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Jazz Jennings admits she was in a ‘dark, dark place’ while documenting her 100 lb. weight gain

Jazz Jennings admits she began climbing out of a ‘dark, dark place’ place while filming the latest season of her reality show, I Am Jazz, which offers a candid look ath her 100lb. weight gain, mental health battle, and food addiction issues.

The 21-year-old Harvard University student revealed the results of her major weight gain this summer, admitting that she had been binging and had an increased appetite due to some of her medications.

The struggles are shared in even more detail on her series, which premiered on Tuesday — and Jazz admits that it was ‘hard but it was also necessary’ to show the ‘true’ details of her experiences.

Jazz Jennings admits she began climbing out of a ‘dark, dark place’ place while filming the latest season of her reality show, I Am Jazz

Next up: Jazz tackles her 100-pound weight gain in the new season

Next up: Jazz tackles her 100-pound weight gain in the new season

Hard: Jazz admits that it was 'hard but it was also necessary' to show the 'true' details of her experiences

Hard: Jazz admits that it was ‘hard but it was also necessary’ to show the ‘true’ details of her experiences

But though Jazz lays her issues bare, she is quick to dispell misconceptions that any of they have anything to do with the gender affirming surgery she underwent in June 2018.

‘People were making assumptions that my mental health issues and my mental health decline had to do with my surgery and it’s a whole thing that we explore and talk about,’ she told Today.  

New episodes: The new season premiered on TLC on Tuesday

New episodes: The new season premiered on TLC on Tuesday

‘It’s really important that people realize that yes, I do have mental health issues. No, it has nothing to do with me being transgender or my transition.’

A major issue has been her weight gane, which she attributes both to a binge-eating disorder as well as side effects from medications. 

‘I have gained 100 pounds … It’s something we discuss a lot; how my food addiction played a role in my weight gain and my mental health,’ she said.

‘There’s just a bunch of different things that we explore that I feel like need to be discussed, because they aren’t talked about enough and so many people struggle with these issues.

‘It was hard but it was also necessary,’ she said of documenting such sensitive subjects.

However, Jazz - pictured with the show's cast and crew - insisted her mental health decline had nothing to do with her gender confirmation surgery in 2018

However, Jazz – pictured with the show’s cast and crew – insisted her mental health decline had nothing to do with her gender confirmation surgery in 2018

Weighing in: Clips from new episodes show Jazz stepping onto a bathroom scale, which clocks her weight at 234 lbs

Weighing in: Clips from new episodes show Jazz stepping onto a bathroom scale, which clocks her weight at 234 lbs

‘I’ve been struggling with mental health issues for many, many years … We really wanted to focus on it because it’s true to what I was experiencing. I was in this dark, dark place and this was the season I started climbing out of that space and recovering.’

But recovering isn’t easy, and in an early clip from the new season, Jazz’s  whole family weighs in on her eating habits, quizzing her over how much butter she put on her pasta at dinner. 

‘I do experience fat-shaming from my family. It makes me feel really humiliated,’ Jazz — who came out as transgender at the age of five — says in the clip.

But though she describes their behavior as fat-shaming in the show, she also shows gratitude for her family.  

Speaking to Today, she said: ‘It’s all about being supportive and not dictative.

‘It was really hard to watch that trailer because my family really does support me and love me and they want the best for me. 

'Having all this extra weight, I can't do so many things with my body that I used to be able to do,' she admits

‘Having all this extra weight, I can’t do so many things with my body that I used to be able to do,’ she admits

Ganged up on: In one scene, her whole family weighs in on her eating habits, quizzing her over how much butter she put on her pasta at dinner

Ganged up on: In one scene, her whole family weighs in on her eating habits, quizzing her over how much butter she put on her pasta at dinner

'I do experience fat-shaming from my family. It makes me feel really humiliated,' she says

‘I do experience fat-shaming from my family. It makes me feel really humiliated,’ she says

‘They want to see me be happy and healthy and it all comes from a place of love, but they’ve said comments in the past that kind of have been like, that’s not the kind of thing to say. They look at my body and make remarks that aren’t that kind.

‘The past two years have been a struggle not just for me but for my entire family,’ she said in another clip from the show, according to E!.

‘They’ve held my hand and supported me and stayed by my side throughout every single second of it all and I focus every day on expressing gratitude for them because we really are a blessed family.’

Elsewhere in the new season, and in a trailer released last month, Jazz said: ‘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.

‘I started binge-eating and I gained weight and more weight and more weight. And now, almost 100 lbs. heavier, here I am today.’

Diet: She also visits a dietician, where she describes a typical breakfast is 'fast food, maybe a donut or two and then maybe two bagels'

Diet: She also visits a dietician, where she describes a typical breakfast is ‘fast food, maybe a donut or two and then maybe two bagels’

The season appears to document Jazz's efforts to lose weight, and she is seen playing sports like tennis ¿ but tells her friends during a match, 'I'm out of shape, be easy on me.'

The season appears to document Jazz's efforts to lose weight, and she is seen playing sports like tennis ¿ but tells her friends during a match, 'I'm out of shape, be easy on me.'

