I was hooked after watching just one episode of “This is Us.” With an incredibly talented cast who play complex and compelling characters, the show reminds us again and again how emotional experiences in our past can affect us forever. Chrissy Metz’s portrayal of Kate Pearson is unforgettable.
Kate is a woman of size who has struggled for decades with her weight and her guilt about her father’s tragic death. There has never been a character on TV like her, and we want her to get the happiness she deserves. So when I was lucky enough to receive an advance copy of Chrissy’s book, This Is Me: Loving the Person You Are Today, I stayed up way past my bedtime to finish it.
Just like Kate, Chrissy has certainly had to overcome obstacles, but she quickly puts them into perspective for us: “This book isn’t about getting taller, skinnier, richer, or more successful. It’s about loving yourself and realizing the singular gifts we all have to offer each other.” Here are seven more of her truths, in her own words.
She won’t let her size hold her back.
“Honeybees are meaningful to me because technically they’re not supposed to be able to fly. We know they do, but in the 1930s, French scientists ‘proved’ they couldn’t. Their reasoning was that it was aerodynamically impossible because honeybees’ wings are too small to support the weight of their bodies. And yet, through some miracle, there they go, zipping through the air and soaring their little honeybee hearts out.”
Even TV stars who get nominated for Emmy awards freak out when Oprah calls.
“Here’s the thing, ya’ll. You think you’d be able to handle an out-of-the-blue call from Oprah, but I’m here to tell you, you’re not. You start thinking about everything you’ve learned from her. All of her performances, her generosity, her wisdom, her Oprah-isms! She has been one of your mentors your whole life. And now, she’s on the phone, WITH ME. Me! Just chatting with Ophs like we’ve been friends forever. I’m sure this is how everyone who speaks with Oprah feels.”
She starts every day with an attitude of gratitude.
“Before my hands automatically reach for my phone, I close my eyes and I take these ten seconds for my daily practice of thanksgiving. I think I am grateful that I can see. Just saying that makes me appreciate the light filtering through the window, no matter how early my call time. I thank my bed for its support and comfort. I am grateful to have the ability and mobility to move my miracle of a body. Down to the organs’ functions, it works perfectly on my behalf. And then there’s the fact that I can move freely and easily, in my house with running water and electricity. These seem like small things that we all take for granted, but they’re key.”
Social media can bring out the worst in people.
“I don’t even want you to read the comments about me. Every fat joke known to man, ones that were probably first written in Sanskrit, gets trotted out like it’s something new and exciting in its nastiness. I could get caught up in them, but then I remember, Oh yeah, hurt people hurt people. Believe me, I want to engage, retaliate, and defend myself because my feelings are hurt. Because it does sting. But the only derogatory thing they can say is that I’m overweight. I am solely being judged on my vessel. Not what’s inside, not my loving heart, not my relentless spirit or zest for life. They don’t know me. I know me. So I keep it movin’.”
Everyone can identify with her character.
"People of all walks of life respond to Kate because we all feel vulnerable. We have all gotten caught up in our inadequacies, but if we move through them, we can learn and get where we want to be. And time and again, I have seen that the answer to what we really want, the reason people connect to Kate, is that wish to love and be loved."
You are enough.
"I thought success and joy weren’t coming to me. They were inside me all along. Every little act I did of showing up for myself brought me to this moment, right here where I am talking to you. You are hard-wired for this dream, and you will make things happen once you stop waiting for things to happen. Turn all the attention you’re putting toward what other people are saying to what you’re saying. You’ve so got this. Say it: 'I’ve got this.'"
Chrissy wanted to write a love letter to Kate.
“I want to thank Dan Fogelman for creating you, a flawed but courageous woman. And I must thank our writers. I am so proud that they refuse to write your life into something that makes you a doormat. Because we know that’s the stigma attached to people of size: They are considered to be either obnoxious or doormats, never having a voice in what they think or feel or say because it isn’t important. But you make your voice important. And because you don’t identify solely with your body, you are open to so many other lessons that help you get closer and closer to the place you want to be.”