Jamie's Story: Depression, Failure, Obesity & Self Sabotage

Jamie's Story: Depression, Failure, Obesity & Self Sabotage

My name is Jamie, I am the designer and co-owner of this incredible brand we know and love - Beautiful Disaster! I wanted to share a bit more of my story with our incredible Beautiful Disaster Tribe.

What makes me a Beautiful Disaster is a handful of things I have been through, and many things that I still struggle with today: Depression, Failure, Obesity, Self Sabotage, and Self Confidence are the main things that I think about when I contemplate my Perfectly Imperfect self.  What doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger, right?

My feelings of depression started as an early teen, and they have came and gone since I can remember. My depression is something that I have always tried to keep inside me, not talk about, and try and put on a “happy face” for those around me, so I could avoid the “what’s wrong, Jamie?” questions that would inevitably come my way. I knew that I wouldn’t have a specific answer, because depression is something that is hard to explain to others... I just felt “down”. 

By my early 20’s, eating and sleeping seemed to be the perfect distraction / self medication to days like these, so, I found myself wanting to sleep in, not make plans so I could be in bed, and be alone so I could indulge in some very not so healthy eating habits of snacks, treats, fast food and, well, anything I was in the mood for.

Looking back, this self-sabotaging behavior was just making things worse. I don't think at the time I really realized what I was doing, until one day I woke up and I was over 100bs heavier than I was just a few years before then. This was my way of “dealing” with my depression. By not dealing with it.

With the love and support from my mom, she encouraged me to go to therapy, to talk to someone about my depression. I wasn't quite sure “what” was causing it. After on and off visits with different therapists, I just knew that I was going through it, and some days were harder than others. Some highs and lows came from therapy, but there was never a real “change” that happened. The only way I could change, was to love myself enough to allow myself to thrive.

I was overweight for 17 years. Up and down. I tried the shakes, the low carbs, the calorie counting, the working out, the clinic weight loss places, you name it. Stretch marks, plus size clothing, not being able to fit in the roller coaster seat, squeezing in uncomfortably to an airplane seat, running out of breath walking up the stairs, being the “big girl” and it has been the darkest part of “me” for so long.

But– I decided to do something really big about it. It was one of the hardest decisions I have had to make, but I finally decided that it was time to ask for some real help, to save my health, and my life.  So, I did.

I had bariatric surgery (Duodenal Switch) in May 2020. Holy Shit! Yup. I did it. Finally. I have lost 154lbs in 12 months, and it has completely changed my life – I am finally not burdened by the weight, the self-sabotaged version of myself that I allowed to control me for so many years.  It has changed a huge part of my darkness into this screaming glimmer of happiness I want to share with the world.

I started to do more things, be outside more, say “yes” more when friends and family invite me to do things. I started to smile more, and just live my life in a way I had wanted to for so long. Overall, it has been an amazing year. But, with all highs, come new lows - and now is the new challenge of getting through the new lows.

What may that be you ask? Well, my depression still comes and goes, there are still moments when I just want to lay in bed all day, and hide. I have no idea why. Maybe its the few moments where I look at my deflated, saggy skin that is left, the old stretch marks that are scars of my past. Maybe it is the suppressed thoughts of the past that I haven't worked through yet. I know that I am in still in the very beginning of this process of becoming the new me, and some days will be harder than others.  But, I have to get myself together and show my face to the world, and it truly seems to cheer me up when I get dressed, put makeup on, and get out into the world and do things.

I also wanted to write about Loving Myself.  I can’t honestly say I 100% Love who I am, but I am taking steps each day towards loving myself. Learning to love my stretch mark scars from being overweight. My new saggy leg, arm and butt skin, Breast lift scars, and acne scars. My poofy hair I always try and straighten. And, the emotional scars I have from being obese for so many years.  Every day, I try and look in the mirror, and find a few things–that just today–I can say I am learning to love.

I love my family and friends, and I love my work. I am able to help others heal themselves with the designs I create for Beautiful Disaster, and that is a gift in itself. I really love the way I look in clothes, and feel much more confident about myself in that respect. It is the moments when I am changing or getting out of the shower where I see the version of me that still hurts to look at. But, in time, I KNOW I will get there. I am perfectly imperfect, and I have been beautifully broken.

Because we are all Beautiful Disasters, I know it is safe to share this with you, because at the end of the day, we have all been through many ups and downs.

I have so many favorite pieces from our line, I will name a few below, and why I connect with them:

The Original Beautiful Disaster Tee - It is just black and white and bad-ass. It always makes me feel confident. : )

Perfectly Imperfect - This right now really is a special collection to me - it is my reminder that I am perfectly imperfect - and that it is okay to be a work in progress, and embrace my imperfections.

Loyalty - Visually, I love the tattoo-style script writing, but emotionally, the quote “Loyalty is rare, Trust is earned, Actions speak louder than words” really connects with me - for the Loyalty to Myself - the trust for myself - and the actions I have taken to make MY life a healthier and better one. : )

Fearlessly Authentic - this collection reminds me to live my life without fear! My fear of what others think, my fears of not being good enough, and to overcome any hurdles that may hold me back!

