Getting Thin

Getting fat was super easy, probably the easiest thing I have ever done.

In June last year I wrote a blog about getting fat, you can read it here. This is the sequel to that story 12 months ago and I’m quietly and confidently calling this story getting thin.

It’s fair to say that getting thin was much harder than getter fat, way harder. I still have a way to go, my ideal weight is 74kg which leaves me with 2kg to go. Or maybe 3kg depending on what happens during this summer in France, so far so good.

June 2016 – Getting Fat.

After I wrote Getting Fat in June 2016 we went to France for 5 weeks on our annual trip where I continued to eat my way through life bigger and bolder than ever before. If you had read Getting Fat, you’d know that I quit smoking in February 2016 and I’ve never looked back. Sadly where I did look was to food, all types of food all times of the day, and night for that matter.

When I quit smoking I was determined not to pile on the kilos. I even re-joined the gym, the gym for me has been an on and off charity for many years where I donate regularly but no one, especially me receives any benefit.

A lady I know said to me only last week that she had quit smoking for 3 months and put on so much weight that she started smoking again, but she’d gotten used to the additional food and now she continues to over eat and is back smoking. She put it down to the contentment of being in a new relationship which doesn’t even make sense to me, but again it’s how our minds work sometimes. We create stories or scenarios that are often excuses for not dealing with a problem.

Even though I wrote Getting Fat in June last year it wasn’t until January 2017 that I realised exactly how large I had become. The scales never lie of course and every day I was weighing in at 79kg, I was pretty happy with that but I didn’t realise why I wasn’t fitting into my clothes. I actually thought I had an illness or something seriously wrong with me.

In January we were booked to travel down the coast via Helicopter, arriving at the heliport we were asked to hop on the scales to ensure we were seated correctly in the chopper. To my shock the digital scales showed 87.6kg. I immediately told the manager the scales were wrong. She weighed herself and confirmed her weight was correct. When we got home later that day I weight myself again on the old scales where I was magically back to 79kg. Amazing right? How did I lose all that weight on the way home 😉

Monday the scales went in the bin and I went off to Myer to buy a shiny new set. I couldn’t wait to get home so I weighed myself in the store on the display model and sure enough, 87kg + was staring right up at me.

Unless you’ve experienced this yourself you may think I’m making this up but allow me to entertain you. It was like my nicotine addiction switched to food addiction without me even knowing and having been a lover of food all of my life, I didn’t think twice when the hunger bug struck. The problem was that was pretty much all day everyday.

I’d start my day walking to work which is around 2.5km each way. On the way I’d often stop for a snack, perhaps a ham and cheese croissant, maybe even McDonald’s, then I’d keep walking as I ate my purchase, I told myself I would walk it off that way. I’d then have a snack mid morning as well as hoovering up any random treats colleagues might have on their desks. Sorry Hilary, that was my hand in the lolly jar.

Chip anyone? As if I would offer. They’re mine! All mine.

By lunch time I’m ready and raring for more, kebab perhaps, or does Friday provide an excuse for a burger and chips? Maybe a Thai take away, the large size of course as it’s always better value. Another favourite was the foot long subway roll, you’ve seen the TV ads, they’re healthy! I’m not sure how over processed bread and meats are good for you, but it gets worse when you add extra cheese, sauces and meats and avocado. I must have eaten 2 avocados a day back then, someone told me how good they were for you, I forgot to ask about the daily intake. Oh and no disrespect to Subway but a foot long of anything can’t possibly be good for you, and to Subway’s credit the heathy option was only 6 inches long. It was me that thought, well, what’s another 6 inches. The answer is 6 inches.

On the way home from work I’d swing by Woolworths at Woolloomoloo to collect things for dinner, I couldn’t resist the fried food section and would often buy some little morsels to eat as I walked breathless up William street. If I’d managed to avoid the deep fried treats at Woolworths, I was often tempted with a sausage roll from the bakery at the top of the hill. That’s right ladies and gentlemen, treats everywhere I look, I’m the luckiest guy in the world.

Dinner time was yet another healthy meal, it would usually consist of a salad suitable for a Las Vegas buffet, that’s right folks, zip up your canary yellow jumpsuits and let’s fill ourselves to the brim. And of course I had dessert, when I was a smoker and even before then I never really had a sweet tooth, but after quitting, chocolate and ice-cream became a dear friend.

As I am writing this it is so clear how I got to be 87kg. But I honestly didn’t see it at the time.

Meeting Guillaume. Cheese anyone? I’m bursting at the seams by November 2016.

You see, the mind plays cruel tricks on us sometimes. We hear stories that you can never eat enough salad or vegetables, 5 meals a day is good for your metabolism, drink lots of water and fruit juice, breakfast is the most important meal of the day. These things are all true to a point, but for a vulnerable over-eater this sends messages to the brain that provides the excuse we need to eat gigantic (and I mean big) portions multiple times a day.

12 months on I weighed in at 76kg before leaving for France 2 weeks ago (see a badly lit selfie below), 11kg down from my January weight. I still have a way to go to lose the tummy fat, love handles and those annoying fat pockets on your lower back but I feel a million times better. And by the way, selfies are A-OK! Who are we harming by taking a photo of ourself? Say cheese!

Excuse the selfie – July 14th 2016.

It was almost like an entire year of my life was wasted by simply over-eating. In France last year I was too embarrassed to go swimming despite the 38 degree heat some days, I was wearing oversized shirts and big shorts, I’d never felt so disgusted in myself. The beach photo featured at the top of this post with the cabanas is the Atlantic Ocean I didn’t go in last year. We are back there tomorrow and I am hoping to change that. 

Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong at all with being any particular weight or size, it comes down to how you feel comfortable in yourself and your weight to height ratio. There are also many medical reasons why people are a certain weight or size. It’s also important not to confuse vanity with the desire to lose weight. When I eat healthy and am active I feel better. When you feel good you’re usually happy in yourself. 

This is a very honest story of my struggle with weight. Whilst a little embarrassing for me, I hope it is of help to others going through a similar thing.

I am in no way qualified to give dietary advice and nor do I pretend to be an expert in this field, but I will leave you with the following tips based on my recent experience.

1. Moderation is so important in every aspect of life
2. Sugar is not your best friend but can be your occasional acquaintance
3. Think of your intestines every time you put something in your mouth
4. Walk don’t drive
5. Processed food is always worse than fresh food
6. Most importantly, make sure your scales aren’t stuck on 79kg 😉

I usually end a blog post with Bon Appétit but that hardly seems appropriate, so today I will simply say thank you for reading this post. Until next time.

Mike X

Be yourself, be kind to others and most of all be authentic. Mike Galvin.

4 Comments Add yours

  1. Hilary says:

    You are amazingly inspirational and refreshingly honest Michael. I too was a victim of the lolly jar and vow never to bring it back. Thanks for sharing, there are learnings in there for all of us. ❤️


  2. Mike Galvin says:

    I just Googled my own name and up you came. I love beer and tacos. May God help me. 😀


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