This week’s episode hits really close to home, so close I had to compose myself more than once.
Jennifer Alembik is a Long Island girl, raised in an upper middle-class Jewish home. Jennifer remembers being fed pickled herring, sardines and liver. It was disgusting, but she was forced to eat her meals because nothing should ever be wasted.
Jennifer can’t remember a time when she wasn’t on the look out for the opportunity to cop some junk food; chocolate being her all time favorite. Jennifer’s earliest memory of sneak eating was when she was seven. She hid in her closet devouring her Halloween candy after her bed time. Where did she learn that behavior?
Her recovery journey began in treatment, but unfortunately it took her over two more decades to submit. The pain, shame and darkness became unbearable. At almost 200 pounds and climbing, she couldn’t continue on the self-destructive path she was on, frequenting drive-thru’s, bingeing and isolating from the world.
Finally, Jennifer’s epiphany arrived on her forty-fifth birthday. She was morbidly-obese, in a loveless marriage, and knew that she was wasting her life and her potential. She was a disappointment to herself and to her higher power; something had to change.