Jazz Jennings’ siblings sat her down for an intervention-style meeting about her weight in a new episode of the TLC reality show I Am Jazz — and though Jazz said at the time that they put her ‘on the spot,’ she praised them for being her ‘greatest supporters’ on Instagram this week.
The transgender 21-year-old reality star revealed the results of her major weight gain this summer, admitting that she had been binging and put on 100 lbs. — which she tackles losing in this season of her show.
In a new scene this week, Jazz’s brothers, Sander and Griffen, and her sister, Ari, confront her with with a ‘vision square’ for how they will help her with her nutrition, fitness, and routine to get her health back on track.
Jazz — who previously called out her family for ‘fat-shaming’ her — admitted in the moment that she felt put on the spot during the serious intervention, but in an Instagram post on Tuesday she shared her gratitude for their support.
Jazz Jennings siblings sat her down for an intervention-style meeting about her weight in a new episode of the TLC reality show I Am Jazz
The transgender 21-year-old reality star tackles the results of her major weight gain in the new season
In a new scene this week, Jazz’s brothers, Sander and Griffen, and her sister, Ari, confront her with with a ‘vision square’ for how they will help her with her nutrition and fitness
In the clip, Jazz is filmed sitting alone in the family’s living room, tucked under a blanket and playing on her phone.
Her three siblings soon walk in and take seats opposite her before launching into their plan.
‘I think us as siblings, we need to talk,’ Griffen says. ‘We really are looking out for you, and we came up with this idea called a vision square, where we’re all gonna come together and help bring something of value to you so that you can be a happier, healthier version of yourself.’
He notes that Ari is best at nutrition and will help Jazz in that area.
Sander says he is ‘the fitness/empowerment dude. I will be focused on making sure you are working out at least three times a week for 30 minutes on top of walking every single night.’
Finally, Griffen himself is in charge of Jazz’s routine.
‘And you certainly are gonna be eating nutritious and working out with him, because me and you are making a schedule. We’re setting you a consistent routine,’ he says.
Jazz lost 30 lbs. ahead of her gender confirmation surgery in 2019 (right), however over the past two years she has struggled with her weight, gaining 100 lbs. in total (left)
Jazz tells them she feels put on the spot by the confrontation – and that her siblings are talking at her, not with her
The siblings all stress that they are worried about her health
‘It’s one thing to be aware of what’s going wrong, like not eating healthy, not working out enough, but it’s another thing to actually take action. And to take daily and consistent action.’
Jazz listens uncomfortably the whole time , but then makes the point that they all seemed to have made a plan for her life without discussing it with her.
‘It does feel like I’m being put on the spot, having my siblings talk at me instead of to me. And I know that everyone wants to help out, but it’s such a personal struggle to break this cycle of negativity,’ she tells the camera.
But Ari said the goal ‘is to get [Jazz] healthy.’
‘And trust me, doing things every day to get better, that is the way you get to your visions and goals. That is how you get to school, that’s how you start socializing, everything will come together,’ Griffen adds.
Jazz, a Harvard University student, has been taking time off from college to deal with her eating disorder.
She says: ‘Guys, I really wanna get to school this year. Obviously, I have to do things for myself, but when I think about mom and dad, I just wanna make them so, so proud in everything that I do. And I know the only thing that I need to do to make them proud is go to college, go to Harvard, and graduate.’
On Instagram, Jazz wrote: ‘My siblings are my best friends and greatest supporters’
‘Even though I struggle in many ways, they are always there to uplift me,’ she said
They all correct her, saying it’s about getting healthy.
‘If Jazz doesn’t get healthy, it’s gonna be a rough life,’ says Sander. ‘If Jazz doesn’t go to Harvard, it’s not the end of the world.’
‘You don’t have to please anybody else but yourself,’ adds Ari.
But Jazz says: ‘I don’t care about myself and what makes me happy. I live for others, I guess.’
Though Jazz appeared to be uncomfortable and unhappy in the clip, she painted a brighter picture on Instagram, sharing a photo of the foursome together.
‘My siblings are my best friends and greatest supporters,’ she wrote. ‘Even though I struggle in many ways, they are always there to uplift me. I have so much love for the three of them, and I’m eternally grateful for all they’ve done in helping me live my truth. I wouldn’t be the same Jazz I am today without each of you.’
But it’s not the first time this season that she has made it clear she didn’t always like the way her family discussed her weight and eating habits.
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.
Hard: Jazz admits that it was ‘hard but it was also necessary’ to show the ‘true’ details of her experiences
‘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.
‘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.
Weighing in: Clips from new episodes show Jazz stepping onto a bathroom scale, which clocks her weight at 234 lbs
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’
‘I started binge-eating and I gained weight and more weight and more weight. And now, almost 100 lbs. heavier, here I am today.’
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.’
When Jazz first opened up about her weight gain this summer, she shared two photos of herself and vowed to change.
‘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
‘I do experience fat-shaming from my family. It makes me feel really humiliated,’ she says
‘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.
‘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.
But though Jazz lays her issues bare, she is quick to dispel misconceptions that any of they have anything to do with the gender affirming surgery she underwent in June 2018.
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
‘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
‘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.
‘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 gain, 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.
‘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.’
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.
‘It’s just been such a challenge for me, because I have binge-eating disorder,’ 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
‘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.’
‘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.’
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.