Try and find someone to talk to about it. I think it will help you get through the experience. Whether it is a family member, a friend, a therapist- I think it is quite nice to talk to someone about it that you can trust. Keeping an eating disorder to yourself (which is something I have done in my past) wasn’t the best method. But talking to someone will help open up your mind, and will ultimately help you overcome it!
I had the pleasure to interview Jessica Markowski, an established model, actress, and social media influencer. When she was starting out in the industry in NYC, Jessica struggled with an eating disorder. With us, she shares her journey and how she overcame it all.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you tell our readers a little bit about yourself and what you do professionally?
Mypleasure! Thank you for having me do this!
My name is Jessica Markowski and I am a Model, Actor, and Social Media Influencer. @JessicaMarkowski
Thank you for your bravery and strength in being so open with us. I personally understand how hard this is. Are you able to tell our readers the story of how you struggled with an eating disorder?
Thank you for the opportunity to open up with you! So my eating disorder began when I started out modeling at the age of 16. I was a healthy girl, grew up in a Polish family with a lot of amazing food. When I started to meet with agencies, the top agencies would mention for me to lose a little weight and I would be perfect for their board. As a girl who was 16, you right away feel low about yourself. I was always a girl who felt super confident with my self on the inside and outside. However, not until agencies would pressure me to lose a little bit of way and “lay off the pierogies.” I would cut down my calories, workout a lot, and shed all the weight I needed to fit the “requirements”
What was the final straw that made you decide that you were going to do all you can to get better?
I think getting older had a lot to do with it.
I think the older I became, the more comfortable I was becoming with my body. I would say my eating disorder lasted 2 years. Once I became busier in the modeling and acting industry, I felt as though I didn’t need to fit the perfect 0 size. Also- I think that as I was getting older, the industry was expecting models in more shapes and sizes. I think that has saved me a lot.
And how are things going for you today?
I feel so good today! I feel comfortable with what I am and how I look. I am happy to know that I can eat whatever I please and not worry so much about calories and the effects of it. I like to say that I am not as preoccupied about it as I was in my past.
Based on your own experience are you able to share 5 things with our readers about how to support a loved one who is struggling with an eating disorder? If you can, can you share an example from your own experience?
1. Learn as much as you can about eating disorders.
2. Set a time to talk.
3. Be honest.
4. Encourage them to seek professional help.
5. Be caring, but firm.
Is there a message you would like to tell someone who may be reading this, who is currently struggling with an eating disorder?
I think I would love to say — try and find someone to talk to about it. I think it will help you get through the experience. Whether it is a family member, a friend, a therapist- I think it is quite nice to talk to someone about it that you can trust. Keeping an eating disorder to yourself (which is something I have done in my past) wasn’t the best method. But talking to someone will help open up your mind, and will ultimately help you overcome it!
According to this study cited by the National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders, at least 30 million people in the U.S. of all ages and genders suffer from an eating disorder. Can you suggest 3–5 reasons why this has become such a critical issue recently?
I think it has been a critical issue recently because of social media. I know we are constantly seeing people’s beautiful picture-perfect homes, bodies, vacations. It is destined to upset many and cause many of us to compare. We are seeing who is popular due to likes, comments, followers. I do think that has had a tremendous impact on many.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
“Happiness is found when you stop comparing yourself to other people.” I think this is a quote that is very relevant to the journey I had as a teenager and has taken me to where I am now- in my happy place!
Are you working on any exciting new projects now? How do you think that will help people?
I am always working on new fun and exciting projects! Please follow me on Instagram to see it all! @JessicaMarkowski
You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the largest amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
I think it would be Body Acceptance!
How can our readers follow you on social media?
Definitely follow me on Instagram!
Thank you so much for these insights! This was so inspiring!
I am happy to hear that!