EDH Weekly Hope – Setback to Comeback: Mike Marjama’s Recovery Journey & Exercise in Recovery – Part 1

Picture of Baseball Glove and Ball for Mike Marjama

Eating Disorder Hope provides a Facebook Live interview series called Weekly Hope with Kirsten Haglund. It airs on Wednesdays on the Eating Disorder Hope Facebook Page. Kirsten interviews guests that are experts in their field such as leading doctors, clinicians, experts, advocates, and people with their own recovery experiences, offering their insight and sharing their wisdom. Weekly Hope covers a wide array of various topics that relate to eating disorders and mental health.

Kirsten: Hello! Welcome to another episode of Weekly Hope and another meaningful conversation. We are here every week in order to bring you interviews with clinicians, experts in the field of mental health and eating disorders, non-profit leaders, advocates and individuals with their own recovery stories. We get to benefit from their insight, wisdom, and experience and give you all a chance to ask your questions and share your own stories.

I feel extremely honored and blessed to be able to host this show. We have got a lot of viewers who come back every week to watch our show, and it’s a privilege to have you guys be a part of the conversation through your comments. We get people that watch the show from all over the world, and that makes it all the more special. It is amazing to have this global community where we are supporting one another, just by listening and sharing our own stories and simply just inspiring each other.

I hope today’s show will also be an uplifting force in your life. This episode is special not just because of our guest, but also because this week is National Eating Disorders Awareness Week. This is a special week of the year, when advocates, leaders, specialists, individuals who struggle with eating disorders and their families, clinicians, experts and all of us who really care about raising awareness of this crucial issue get together and focus on a brighter future.

Many of you out there know my own recovery story, and I am a living breathing example of hope and so is our guest today. I would like to welcome Mr. Mike Marjama. Welcome, Mike!

Mike: Thank you for having me here today. It’s a pleasure!

Kirsten: So where are you joining us from today Mike?

Mike: I’m in New York City, and we have got quite a few things happening here this week which will be tremendous.

Kirsten: So, Mike, a lot of people out there in the eating disorder field have probably heard your name and know little bits of your story. You made a big decision last year to leave Major League Baseball and become an advocate for eating disorder awareness and recovery. Now you’re doing this full-time, and it’s amazing to see you have got such passion for what you do. So why don’t we just start out by hearing your story?

Mike: I want you to think about the car that you have always wanted or a house and, simply put, just any goal that you have been passionately pursuing. So, let’s say you finally get the car of your dreams and then just a few days later, you’re like “Oh did you see her car?”

We are always putting conditions on our happiness like I’ll be happy when I get this car, or I’ll be happy when I get 10,000 followers. We are always chasing something, and that’s exactly how it was for me.


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I was chasing this title of being a major league baseball player, and when I did achieve it, I realized I hadn’t really solved any of my problems or resolved any of my underlying feelings.

Being in a Major League Baseball is stressful, and honestly speaking, I didn’t handle it really well. I had depression and anxiety due to high levels of stress. When you’re at that level, you can go ahead and have a great game, but if someone doesn’t like the way you received a ball as a catcher you could be let go.

Women tying running shoeMy mom is a nurse practitioner OBGYN, and she told me that she would hate it if she had thousands of people watching her give a pap smear every time. She explained to me how such extreme pressures were affecting my health.

I have always had a passion for health and wellness. Ever since about a year ago, I got to work with LeBron James and his digital media company, Uninterrupted, and we shot a documentary.

Next thing I know, all these doors were opened up, and I was able to go on air, just about a year ago on Good Morning America.

All of a sudden, there was a massive pouring in of positive messages from people about how important it was and that I was bridging a gap for them. They said that I need to be doing this, and I need to be sharing this message.

Maybe, I wasn’t meant to be a major league baseball player my entire life. Maybe, I was destined to be able to spread this important message and be part of this positive movement going forward.

I’ve been incredibly blessed, and I have worked incredibly hard to get here. Now, it’s time to give back!

This conversation will continue in EDH Weekly Hope – Setback to Comeback: Mike Marjama’s Recovery Journey & Exercise in Recovery – Part 2


Weekly Hope Conversation with Mike Marjama on February 28, 2019.

Please visit the Weekly Hope with Kirsten Haglund page for other presentations.

About the Author: 

Mike Marjama HeadshotMike Marjama is a trailblazing athlete, who has used his platform to transform into a passionate advocate for health and wellness. Mike spent 10 years on an amazing journey, climbing through the minor leagues to eventually make his Major League debut in 2017. In 2018, he was recognized as one of the 30 best catchers in MLB, serving as the opening day catcher last year.

As an athlete, he recognizes how athletes can create positive impacts by sharing their stories and advocating for their passions. Mike’s personal challenges with mental health and eating disorders, beginning early in his life have shaped his new journey as a public speaker, advocate, and activist. In 2018, he shared his challenges with a national audience through LeBron James’ digital media company, Uninterrupted, bringing awareness to how mental health and eating disorders can impact young men, athletes and beyond. Mike is the first male professional athlete to speak out about eating disorders and their impact on athletes.

Upon retiring from baseball, Mike has committed his life to helping shape the dialogue around mental health and wellness, youth sports, and inciting change to help men, women, young, and old to find the help and support they need.

Mike lives in Sacramento, CA, yet spends his time around the country speaking at events, supporting the work of nonprofits, and helping craft better legislation to improve mental health and wellness. He’s the proud uncle to his brother Jake’s three beautiful children and biggest fan of his sister Abby, UC Irvine Volleyball star and Big West Conference Freshmen of the Year.

About the Transcript Editor:

Sana Ahmed ImageSana Ahmed is a journalist and social media savvy content writer with extensive research, print, and on-air interview skills. She has previously worked as staff writer for a renowned rehabilitation institute, a content writer for a marketing agency, an editor for a business magazine and been an on-air news broadcaster.

Sana graduated with a Bachelors in Economics and Management from the London School of Economics and began a career of research and writing right after. Her recent work has largely been focused upon mental health and addiction recovery.

The opinions and views of our guest contributors are shared to provide a broad perspective of eating disorders. These are not necessarily the views of Eating Disorder Hope, but an effort to offer a discussion of various issues by different concerned individuals.

We at Eating Disorder Hope understand that eating disorders result from a combination of environmental and genetic factors. If you or a loved one are suffering from an eating disorder, please know that there is hope for you, and seek immediate professional help.

Published on April 11, 2019.
Reviewed & Approved on April 11, 2019, by Jacquelyn Ekern MS, LPC

Published on EatingDisorderHope.com

About Baxter Ekern

Baxter is the Vice President of Ekern Enterprises, Inc. He is responsible for the operations of Eating Disorder Hope and ensuring that the website is functioning smoothly.