Jennifer Gimenez is a model, actress, and reality star who has appeared in Blow, Vanilla Sky, Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle, The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew, and Sober House.
When I was 13, I was discovered by a modeling agent and my life changed overnight. I tried to be a normal kid in school, but I was traveling and working all the time. When I turned 14, my agency told me that I was getting too curvy. I wasn’t getting fat, I was just going through puberty.
At that point, I started using laxatives, subsisting on lettuce, bingeing and purging, and eventually turning to cocaine to lose weight.
I didn’t know that addiction ran in my family when I tried cocaine for the first time; I just wanted to be skinny. But I became addicted and drugs were very hard to avoid in the modeling world. I spiraled out of control.
Finally, at the age of 29, I got sober (and stayed that way). But while maintaining my sobriety, I started turning to food as comfort, and the weight piled on.
In 2008, I weighed myself and thought that the scale was broken. I was over 200 pounds. Finally, I looked in the mirror and decided, this is not me. I started thinking about my emotional growth since learning how to be sober. I realized I could use those skills to get back in shape.