How ‘Normal People’ Eat: The boyfriend

Rowan’s boyfriend Kevin Miller eats a diet straight out of the movie “Super Size Me,” but he’s one of the skinniest North Americans you’ll ever meet.

He blames his junk-food habit on his busy schedule, which has him studying electrical engineering full-time at ITT Tech while working full-time, currently third shift at Peyton’s Northern, a giant grocery warehouse in Bluffton.

As for how he manages to stay so skinny despite inhaling potentially fatal amounts of fat and sugar … well, that is the mystery.

Q. So how tall are you, and how much do you weigh?

6 foot 2, 150 pounds.

Q. Have you ever worried about your weight?

“No. I’ve tried to gain weight before, but I’ve never been able to.”

Q. Is everybody in your family as skinny as you are?

“Actually, no. A couple of my brothers are … well, they’re not fat, but they’re kind of bulky. I’m taller, but just maybe half an inch. I would say on any given day, I eat more than they do.”

Q. So how much do you eat in a typical day?

“I wake up around noon, run out to the gas station and get a couple of Mountain Dews and a Monster. Head off to McDonald’s, get a couple of double cheeseburgers, some apple pies (up to four), and fries.”

While he’s at class in the afternoon and evening, he’ll have 2-3 cans of Mountain Dew and a Monster, along with a sandwich from Jimmie Johns. After class gets over around 10 p.m., he’ll head to Burger King, where he gets a couple of sandwiches, a large order of fries and a drink. (What he orders there varies; he’s not a huge fan, but it’s close to campus.)

At work, he’ll go down to the cafeteria during his first break for a snack — biscuits and gravy, if they have it. He returns to the cafeteria for “lunch” around 3 a.m., when he’ll have a Mountain Dew, a bag of Doritos, a couple of sandwiches, maybe a slice of pizza. At his next break, he’ll get another Monster and a snack, maybe a Snickers ice cream bar or a bag of Doritos.

When he gets off work at 7:30 a.m., he goes out to breakfast with a friend to Hardee’s, where he’ll often order biscuits and gravy.

Q. Do you ever worry about eating all that fast food?

“Sometimes. Sometimes I’m like, ‘Man, I gotta quit doing this.’ There’s a history of diabetes in my family, so I do think about it some. Maybe when I get out of school.”

Q. Do you ever cook?

“I don’t really like to cook, but I used to do it when I had more time.”

Q. Do you ever snack or nibble on anything while you cook?

“Yeah. I’ll maybe have some chips or something.”

Q. What’s your biggest weakness, food-wise?

“Pudding. I can sit down and eat 10 puddings in a row.” At his aunt’s house, he says he’ll just clean out as many pudding cups as she has in her fridge. He doesn’t really have any favorite kind. “Nah. Any of them in the fridge, really.”

Q. Does it bother you to get too full?

“No, I love it. It’s like, ‘I’m so full now, I feel great!'”

Q. What’s your favorite meal?

“Anything from McDonald’s is good. Just depends on what I’m in the mood for.”

Q. What’s the biggest meal you’ve ever had?

He reports that when he used to work at McDonald’s a few years ago, one of his brothers who worked with him dared him to see if he could eat a 50-piece order chicken nuggets, 2 McRib  sandwiches, 2 double quarter pounders with cheese, and a large order of fries. His brother said he’d pay for the meal (at the employee discount) if Kevin could finish it during his half-hour lunch break. And he did.

Q. Imagine you’re on death row, and it’s the final meal of your life. What would you ask for?

“McDonald’s double cheeseburger, fries, large Coke.”

Rowan interrupts at this point to add in her Death Row meal, because I wasn’t asking that question back when I did her interview a few months ago. She says she would request fettucine alfredo, pumpkin pie, banana pudding, a grilled veggie burger with cheese, Chai,  and McDonald’s french fries. She says she wouldn’t necessarily eat it all, “but I could taste it all and have all those delicious tastes in my mouth as I got shocked” (in the electric chair).

Q. Do you exercise?

No. He says he’s too busy with school and work, though he walks a lot in the giant warehouse where he works.

Q. When it comes to keeping track of your weight, do you use a scale or the fit of your clothes or what?

“Every once in a while I’ll step on a scale at work or something.”

Q. What would you do if you kept eating this way and one day you suddenly started putting on weight — enough so that you got fat?

“I don’t know. I’d probably run or something.”

Q. Anything you want to add, or wish I would’ve asked?

“I don’t like the fact that I spend that much money on food. It’s just that I never have time to pack my lunch because I’m always running late. I don’t have time to cook or fix a meal.”


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