Review: Downsizing, by Tom Watson

Tom Watson was, until very recently, the deputy leader of the British Labour Party. A few years ago, he was diagnosed as suffering from Type 2 Diabetes. At the time, he was 50 years old and weighed over 300 pounds.

In this deeply honest and gripping account of his struggle to regain his health, Watson spares nothing — at his worst, he was unable to do the short walk from his apartment to Parliament, and could not climb a single flight of stairs.

Much of the book is a description of what he did to lose over 100 pounds and reverse his diabetes in just a few short months. It’s a remarkable story even if the formula he used can already be guessed at — he went for a low-carb, high-fat diet, he began exercising regularly, and he used the My Fitness Pal app to record what he ate.

What makes this book different from others is that Watson is a life-long trade unionist and social democrat; he includes several chapters about the nefarious influence of the sugar lobby, and urges the creation of a grassroots movement to encourage people to wean themselves from sugar and embrace healthier lifestyles.

This book was an inspiring read and I hope many others will follow in Watson’s footsteps (literally).