‘Lbs.’ highlights man’s struggle with binge-eating, weight loss

Hannah Hunsinger Students gathered in Forum Hall on Monday night to watch "Lbs," a movie about food addiction presented by UPC.

The Sensible Nutrition and Body Image Choices peer education group held a screening of the film “Lbs.” in Forum Hall on Monday. The film tells the story of a man named Neil Perota, played by Carmine Famiglietti, and his journey to change his binge-eating lifestyle. 

Initially Famiglietti was supposed to be present at the event; unfortunately there was a death in the family over the weekend so he could not attend. 

“I wish I could be there, I really wanted to be there, but unfortunately my brother-in-law passed away from a heart attack over the weekend,” Famiglietti said over a personal video directed toward to the present audience.

Famiglietti’s video gave the audience an insight on what life was like during and after the shooting of the movie. 

“People see me now and they see I have put the weight back on, but I never wake up saying that am going to give up, that I’m nothing,” Famiglietti said. 

The film itself was based on the real life struggles of Famiglietti, referred to as Neil Perota in the movie, as a 315-pound man living in New York.

It began with him waking up and heading to the refrigerator and fixing himself several dishes of food.

Unknowingly for Perota, that day was also the beginning of a series of unfortunate events. While at work, driving a bus full of children, Perota had a heart attack that put his life and those of all the passengers in danger. Perota’s sister then had to cancel her wedding, which was scheduled for the next day, because of his heart attack. 

Perota then moved to upstate New York to get away from the city and all the temptations to binge eat that he received from his family and friends.  

“It was a different take on eating disorders, because you do hear a lot about anorexia and bulimia. I really liked the movie,” said Stasi Toland, junior in education. “I have a lot of family who struggles with it, and was nice to see it in a different light.” 

The film ended with Perota returning to his home as a changed man and several sizes smaller. It was made apparent at the film that although Perota had changed, the habits of his friends and family had not. 

“For someone who has struggled with their weight their entire life, I definitely sympathize with him,” said Taylor Harner, sophomore in elementary education. “To see that he succeeded at the end of the movie was very uplifting.” 

Both Toland and Harner agreed that New York was somewhat of a trap for Perota and his habit. 

“It seems almost like in New York every single street corner there is a food stand, the struggle was always there,” Toland said.

The film took 27 months to film, and Famiglietti said his real life struggle with binge eating made the movie a personal journey.

“I always tell myself, ‘today is that day, the day I am going to get fixed up,’” Famiglietti said.