DRAGON’S Den star Gavin Duffy says watching himself on television prompted him to go on a diet.
The high profile businessman said he was watching footage of himself on RTE programme ‘Morning Edition’, and thought to himself he “looked like a chap who was about to have a heart attack”.
The TV star appeared on the programme in November.
Four months later, he is three stone lighter and determined to lose more.
Speaking to Marian Finucane on RTE’s Radio One earlier today, the businessman said he was conscious of his weight during filming of the last series of Dragon’s Den last year.
He recalled how he would hold his stomach in while the cameraman was shooting him from the side.
Although they would joke about it, Duffy says he was conscious of his expanding waistline.
“But what kicked it off was last November, I was on ‘Morning Edition’ with Keelin Shanley and I was on to promote applications to the current series of ‘Dragon’s Den’.
“And I didn’t watch the programme back, but about three or four days later, I caught it on the [RTE] player.
“And I was shocked Marian.
“I saw a chap that looked like he was about to have a heart attack.
“And I saw myself perspiring.
“I was at 18 stone 10 and a half pounds at that stage. I had put on about five stone in the previous 18 months.”
Duffy said his wife Orla had gently ‘nudged’ and encouraged him about his weight gain, but he “had ignored it all”.
“I found that when I was out working, I’m often standing up speaking to people, I was perspiring a lot.
“But I had just been ignoring the consequence of my obesity.
“I wanted to go from almost 19 stone to almost 15 stone.
“I still have about a stone to go
“People say to me ‘oh you have lost weight Gavin’. I think I have gone from very large to pleasantly rotund.”
Duffy said he doesn’t believe he should be a “poster boy” for people wanting to lose weight.
But he chose to speak out about his weight battle to “put pressure” on himself to carry on.
“The one reason why I spoke this morning about it is that it sort of puts pressure on me to keep going.”
Describing himself as a ‘yo yo dieter’, the businessman said he has lost weight before.
But he wants to make permanent changes to his lifestyle as he approaches his 54th birthday.
He told Dragon’s Den producers he would lose three stone before shooting the new series – and this target has been reached.
How he did it is interesting – there was no gym involved.
“I haven’t been to a gym.
“I go for a 40 minute walk near Bellewstown racecourse which is right beside me about every second day.
“And then I just buy petrol in petrol stations.
“The problem I used to have is I’d go into a petrol station, I’d order the petrol, then I’d see, I was a sucker for a duo Snickers
“The industry targets poor suckers like me.
“You used to get a Snickers bar – but now it’s a duo Snickers bar.
“If you have the one, you might as well have the second.”
Describing himself as ‘borderline diabetic’, Duffy said he found himself looking for another ‘sugar fill’ a short while later.
“An hour and a half later, I would be going to a meeting, and I would need a sugar fill again.
“Two things that work in my favour are that I love vegetables and fruit – I could eat them all day, every day.
“And I’ve always been a non-drinker.”
Interestingly enough, Duffy says he believes the fact that he had never alcohol might have contributed to his weight problem as he drank sugary drinks instead.
Politician Willie Penrose also spoke to Marian about his well publicised weight battle.
He has now lost an incredible nine stone – and currently weights 15 stone 2lbs.
He described himself as “lethargic and breathless” beforehand with a number of health problems.
Since his weight loss, he has found his health has improved.
He had a hip replacement several years ago – and was due to get the second hip replaced.
However, his consultant recently told him that he might get another “two to three” years before he has to undergo the second hip replacement as the weight was gone and had made a major difference.
Penrose has been following the Motivation diet – and says the key is ongoing support and encouragement from family, friends and colleagues.