Diet

Food and Depression

You may or may not have seen this in March/ April this year- Wentworth Miller (known primarily for his role in Prison Break)- addressed the haters that cropped up when a meme was posted on the internet showing some weight gain.

I hate this- I hate that all you see on the cover of weekly magazines all over the world is stories of who has gained weight or lost to much recently. It fuels the youth of today to believe that it’s ok to ridicule and be judgmental of weight.

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Personally I think Wentworth is hot no matter what!!

The below is the response he gave to the bullies and the haters- and I think he hit the nail on the head:

Today I found myself the subject of an Internet meme. Not for the first time.

This one, however, stands out from the rest.

In 2010, semi-retired from acting, I was keeping a low-profile for a number of reasons.

First and foremost, I was suicidal.

This is a subject I’ve since written about, spoken about, shared about.

But at the time I suffered in silence. As so many do. The extent of my struggle known to very, very few.

Ashamed and in pain, I considered myself damaged goods. And the voices in my head urged me down the path to self-destruction. Not for the first time.

I’ve struggled with depression since childhood. It’s a battle that’s cost me time, opportunities, relationships, and a thousand sleepless nights.

In 2010, at the lowest point in my adult life, I was looking everywhere for relief/comfort/distraction. And I turned to food. It could have been anything. Drugs. Alcohol. Sex. But eating became the one thing I could look forward to. Count on to get me through. There were stretches when the highlight of my week was a favorite meal and a new episode of TOP CHEF. Sometimes that was enough. Had to be.

And I put on weight. Big f–king deal.

One day, out for a hike in Los Angeles with a friend, we crossed paths with a film crew shooting a reality show. Unbeknownst to me, paparazzi were circling. They took my picture, and the photos were published alongside images of me from another time in my career. “Hunk To Chunk.” “Fit To Flab.” Etc.

My mother has one of those “friends” who’s always the first to bring you bad news. They clipped one of these articles from a popular national magazine and mailed it to her. She called me, concerned.

In 2010, fighting for my mental health, it was the last thing I needed.

Long story short, I survived.

So do those pictures.

I’m glad.

Now, when I see that image of me in my red t-shirt, a rare smile on my face, I am reminded of my struggle. My endurance and my perseverance in the face of all kinds of demons. Some within. Some without.

Like a dandelion up through the pavement, I persist.

Anyway. Still. Despite.

The first time I saw this meme pop up in my social media feed, I have to admit, it hurt to breathe. But as with everything in life, I get to assign meaning. And the meaning I assign to this/my image is Strength. Healing. Forgiveness.

Of myself and others.

If you or someone you know is struggling, help is available. Reach out. Text. Send an email. Pick up the phone. Someone cares. They’re waiting to hear from you. Much love. – W.M. #koalas #inneractivist#prisonbroken

www.afsp.org
www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org
www.activeminds.org
www.thetrevorproject.org
www.iasp.info

www.facebook.com/notes/wentworth-miller/flour-or-wheat/1653559881523614

I started following him on social media, he has a great outlook and a real passion for getting the word out and helping mental health awareness. Hat off to you sir for being so candid when you knew it could get all sorts of not just positive but negative responses.

In modern society it is way too easy to add flippant comments and cruel remarks to everything. If you don’t have something nice to say then why bother opening your mouth in the first place?!

It doesn’t even have to just be the general public either- I have weight issues; I fluctuate a lot from comfort eating and gaining a lot of weight to starving/ bulimic behaviours. When I was in school I got comments about how big I was- one that stuck in my head and still gives me nightmares (in recent months quite a lot actually)- we were on a school trip that involved canoeing for a week in swimsuits. A guy who was supposed to be a friend- openly and loudly in front of me- looking right at me said “how is it someone can look semi okay with clothes on but grotesque without”, to someone else. That wasn’t the first or the last comment I have got, but it’s one that stayed with me the most for some reason.

When I go home now I always get a comment from my mother. She either thinks I have “lost a lot of weight” or “look healthy”- now you would think “look healthy” is a good thing- unfortunately in my mother’s vocabulary this means i have gained too much weight. Its rare I dont get any comments at all- but I think I have come to learn that no comments are the best ones. This means I must be somewhere middle of the ground. But really- who knows?!

At the moment I am on yet another diet- I become obsessed with going to the gym everyday and working off more calories than I have available. I cling to My Fitness pal’s opinion on where I stand each day. My need for control becomes all consuming and unhealthy, I have learnt this through therapy sessions with a diet therapist- but I struggle to get a balance. People think that it is so easy to switch off behaviours- IT IS NOT! I try, I promise you that. But then I relapse for a few months and have to start the whole cycle over again. It’s no different to being addicted to drugs or alcohol. I didn’t even admit to anyone that I was bulimic until the end of 2015 in a therapy session.

But then in the depths of depression I gain weight- fast and to an excess. In the last 9 months I have gained a lot, in the last couple of weeks I have finally tried to pull myself out of the slump- thus the reason for the new diet.

To anyone out there who struggles with weight issues- I get it. It’s hard, and “learning to love yourself” isn’t an easy path- all any of us can do is try!

In the meantime- if you don’t have a nice comment for someone’s image- shut up and keep your opinions to yourself! There are enough haters and critics in the world without adding another.

Thank you to Wentworth Miller for showing us that showing your vulnerability isn’t easy- there is more to a story that what is captured in that 2 second shutter speed of a camera.

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13 thoughts on “Food and Depression

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