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Basketball Wives star Tami Roman, 50, has struggled with an eating disorder for 13 years

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Tami Roman has revealed that she has struggled with body dysmorphism and an eating disorder since she was 13.

The Basketball Wives star shared her ongoing battle with body image and how her type 2 diabetes has caused her recent weight swings on a recent episode of The Real.

‘I suffer from body’ [dysmorphic] disorder, and I’ve been dealing with it since I was 13 years old,” Roman, 50, told the hosts. ‘A lot of people don’t know that it is hereditary or genetic or that it stems from a negative experience, where your self-image has been destroyed.’

Candid: Tami Roman, 50, revealed her struggles with body dysmorphic disorder and how it caused an eating disorder on a recent episode of The Real

Concern: Roman sparked fears for her health last month when fans noticed her drastic weight loss in her recent Instagram posts.  She is pictured in September 2017

She is pictured in October 2021

Concern: Roman sparked fears for her health last month when fans noticed her drastic weight loss in her recent Instagram posts. She is pictured in September 2017 (L) and October 2021 (R)

Body dysmorphic disorder (BBD) is a mental health disorder in which you can’t stop thinking about perceived flaws or flaws in your appearance, according to the Mayo Clinic.

Roman explained that she developed the disorder after meeting a modeling agency as a young teenager which destroyed her self-confidence.

“For me, when I was 13 years old, I wanted to be a model. You know we’re from New York. I was tall, I was 5’9, I was thin. And I went to this desk and walked in, and that lady tore me to shreds,” she recalls. “I thought I was perfect: 5’9”, under 120lbs. They’re definitely going to sign me.

“And she literally put me in front of a mirror and said, ‘You have folds in your back, you have fat on your knees. You need to do something with your chin. Your breasts are sagging.” And I went home that night, and from that moment on, every time I looked at myself in the mirror, I could spot something wrong with myself.”

The Real World alum said she didn’t know what physical dysmorphic disorder was or how to deal with it at the time. All she knew was that she had to “get thinner” if she wanted to be a model.

Looking back: The Basketball Wives star explained that she wanted to be a model when she was 13 and assumed she would sign a contract with an agency because she was tall and thin

Looking back: The Basketball Wives star explained that she wanted to be a model when she was 13 and assumed she would sign a contract with an agency because she was tall and thin

Hard: However, she said the officer

Hard: However, she said the officer “torn me to shreds” and told her she had creases and fat over her knees. From that moment on she only saw flaws when she looked in the mirror

“I started abusing laxatives, I started not eating, I started throwing up, I started doing everything I could think of to be as thin as possible, obsessive about my weight loss,” she said. “People don’t realize it, so in 1993 I had my mouth wired to be skinny when I was already skinny.”

Roman sparked fears for her health last month when fans noted her drastic weight loss in her recent Instagram posts. She explained on the show that it was difficult to manage her diabetes and her body dysmorphism.

“Now, at age 50, I’ve been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, so my weight fluctuates with that, and when you couple that with the condition, it’s hard to deal with,” she said.

“People don’t understand what it’s like to be a person with this condition, especially with weight issues, because they leave negative comments — or what they feel like negative comments. But to me my mind has such a distorted perception, it’s a compliment.’

Struggle: Roman (pictured in 1994) shared that she became obsessed with losing weight and had her mouth shut in 1993 to lose weight, even though she was already skinny

Struggle: Roman (pictured in 1994) shared that she became obsessed with losing weight and had her mouth shut in 1993 to lose weight, even though she was already skinny

Struggle:

Struggle: “I started taking laxatives, I started not eating, I started throwing up, I started doing everything I could think of to be as lean as possible,” she said

The reality star admitted that when she’s told she looks “fragile” or “like a bobblehead,” she feels like she’s “on the right track” and “getting skinny.”

“Then I don’t know when to stop,” she said.

Roman’s weight has been a hot topic over the years, and it was even criticized by her former Basketball Wives counterpart Evelyn Lozada on a 2018 episode.

“You have to worry about something else, like your health,” Lozada snapped at her. “You look like a crackhead these days… take a vitamin. Your legs look like two motherf**king candlesticks burning in the goddamn sun.’

Roman later dealt with her weight issues, attributing it to her battle with diabetes.

Ongoing battle: Roman explained on the talk show that it was difficult to manage her type 2 diabetes along with her body dysmorphism

Ongoing battle: Roman explained on the talk show that it was difficult to manage her type 2 diabetes along with her body dysmorphism

Health issues: The mother of two said her weight fluctuates because of her type 2 diabetes.  She is pictured in April 2017

She is pictured in November 2021

Health issues: The mother of two said her weight fluctuates because of her type 2 diabetes. She is pictured in April 2017 and November 2021

Mixed Posts: Roman admitted she has such 'warped perception' that negative comments about her looking too thin feel like 'compliments' to her

Mixed Posts: Roman admitted she has such ‘warped perception’ that negative comments about her looking too thin feel like ‘compliments’ to her

“I have diabetes, okay? So for me, my weight is very serious,” she said in season seven. “I’ve finally decided to take charge of my fucking life so I can live for my kids and my husband, and that’s why I’m losing weight. I am 48 years old. You know what I mean? So this is how my body reacts when I make the right food choices.’

Roman also lost weight in 2012, which she attributed to the slimming pill NV Clinical, of which she was a spokesperson at the time.

“I lost seven pounds in the first week of taking NV without making any major changes in my life,” she told Shape magazine.

Roman rose to fame in 1993 on the second season of MTV’s The Real World, and the following year she married NBA player Kenny Anderson. She and Anderson had two daughters – Lyric and Jazz – before divorcing in 2001.

She worked as an actress and had small roles before being cast on VH1’s Housewives-inspired reality series Basketball Wives. Since then, she has appeared on Marriage Boot Camp and BET’s The Family Business.

Roman married her second husband Reggie Youngblood in 2018. She currently plays in The Ms. Pat Show on BET+ and will also be featured in The Real World: Homecoming Season Two on Paramount+ in November.

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