Thank you for reading my story, and being a part of the Beautiful Disaster tribe.

– Jamie


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Monica March 20 2022

I’ve just recently come back to the BD tribe after a couple of years of being completely horrible to myself. I’m trying, once again, to learn to love myself. Jamie, reading your story has really given me an amazing boost! I’m in a very similar situation that you once found yourself in and I am done with it. I’m angry, I’m scared and I’m sick and tired of being sick and tired. I’ve made the decision to undergo bariatric surgery. I know I have a tough road ahead of me, but your passion for living your best life and commitment to yourself has really inspired me to make real changes and encourages me to not fear the inevitable changes. You’ve helped light the fire in me, Jamie!! I’m so excited to be back with the tribe and look forward to sharing my journey with everyone. Love you and BD so much!!💜🖤💜🤘

Rebecca Logan September 17 2021

I too went theough depression and anxiety from age 12 on from being bullied relentlessly in school for being fat. Had my daughter at age 19 before I knew it I was over 300 pounds. When she was 6 I too decided to fix myself…gastric bypass allowed me to lose 147 pounds in just over a year and I was finally able to take my daughter on amusement park rides!! I kept my weight off despite being in an abusive marriage, getting divorced, having a second child and being left without warning by my ex-fiancee. I refused to give up or let my history define me. Last year after COVID and my hysterectomy I was back to 247 pounds. In April I put my foot down after being told I needed a knee replacement at 46. I was on a mission!!! I am currently down 53 pounds working out 5 days a week and PAIN FREE. I can also keep up with my 2.5 granddaughter. When I discovered your clothing line I just had to wear it and support your mission!! Thank you for telling a story too many of us are afraid to tell! I thankfully am not anymore!! #inhonoroftheoldme

Melany August 16 2021

Your story is my story take away bariatric surgery and add in manic bipolar depression. You are an incredible woman. Your clothing line is remarkable. I just got my tshirt in today. (Butterfly) I will take a pic and share my story… just need to figure out how to word it for the public. Thank you again for sharing yours.

Sarah Glenn July 28 2021

You’re truly an inspiration. I been depressed since probably middle school. I would eat and sleep to cope with it and I’m in the process of learning to love myself. I’m planning on going to a gym and get back in shape. Learn to build up my self esteem again. Thank you for all you do. Much love.

Neesa June 6 2021

Jamie wow you have shown us all what a brave warrior you really are. To go through so much and come out the other side then share your difficult story is so brave and I’m thanking you for doing so. You can relate to the severe depression and even being over weight for so many years. I got deathly ill back in 2010 and almost died and lost a lot of weight then lost my 18 year marriage and lost even moser weight then I gained a few pounds back but will never as I was. The depression will always have a place with me but reading your story makes me feel like there’s hope to deal with it better. You look fantastic and I really hope your enjoying every minute of your success. I loved reading your story. You have a wonderful eye for what might inspire others to feel confident so plz keep up the designs. Best wishes always 💗💗💗

Monie Burns June 6 2021

Jaime! I’ve been wondering how you be looking now. OMFG, as if you weren’t gorgeous before! 174 lbs? What. The. Fekk. You look freaking amazing. I’ve gained what you lost it seems. Grrrrr. Keep on keeping on girlie. Muah!

Lorie June 3 2021

Thank you for sharing your beautiful story.

Lorie June 3 2021

Thank you for sharing your beautiful story.

Carrie Johnson June 3 2021

Hi I just wanted to tell you I love your story I am mentally ill, I am what the doctors call scizoffective a little bit bipolar and schizophrenia yay lol I know depression is very hard to live with! I also have severe anxiety but I can tell you after you take all the meds,it’s still hard to get out of bed I’m also over weight by 100 my meds make it hard to loose but your story has given me the edge I guess to start looking into surgery! I’m newly diagnosed diabetic and I have autoimmune hepatitis which means loosing weight is a must thank you for sharing I hope to love myself some day

maggie June 3 2021

Jamie, you are such a beautiful person inside and out. Never change yourself and remember you are a warrior ,survivor that makes a different. We are so proud of you .

