Jameela Jamil Shares a Photo from 10 Years Ago When She Had an Eating Disorder: 'I Was So Weak'

The Good Place star said the photo was from an event she tried to skip, thinking she was "too fat"

Jameela Jamil
Photo: Ferdaus Shamim/WireImage

Jameela Jamil is looking back on a difficult time in her life.

The Good Place star shared a photo on Twitter Friday morning from 10 years earlier, when she was struggling with an eating disorder and body dysmorphia. Jamil, 33, said that at the time she was “so weak” from the lack of nutrients.

“This was a sad day 10 years ago,” she wrote. “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.”

At the time, Jamil was the co-host of Freshly Squeezed, an entertainment morning show in the U.K., and working as a model.

“Eating disorders/dysmorphia are so wild,” she said. “I missed my teens/20s.”

Jamil added that she was able to recover from her disorders with EDMR therapy, or Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing, where people think back to a traumatic event and then use their eyes to track a therapist’s hand movements, which helps patients reprocess their trauma.

“The therapy I used to help me was called EMDR, it works faster so it was much cheaper,” she said. “CBT [Cognitive Behavioral Therapy] didn’t work for me personally. So if it doesn’t work for you, try EMDR. It’s free in some countries.”

Jamil said that her I Weigh community, a movement towards body neutrality that she started in 2018, also deserves credit.

“I’m thankful to the brilliant ‘I Weigh’ community for helping my recovery. Love you,” she said.

Jamil has long 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. She told PEOPLE in August that she believes her loneliness as a teen contributed to her disorder.

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“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,” she said.

A car accident at age 17 was a wake-up call for Jamil, she said, and taught her not to take her body “for granted.” Now, Jamil does not even look in the mirror.

“The only time I look in the mirror is when I put on my eyeliner in the morning and when I take it off at night,” she says. “I’m not interested in my appearance. I still suffer from body dysmorphia so it can be very distracting for me. Doing that has helped me concentrate on progressing and doing things that enrich my life, like watching my career grow and my relationships grow.”

If you or someone you know is battling an eating disorder, please contact the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) at 1-800-931-2237 or go to NationalEatingDisorders.org.

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