Jameela Jamil shares 'sad' photo from 10 years ago as she battled eating disorder
Eating disorders can silently destroy a person's life. Born from an unhealthy relationship with food, eating disorders can take several forms - binge eating, anorexia nervosa, bulimia - but all can lead to serious health complications.
They can affect anybody of any age, but per the NHS, they most commonly affect young women aged 13 to 17 years old.
Now, presenter and actress Jameela Jamil, 33, has shared a picture of herself at a party 10 years ago, explaining how she was battling an eating disorder at the time, and opened up about how it affected her life.
Jamil opens up about her role as activist & Founder of I Weigh - her mission for "radical inclusivity":
When the photo was taken, Jamil was the co-host of a UK entertainment morning show called Freshly Squeezed, as well as working as a model.
Jamil shared the picture with her 1 million Twitter followers, and captioned the heartbreaking post:
"This was a sad day 10 years ago. I didn’t want to go to the event because I was convinced that I was “too fat” and that I would be publicly fat shamed the next day. I was so weak, I only managed to stay for 10 mins. Eating disorders/dysmorphia are so wild. I missed my teens/20s [sic]"
Jamil revealed in another post that she was able to recover from her disorder through EDMR therapy, or Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing, where patients think back to a traumatic event in their past and then use their eyes to track the therapist's hand movements as a means of helping them reprocess their trauma.
Writing in a follow-up post, Jamil said:
"The therapy I used to help me was called EMDR, it works faster so it was much cheaper. CBT didn’t work for me personally. So if it doesn’t work for you, try EMDR. It’s free in some countries. I’m thankful to the brilliant 'I Weigh' community for helping my recovery. Love you."
Jamil's powerful message was flooded with responses, many of which were from people who are or were battling eating disorders:
In response to a well-wisher who said she looked much happier and healthier now, Jamil said:
"I am! My health is still a bit buggered from all the terrible things I did trying to be thin. But I’m on a MUCH better path and enjoying food!"
Jamil reveals how she got her role on The Good Place:
Jamil has spoken openly about her history of anorexia and dysmorphia, which started at age 14 after she had to weigh herself in front of her class for a school project.
Speaking to People Magazine in August, Jamil revealed that she believes her loneliness as a teen further contributed to her disorder:
"I was really unhappy and I think it contributed to my ability to have an eating disorder for so long, because there was no one kind of monitoring me and I had no one to turn to with my sadness and bad feelings, so I just had a really rough time as a teenager.
"I’ve had lots of experiences with loneliness myself, and I wish that I had an app like this when I was a teenager, so that I could have met other people who were also looking for friendship and companionship.
"I’m socially awkward, and there was no set up to help socially awkward people admit they were socially awkward and that they needed a little bit of a boost to find friends. And I love the idea of de-stigmatizing the feeling of loneliness. Everyone gets lonely from time to time."
If you're suffering with an ED, reach out to a loved one and seek medical help.
In the UK, you can talk in confidence to an adviser from eating disorders charity Beat by calling their adult helpline on 0808 801 0677 or youth helpline on 0808 801 0711.