Sadie Robertson opens up about struggling with an eating disorder: 'It pushed me into this really unhealthy place'

Kerry Justich
·3-min read

Sadie Robertson is opening up about struggling with body image and how a previous toxic relationship led her to an eating disorder.

"I remember I was in a bad relationship and we were on the beach and he looked at some girl and he looked at me and he said, ‘You know, I'm glad that you don't look like that because I don't have to worry about guys thinking you're attractive and lusting after you.' And it was so manipulative," the Duck Dynasty star shared on an episode of her podcast Whoa That's Good. "So when I look at her and then I look at me and I notice all the differences that we have and it pushed me into this really unhealthy place and unhealthy state."

Robertson, who is now expecting her first child with husband Christian Huff, explained that her life felt "out of control" at the time and that focusing on her appearance gave her something to control. "It more led in a way of way over working out and not eating nearly enough and obsessing over how many calories…just the whole thing," she said. "My mind was just completely spun by that and it lasted for, I don't know, probably a year."

The 23-year-old went on to say that she mentioned some concerns to her boyfriend at the time saying, "I think I have a problem with eating." Still, her struggle remained unaddressed by those around her while her changing body incited compliments. "People were praising it and it was like, 'You look amazing,' 'Oh my gosh, you’re so fit,' and all this stuff. But meanwhile, not knowing where the root of it was coming from was so unhealthy. And so, you kind of lean into that and you're like, 'OK, well, I mean I look good.' ...You don’t realize that this is controlling you in such a heavy way and really stealing from your life and who you are."

Robertson explained that "a moment with the lord where I just like repented and kind of confessed to God" was a breakthrough moment for her that led to a daily practice of getting better. "It was a daily decision," she said. "There was freedom in that moment but it was like every time I went to eat with my family I had to tell myself, 'Eat the meal. Eat the meal. Don’t think about it, just eat it. It’s healthy for my body.' I started thanking God, I started being like, 'I'm so glad that this is going to make me a stronger person and that I’m going to be able to mentally be free.' Sometimes gratitude, you just have to work your way through it with the gratitude that you have for your body."

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She also posted to her Instagram account encouraging young women to listen to the episode. 

"I know body image is a true struggle and eating disorders are a very real thing that can truly make you feel like freedom is never going to be your story," she wrote. "Jesus can redeem allll things."

Related: Sadie Robertson says her experience with COVID was ‘really bad’

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