Taylor Lautner Says She Struggled With Body Image After ‘Twilight’

Taylor Lautner talks about struggling with body image after Twilight.  (Photo: Getty Images)

Taylor Lautner opens up about struggling with body image after Dusk. (Photo: Getty Images)

Taylor Lautner is opening up about the body image issues she faced after starring in Dusk saga, sharing that his “whole life” has been dedicated to keeping his abs clean for the movies.

“When I was 16 to 20 years old playing in this franchise where my character is known to take off his shirt every two seconds, no I didn’t know it was affecting me or would affect me in the future with body image,” she said of his role as werewolf Jacob Black during an episode of The Strait podcasts. “But now looking back on it, of course he did, of course he will.”

The 30-year-old actor explained that he’s “seen to have this incredible body” due to how he’s looked on the big screen for all five installments of the series. In fact, he’s spent most of his time and effort looking that way.

“In the first movie I weighed 140 pounds and in [the series’s second film] New moon I was 175, so yeah, that wasn’t my natural body. I had to work very, very hard to get it and very, very hard just to keep it,” he continued. “I was forced to be in the gym multiple times a day, six days a week for those years.”

She previously told Yahoo Life that her diet was also an “absolute nightmare” at the time. “I had to consume at least 5,000 calories a day to maintain the weight I had.”

Once the franchise ended, he started “rebelling against a gym.” As the media drew attention to how his body began to evolve, he became more self-aware.

“I started to have a more normal body and I remember one of the first times I saw it online it was very rough. I was making a movie called Run the tide and my character in this is not supposed to be a body builder or a ripped guy by any means. Still, I thought I was fine,” she recalled. But then seeing it online where they put me shirtless side by side in the ocean in a scene from that movie versus me Eclipse or whatever and being like, ‘Wow, he let it all go,’ I was like, ‘Oh man, did I really let it all go?’ I didn’t expect it to be that bad.”

Lautner said her side-by-side photos “continued for years and years,” which she said “messed me up” and “hurt me.” All the while, he was struggling with his relationship with his body.

“I’d lace up again and get in shape and then let go and then get in shape and then let go. And it’s been something I’ve been struggling with for the entire last 10 years,” she said.

The actor also explained how body dysmorphia played a role in how he viewed himself. “I look in the mirror and I’m like, ‘Yuck.’ And then I will have [my wife] or Jason, our close friends say, ‘Bro, what are you talking about? You are looking at a different human being than the rest of the world is.’ And it’s so scary why you twist things. Your brain sees things differently.”

He also acknowledged how the initial praise of his body led him to place too much value on his looks, which he eventually had to unlearn. He is now a big advocate for mental health and sees exercise as a tool to improve it.

“Don’t find happiness in how you want your body to be. Don’t think that just because you lose the 20 pounds or gain muscle, you’ll wake up, look in the mirror and suddenly be happy. That’s not where you should find value” , he said. “In the last couple of years I’ve gotten my health back, but I think to keep my body physically healthy it took before my mind became healthy.”

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