Mom overcomes eating disorder to compete in Arnold Sports Festival


Before Jessica Henry's 3-year-old daughter, Maddie, was born, she led a different life; one of parties and drinking and struggles with an eating disorder.

Henry was also depressed, to the point of even further damage.

"My parents used to have to sleep on my floor in my bedroom because I thought I was going to kill myself," Henry said.

But she credits Maddie for giving her new purpose in life, saving her from complete ruin.

Now when Henry leaves the house, it's not to go crash her car, like she once threatened, it's most often to go to the gym. Three workouts a day in preparation for the Arnold Sports Festival.

She remembers going to the Arnold while in high school and walking around the booths.

Now, she'll be the one up on the stage, competing in the amateur bikini category.

Henry said she's nervous, but excited for the competition. She also has reason to be confident these days.

She won the Ohio State Championship, the last event in which she entered, only a year after taking up the sport.

Henry said it's crazy to think back from just a short while ago, to where she is currently, saying, "It's a complete 180. I feel healthy, I feel good, I have energy."

A self-described skinny little girl who at one point in her life tried to starve herself to death, Jessica is now a woman with few fears and many hopes.