Viewers of the new Netflix series Archive 81 might have noticed a familiar face. Actor Matt McGorry has starred in Orange Is the New Black and How To Get Away With Murder, but some noticed he looks a little different in his latest on-screen appearance.
Matt McGorry’s Health Journey
Over the past few years, some have noted that McGorry has gained weight. While some would see this as a negative, McGorry wrote about why he’s celebrating his weight gain in an essay published to Medium.
“I’ve gained quite a bit of weight. I mean, I’ve really let go,” the actor wrote. “And as a result, my health has been impacted. I have a healthier relationship with my body than ever before. Yeah, I’ve really let go of the myths and bullshit around what my body is supposed to look like. And I’m more joyful, more free, and more fulfilled because of it.”
He detailed his first shirtless scene on Orange Is the New Black and how, due to his part-time job as a personal trainer, his “restrictive” diet got even smaller. “In the two weeks before the shoot, I shifted from my normally restrictive diet to something more severe, rapidly dropping weight as a result,” McGorry explained. “I also doubled my time in the gym and had a dehydration plan — a standard for bodybuilders, most fitness models, and many actors.”
McGorry: ‘I Am Worth So Much More Than A Lifetime Of Obsessing Over Food’
McGorry shared that his struggles with his weight started when he was young, with other kids teasing him for being “chubby.” He became a personal trainer, losing weight and packing on muscle, but it still never felt like enough.
After seeing his first shirtless scene on screen, McGorry wrote, “My heart sank…I felt I should’ve been leaner.” Even though everyone else who saw the scene praised his six-pack, McGorry still felt like he wasn’t doing enough.
“I don’t mean to give the impression that I wasn’t proud of some aspects of my physical achievements; that’s not the case,” he explained. “But a lifetime invested in diet culture never brought me to a point where I regularly felt satisfied with myself. No matter what “fitness” goal I reached, it never resulted in a real, deep sense of well-being, born of self-love and self-respect.”
McGorry eventually realized that his extreme dieting and workout plans were actually harmful to his health — both physical and mental. He made the decision to stop putting pressure on himself to look a certain way and he says he’s now happier and healthier, sharing, “I am worth so much more than a lifetime of obsessing over food, exercise, and weight.”