Food, Weight, and Control :: Part 2 — An Adulthood Battle

Continued from “Food, Weight, and Control :: Part 1 — A Childhood Battle.”

I didn’t understand in those days that being anorexic doesn’t mean you never eat. It is about your mind, and about a crazy desire to control your food intake and your weight. That was me.

I remember trying on swimsuits in a store and being disgusted with my body. How could I be such a small number on the scale yet look like this? Why are my thighs still huge?? In reality, I was a skeleton, but in my mind, I was that same heavy little girl with the fat thighs. 

My mom was with me and asked me, “What price are you willing to pay to look good in a swimsuit?”

I had no life. I had lost my period, which could ultimately affect my ability to have children. I was reclusive. I was all-consumed. I was tired. I knew something needed to change, but I was so fearful of gaining weight and losing control. I started seeing a great counselor — which helped — but progress was slow. Sadly, not long after that, I experienced a very hurtful event and binged for the first time to cope with my pain. 

This became a new pattern for me. I would gorge myself on whatever healthy food I could find when I was stressed. I would eat five apples, two to three pounds of berries, an entire can of nuts, or 10 granola bars. After each binge, I experienced extreme guilt for losing control and felt great fear of gaining weight. I tried a few times to make myself throw up, but I have a very poor gag reflex. Instead, I chose to purge through extreme exercise sessions and laxatives.

This cycle was also consuming and exhausting. I would binge when stressed and then do whatever I could to relieve myself of the terrible guilt and fear. A couple months into this almost daily cycle, I experienced another significant negative event that kick-started me to binge on any food I could get my hands on — healthy or not. I would eat a loaf of bread, an entire can of icing, a giant bag of candy. I would eat until I was basically numb. 

Maybe I knew I had bulimia at the time, but I didn’t know what to do about it. I continued to exercise as much as possible after a binge and continued to use laxatives. I excused my daily binges because tomorrow I would somehow find the strength to change. 

Eventually I could no longer purge because I knew long-term laxative use would cause too much damage, and I no longer had time to work out for three to five hours a day. So I turned another corner and began to live with a binge eating disorder. It was the same as my bulimia, except I usually wouldn’t purge after I binged. 

I remember waking up in the middle of the night most nights and eating whatever I could find before going back to sleep. I would order tons of food at a drive-thru all for myself. I would buy as much as I could afford from vending machines and eat everything immediately.

This is when I gained a lot of weight back. It wasn’t long before I was back over 200 pounds. And of course, gaining weight only stressed and disappointed me more, which lead to more binge eating. It was a seemingly endless cycle.

My affair with food was almost all I thought about. Food was my best friend and my worst enemy. Some friends knew I overate because I’d joke about it, but for the most part this was a secret, shameful relationship between myself and food. I wanted out but could never figure out how to stop this pattern.

This cycle lasted for around seven years. 

I went to a number of counselors. I journaled religiously. I restricted my eating, but it felt like a self-imposed prison. The prison door was open, but I couldn’t figure out how to leave that terrible cell.

Over time, God did a mighty work in the ways I thought about food and about myself. I saw my actions change. My husband also helped me tremendously through his unconditional love. When he began to love me, I was well over 200 pounds — and that was powerful for me. My first pregnancy was a final healing piece. Extreme morning sickness helped me not to lean on food anymore. I was also determined not to let my terrible binge-eating habits harm our baby.

I still have days when I think more about my weight than I’d like. There are still times I overeat and use food as a coping tool when I’m stressed. But I’m determined to do whatever I can to keep my three daughters from feeling how I felt as a little girl, and to have healthy relationships with food.

This is what I want my girls to know.

It’s okay to be happy with your weight if you’re healthy. Go ahead and appreciate your appearance, however you look, because it’s a special gift to look like yourself.

You are beautiful. And that beauty comes not from how you look or what you wear. Your beauty is what spills out from inside you — out of your eyes (the way they sparkle), out of your mouth (the way you speak to yourself and others), out of your hands and feet (the way you help and serve others), out of your mind (the way you think), out of your heart (the way you love), and out of your spirit (your faith in God).

Never fear ageing, weight gain, or whether your body or face looks a certain way — because those things aren’t what make you so beautiful, so special, and so irreplaceable. Your worth is completely separate from your weight, and so is mine.

Not to mention, food makes a terrible friend.

Proud to be raised in Burleson (shout out Kelly Clarkson), Jami was even the Elk mascot for her beloved Burleson High School. Jami's greatest pleasure comes from exploring the world and learning about all the beautifully unique people in it, so she started a business in the summer of 2021 taking groups of women around the world! Her business, Women Exploring the World has already taken women to experience Christmas markets in Bruges, Brussels; Paris, and London. They've also taken women to Costa Rica, Italy, Tanzania/Zanzibar, Scotland, and to Norway to see the Northern lights. Jami's greatest gift is her family, Corban, her beloved hubby; Jessy (born 2011); Maggy (born 2013); Lilly (born 2015); and Jude (born 2018). Besides running her travel business, Jami spends her days having adventures with her kids, homeschooling them part-time, assistant coaching PE, attempting to keep her brother and sister labradors out of trouble, keeping her son from killing their cat, and supporting her husband at his Edward Jones office downtown Fort Worth. Jami is a woman secure in God's love for her. He is her first love.


  1. Jami, thank you so much for your transparency. I have the same desires for our kiddos and want them to view food and themselves healthily. Thankful for you!

  2. Valerie, we are in such great company! Wish this wasn’t such a big deal for so many of us! Thank you for your love!

    I’m so grateful so many of us are recognizing that we want to show our kids a different option. May we all work together to help the next generation find the worth in what really matters!


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