Ethan Suplee fans have been left stunned after the actor revealed his impressive weight loss transformation, which he is documenting on his new podcast, American Glutton.
In the premiere episode of the podcast, which was released earlier this week, the 43-year-old Remember the Titans star discussed his relationship with food and how it’s changed over the years, starting with unhealthy binge-eating habits he started at the young age of 5.
“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, that I was not supposed to have that second helping of lasagna,” Suplee said on the podcast, recalling a trip to his grandparents’ house in Vermont in which they expressed concern over his weight.
“I was also made to walk every day, which was ‘exercise,’ which I hated. I did not like being put on this forced march every morning” he continued.
“I just started practicing sneaking food,” he said, adding that the behavior continued into his preteen and teenage years. By age 10, Suplee said he weighed more than 200 pounds, and his parents put him on a diet, starting years of on-and-off dieting.
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“I had this idea now that food was something that people didn’t want me to have, so if I wanted to have more, I needed to do it privately, and it became something that I was withholding from people,” he said, recalling nights out with friends that ended in drive-thru runs where he would eat three meals at once.
“I became enormous,” he said.
“I definitely had a lot of trouble, you know, like, flying Southwest was a nightmare because they didn’t have first class. I had to get seatbelt extensions. I remember once I got a seatbelt extension and even with the seatbelt extension, I couldn’t get it closed. I’d always buy two seats.”
Suplee said that he used food, alcohol and drugs to “numb” himself throughout his teenage years. “Health wasn’t something I ever thought about.”
While his parents and grandparents expressed concern over his weight, Suplee doesn’t remember being teased by his peers.
“If a kid my own age made fun of me, I would just fight them,” he said. “I wasn’t fighting every day because kids were calling me fat. So that wasn’t really an issue.”
Suplee said that he got sober in 2002 and since then has tried just about any diet out there.
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“I lost a s—load of weight. I went from 530 to, at my lowest, 220,” Suplee said, adding that he developed a passion for cycling after My Name Is Earl, on which he played Randy Hickey, was canceled in 2009. “At 220, I was very, very thin.”
But when he returned to acting a few years later, hundreds of pounds lighter, he said that it was more difficult for him to find work.
“At some point I was like, ‘Well f—, I’m just gonna get fat again because maybe it’ll be better for work,’” he said. “And honestly, it was.”
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In recent years, Suplee has appeared in TV shows like Raising Hope, Jennifer Falls, Chance, Santa Clarita Diet, The Ranch and the movie Motherless Brooklyn.
In 2017, Suplee opened up to Entertainment Weekly about how he almost didn’t land his role as D on Hulu’s Chance because of his weight loss.
“Initially, the casting directors didn’t want me to come in because I’d lost a bunch of weight,” he said on EW‘s What to Watch podcast at the time. “Apparently they had proposed me a bunch of times, but the casting directors were like, ‘No, he’s too thin now.’”
“I’d gained a bunch of weight back because I actually didn’t find being thin all that it’s cracked up to be,” he added. “So we convinced them that I was heavier again, and I went in, and that was that. I was heavy enough.”
On his American Glutton podcast, Suplee said that throughout his life, he’s “gained and lost probably close to 1,000 pounds at this point.”
Now, the actor is focusing on using “food as an energy source” to achieve his goals in the gym.
“My goal right now is a six-pack, and I’m not far off. Pretty f— close actually.,” he said. “So it’s an utterly vain goal. I don’t care. Who cares? I’ve never had a vain goal like that before.”
He added that he also wants to be able to deadlift twice his weight. “I’m basically there.”