Wednesday, October 5, 2011 2:31am ET by  
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Gary Barlow opens up about weight gain and depression

Gary Barlow has admitted that his weight gain and depression fuelled each other and came to a head when he realised he was 16st 8lbs. 

The Take That star opened up about one of the darkest periods of his life in a new interview with the Radio Times and revealed that the "XXXL tracksuits" and other health issues were a real wake up call.

He turned to food for comfort in 1999 after being dropped by his record label and developed dangerous bingeing habits that were eventually pointed out to him by his wife, Dawn:

"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."

"The fat 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.'"

He also explained that at the time he didn't recognise his behaviour as a "form of depression", adding:

"I felt horrible. I felt 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 realised afterwards it was a form of depression."

Watch his performance of 'Rule The World' at Radio 2's recent event in London's Hyde Park here: