After a lifelong battle with obesity, Caitlin VanZandt, of Guiding Light and The Sopranos, underwent a 45-minute laparoscopic adjustable gastric-banding procedure. Six months after surgery, VanZandt has shed 65 pounds, and went from a size 20 to a 12. The 5-foot-8 soap star, who is a spokeswoman for the "Moment Is Now. Here Is the Truth" obesity health-education campaign, opened up to the new issue of Us Weekly about her decision to go under the knife.
Share your weight struggles
I grew up in NYC and gained weight -heavily around age 8, and then through high school. As a culture, we use food as a reward and a comfort. While watching TV, you're not paying attention to what you're putting in your mouth. I tried to lose weight -- I had a trainer and went to the gym every day and did diets like South Beach. I'd lose 10 pounds, then a birthday party would come up or I'd go back to eating emotionally. I'd have a little slipup and say, "Never mind, I screwed this up," and walk away from the diet. It was a series of -[repetitive behaviors]. I never felt full, I never felt satisfied and I always turned to food for comfort. I also had health problems -- high -cholesterol and asthma -- which prevented me from running on a treadmill.