Here's the heartbreaking reason for Gordon Ramsay's sudden weight loss
Known for his foul-mouthed rants and hot temper, Gordon Ramsay doesn't seem like the kind of guy to give much thought to the more trivial things in life. So, when he suddenly lost a lot of weight a few years back, people began to wonder what exactly it was that made him decide to change his appearance.
The 51-year-old host of Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares dropped more than four stone in a short period of time, just before his success with USA-based TV shows began to take off. Many assumed it was because he wanted to cut a leaner figure onscreen - and that probably played a small part in his decision to shed the pounds - but the main reasons for his sudden lifestyle change were much more serious.
"Tana [Ramsay's wife] was not impressed with the way I was," said the TV chef. "I was overweight, 18 stone. I looked like a sack of s***. I look at the pictures and think, 'How did Tana stay around?'"
Despite his wife getting "better-looking and more gorgeous" as time went on, Ramsay felt that he was going into serious decline. He genuinely feared that his wife might leave him, so he made the drastic decision to shape up.
"I started focusing on getting super-fit five or six years ago when my life got super-busy," Ramsay said. "You get consumed by the work. You get sucked up. You get drawn in. All of a sudden your 'me time' is zero. There was no breathing space, no downtime, no time to even think straight. It all started hitting me hard. I didn't panic, but my head was not in the game."
And, while the worry of not being good enough for Tana was a strong motivator; there was another, much darker influence on the Michelin star winner's lifestyle change: his dad.
Ramsay's father, who was also called Gordon, passed away at the age of 53 after suffering a heart attack.
"That's only a couple of years' time," Ramsay said. "I've got this reminder to get fit, it's scary. I get the fear on a daily basis. I may have not got on with him, but I still miss him. I miss everything I could have had from him if he was still alive in his 70s."
Despite his no-nonsense attitude, Ramsay is the type of person to get deeply emotional about the things that truly matter, and this is definitely one such thing.
When he feels like cutting his exercise short or ducking out of plans to work on his fitness, he says he thinks of his children, 19-year-old Megan, 18-year-olds Holly and Jack, and 16-year-old Tilly. "I just have to stop and think for two minutes about why I'm doing this and there it is."
Having kept to a reasonably strict routine for a number of years now, Ramsay can't really see himself without his workout regime. Not only does he enjoy it, he depends on it to make him feel like himself.
"It's the rawness of going out with a friend who is your trainer and getting down and dirty," he said, explaining the passion behind his commitment. "Soaked through to the skin in the rain, with 30 miles an hour gales and idiot drivers about to kill you on the road. The more I train, the more normal I am, the more I feel that I'm still unchanged. It's just another little reminder of who I really am."
Clearly, Ramsay's realization about his father was one of the hardest things he ever had to accept, but - for the sake of his family - it was one of the best.