The life and loathing of Gargantua


I came home last night after the usual long day at work. The day had been ‘so so’. Work is very up and down at the moment.

As I disrobed, preparing to make a strong, alcoholic drink – I decided to dust off the scales. They were under the bed, covered in dust since the refurb work at the flat some weeks ago. I don’t tend to use them these days. I don’t like the readouts.

What happened next is the stuff of nightmares. I mounted the scales (digital, WeightWatchers) – then waited the few obligatory seconds for the readout to blink. And then it did. And the figure staring up at me is one that will live on – in infamy.

Suffice to say I didn’t then have that alcoholic drink. My rapacious, insatiable thirst for alcohol on returning home of an evening will be the death of me. I’ve worked out that the calorie intake alone amounts to several thousand a week. This has all ended up on my body – pale, white, flabby, cadaverous. I become increasingly elephantine and it abhors me to my Michelin-imprisoned core.

So I’m off the booze. Not sure for how long. As long as it takes to shift the tyres, perhaps.

I want to be very slim again. Is that too much to ask? I’m about 17 lbs heavier than I was at my thinnest slimmest about 1.5 years or so ago. And it galls me greatly. And of course one of the reasons I project my anger on my workplace is that, due to the hours I work, I don’t go to a gym any more. That said, I plan to change this when I’ve moved to somewhere much more central. I long for the auto-pilot of the virtue and endorphine-inducing treadmill. Many don’t like it. I love it. I have always loved it. I want to be running 3-4 times a week again. 10+ miles a week. Like in the olden days. And like a chain reaction, I’ll become extremely abstemious with food again. This is what happened last time and the weight dropped off.

With me the pendulum swings either one way or the other. There is no middle.

5 thoughts on “The life and loathing of Gargantua

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  1. Ha. Milo, I empathize and sympathize greatly with your work-stress travails — it’s a horrible fact of life of the 21st-century working world. And I certainly understand sympathize with weight-gain issues, the difficulties of finding the time to cook (it’s easier to eat right when you cook instead of eating out, not to mention cheaper) or exercise with work taking over. And lastly I sympathize with booze being a gigantic source of calories.




    Oh. If *only* I had a mere 17 pounds to worry about. I am 78lb heavier than when I graduated from high school and 63lb heavier than when I graduated from college. In 2008 I lost 42 pounds fairly easily by counting calories, but I subsequently gained most (though not all) of that back. Since 10 years after college I have seen the south side of 200lb only twice and only very briefly. And I am *not* one of those people who “long[s] for the auto-pilot of the virtue and endorphine-inducing treadmill.” I’m one of the “many who don’t like it”. I really wish I was one of the ones who enjoy it, but I never have been.

    I commend your decision to get serious about exercise, drink, and calories. And I hope you find a work/life balance that is sustainable for you. But … be a little easier on yourself. 17lb doesn’t make you “elephantine”. Seriously! 🙂

  2. Cutting alcohol certainly helps keep the figure in trim..the odd glass of wine does no harm though…good for your blood.They certainly live to a ripe old age out here in the Canary Islands on it!

  3. (Oh, and, Kudos on the Rabelais reference, btw; and on the Gustave Doré illustration 😉 )

    (… hmmm maybe I should sign myself Pantagruel instead of “Justin” …)

  4. We met when you were 11lbs past where you wanted to be. There is no way an extra 6 make you elephantine.
    Have you thought about buying a treadmill – having one at home would make it easier to fit in around the hours you work.

  5. Justin – funniest thing about running and treadmills is that I hated them until just a few years ago. Hated cross country running at school. Don’t know how I suddenly changed. Glad you liked the references!

    Chris – I’m dry so far this month. Planning to stay that way for March (if possible; 5 days and counting). Yeh, wine in moderation (and most alcohol actually) is good for you.

    Vic – sometimes I’m prone to hyperbole, it has to be said. Can’t remember what weight I was when I saw you. Less than I am now. I’d love a treadmill but I think they’re really £££ and I’ll never have the space, especially when I’ve moved. Would like one though.

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