With the fourth season of TLC’s “I Am Jazz” underway, one reoccurring theme to pop up each week is Jazz Jennings’s weight gain.
Not only did Jazz’s mom, Jeanette, confront her about her eating habits, so did the doctor who is scheduled to perform the teenager’s gender reassignment surgery.Jazz Jenning/YouTube
During the season’s second episode, Jeanette walked into Jazz’s room to find her daughter sitting in bed with a crockpot full of buffalo chicken dip and a drawer full of fast food and junk food wrappers from chow she already consumed. Her mom said:
“Jazz spends a lot of her time in her room binge-watching TV, eating whatever she wants, and has been gaining weight as a result. Buffalo Chicken Dip should not be in a crockpot on Jazz’s bed. That is unhealthy.”
The teen defended her eating habits by saying she’s a “very, very hungry girl,” adding that pigging out is one of the “best things ever.”
It wasn’t until the following week that Jazz learned her eating habits and weight gain could prevent her from having her gender reassignment surgery done. According to Dr. Marci Bowers, Jazz needs to lose 30 pounds before she can perform the surgery.
Dr. Bowers explained to Jazz:
“Not to bring up the bad news first, but you gained in your BMI — which is called body mass index — which basically looks at your weight compared to your height. If we’re going to get a hospital to say, ‘we’re going to allow a surgery at age 17,’ you’re going to have to be at a lower BMI. Literally, they won’t approve it if your BMI is one dot over. When it translates to pounds, it’s about 30 pounds.”
The teenager discussed her weight candidly on her YouTube page earlier this month.
Jazz admitted that the last few months have been trying for her, blaming a lot of her weight gain on the fact that ever since she got her license, she’s had a lot more freedom to go to restaurants or got get food whenever she wants.
She also admitted she has the eating disorder known as binge eating:
“If you don’t know what that is, it’s basically when you get a whole bunch of food and you go on a binge. You eat all of it, you overconsume and it causes you to have regret after and you feel bad about yourself and your body, but you still do it anyway because in that moment you get comfort and joy.
I never thought that this would happen to me and that I would be going through something like this, but having an eating disorder is very difficult and so many people struggle with it.”
Jazz continued by saying she is trying to improve, get on the right path and that she is currently dieting with the support of her family. She explained:
“I have lost some weight from my heaviest point, however, I’m still not quite where I want to be and I’m just trying my hardest, you know? […] I obviously have to lose this weight for myself, that’s the priority. However, I have a whole family that I don’t want to let down. They’ve been so amazing and I want to be there for them, too, and you know, make them proud.”
Nonetheless, even though her surgery is on the line, staying on the right path hasn’t been easy.
She still finds herself binge eating and choosing unhealthy foods to consume rather than focusing on the weight she needs to lose in order to follow through with something she’s wanted forever: gender reassignment.
Jazz called binge eating “an outlet to heal her pain,” but she’s actively working on finding other ways to do that.
Watch her YouTube below: