Jazz Jennings Struggles With Binge-Eating Disorder Amid Harvard Plans: ‘Almost 100 Pounds Heavier’
I Am Jazz star Jazz Jennings opened up about her struggles with binge-eating disorder and weight gain in a new teaser clip for season 7.
“Two years ago, I was on my way to one of the greatest institutions in the world, but I was actually struggling severely with mental health issues,” the 21-year-old said in the sneak peek video obtained by People on Monday, November 1. “I started binge eating and I gained weight and more weight and more weight. And now, almost 100 pounds heavier, here I am today.”
Jazz was very honest about her body dysmorphia and how she wanted to feel her best before starting her freshman year at Harvard, months after postponing her university dreams.
“I do experience fat-shaming from my family,” she added. “It makes me feel really humiliated.”
The LGBTQ rights activist previously shed light on her internal battle in June, taking to Instagram with her candid confession.
“As many of you have noticed, over the past few years, I have gained a substantial amount of weight. I suffer from binge eating disorder, a disease in which I’m not only addicted to food, but I eat it in large quantities,” the reality star wrote alongside a photo of herself from years prior and a current photo. “My binging, along with an increased appetite I experience from some of the meds I’m on, has caused me to gain almost 100 pounds in a little less than [two] years.”
The spokesperson also revealed that the reason she decided to post the photo was because she felt it was time for her to “address my weight gain and hold myself accountable” in front of her one million social media followers. “I’m ready to change my ways; I’ve been saying I’m ready to turn over a new leaf, but I’m running out of trees now,” she continued. “I’m ready to take the initiative and create positive changes when it comes to my health and body.”
Jazz concluded by giving a shout-out to the people in her life who have her back. “I have a fabulous team supporting me, both professionals and family/friends, but at the end of the day, I have to be the one committed toward bettering myself,” she wrote. “I know I have the power in me to lose the weight and I intend on sharing my progress with all of you. Love you all, and thanks for understanding the battle I’m fighting to win.”
Jazz’s siblings made sure to leave supportive comments on the vulnerable post. “Love and support you,” her brother Griffen commented, while her other brother, Sander, added, “You are so resilient and can do anything you put your mind too [sic]. I believe in you and will be by your side every step of the way.”
Hours later, she expressed her gratitude to fans for the positive response. “Thank you all for the positivity and love,” Jazz responded to her fans. “I’m so touched by all of the support!”
According to the National Eating Disorder Association, binge eating disorder (BED) is a “severe, life-threatening, and treatable eating disorder” and “the most common eating disorder in the United States.”
This isn’t the first time the YouTube personality has spoken out about the disorder. She was vocal about trying to get “into shape” on I Am Jazz in 2020, and even revealed a year prior that she “really had to just retrain” her mind in order to lose 30 pounds for her gender confirmation surgery.
“I had to look at food as something different than what I was looking at it as,” Jazz told People at the time. “Because I used food as a comfort for my emotional struggles. I was a binge-eater. It was really bad.”
If you or someone you know is battling an eating disorder, contact the National Eating Disorders Association at 1-800-931-2237.
I Am Jazz returns to TLC on November 30 at 9pm ET/PT.
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