During the most recent episode of This Is Us, Kate Pearson’s (Chrissy Metz) struggle with weight was front and center, as she fell back into bad habits with overeating to deal with her son’s blindness. The story line isn’t just relatable to many viewers, but to Metz herself, who says that she has also struggled with food to fill voids in her life.
In the episode titled Unhinged, Kate deals with the stresses of being the mom of a newborn with special needs by overeating and skipping out on the gym, which has led to Kate gaining ten pounds. Meanwhile, her husband Toby (Chris Sullivan) has secretly been hitting a CrossFit gym and “getting ripped.”
The two have been dealing with the challenges of being new parents in different ways, and Metz tells People Magazine that the way Kate has handled it is something she understands.
“Everybody, to some degree, fills a void with something, whether it’s social media, alcohol, drugs, overspending, overeating. We’re either chasing a feeling or trying to get rid of a feeling,” said Metz. “It’s one of those things that of course I can relate to because I have those voids with validation from other people or with food or whatever I think is going to make me feel better.”
However, Metz says that in the long run those things don’t make you feel better, and they end up being just a “Bandaid on a really big wound.” Even though humans don’t like to be uncomfortable, it’s something you have to get to the bottom of. It feels awful, and Metz says that is what Kate is doing with her overeating.
The episode not only highlighted Kate’s current struggle with weight, but her problems with her body image as a teenager. After joining her mom Rebecca (Mandy Moore) for an aerobics workout in their living room, Kate was disappointed with what she saw on the scale.
Metz also points out that Kate went straight to eating to deal with the pain from her dad’s death, as well as her feelings of being an “outcast.” Metz says Kate continues to overeat because it’s easy to go back to, plus it’s something you have to do three times a day.
The 39-year-old says that she personally understands that “real big challenge,” and she brings that into her performance. Metz added that she believes every actor brings something personal to a role.
Your weight does not define you! People’s perceptions are theirs. You are worthy and purposeful no matter what. ❤️ https://t.co/UD2Y5P9lwK
— Chrissy Metz (@ChrissyMetz) October 9, 2019
Metz says Kate faces a daily challenge of not holding on to pain, guilt, or resentment. And, overall, she’s learning how to come to terms with her past. Still, it continues to haunt her, but she has to “keep walking through the hard stuff and keep showing up,” which is the hardest part.
“Instead of being stagnant and feeling sorry for herself, she’s like, ‘Okay, I’m going to feel this pain. I’m going to go through it, make the next best decision, and keep going,’” says Chrissy Metz.
New episodes of This Is Us air Tuesday nights on NBC.