34 Stone Laois Man Loses 10 Stone Five Months

Written 2 years ago by Angel Croitor

Alan Smyth, a native of Portlaoise, was asked by his sister last February to be her daughter’s godfather. At the time he was 34 stone and decided enough was enough. If he was to become his niece’s godfather he would have to make a change. Today, he tells Will Faulkner on Midlands Today all about his journey with weight loss and how he’s managed to already lose 10 stone.

“I was an emotional eater – if anything got me down I would turn to food. I would eat twice a day – but they would be big meals.”

When he was working with his dad he used to eat a breakfast/chicken roll, a packet of tayto and a bar, and he had ‘minerals on tap’ because of where he worked so they had all the coke, fanta, lucozade, etc. that they could want.

Once home he would eat dinner with the family. That would consist of ‘good portion sizes’. The main culprit was the hidden snacks. He would hide up to seven packets of tayto he’d gotten from the shop. Alan felt that the judgement was what hurt the most so he felt it was better off to hide them. These bad eating habits meant that Alan over time would pile on the weight that would bring him to a crucial point in his life.

Alan Smyth decided, after countless treatments and classes hadn’t worked out, that surgery would be the best route to beginning a weight loss treatment that worked.

He was told that if he attended the clinic in Loughlinstown he would be waiting nine years before getting an approval for a surgical procedure. The service they offer is a weight loss/diet programme and the psychological treatment of various eating habits and hopefully that approval for the surgery that would change it all for the participants.

“When my sister got pregnant – she asked me to be godfather of Saoirse – I said well I want to be able to run around with her – I wanted to be alive and I didn’t want to die young.”

His GP fully supported the idea of surgical weight reduction as hitting 34 stone at the age of 31 is quite a large weight that meant Alan had to start worrying about the impacts it would have on his health immediately.

“A lot of people have this misconception that it’s a cop out – it’s not a cop out – it’s major abdominal surgery.”

He went down to Cork and had to pay €20,000 for the private consultation and procedure. Alan had a gastric sleeve operation due to his weight limiting the amount of time he can be held under anaesthesia. This meant that 80% of his stomach had to be taken out.

This huge reduction would lead to a very restricted diet as he wouldn’t have the room to eat more food.

So why didn’t Alan simply stick to exercise and a better diet? It’s not that simple – the psychological effects of bad eating habits is the culprit to Alan’s struggle with getting his weight and health under control.

The surgery was a success and as a result Alan lost 10 stone because of it – but that wasn’t the end all be all of his weight loss journey. In fact – it was only the beginning. So began Alan’s journey of changing his mindset towards food and learning how to limit himself and control his weight in the long run.

“To change your attitude towards food – we have a support group up in Dublin – the biggest thing is eating fast – if you eat fast you get sick – if you drink minerals or if you drink water while you’re eating you’ll get sick as well.”

He laughs as he tells us that portion control is definitely a part of his life now as he has to ask for ‘kids portions’ when attending restaurants.

Snacking is still a part of his life but in miniscule amounts. It’s the taste that keeps the demons at bay so Alan tell us that as long as they get ‘the taste of what we like’ they’re satisfied enough to quit snacking for a time being and carry on with their journey.

You can hear his tremendous journey and dedication in the full interview down below. His goal is to reach 18 stone. That means for the rest of his journey he will have to fight for that seven stone and we believe in him.