Ethan Suplee, an actor known for Remember the Titans and My Name Is Earl, looks a lot different today than he did in those projects.
The 43-year-old shared a photo of himself working hard at the gym Friday, and it’s obvious he’s been spending a lot of time there. It’s one of several similar images that he’s posted since last summer.
Suplee’s transformation hasn’t been easy, though. On Wednesday, the actor rolled out a new podcast, “American Glutton,” about his “very complicated” relationship with food.
“Over the past 20 years, I’ve lost and found and lost again hundreds of pounds of fat,” Suplee said in the trailer. “I’ve tried every trendy diet to hit Los Angeles, the city where food fads are born and where diet zealots are prayed to like spiritual leaders. I’ve had success and failures and successes and success again.”
Suplee teased that episodes would would follow him digging into the diet culture of America, sharing his own journey and also talking to health and wellness experts.
On the first episode, Suplee revealed that he went on his diet when he was 5. “I remember going to visit my grandparents in Vermont, and they were shocked at the state of me. Now, back then, this was like late ‘70s, early ‘80s, the fat version of me at 5 years old was probably closer to what the average is today at 5 years old, but back then it was startling. There weren’t a lot of fat kids back then.”
Suplee said his grandparents weighed him and then began limiting his food.
“So I learned really quickly that, if I wanted a second helping of lasagna when I cleared my plate, I had to eat it in the kitchen without them seeing.”
The Motherless Brooklyn actor said he was also required to walk every day.
When Suplee returned to his parents in California, he continued the habits he had formed of sneaking food. By the time he was 10, he weighed 200 pounds. His father then ordered him to follow a plan of diet shakes, which worked for a while until his mother took him off the plan.
Suplee said he was “enormous” by the time he seriously thought about his weight again, at 20. This was around the time he appeared in American History X and Boy Meets World.
He remembered having to purchase two airplane seats whenever he traveled, and that he was doing a lot of “numbing myself out with food, alcohol and drugs and stuff” back then.
Another of Suplee’s memories from that time is when actor Jim Caviezel, who was supposed to be working with him in a movie, approached him on a flight to say that Suplee was not emulating Jesus Christ in the treatment of his body.
“He wasn’t mean,” Suplee said, “He was probably coming from a place of love and compassion.”
Caviezel’s rep did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Suplee added that he has nothing against Caviezel, and the conversation actually did motivate him to try another diet. He lost weight but eventually began gaining again, a pattern that he repeated in later years.
“I have gained and lost probably close to 1,000 pounds at this point,” Suplee said. “And I’ve done all the diets.”
His fitness goal at the moment is a six-pack, which he said he’s close to achieving.
In the comments of his post, fans complimented Suplee on his fitness progress and thanked him for sharing such a personal story.
“Seeing you make this change really inspired me,” one such commenter wrote. “For the longest time I tried and failed and tried and failed. I was about to give up when I heard the podcast. If you can do it, so can I. Thank you man, seriously.”
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