Sadie Robertson is opening up for the first time about her struggle with an eating disorder.
The 20-year-old Duck Dynasty star wrote an intimate blog post on her Live Original website about a time in her life when she suffered from having a negative body image.
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"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," Robertson first wrote on Instagram. "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," she continued. "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."
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In her lengthy blog post, Robertson touches on struggling with fear and anxiety during her 2014 stint on Dancing With the Stars and how she's in a much better place now. She also shared details of when counting calories and measuring her body overtook her life.
"I struggled with an eating problem connected to a negative body image for about a year. It was dark. It was ugly. It was insanely difficult," Robertson shared. "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."
"I was trapped in a battle that took place 24/7, and it was one that day by day began to defeat me. My mirror, my pictures, my clothes, and my view were my worst enemies," she added."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."
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Robertson continued by writing that she heard people "develop eating disorders because it is something they can control in their life." She added that it made so much sense in her case because she felt so out of control.
"It was the year after Dancing With the Stars," she revealed. "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."
Now, the reality star looks back and can't believe that she was in a dark place. "I am 15 pounds heavier then I was right after Dancing With the Stars," she wrote. "I literally cannot even wrap my head around how I was once able to get my hands to wrap around my thigh."
"I am happier, and have more joy than ever before," Robertson expressed. "I am feeling good."