On TV: The season appears to document Jazz’s efforts to lose weight, and she is seen playing sports like tennis — but tells her friends during a match, ‘I’m out of shape, be easy on me’

Clips from new episodes show Jazz stepping onto a bathroom scale, which clocks her weight at 234 lbs. 

She also takes off her shirt to pose for photos in shorts and sports bra — images she shared on Instagram this summer.

‘It’s a big ol’ belly,’ she says, gasping over ‘the side view.’

She is seen playing sports like tennis — but tells her friends during a match, ‘I’m out of shape, be easy on me.’

‘Having all this extra weight, I can’t do so many things with my body that I used to be able to do,’ she admits.

She also visits a dietician, where she describes a typical breakfast as ‘fast food, maybe a donut or two and then maybe two bagels.’

Her mother gripes: 'Even when we think we're doing something right, she falls off the wagon'

Her mother gripes: ‘Even when we think we’re doing something right, she falls off the wagon’

Candid: Jazz has spoken about her struggles with disordered eating in the past, going back to a 2018 YouTube video in which she discussed binge-eating

Candid: Jazz has spoken about her struggles with disordered eating in the past, going back to a 2018 YouTube video in which she discussed binge-eating

'I never thought this would happen to me and that I would be going through something like this, but having an eating disorder is very difficult,' she said

She said she was focused on losing the weight, both for herself and for her family ¿ whom she didn't want to 'let down'

‘I never thought this would happen to me and that I would be going through something like this, but having an eating disorder is very difficult,’ she said

Her mother gripes: ‘Even when we think we’re doing something right, she falls off the wagon.’

Jazz has spoken about her struggles with disordered eating in the past, going back to a 2018 YouTube video in which she discussed binge-eating.

‘It’s just been such a challenge for me, because I have binge-eating disorder,’ she said.

‘I never thought this would happen to me and that I would be going through something like this, but having an eating disorder is very difficult,’ she said. ‘And so many people struggle with it, and now I’m one of those people.’ 

She noted that she has read social media comments calling her out for gaining weight, and when she is having a ‘low day,’ ‘those comments get to me.’   

‘Eating healthy, we know, is a challenge. I love everything unhealthy — French fries, burgers, chocolate. Oh my god, chocolate.’

She said she was focused on losing the weight, both for herself and for her family — whom she didn’t want to ‘let down.’ 

Now and then: In June, she hared a picture of herself pre-weight gain and a recent one and vowed to chang

Now and then: In June, she hared a picture of herself pre-weight gain and a recent one and vowed to chang

'As many of you have noticed, over the past few years, I have gained a substantial amount of weight,' she wrote

‘As many of you have noticed, over the past few years, I have gained a substantial amount of weight,’ she wrote 

‘Really the biggest thing I’m trying to do is love my body for what it is,’ she added. ‘Even though I’m trying to lose weight and be healthier, I still have to learn to be comfortable in my own skin right now.’

She did manage to shed weight, dropping 30 lbs. ahead of her gender confirmation surgery.  

‘I really had to just retrain my mind,’ she told People at the time. ‘I had to look at food as something different than what I was looking at it as. 

‘Because I used food as a comfort for my emotional struggles. I was a binge-eater. It was really bad. I would go to McDonald’s, get 20 chicken nuggets, three chocolate chip cookies and a large fries.

‘I really had to stop doing that and realize that was so unhealthy and I need to take care of myself.’

'I suffer from binge-eating disorder, a disease in which I¿m not only addicted to food, but I eat it in large quantities. 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 2 years,' she said

‘I suffer from binge-eating disorder, a disease in which I’m not only addicted to food, but I eat it in large quantities. 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 2 years,’ she said 

But maintaining a healthy weight can be a lifelong struggle, and Jazz said that over the last two years, the number on the scale has gone back up.

In June, she hared a picture of herself pre-weight gain and a recent one and vowed to change.

‘As many of you have noticed, over the past few years, I have gained a substantial amount of weight,’ she wrote.  

‘I suffer from binge-eating disorder, a disease in which I’m not only addicted to food, but I eat it in large quantities. 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 2 years.  

‘I’m posting this photo because it’s time for me to address my weight gain and hold myself accountable. 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. 

Slimmer photo: Jazz lost 30 lbs. ahead of her gender confirmation surgery in 2019

Slimmer photo: Jazz lost 30 lbs. ahead of her gender confirmation surgery in 2019

Self love: 'Beautiful every shape and size,' she wrote on Instagram this summer

Self love: ‘Beautiful every shape and size,’ she wrote on Instagram this summer

‘I’m ready to take the initiative and create positive changes when it comes to my health and body. 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. 

‘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,’ she concluded. 

The 21-year-old college student first began starring in her own reality show in 2015 and has since candidly documented her experiences as a transgender woman.

On December 31, 2019, she proudly showed off her gender reassignment surgery scars in a bathing suit photo on Instagram, while speaking out about how ‘proud’ she was of her body and scars. 

‘These are my scars on full display in #2019,’ she captioned the photos. ‘I’m proud of my scars and love my body just the way it is. I call them my battle wounds because they signify the strength and perseverance it took to finally complete my transition.’ 


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