INTERVIEW: Steve Miller… Bears Are Sexy But Let’s Put A Prick In Them…
His programme Fat Families has been sold to over 14 countries world-wide, even Israel he tells us. He lives with his accountant boyfriend of 18-years and their dog Ned. He despises fat, but loves the person, a bit like hate the sin, love the sinner and, as a former fattie – his words not mine, Steve Miller does not mince his words when he gets on his soapbox.
We meet Steve to find out why he believes weight loss hypnotherapy is the number one treatment to help people with obesity and just how butch he can be with his dog.
JH: Where are you now?
SM: Well I’ve been around…
I spent a lot of time up North; I lived in Manchester, Huddersfield and Leeds. I was a Red Coat at Skegness for Butlins. Those were the days mate, I’m telling you.
JH: Were you a compère?
SM: Well, I did two things, I worked on the reception and I was a Red Coat. It was great. That’s were I found myself. I had my first gay moment in Skegness.
JH: What was the gay moment?
SM: The gay moment was when one moment I’m dancing to Bananarama and the next minute I’m passing this guy’s chalet, who I’ve got this most amazing crush on, and because I’ve had a few (drinks), I enter the room and we start talking and then I had my first kiss ever, with a man.
JH: Oooo, that’s given us chills…
SM: You never forget it…
JH: Did you sing while you were a Red Coat at Butlins?
SM: I was the kind of meet and greet guy…
JH: A bit of a door whore?
SM: I suppose I was…
JH: You describe yourself as a former fattie Is that right?
SM: Yes, I lost four stone, so it’s not like tonnes of weight but I put weight on in my thirties and it really affected me. It affected my confidence, my self-esteem. I was just a lazy slob really. There was no psychology behind it, I was just bloody lazy really. I was in a relationship and it was comfortable and all those sorts of things. So I would rather sit or lie on the couch ordering take away in and drinking lots of wine. I lost my confidence, because, often gay guys look really great and I didn’t. I looked pretty awful. There came a point where one day I looked in the mirror and I thought, “get off your arse and lose weight.” That was it. And I did.
JH: Was your boyfriend supportive of your weight loss?
SM: Very. But at my weight I didn’t feel attractive, I didn’t feel sexy, I mean SEX, God blimey, who’d want to touch me looking like that…
JH: Is sex better when you’re thin?
SM: Oh absolutely without a doubt. Because you’re not so self aware. You’re not so concerned or worried or anxious. You’re willing to get changed with the lights on rather than the lights off. It’s not about being stick thin, it’s about being slim. It’s not about having muscles everywhere either. I know some gay guys tone up at the gym and do that muscle thing. I’m not into that at all, it’s just about having a reasonable slim shape. Your confidence in the bedroom shoots up! Without a doubt.
There comes a point where you can’t feel sorry for yourself, you have to take action and I’m quite a strong minded individual, and that’s why, when I looked in the mirror, I said, “get off your fat arse”, I did it and I got my first book deal, based on that, which was called Get Off Your Arse And Lose Weight.
You’ve got to be in the right mind state. Mind state doesn’t mean all nicey nice all the time, although it’s important to have positive motivation, it’s also about cracking the whip on yourself. So you’re saying to yourself “actually no excuses, get on with it”.
Think about how gorgeous and attractive you’re going to look and the clothes in the wardrobe that you’ll make friends with again. You do have to be quite firm as well with yourself. I’m a real advocate of that.
With clients that I work with, I’m supportive, I have fun with them. I have Champagne parties with them, but during the process of losing weight they are told to get a grip. They are told they will do what we agree and there are no excuses. But I also use hypnosis with them as well…
JH: So a bit of tough love from Steve Miller?
SM: Yes! I think gay guys, especially if they’re working with women, are in a great position to do that.
JH: What is the best way to tell your partner that he’s getting a little bit poggie around the waist? It’s difficult to say to the ones we love…
SM: I think you’re empathically direct with them, I don’t think you faff about. What you do is put your arm around them when you tell them. You say to your partner, “of course, I love you no matter what you are, who you are,” and all that sort of stuff… “but you know what, you’re putting a bit of weight on and I am concerned about your health.” So it all becomes about their health, it’s all about letting them know that they are gorgeous, because they are your partner, but being fat is not a good thing. So it is about how you do it. It’s also about agreeing what you will do together.
JH: Is that quite a healthy way of keeping a relationship together?
SM: I think that if you do it right and you do it with the right tonality, then it’s absolutely fine. What you don’t do is tease your partner; what you don’t do is call them names.
What you do is be supportive and loving. If you ignore it, potentially, your partner, there was a report out today on it, can get diabetes, that could lead to amputation, heart disease, stroke and now they link obesity to cancer. So you’re being cruel to be kind. It’s not very politically correct to be honest (to be) open and direct with people. I think the opposite. To me it’s just logical. I’d much rather do that than let my partner have a heart attack.
JH: A similar line as Katie Hopkins on the matter… both you and Ms. Hopkins have been in that firestorm that can happen if you say anything against larger people, what’s that like?
SM: I have it a lot, but you’d be surprised at how many people say, “too right Steve, you’re absolutely right and spot on.”
You have to have a thick skin. I’ve always said this, if you genuinely believe in what your message is, that’s okay. You grow a thick skin. You do get your haters, but you know what, you’re going to get them anyway. People, at the end of the day, know that I get results. I’ve had some incredible results helping people. If it makes me unpopular to get the message out there so be it.
