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Show takes weight off Carmelo s mind
Kerri-Anne Kennerley with Carmelo Pizzino in Perth. Picture: Steve Ferrier/The West Australian

Most have known him for his muscular arms and toned abs while blitzing the dance floor alongside the likes of *Kerri-Anne Kennerley *and *Kylie Gillies *for Seven's hit reality series Dancing with the Stars.

But it was only a few years ago that *Perth *-raised ballroom dancer *Carmelo Pizzino *was struggling through depression after ballooning to more than 100kg.

Speaking candidly to New Idea, the former international dance champion revealed how, before debuting on the hit dancing show in 2006, he struggled to secure work and felt he "wasn't good enough anymore".

"I felt I'd let my family down, after they invested so much time and money in my training," he told the magazine.

"I was really depressed . . . I would sit at home and eat pizza, Thai food, chocolate and drink wine all the time. I didn't show it but I had so much anger and pain inside. I had no passion or drive to get up and do anything anymore, not even dance."

Falling into a reclusive state of depression, the 39-year-old piled on the kilos which saw him weigh in at a hefty 110kg.

But it was auditioning for the dancing series - he was encouraged by friend and fellow DWTS dancer *Alana Patience *to apply - ultimately got him back on track.

"I was so huge at the time, I was chafing," he said. "The executive producer looked at me and said 'My God, you're the famous Carmelo! I didn't realise you were a fatty boomba. What's going on?'"

Now weighing a healthy 82kg, Pizzino hopes to return to the Seven show this year.

'I felt I'd let

my family down, after they invested so much time and money in my training.'