Coronation Street’s Colson Smith says he was ‘self-harming’ with food after troll abuse over his weight aged 11
CORONATION Street star Colson Smith has admitted he was self-harming with food after being abused for his weight by viewers at just 11 years old.
The actor – who plays policeman Craig Tinker in the ITV soap – has lost a huge amount of weight by changing his lifestyle.
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And while he won’t be drawn on exactly how much he has dropped – he is clear that he was abusing his body with food after years of being branded “the fat kid”.
Speaking about his new documentary Bored of Being the Fat Kid, Colson told The Sun how he was faced with abuse for his weight by soap fans at just 11.
He said: “At 11 years old I had a Twitter account.
“You log in, you search your name, you search ‘Craig Corrie’ and you’re looking to see what people are saying about your character or your acting, and all they’re saying is about your weight and the way you look.
“I was being branded as just the fat kid from day one. Even at school I was always the fat kid, I was always the odd one out.”
And when he moved out of home at 17 to move to Manchester full-time, his weight spiralled.
Colson explains: “I left my parents at 17 to live in Manchester, which was away from home and when everyone else was at uni, and they were having uni food, I'm sat on Deliveroo every night.
“I got myself into a really unhealthy position. Food was a self harm to me like that, it was my comfort, and I didn't realise how much damage I was doing to myself with it.”
He adds: “I had a very bad relationship with food. It was negative, it was bingey.
“It was probably a disorder, you know, it was self harm.”
It’s the first time Colson has opened up about losing the weight – after previously joking that he got food poisoning on holiday and lost ten stone.
“It’s just my way of telling my truth because for months and people have been asking me if I really ate dodgy prawns in Thailand and I lost weight from food poisoning,” he said.
“Obviously I didn't but I didn't want to be the person who preached about losing weight by eating less.
“It's about changing in life which is why it's taken me a year and a half kind of to decide to talk about it.”
He also revealed that running was the key to losing the weight.
“I fell in love with running, and that made everything else easier,” he admits.
“So, the running kind of motivated me that running helped me get my days in order and just went, a day at a time so often and now like the only thing I want to do is run.”
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But it hasn’t all been plain sailing and the documentary, filmed over 18 months, will show the ups and the downs.
“If I could talk to myself, a year and a half ago and kind of say, ‘you can do this, yes it's f***ing hard but it's worth it and it's gonna make you feel so much better’, that for me would have been massive.”
Colson also had to sit down with Corrie bosses for permission to change his looks so drastically – something they happily supported him in doing.
But when lockdown struck, the pause in filming meant the storyline showing character Craig’s weight loss rapidly accelerated and Colson returned to filming several stones lighter.
It was at this time that Colson decided to make the documentary, enlisting one of Corrie’s directors and his flatmate and co-star Ben Price to interview him for it.
Calling Ben his “second father”, Colson says the Nick Tilsley actor “made him feel safe” to open up about his weight loss journey.
“It was nice because he knows me, and he kind of has seen me go through this change and because he is proud of me and he knows where I'm at,” he said.
“He knew exactly what to ask to kind of keep me relaxed and keep me feeling safe.”
Colson also reveals how making the documentary changed him.
“I go from this kid who clearly doesn't like himself, to grow in confidence and that's one of the clips where I'm only a month in, and my voice has completely changed and it's like, Oh that so that's obviously a health benefit straight away.
“I had no respect for myself, and now I do. I now believe that Colson deserves 100% effort from Colson, whereas before, I wouldn't give myself the effort and I wouldn't let anybody else give me the effort.”
And for any fans hoping to change their lives like he did, Colson has some simple advice: “You deserve it and do it for yourself.”
- Bored of Being the Fat Kid will be released on Colson Smith’s YouTube channel on June 2
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