“My feeling of the way of life as a fat comic was so connected to my awareness of what’s actually funny that it was somewhat of a battle for me to attempt to change from an individual who ridicules their weight to an individual who likes themselves,” he admits.
“Self-deprecation is an extraordinary method of charming yourself to the crowd … ’cos who wants to hear about someone being happy? No! We want to hear about misery!” he laughs.
“I’ll find another way to make fun of myself.”
Jayasinha moved from Sri Lanka to Melbourne to study accounting as a 19-year-old in 2004. He first tried stand-up in 2010 a year ago, won the Logie for Most Popular Talent for his regular TV appearances on Utopia, Hughesy We Have a Problem and Have You Been Paying Attention?
It was while getting dressed for a New Year’s Eve party toward the finish of 2017 that he understood he was unable to button up his shirt.
“I’ve been a major person for 25 years and I thought, ‘I will, at last, accomplish something’,” Jayasinha reviews.
Realizing he required motivation, he made a wager with fellow comedian Ben Lomas: “We were both about 120kg and we decided the first person to get under 100kgs wins $1000. That fired me up.”
The pair tracked their progress on a podcast called Fitbit (you’ll have to listen to learn who won) and the highly relatable Cheat Day(s) was born out of the experience.
“At the shows up until now, I’ve had the fitness fanatics who enjoy my transition from a lazy guy to a fit guy and my fellow boombahs who appreciate me talking about the struggle in an honest way.
“I don’t shy away from the fact that this isn’t easy. My brain has been working as a lazy person for 25 years, it’s not gonna switch overnight.”
Jayasinha now loves running and satiates his impulse to overeat by giving himself one cheat day a week.
“My average cheat day looks crazy. I’ll wake up at 6 in the morning and have Coco Pops and Cornflakes, then I’ll go have a chocolate croissant, a milkshake … that’s just by 10 am,” he says.
“Then I’ll go for lunch: two kinds of pasta and fried chicken as an entrée.
“But in all honesty, the amount I’m bingeing on is starting to reduce, because my relationship with indulgent food is changing.”
If Jayasinha were to do a Chris Hemsworth and start his own fitness app, he would put mental health front and centre.
“The analogy I use is: There’s no point in trying to bake a cake in an oven that doesn’t work properly. No matter how good the recipe is, if the oven is not well maintained, the cake is not going to come out well. So, work on the oven first. Start with the brain and then figure out what works for you.”
Now that he’s lost a whopping 35kg, Dilruk Jayasinha worries his comedy may suffer, given how much of his material relates to fried chicken and his love of the Aussie pub.
Cheat Day(s) is another solid show from the Sri Lankan-born, Melbourne-based performer who has been rapidly climbing his way up the comedy ladder.
Without bombarding us with too much diet talk, material jogs through Lululemon apparel, fun runs, Apple watches and of course, food. Salad, is apparently a gateway drug to kebab, once you start adding dressing, croutons and bacon.
Jayasinha uses his unusual religious upbringing to explain why he got so large in the first place, unpacks how therapy helps change habits and laments the ugly sides of extreme weight loss.
But given his history, even Jayasinha doesn’t know how long all the skinny is going to last … you’ll have to catch him in his 2020 show to find out.