Coronation Street star Colson Smith has admitted he was “self harming with food” before his weight loss plan over the last 18 months which he says has changed his life.
Colson, known to millions as Craig Tinker on the ITV soap, has charted his fitness plan and diet changes in a new online film he will release next month called Bored Of Being The Fat Kid.
And Colson, who joined Corrie in 2011, says he has hated reading comments about his weight from an early age and decided to do something about it.
Speaking about his weight loss in-depth for the first time, Colson said: “I was always the fat kid. In most of my social situations, social circles, that’s just who I was.
“And it’s kind of the identity that I ended up with. I made that conscious decision. I was ready to kind of change that identity and I was ready to move on from it.
“I guess the main thing I’ve learned is who Colson is, I’ve learned to like myself and I’ve learned to trust myself. I’ve learned to believe in myself and I’m now really enjoying life.
“And it’s changed my entire outlook and I say a lot of that is down to running and the routine and being healthy.
“My routine(before) was very difficult as I kind of left my parents at 17 to live in Manchester, which was away from home. And when everyone else was at uni, I’m sat on bloody Deliverroo every night. So I kind of had got myself into a really unhealthy position where food was a self-harm to me.
“It was my comfort and I didn’t realise how much damage I was doing to myself with it. Whereas now I’ve kind of changed all of that without realizing that I’ve changed.
“Actually it’s that kind of growth of me going from the 10-year-old who used to be best mates with a dinner lady so he got more food, to being the 22-year-old who’s now putting himself first and wants to get the most that he can get out of his life basically. I want to respect myself and the way I want to look after myself.”
Asked how his relationship with food was now, Colson added: “A hell of a lot better than it was.
I had a very bad relationship with food. It was negative. It was bingey. It was probably an eating disorder. It was self-harm. But I talk about that more in the documentary.”
Colson, now 22, said from the age of 11 he had a Twitter account and instead of looking at any praise for his role on-screen he would always see comments about his weight.
This led to him feeling like “the odd one out” and eventually to him deciding it was the right time to do something about his weight at the end of 2019. He even spoke with Corrie bosses so any change to his appearance could be incorporated into the show and his character.
Since then he has changed his diet and also began to exercise a lot more. This began with going to the gym but is now predominantly running after he fell in love with pounding the pavement on morning runs in lockdown when he moved back home when filming for Corrie stopped.
Craig doesn’t want to specify exactly how much he has lost as he says the targets change and it was never about an exact number.
He added: “It all changes in the journey because when you first start off, you’re like, oh, I wish I could lose X amount or I could do X amount, whereas, it would change. And then when I started running, it was like, oh, I wish I could run next quickly. Or I wish I could run this far or now it’s, I wish I can lift this much weight. The numerics in it all change. And the goals have changed. And as long as you’ve got goals that you can achieve and goals that you can change, you’re always going to be laughing.
“I only ever set out to kind of enjoy it and to do it for me and what I want to achieve and what I want to hit changes all the time.
“I talk in the doc, I’ve done crash diets before, I’ve hit that weight and my way of rewarding myself was food. So this time that’s why everything was very different and everything was very achievable.”
He insists his whole lifestyle needed a makeover in order for the changes to happen.
He added: “I wouldn’t say that you can solely lose weight from anything. If you speak to bloody fitness gurus, they’ll give you these 80% this, 20% that. For me, I didn’t find anything like that. I go a lot more into food and a lot more into fitness and running in the doc. But the one thing that I will say is for me running was massive in the fact that I fell in love with running and that made everything else easier. So the running kind of motivated me. The running helped me get my days in order.
“In lockdown I put myself first over everything. Now, when it comes to normal life, I’ve kind of still got that in my head. So when I’m going through my day, when I’ve got my work, when I’ve got stuff, other stuff going on, I’m trying to balance my day out. I’m just thinking about when am I going to get these little gaps in to make sure that I’m eating, I’m training, and I’m doing what I want to do. I’m looking after myself basically.”
Asked if he had any advice for other people like Corrie viewers trying to lose weight, Colson said:
“Just make a start and do it for yourself because it’s the only person you can do it for. So my one piece of advice is, you deserve it and do it for yourself.
“I really care about helping someone who was in my position, because if I could talk to myself a year and a half ago and say, ‘look, you can do this. Yes, it’s f***ing hard, but it’s worth it. And it’s going to make you feel so much better’.
“That kind of for me would have been massive. If one person says ‘you’ve really inspired me’ then that’s enough.”
* Colson’s film Bored Of Being The Fat Kid will be released on his personal YouTube Channel on June 2.