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Daily Record
Daily Record
Stuart Gillespie

Stewartry-born Outlander star Sam Heughan reveals how he battled eating disorder while trying to get his big break

Sam Heughan has revealed how he battled an eating disorder while he was trying to make it as an actor.

The Balmaclellan-born star is now a household name for his work as Jamie Fraser in smash US drama series Outlander.

But life wasn’t always like that for the former Kells Primary pupil.

In his new book Waypoints: My Scottish Journey, he explains how he cut back on food in a bid to look the part.

He wrote: “I was careful with my diet but now began to understand the necessity to eat more to allow my body to thrive. I paid attention to calorie intake, and considered every meal in terms of what it might mean for my chances of getting work.

“In hindsight, when I consider that time in my life, I recognise that I was living for a while with a low-level eating disorder. The requirement for an actor to look a certain way has driven me too far at times.

“ I rationed what I ate, often consuming just salad and pickles, knowing they were low in calories. I certainly wasn’t taking on enough fuel for all the running I was doing, let alone for a long day on set.

“We often talk about pressure on women to conform. I certainly felt that expectation upon me, which is why I responded by maintaining a disciplined eating and exercise regime. It was a form of control as I tried to make my way in an industry in which actors are pretty much powerless.”

As a result of his experience, he revealed that he had a desire “to be more involved with men’s mental health and their support network”.

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