Jameela Jamil Describes Her Weight Loss Obsession As A ‘Horrifying Waste Of Happiness’

The Good Place star said her insecurities began with being publicly weighed in school.

Jameela Jamil has described her previous obsession with her weight as a “horrifying waste of happiness”.

The actress, presenter and campaigner was so consumed with being thin that she weighed herself every day until last year and her mood was dictated by what she saw on the scales.

Jameela Jamil
Jameela Jamil
Rachel Luna via Getty Images

The 33-year-old has called for an end to the pressures on young girls which lead them to a life of insecurity, after she struggled with an eating disorder.

Speaking to Stylist magazine, she said: “I ended up weighing myself every single day of my life until last year.

“That’s 21 fucking years of waking up every morning and my entire mood for the day being determined by the number on a stupid little machine in my bathroom.

“What a horrifying waste of happiness. What a horrifying waste of time.

“What a sad thing for a bright girl, who technically knew better, to keep as her deep, dark secret for so long.”

David Livingston via Getty Images

Jameela said her insecurities began with being publicly weighed in school, when she was found to be the heaviest in her class. At home her parents were not supportive, but put her on a crash diet to tackle her weight.

Her teenage years became more consumed by her obsession, leading to dangerous weight-loss, bed sores, a thinning heart and thyroid problems.

She said: “I was depressed. I was weak. I was in chaos.”

The Good Place star believes that the pressure put on young girls to be thin began long before social media.

Rachel Luna via Getty Images

Taking aim at women’s magazines, she said: “Diet culture was on an aggressive rampage, using fat-shaming, Photoshop and erasure of all curves to pressure us into buying dodgy quick-fix slimming products.

“This all fucked me up as a young person – and I didn’t grow up with social media.”

She added: “So, now more than ever we need to see un-retouched photographs, we need to see ethnicities, we need to see diversity and we need to have real honest conversations.

“We are smart, we are strong, we are resilient, and we are goddam tired of being bullied and lied to.”

Earlier this month, Jameela tweeted a promo photo advertising the latest season of The Good Place, and revealed she had insisted her image wasn’t Photoshopped.

Sharing a second image zoomed in on her underarm area, she told fans “I get back fat in Every. Single. Bra. And I used to hide/bin so many photos because of ’muffin tops’/double chins/‘imperfections’ because I never saw them on people on TV. #freethebackfat #letabitchlive.”

Her tweet inspired many fans to share photos of their own ‘back fat’, using the hashtag #FreeTheBackFat.

The full interview with Jamil can be read in Stylist magazine, out now.

Useful websites and helplines:

  • Mind, open Monday to Friday, 9am-6pm on 0300 123 3393
  • Samaritans offers a listening service which is open 24 hours a day, on 116 123 (UK and ROI - this number is FREE to call and will not appear on your phone bill.)
  • The Mix is a free support service for people under 25. Call 0808 808 4994 or email: help@themix.org.uk
  • Rethink Mental Illness offers practical help through its advice line which can be reached on 0300 5000 927 (open Monday to Friday 10am-4pm). More info can be found on www.rethink.org.

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