Duck Dynasty star Sadie Robertson has opened up about her eating disorder, explaining that it started after she was body-shamed following her stint on Dancing with the Stars.
In a new interview with Entertainment Tonight, the 23-year-old recalled how she’d lost weight during training for the dance competition, but gained it back once the reality show ended - at which point she became a victim of body-shaming.
“During Dancing With the Stars, you work out so much and you're dancing 24/7, so no wonder you have the body of your lifetime!” she told the outlet, adding that she “had this body that I never thought I'd have.”
“I had a six-pack for two weeks, but then Thanksgiving hit and it went away,” she continued. “People started to comment."
“They were such innocent comments at first, like, everything was great,” she recalled. “But whenever my body started looking a little different, that's when the struggle came in. There were people in my life, who were just really negative influences, that would say things that were not uplifting about the way that I looked and how I needed to maintain the body that I had.
“It was so wrong. I was insecure at the time, so I believed them and thought: 'Oh, I need to push it.'"
"I was literally 115 pounds and already unhealthy. That just messed my mind up,” she said.
The negativity led Robertson to develop a “really unhealthy” view of her body.
"You can't stop thinking about your body, how you look, how you should eat. You're counting the calories, you're sizing up your legs and all those different things. You're just kind of completely gripped by it and that's kind of where I was," she recalled "I would look at myself in the mirror and I would think: 'I'm fat,' and I was not at all."
According to the reality star, focusing on her faith helped her recover and allowed her to “think of others, and how I can serve them with the body I've been given."
“Instead I would tell myself: ‘I am so thankful that I have this. I'm so thankful that my legs actually serve the purpose that they should and that they're able to run, that my arms are able to carry things. That my stomach one day, hopefully, will be able to carry a baby.’ Just what we're actually designed and created for,” she said.
This is not the first time the actress has opened up about her struggles with body dysmorphia. In 2017, Robertson revealed on her blog that she had been suffering from an eating disorder for more than a year.
“I struggled with an eating problem connected to a negative body image,” she wrote, according to People. “It was dark. It was ugly. It was insanely difficult. It was done in secret. It was hidden. My self-worth was demolished, and I began to lose sight of my true identity.”
At the time, the I’m Not Ashamed star said she was speaking out so that she could help fans who may also be struggling with eating disorders or body insecurity.