Chrissy Metz dazzled on six seasons of This is Us as Kate Pearson. Storylines on the hit series often centered around her weight and body image. Metz is now opening up about her own struggles with an eating disorder. Here’s what she has to say.
Chrissy Metz Is Kate Pearson
Now that This is Us has come to an end after six seasons on NBC, Metz is ready to look back on this important time in her life. In an interview with verywellmind, Metz says life is imitating art: “I think Kate is so much of who I used to be. And so now that she’s becoming this very empowered woman who’s speaking up for herself, I, in turn, find myself doing that in different ways.”
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The vulnerability was always a strong trait of Kate’s, and Metz says her time on the show has made her feel more confident. The character and actress are so intertwined that fans frequently call her “Kate” in public. Metz says “I’m like, ‘Oh, I’m actually not Kate. It’s Chrissy.’ [I] am grateful that people are connected so deeply that they think that I am her, but I am Chrissy first.”
Storylines Are An Opportunity
This Is Us wasn’t afraid to explore taboo subjects like panic and eating disorders in a down-to-earth way. Metz says she hears fans laud the show for this all the time: “once you educate somebody, even if it’s in a roundabout way on a TV show or a conversation…the fear goes away, and the shame or the guilt goes away, and that is so important in the journey of contending with your own mental health.”
Metz is open about her own history of anxiety and eating disorders. She’s spent a lot of time in therapy exploring her relationship with food. “Whether it’s readily available or for me, it was always self-soothing when I was growing up. It was a way to sort of not feel something,” she says.
It’s Not About Food
Using food to cope with anxiety ultimately led to a severe panic attack. Metz realized she had been using food as a way to shield suppressed feelings. “it’s not about the food. Ever. The food is the symptom…[If] you take the food away, all the feelings you’ve suppressed come up, and then you have to contend with them because you’ve never dealt with them,” Metz reveals.
To help her grow, Metz joined a 12-step program that helped her grow. It wasn’t easy, but it helped her explore her life in healthier ways. Now she’s using her platform to help others. You can hear Metz’s voice in Kung Fu Panda: The Paws of Destiny, and only time will tell what awaits her now that This is Us is over.