Before Jazz Jennings could be approved for gender confirmation surgery, she had to shed some serious pounds — and now, she’s revealing how she accomplished her goal.
“I really had to just retrain my mind,” the 18-year-old transgender star of I Am Jazz on TLC tells PEOPLE Now of how she dropped 30 lbs.
“I had to look at food as something different than what I was looking at it as,” she explains. “Because I used food as a comfort for my emotional struggles. I was a binge-eater. It was really bad. I would go to McDonald’s, get 20 chicken nuggets, three chocolate chip cookies and a large fries.”
“I really had to stop doing that and realize that was so unhealthy and I need to take care of myself,” she adds.
And when it came to documenting the life-changing surgery on-camera, Jennings says she was glad to be able to share her journey with the world.
“I was worried that I’d be criticized for sharing something so personal, but overall, I felt like it was important that I document this part of my journey because it’s an important aspect of what I’m going through,” she says. “I feel like we need that increased education and awareness, especially when it comes to the gender confirmation surgery.”
That being said, she admits there were “many times” she wished the cameras weren’t around.
“They were really respectful about it though, so they didn’t film too often,” she says. “They did on my terms.”