exercise to help stay in shape.
In addition, he has also adopted meditation and mindfulness, as a means to help keep his mental health in check and avoid spiralling stresses that could contribute to a potential relapse.
If you're worried about your health or the health of somebody else, you can contact SEED eating disorder support service on 01482 718130 or on their website, https://seedeatingdisorders.org.uk.
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