Ed Sheeran famously sings about the shape of you, but it's the shape of him that he's talking about now.
In a newly posted episode of the Behind the Medal podcast, the Grammy-winning musician reflected on the changes he made to his diet and fitness that led to losing around 50 pounds.
As the star summarized of his fitness, he started music, then started smoking and then "it all kind of went out the window." Then, Sheeran stopped smoking nearly three years ago and started exercising. Noting he now "loves it," he shared his regimen consists of a 45-minute run in the morning followed by a swim or sit-ups, as compared with the 10-minute runs he used to do.
However, as he acknowledged, that wasn't always the case for the globe-trotting star. Sheeran recalled "ballooning" during his 2014-2015 X Tour followed by the Divide Tour in 2017.
He recalled being "15 to 16 stone," upwards of 224 pounds, at the time of the X Tour and beginning of Divide Tour, as compared to being "12 stone" now, or 168 pounds.
As the star recalled, his days on the X Tour consisted of partying all night, not exercising and sleeping in until the late afternoon, which not only took a toll on his weight, but also left him without much to say about the places he had traveled to. While in America, he described being in the back of the tour bus with a tray of chicken wings and bottles of wine after a gig.
"It's always America that gets me—America in buses," he quipped.
During his self-proclaimed "fat stage," Sheeran also said he would put chips on top of pizza and eat it like a sandwich and noted he won two eating competitions in the United States.
Then, once he stopped smoking, he was aware "my lungs were so full of s$&t that I needed to clear them out," so he began running outside while on the road, which also allowed him to take in the sights. The star also noted the shows are bigger, which makes for more set-up time, resulting in more time for him to have a routine.
While he noted that it was his desire to clear out his lungs that got him exercising, Sheeran remembered the "online trolls," newspapers and comments that would point out his size when he was heavier and said there is definitely a lot of "external pressure" to look like other male stars.
"You kind of get it in your head that you need to look like everyone else," he said, recalling the first years of his career around the time of Justin Bieber and One Direction. "Should I be looking like this?" the star thought.
On the topic of his self-image, Sheeran said, "I never once had any insecurities really about myself until people pointed them out."
Nowadays, with help from his wife Cherry Seaborn, moderation is the singer's motto. "You can't be outwardly unhealthy, but also you have to find a balance."