Mike Marjama gave up a career as an MLB catcher to help people with eating disorders through the National Eating Disorder Association.
Marjama struggled with his own eating disorders that started when he was in junior high and trying to impress girls by emulating fashion models.
“So I rationalized the idea that if I didn’t eat anything I wouldn’t get fat. And then if I worked out a ton, I’d get big and strong,” he explained. “And so that’s really all when it started to stem into this, really, epidemic of body dissatisfaction and ultimately, a few eating disorders.”
Marjama starved himself while relentlessly exercising. His malnourishment led to an irregular heartbeat and trips to the hospital. As someone who grew up believing that being a man meant being stoic, he now wants to redefine masculinity and teach men they don’t need to compare themselves to others.
“So really, it’s ok to have problems because we all have them, but it’s how we address those problems,” he said. “Not dipping into the drug addictions, or alcoholism, or unhealthy habits that are ways of coping with our, you know, emotions and mentalities.”
Marjama credits his recovery to learning how to deal with failure.