'This Is Us' Actress Chrissy Metz On Mental Health and How Self-Acceptance Helped Her Lose 100 Pounds
Chrissy Metz knows first-hand what it feels like to be a plus-size actress in Hollywood—and it's anything but easy. In an interview with People Now, the 38-year-old confessed that she's often subjected to harsh criticism about her weight, especially online. That said, Chrissy Metz’s weight loss mindset and her approach to the online haters is something we could all learn a lot from.
"The way I stand up to bullies is with kindness and love," she explained. "Because I think that's what they really need. They're misunderstood and probably really upset themselves." When she comes across a negative or body-shaming comment Metz says: "I just either don't respond or respond with kindness." (Check out 17 celebs who have mastered the art of clapping back at their haters.)
Her role as Kate Pearson in NBC's hit This Is Us has not only struck a chord millions of people but has also been an eye-opening experience for Metz herself. In a 2016 interview with TVLine, she revealed that because of her character's story arc on the show, her contract includes a clause that requires her to lose weight.
Though it may seem outrageous for her employer to require weight-loss for a job, Metz says she wholeheartedly agreed to the arrangement, saying that her character's experience and struggle with weight is very similar to her own.
On the show, Kate has a keen desire to take back control of her life and become healthier. In fact, her desire to lose weight is an integral part of "the development of [her] character." (Related: This Plus-Size Blogger Is Urging Fashion Brands to #MakeMySize)
"In our contract, it did state that would be a part of it, to lose the weight in the trajectory of the character as she comes to find herself," Metz told TVLine. "That was a win-win for me because it's one thing to try to do it on your own, but as human beings, it's an ego thing: We're more likely to do something for someone else."
In light of the body-positive movement, she wanted her fans to know that in no way was the whole Chrissy Metz weight loss contract simply a disguised effort to conform to the media's often unrealistic beauty standards. She reiterated that she has zero intentions of "selling out the big girls," and that the process is "purely a choice of mine for health."
"I just have to be very clear," she said, "Whether or not I lose weight or stay the same, it's purely a choice of mine for health. Not because I think that plus size, curvy, voluptuous, big bodies aren't attractive—because I think they're awesome and sexy." (Related: Where the Body-Positive Movement Stands and Where It Needs to Go)
More recently, Metz made an appearance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show and opened up about her character's sudden decision to undergo gastric bypass surgery. The talk show host wanted to know how Metz intended to lose weight fast enough to reflect the "quick fix" that comes with the weight loss surgery.
"It's a fast fix, and it's not always the right answer," Metz agreed.
Her Wake-Up Call
Sans-surgery, Metz did undergo a transformation of her own in her early 30s. In an interview with People, she revealed that all that rejection in Hollywood for over a decade began to take its toll emotionally—even when she was able to put on a strong front IRL—which caused her to steadily gain weight and fall into a deep, dark depression. (DYK there are 4 different kinds of depression?)
She hadn't realized how bad things had gotten until she had a health scare several years ago. She began to feel heart palpitations, and she feared for her life.
"I'm like, 'What is this? Am I dying? What's happening?'" she told People. "It was really scary—really, really, really scary." Rather than attending the party, Metz checked into a hospital where doctors told her: "You can't continue on this path."
This was a huge wake-up call for Metz. "I'm like, 'Oh, this is not just a physical thing. It's like a soul/spirit/mind/body collective thing. Not everything's connecting,'" she said in the same story. (Related: "What Happened When I Tried CBD For My Anxiety")
Changing her mentality also made a difference in her life physically. From there, she says she lost 100 pounds in less than five months by eating 2,000 calories a day and making a commitment to walking just 20 minutes a day. She has kept most of the LBs off and continues to work towards improving her lifestyle through diet and exercise as part of Chrissy Metz’s weight-loss contract with This is Us producers—and for herself.
"I don't have a weight or a size [in mind]," she told People. "It's really going to be about how I feel when I look at myself. I do want to lose weight. Physically, I really am interested in just feeling better and not having to be put in a box. I don't want to be limited by anything." (Need a boost? These body-pos quotes will inspire you to rock a bikini with confidence.)
Recently, she’s opening up even more about her past in her book, This Is Me: Love the Person You are Today. The tell-all includes details about Chrissy Metz’s weight loss journey, her career, her childhood, and more.
Getting weight loss surgery is not a "fast fix" by any means. In fact, I had to work harder and smarter at my diet and exercise to keep losing weight and keep it off for good. The surgery is a "tool" to assist in weight loss, not a "quick fix".Read More