“I would like to have a discussion about eating disorders if I may”. A curious series of tweets greeted an avid user’s timeline on Monday morning August 10 but what raised eyebrows was that it came from Capital FM presenter Joey Muthengi.
She revealed what the dark side of broadcast fame was like while working for Citizen TV, with the former 10 Over 10 anchor disclosing that she had to starve herself while maintaining her skinny figure on TV.
She went on to reveal that her obsession with being skinny started way back in school where skinny girls were considered the most attractive.
“I was looking back at some photos of myself in what you may consider my ‘prime time years and I honestly couldn’t recognize myself” she tweeted.
“I went to Caucasian Schools for a majority of my teen/high school/college life and being thin was the in thing. If you couldn’t show a bit of your hip bones and flat tummy then go to the gym.”
She narrated that she grew up being conditioned to accept nothing less than being skinny, which manifested to an eating disorder. While in high school, she was forced to vomit all the food she ate in the bathroom.
The calorie reducing tact would bring up an eating disorder known as Bulimia.
It was a disorder that followed her into college, one that she saw nothing wrong with it because all the girls then were doing it.
“I got it under control for a few years after then somehow I landed on TV. Then I stopped eating at all. I looked great in those dresses they gave me but underneath I was suffering” she revealed while in her first stint in front of cameras.
The situation was so bad it drew the attention of her mother who noticed something wrong when she walked into her kitchen with her sweatpants falling off.
“I felt so much pressure to maintain this image that I just stopped eating. Girls in the hallway would ask me…”My God Joey how do you stay so thin?” And I would just laugh and keep it moving.
“The job had stressed me to the point of me losing myself. Someone had sent me this pic of what I looked like before and thats when I decided to put my health first,” she added.
Her stint at Citizen TV took the toll on her, threatening to rob her of her self identity. She decided to put her health first and left Royal Media Services in 2018.
She had hosted two shows including Day Break (formerly Power Breakfast) and 10 Over 10 prior to her departure.
Since then, she has undergone a rapid transformation and true to her word of putting herself first, she released photos of her then and now.
This was her then:
And this is her as of Sunday August 9:
“So this is me now. And I am damn proud of myself for making it here and even more proud of myself for appreciating how God made me.”
Scores of social media users took to her timeline saluting her for overcoming the Goliath battle of eating disorders.
“Not many people talk about eating disorders in African communities because of how misinformed we are about them and you fighting it, getting through it and sharing your story is amazing.” wrote @stephtaji
“I’m proud of you too and thanks for sharing your story with the world! It takes courage and heart. Shine on Young J” weighed in Citizen TV’s Willis Raburu.
“When you can make such hard choices that is love for self.” added Sarah Mwangi.
The Story of Bulimia
Bulimia is a potentially life-threatening eating disorder where people can consume large quantities of then trying to compensate for that overeating by vomiting, taking laxatives or diuretics, fasting, or exercising excessively.
The disease presents behavioural signs including constantly checking one’s body weight and comparing with others, eating large amounts of food, hoarding food and mood swings.
The disease presents serious effects including Cardiac complications, dehydration, Loss of potassium, and sodium from the body as well as ulcers, and pancreatitis.
Therapy is, however, recommended as part of the treatment for bulimia.
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