Chandler Massey from Days of our Lives

Image: Jill Johnson/JPI

Days of our Lives actor discusses his rocky relationship with food.

Days of our Lives star Chandler Massey, best known for playing Will Horton, came forward on Instagram about his struggles with food and his weight. Massey joined the NBC soap opera in 2010, and as Soaps.com reported back in 2014, departed to finish school. Guy Wilson took over the role until the character was killed by Ben Weston (Robert Scott Wilson), but Massey returned to the show in 2017 when it was discovered Will Horton had survived. The actor opened up about how his time away from the show led to him putting on some weight and his rocky relationship with binge eating. In the post he wrote, “My weight has been an oppressive obstacle for 3 years. The left picture is me in 2016, 191 lbs & 30% body fat. I had been off Days for 2 years, and had utterly let myself go. I rationalized my lifestyle by telling myself that once I started working again, I could easily shed the weight & be ‘camera ready’. The next year, I got the chance to prove myself right. Will Horton was back baby, and he was going to be lean, mean, & better than ever. But there was a problem. The fat that I had assumed was going to melt off my body like butter on a hot pancake refused to leave.” He goes on to detail trying every fad diet in the book with no success. Of that period he recalled, “If you watch Days I’m sure you noticed I looked different the 2nd time around. There was a reason they gave @mrchristophersean [Paul Norita] the shirtless scenes while I chilled in plaid flannels. Some nights after crushing a box of lucky charms I told myself that this was just the journey of getting older. I was never going to be fit again, so why continue this pattern starving & binging, of quietly throwing up in the kitchen sink after my roommates fell asleep & trying to slap some willpower into me.”

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However, the actor did turn things around and come to recognize what was behind his issues. “I can’t point to a specific moment that was a turning point. Rather I believe it was the gradual process of learning from each failure. Instead of clinging to a fad diet I began to critically examine my relationship to food. I realized that my crappy eating habits were tied to negative emotional states. When I learned to recognize & deal with those emotions, I saw food for what it really is: a tool, not a bandaid.” However, he goes on to admit it hasn’t been easy. “This was not a smooth journey. Just last Sunday I ate a family size pack of Oreos bc I was upset about GoT [Game of Thrones]. But after each step backward I manage to forgive myself and take 2 steps forward. The picture on the right is me yesterday. I now weigh 160 lbs & have 12% body fat, reaching a goal that I wrote on my bathroom mirror 3 years ago. I’m not ashamed of the person on the left anymore, but damn am I proud of the man on the right.”

Massey is not the first daytime actor to come forward about his struggles with weight. His co-star Freddie Smith (Sonny Kiriakis) details his fitness and diet regime through his own Instagram account, and Smith participates in the 60-day challenge. General Hospital’s Genie Francis (Laura Spencer) has been open about her weight issues. Francis is a current Nutrisystem ambassador.

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LONG POST WARNING My weight has been an obstacle for 3 years. The left picture is me in 2016, 191 lbs & 30% body fat. I had been off Days for 2 years, and had utterly let myself go. I rationalized my lifestyle by telling myself that once I started working again, I could easily shed the weight & be “camera ready”. The next year, I got the chance to prove myself right. Will Horton was back baby, and he was going to be lean, mean, & better than ever. But there was a problem. The fat that I had assumed was going to melt off my body like butter on a hot pancake refused to leave. I tried everything to get my fat cells to f*** off. Fasting, paleo, whole30, cico, keto, juicing, low carb, no carb. I tried to appeal to my vanity, pride, anger, shame. None of it worked. If you watch Days I’m sure you noticed I looked different the 2nd time around. There was a reason they gave @mrchristophersean the shirtless scenes while I chilled in plaid flannels. Some nights after crushing a box of lucky charms I told myself that this was just the journey of getting older. I was never going to be fit again, so why continue this pattern starving & binging, of quietly throwing up in the kitchen sink after my roommates fell asleep & trying to slap some willpower into me. I gave up 100 times during those 3 years. I tried again 101 times. I can’t point to a specific moment that was a turning point. Rather I believe it was the gradual process of learning from each failure. Instead of clinging to a fad diet I began to critically examine my relationship to food. I realized that my crappy eating habits were tied to negative emotional states. When I learned to recognize & deal with those emotions, I saw food for what it really is: a tool, not a bandaid. This was not a smooth journey. Just last Sunday I ate a family size pack of Oreos bc I was upset about GoT. But after each step backward I manage to forgive myself and take 2 steps forward. The picture on the right is me yesterday. I now weigh 160 lbs & have 12% body fat, reaching a goal that I wrote on my bathroom mirror 3 years ago. I’m not ashamed of the person on the left anymore, but damn am I proud of the man on the right.

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