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Janet Jackson: the quintessential yo-yo dieter

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Renowned singer Janet Jackson, a superstar in terms of singing and dancing, has also been in the limelight for her long battle with eating disorders. Janet is one such celebrity for whom this struggle with eating disorder became synonymous to her life as it emerged as the constant factor in Jackson’s life. Her fans watched the star’s excessive and extreme yo-yo effect on her body. She would go from fit and toned to obese – often.

Expressing her life story and her association with eating disorder with a heavy heart, Janet Jackson said, “I had my ways of hiding my pain. Laughing when there was nothing to laugh at. Smiling when there wasn’t anything to smile about. That was just my way of getting through life. Pretending like every thing was okay. I guess I did it so well that I really began to believe it. I fooled myself. Using my escapisms was my thing to not feel my pain–whatever would numb the pain. Food became a favorite anesthetic. I escaped through eating.” This escapism of feelings caused Janet to become as her weight escalated to 160 pounds, which was far more than her normal body weight of around 120 pounds.

Janet used to eat anything that came her way and then to balance her weight she survived on just salads and fruits for months. According to a friend, Janet has had this “feast or famine” mindset for many, many years.

The real concern struck Janet when her weight went up to a whooping 200 pounds and then she decided to come back to shape with the help of her personal fitness expert. Janet was successful in sealing everyone’s lips about her eating disorder by losing 60 kgs through exercising and physical activities.

To Janet, life was like playing hide and seek with food. Her eating disorder, a source for comfort, might well have been caused by her tough childhood, an overbearing father, the stressful life of being a celebrity and her brother’s legal battles, to name only a few.

Other celebrities who have suffered from eating disorders include Oprah WinfreyJane Fonda, Sharon Osbourne, Daniel Johns and Kate Beckinsale.

Image: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Janet_Jackson.jpg;
Author: Dan Ingram

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