The Transformation of Stephen Lewis
“My father used to always say to me, ‘You can plan the future, but you can never plan the outcome’”, says Stephen Lewis, a well-know Fredericton musician who underwent a serious transformation after first opening up about his battles with alcohol, depression and related physical health problems this past winter. “I didn’t want to share my story at first because simply put, it was too tough for me to talk about.”
Over the past several months, Lewis drew much of his inspiration and motivation to change his life from his father, the late Monty Lewis, who famously overcame his struggle with drugs and alcohol and went on to form Bridges of Canada, a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting those in the criminal justice system, struggling with addiction, mental illness and criminal activity.
“I realized that there are literally millions of people just like me,” said Lewis, “and if I could help them find the passion for life that I now have, then my existence on this earth will truly have meaning.”
For the past few years, Lewis has been performing under the name, Stephen Lewis and the Big Band of One, a name he certainly lived up to. Until he was challenged by a friend to change his life for the better, Lewis weighed in at a whopping 432lbs. In just nine months since adopting a vegan diet and a daily yoga routine, he lost over 160lbs, his dependence on booze and his depression.
“This hasn’t changed my outlook on life as much as it has given me my life back,” he said. “The list could go on and on about my physical changes and the physical feats I couldn’t do before, but the real amazing change has happened mostly on the inside. I have purpose now. I’ve always had the rock-star dream like every other kid does, but this dream goes beyond that.”
Armed with a new outlook on life and more energy than he can remember, Lewis has big plans for his life and his passions for the coming year.
“I’ll be directing my creative energy all over the place. I’m in the process of booking a Canadian/US tour in 2015 for the release of my new CD, appropriately named, Life’s A Garden.”
As Lewis now prepares to share his moving story and his music with an international audience – a story that he believes wouldn’t have been possible without the support he received from family and friends – it’s his father who he credits as his biggest inspiration.
“He is the reason I got over my nervousness and shared my story,” he said. “I know that he would be beyond proud!”