Mercedes "MJ" Javid appears enviably secure with her voluptuous figure on Bravo's reality hit "Shahs of Sunset" (girl WORKS those bandage dresses and monokinis with ease!), but the fun-loving real estate agent says it's taken a lot of work on her inner self to get become the confident woman she is today after years of struggling to have the "perfect" body.
"When I was 14 years old, a doctor -- an internist -- put me on diet pills, which is really like amphetamines," MJ told Kit Hoover and Billy Bush on Wednesday's Access Hollywood Live, of how her body image battles began at an early age. "It was terrible and I felt physically sick from it."
MJ tried the pills at the time, but quickly stopped as it just didn't feel right.
"It didn't last -- trust me. As soon as I actually put two and two together, I was like, this doctor's a quack," she said. "There's no way!"
After years of struggling to achieve physical perfection, MJ said she realized she was losing out on precious time and memories by not loving herself in her own skin.
"When enough days and years go by where you're sort of waiting to be something you're not, you realize your whole life can go by and you can just waste time thinking that you need to do something," she said. "Once [I] let go of that need to be something else [and] relaxed, I feel great about what I am and what I look like, and then [shed] a couple of pounds without even trying."
While some of her "Shahs" co-stars have been caught making less-than-kind remarks about her swimwear choices, MJ isn't sweating it.
"I'm just gonna be really happy today with who I am," she said. "Striving for perfection is BS because then you're going to stay home and hide. I'd rather just be cool with what I have!"
The Persian beauty - affectionately known as the life of the party on "Shahs" -- has also come to a place of understanding and reconciliation with her mother (the pair went to therapy together during Season 2 of the Bravo show in an attempt to rebuild their oft-strained relationship).
"[My mom] wants everything to be perfect - she wants every hair in place and it's never going to be that way," she explained of her relationship with her strict Persian mother. "So I basically established boundaries with her. Things with my mom are [up and down].
Adding, "I adjust my attitude. The [younger] generation has the obligation to make it better."
Catch the "Shahs of Sunset" Season 2 finale Sunday at 9/8c on Bravo.
-- Erin O'Sullivan
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