(dog starts to bark uncontrollably)
(Off phone) Ned… lie down…
(back on phone) Sorry about that I’m being butch with the dog. (Laughs)
(Off phone) LIE DOWN, that’s it. Good boy…
JH: Out of curiosity, people who criticise your message, are they fat people themselves or are they skinny minnies?
SM: It’s mixed actually and it’s a great question. It’s very mixed, however quite a few are feminists, quite a few are slim – skinny feminists! With every client I work with I say to them, “what is it you want from me?” If they want tea and tissues, hearts and flowers, they ain’t gonna get it, that isn’t the Steve Miller style, but most say to me, “this is refreshing.”
I had a lady who came to see me about a year ago and she sat and she said, “if I was single Steve, who would look at me,” and I said, “very few, very few.”
JH: How did she react?
SM: Well she’s lost 12 stone.
JH: Wow, that’s amazing
SM: Oh yes, she’s lost 12 stone, she was 24 stone. What people don’t realise, no one loves a fat person like Steve Miller does.
SM: Do you like that?
JH: I do like that…
SM: There’s a method in my madness, and I love what I do. I love working with fat women, give me a fat woman any day.
JH: Okay, so the Gok Wans, the Doctor Christians, the Steve Millers… Why are there so many gay men helping fat women on TV?
SM: I think there’s a natural empathy, I think we’re all very different. Gok Wan’s message is that, if you’re really fat you can still look gorgeous. Well I don’t agree with that. I don’t think you do look gorgeous if you’re really fat. I think that fat hides the true features of somebody. Every human being is gorgeous, except the criminals, (laughs), but when it comes to physical being, I do not endorse [anybody being happy and fat] at all, I do not endorse that because of the dangers, the true dangers of it. The reality is, if you are too fat, your natural features are being hidden, that’s why with all this plus size brigade, I get a lot of jip off them sometimes. They can be very abusive, incredibly abusive, but to put that message out that no matter how fat you are you can still look gorgeous, they call it curves, curves actually mean fat, it’s just not a good message. What sort of message is that?
JH: We have had an influx of Plus size models in women, but not in men, do you find that interesting?
SM: It’s something I’ve never really thought about…
JH: I suppose in the gay community we’re already championing the larger man with bears… It’s all about appreciating the larger man, so we’re quite advanced in the accepting of different body size and different body shapes…
SM: We may well be, but even with a bear, if it’s just a big belly, I’d be saying, “isn’t it time we stuck a prick in it?”
There’s nothing wrong with a bear, they can be very, very attractive and very sexy, but not a big balloon one. A bear doesn’t want to be a butterball. Let’s have fit bears. Fit bears rock, but fat ones don’t, they need a prick in them.
JH: Quite… I’ve gotta talk about your look a little bit… it’s very Anne Robinson, which I’m totally a fan of, is she a personal icon?
SM: (Laughs) Never really thought about it to be honest. But Anne Robinson is a lot older than me! I might not look like Brad Pitt, but I do alright.
JH: Is there any more plans for TV?
SM: There’s always plans, the media is a funny old world, I love it. Fat Families was an incredible success than I ever imagined it would be. Kids adored it, they liked the fun element and it’s now in 14 countries. It went very big in Italy, it did okay in Australia, it even went into Israel. It was a hit and it was my first TV gig.
JH: Is it hard to keep the weight off as a ‘former fattie?’
SM: Yeah, I think weight loss is all about your mind-set and your motivation. It’s not about a diet, it’s not about a rigid diet, I just do not advocate those at all, I live 80-20, so I eat 80 per cent healthily and 20 per cent a bit of what I fancy. I still have my nights out, I still go on the gay scene and stuff, so I’ll drink and eat the crap sometimes, but, it is a challenge for people, but so long as you build a new routine in your life, and you discipline yourself and stick to that routine you can keep the weight off. I’m the first one to say, it’s not easy, easy, it is a challenge of the head and motivation, but if you’re loving being slim and you’re hating being fat and you’ve got that drive within you and you’ve built that new routine in your life, then you can keep it off. It’s all about mind over platter!
JH: So what is on your platter now?
SM: My platter is, in the morning, fruit, lunch time is a wholemeal ham and tomato sarnie, with an apple, then dinner is always something like: fresh fish and vegetables, I love veg, but then I always have something like a chocolate pudding.
JH: So actually what you’re advocating is an achievable diet…
SM: Yes, what people need to stop doing is obsessing with food, and what’s good for you and what’s bad for you. It’s about mind-set and motivation, the food is common sense. If you are bored too much you’re going to eat more, so occupy your mind more, if you’re in a relationship that is not good for you, yes try and make it work, but if not, take action. If that means moving on, move on. Surround yourself with radiators not drains. It’s a bit cheesy. But surround yourself with people who inspire you rather than the drains. If you’re surrounded by people who are negative, all you want to do is put your head in a gas oven.
JH: Do you sit down of an evening and write these quotes down?
SM: You know what, having left school with very little, I do alright with this literacy stuff.
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This interview was taken from Issue 14. Please support THEGAYUK by subscribing today
The editor and chief of THEGAYUK. All in a previous life wrote and produced songs on multi-platinum records.