Boy band singer, Take That star and X Factor judge Gary Barlow admitted he suffered from “a form of depression” after his solo career fizzled out. An original member in one of the U.K.’s most successful boyband in the 1990s, Gary’s independent singing career went no where after the band split. His record label dropped him in 1999 so he started eating. And eating. And eating.
Now a recluse he stayed home and gorged. “I felt horrible. I felt like s**t. For someone so big, I felt incredibly small. I’d decided, ‘OK, nobody wants me, but I don’t want to do it anyway, and to make sure I don’t do it again, this is how I’m going to look.’ I realized afterwards it was a form of depression.”
Finally, his wife Dawn urged him to see a doctor to confront his issues. “The fat,” Barlow said, “was a protective coating. As I got bigger, I found I didn’t need a hat or sunglasses. I had my disguise wrapped around me. Then one day, in December 2001, Dawn said: ‘Babe, I think you should go and see the doctor.’ “I knew what she meant. I was wheezy and out of breath with even the slightest exertion. It would take me three rolls to get off the bed and I was reduced to wearing Xxxl tracksuits. I hadn’t dared stand on the scales, but I forced myself: 16st 8lbs. I booked an appointment.”
Barlow returned to the limelight in 2005 with a reunited Take That and is now a judge on Simon Cowell’s The X Factor in the U.K.