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General Hospital's Genie Francis discusses depression prior to weight loss

Kristyn Burtt is an LA-based entertainment reporter who has covered everything from 'Dancing With the Stars' to the Oscars. If she’s not on the red carpet, she’s at home in yoga pants watching Netflix and eating potato chips.

Genie Francis answers tough questions about her past with depression and pressures to lose weight

When you're in the public eye, it can be difficult to go through any personal issue with everyone watching. For General Hospital's Genie Francis, she wasn't feeling like herself after she gained weight and she knew it was time for a change.

In this exclusive interview with SheKnows, the daytime star shares her emotional state when she was out of shape.

"I was miserable. I was really, really unhappy being that much overweight. I was tired, I didn't want to go out," she reveals. "When you get that much out of shape, there's just a hopelessness that sets in. It's awful, it's just awful."

More: General Hospital's Genie Francis dishes on Laura's future romance

To get out of that place of despair, Francis admits that it takes, "a lot of support and faith to put one foot in front of the other to take that journey back again."

The pressure from Hollywood to stay in shape is also constantly present, so the actress decided to join Nutrisystem to help guide her on the path to healthy eating. The plan allows her to be "more at peace with food."

"It's really hard. It's harder the second time when you've been up that high [in weight] and you lost it once," she says. "And then you do it again. It's much harder the second time to get yourself going."

More: General Hospital's Kimberly McCullough writes emotional blog about miscarriage

While the diet got her back on track physically, Francis worked on the emotional part of loving herself.

"It's very depressing and you blame yourself thinking, oh, I did it again," she says. "It's very hard to forgive ourselves. I have a harder time forgiving myself than anyone else."

Genie Francis answers tough questions about her past with depression and pressures to lose weight
Image: Nutrisystem

After starting Nutrisystem in August 2014, Francis initially lost 30 pounds, which she revealed in January 2015. She has since lost an additional 10 pounds on the program. The GH star is now reaping the inner and outer benefits of her fit physique.

More: 8 Things to know about General Hospital's Donnell Turner

"The outside changes are nice, you notice it, but the inside ones are the ones you are feel all of the time. I'm not so tired. I am not so depressed. I start to get interested in my own life again and want to go do things, think about working again, s"he explains.

The transformation has allowed her to do more for herself on a daily basis.

"I feel more like socializing and going out," Francis says. "I go shopping not to cover myself, but pick something that I like. It's a completely different way of living life than when you are overweight."

Even though soap veteran went through a dark time, she also has a sense of humor about how far she's come.

"You can never hide that you are overweight, any other kind of problem you can probably hide so that people will look at you and never know," she laughs. "But when you're overweight, everyone knows."

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