Sadie Robertson is showing once again why she deserves to be a role model for our daughters. The “Ducky Dynasty” star has just admitted to a long battle with an eating disorder that she’s “always hidden,” but is now opening up in hopes of helping others and showing that it’s OK to be authentic.
“Many of you know I am an open book. I share most everything I walk through, but what I’m about to share with you is a particular topic I have always hidden,” she writes on her blog. “To be completely honest, it is because I did not know how to speak confidently about something that stole my confidence.”
“I struggled with an eating problem connected to a negative body image for about a year,” she admits. “It was dark. It was ugly. It was insanely difficult. It was done in secret. It was hidden. I did not even tell my own mother until recently. I thought I had everything under control. Maybe you have been saying that same thing? I didn’t even realize this small problem that I thought I had under control was creating a ripple effect, creating more and more problems, ones I certainly couldn’t control. I became angry with the person I was becoming. My self-worth was demolished, and I began to lose sight of my true identity.”
She then explains how bad it got:
It was like I was looking in a magic mirror, you know, those ones that distort the image? Except it was my mind changing what I saw. My thoughts instantly went to the imperfections. The blemishes. The flaws. At least five times a day, I would wrap my hands around my thighs, making sure they hadn’t grown beyond what I could reach. I knew each little calorie that was in every bite of food I took. I talked about food all of the time. I hid behind the talk, and I actually hid behind encouraging others.
Ironically, she says, during her own struggle she “helped lead others into victory over their battles,” all the while battling it herself.
I woke up like this… SIKE! ?? This is how I woke up today. Many of you know I am an open book. I share most everything I walk through, but what I’m about to share with you is a particular topic I have always hidden. To be honest, I did not know how to speak confidently about something that stole my confidence. I'm sure the media is going to love to run wild with this, but it’s part of my story and I feel led to share. I recently found out that 97% of women have struggled with negative body image issues. It broke my heart and I truly want to help change that statistic because to be honest….I was part of that. I struggled with an eating problem connected to a negative body image for about a year. The photo in the red dress was when it was really bad and when I first saw that picture all I could see was the "fat" that went outside the dress. Someone in the modeling industry had told me, if I wanted to be a model, then I needed to lose that. Looking back I'm so sad that those thoughts stole the beauty and joy of that photo. The second picture is me – the girl behind the screen. This is real life. Today on the blog I’m sharing about this dark season of my life with y’all. 100% real and vulnerable. Praying every girl who reads this is encouraged by the powerful truth that you are beautifully and wonderfully made in God’s image. Link in bio to read. ❤️
“I have heard it said that people develop eating disorders because it is something they can control in their life. That makes so much sense in my case, because during this particular time, so much in my life felt out of my control,” she explains.
But according to her, the story has a “twist.”
Are y’all ready for the biggest plot twist? It was the year after Dancing with the Stars. Shocker, I know. The girl who “did it.” I went to Hollywood and didn’t go crazy for the world to see. I hear it said all of the time, “How do all of these young people go to Hollywood and just lose their minds?” To be honest, I get it. I feel their pain. My struggles and confusion from it all just happened on the inside, rather than the outside for everyone to see – and that can at times make it even worse, because I was able to hide my ugliness on the inside, and that meant no one could call it out. There was no accountability.
She concludes with both a challenge and an encouragement:
Here’s my challenge for you – if you can’t seem to encourage someone or find encouragement for your own heart, delete that app. Your value is worth so much more than comparing yourself to others, someone’s opinion of you, and even the opinions you’ve created for yourself.
Now, to the people who are on the other side of the screen, where do you find your identity? Are you basing it off these comments? From the mirror? From the filters? From the apps? That number on the scale? Here’s a warning from someone who has been there and done that – you will not find what you’re looking for.
Thank you, Sadie. Thank you for being bold enough to the world to talk about your imperfections. Your courage is what this generation needs.
To those reading this: If you have a daughter or family member that is Sadie’s age, please share this. Even if you think they don’t struggle with an eating disorder. We didn’t think Sadie did. But the pressures that her generation are facing are real and they are hard. And you never know who is struggling in secret.
And if you are looking for help in parenting your children, you can check out what Kirk and Chelsea Cameron have put together for you by clicking here.