Susan S. June 2 2021

I sit looking at my keyboard after reading your story trying to figure out where to start. I too battle depression and obesity. I grew up hearing all the time from my mother how I was getting too big, and I shouldn’t be eating deserts. She took me to WW at 13 because she thought my weight was out of control.(I was a normal teenager.) Hell, I played basketball and was always running up and down the court. I was always compared to my brother because he was thought of as the perfect child and never gave my parents the trouble that I did. Did I push the boundaries like all teens do, yes! With all this going on I started having a lot of OCD behavior. Mostly no hurtful things,, like the volume on the tv or radio has to be at an even number..LOL.. I developed the mental illness/behavior of pulling my hair. I guess it’s very common in teens mainly girls. Needless to say that added more insecurity to my teen years. And I still battle it today. Its hard to explain,, I can’t even explain it to myself.. Why would I do something that would make me so ugly and be the butt of riducule?! By my junior year of high school my bf started bullying me, very abusive verbally and mentally. He’d often tell me if he ever hit me I’d know it because I’d either be in the hospital or dead. And I believed him. A few times in near accidental situations he’d just laugh like it was the funniest thing he’d ever seen. And yes I married him after I graduated. By then he had already pissed off all my friends and they left when they couldn’t make me see what he was doing. So alone at home while he went to various sporting events, I sat and ate and watched TV. 6 years later I finally got the balls to tell him to pack his shit and get the fuck out!! He left assuming I’d take him back and was surprised when I hired a lawyer. Then he was gone and I was alone and 75 pounds heavier. I would put my “game face” on and go to work and nobody was the wiser about what was going on in my personal life. Then I’d come home from work and lay in bed and cry. This went on for several months until a friend convinced me to see someone to talk about my issues. Fast forward to the last 15 years; had weight loss surgery lost some weight but never got to my goal. Let in bad habits and I’m kinda back where I was. I got married again to another loser. But figured him out within 14 months and kicked him out too. I still am overweight and still deal with my depression but on the flip side. I live my life with no regrets! I say what I think, talk like a sailor and have a alot of tattoos. Does the devil still sit on my shoulder poking me with his pitchfork and whispering in my ear about how disgusting I look in my swimsuit? Yes but more often then not, I can tell him to f**k off! I am who I am. People don’t know me, my story my struggles. I’ve got to figure out why I’m afraid to be successful.
By no means was I trying to steal Jamie’s thunder. But it felt so good to tell people about the real me, that very few know. I admire her story and every other womens story ❤ We can survive this and grow!

Peaches June 2 2021

Thank you for sharing your story….it takes courage to be that open & vulnerable.
You never know when a few words can help someone, or when a smile will make a difference in a persons life.
You made that difference for me today.
Thank you for sharing.
You’re a rock star!!!

Mandi June 2 2021

Look at you go!! As a loyal customer of your company and a Bariatric nurse and the wife of a Bariatric (DS also) patient I applaud you!! No one really knows the difficulty of that choice! It’s a hard road and lifetime commitment. I walk this walk with my man and my patients everyday and I love what I do! The joy of seeing people make their lives better and start enjoying it again. Thank you for telling your story! Thank you for making mental health and the battle with obesity a normal talked about thing!! Keep on rocking it!

Angela June 2 2021

Thank you for sharing your story! I am in the same place now and have been contemplating weight loss assistance as diets and everything else has not worked. You are beautiful and look great!

Kemdta June 2 2021

Inspiring and keep on kicking that self sabotages ass. Showing yourself and others your journey makes it feel not so heavy. Thank you for sharing with us all.

Nikki June 2 2021

I totally understand, I started my journey in 2013 at my highest weight being 392 lbs. I lost 130 lbs on a low carb diet. I had suffered from depression and abuse for years. In 2013 I went for gastric sleeve surgery in Tijuana. I only lost 60 lbs and went through depression again when my boyfriend left me. In 2015 after meeting the man of my dreams, I went for a revision. I had gained another 35lbs. In May, 2016 we went through a massive fire in our region and I thought I can overcome anything. My weight was like a yo-yo. In 2018 I went to work for an aboriginal company (btw… I’m Métis), that is when my weight ballooned again, due to emotional eating. I would eat until I would make myself sick because of being harassed and sexually harassed by my Supervisor. This January I decided to take the bull by the horns and have lost 35 lbs. I’m now going for a tummy tuck to feel better about my body. I can definitely relate. Congratulations on your success.

Ann-Marie O'Donnell June 2 2021

Jamie, you are beautiful and have a beautiful soul. Thank you for sharing, I can relate on so many levels. Stay strong, we have your back girl!!

Donna D June 2 2021

Jamie, Queen, you are beautiful! Most importantly, you have an amazing story that many of us needed to hear today. Thank you for being brave and a bad ass! You gave me inspiration to keep on going with my own healthy journey. Sometimes it feels overwhelming. Love to you and your amazing journey. Your words were so honest and vulnerable. I really appreciate your candor. I feel your pain yet I also feel your hope. Keep up the fight and know you have other people out there that genuinely care about you and your journey. 💕

Heather Johnson June 2 2021

Jamie, our stories are so similar yet so different. I had Gastric Bypass surgery in 2009 & it worked too well. I went from 302 to 93 pounds in less than 6 months. Here I am, almost 12 years out & I struggle everyday to maintain my weight; my high weight is 110, and it still brings me down as now I hear the opposite derogatory statements, such as “skeleton”. But I’ve overcome so much, and I refuse to let this battle defeat me!!!! Congrats on your journey & keep rocking!!!!

Ann McFall June 2 2021

Hi Jamie,
I can so relate. Depression, overweight. Self esteem issues. You go girl!

Briar June 2 2021

Omg ,Jamie I totally get what your are saying and get a lot of what you went through even all the diet stuff and yep I did the gastric bypass to , I love your beautiful story and thank you for sharing

Sherri Maita June 2 2021

You deserve to be proud if who you are and who you are working to be. You go girl!