Sadie Robertson Reveals She Developed an Eating Disorder After ‘Dancing With the Stars’

Sadie Robertson Huff

Sadie Robertson Huff is keeping it real this week, opening up about how she suffered from an eating disorder following her 2014 run on Dancing With the Stars.

In a recent interview with Entertainment Tonight, the 23-year-old, who has spent the last decade in the spotlight, says that some of her biggest TV moments also served as some of her biggest life lessons.

Sadie says after taking home second place on season 19 of DWTS, people started making comments about how her body had changed once the intense workouts stopped.

 

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“I 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,” Sadie explains. “People started to comment.”

The “Whoa, That’s Good podcaster says that some comments were innocent observations, but others became extremely “negative influences” on the then-17-year-old.

“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.'”

It was around this same time that Sadie had begun pursuing modeling more seriously, which, understandably escalated the already unhealthy situation.

 

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“People would say things like, ‘Oh, if you lost 10 more pounds, you would look like a real model,'” she remembers. “I was literally 115 pounds and already unhealthy. That just messed my mind up.”

Like so many eating disorders, Sadie says her battle was one with her mind—hidden from the world.

“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 explained.  “I would look at myself in the mirror and I would think, ‘I’m fat,’ and I was not at all.”

 

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Sadie says she ultimately turned to her faith in God to overcome her body image issues. Finding Truth in scripture led to an overall shift in perspective.

“I started praising God and thanking him for the way that I looked, instead of looking in the mirror and saying, ‘Ugh, I wish my arms were thinner, I wish my legs were more toned, I wish I had her eyebrows’ … whatever it was that I would tell myself,” she says. “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.”

In her time since DWTS and the eating disorder that followed, Sadie has been open and honest with her fans about learning to love herself from the inside out. In 2017, she took to Instagram to reflect on the experience.

“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,” she wrote.

 

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“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.”

Over the last six years, Sadie says her understanding of beauty has “evolved” in a number of ways.

“I think a lot of times we say we want inner beauty but we seek to strive for outer beauty. What really helped me is understanding that it’s not actually about being the most beautiful person in the world; it’s about the beauty that radiates inside of you and off of you and how that can actually captivate the attention of somebody who loves you.”

 

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The motivational speaker encourages others to have the same understanding with their faith.

“There’s a lot of beautiful things in the world. There’s a lot of attractive things in the world, but I am captivated by God. I am captivated by faith. I am captivated by my family, by my husband. And therefore I don’t need to wander out in the world and do other things because I’m content with what I’m captivated by.”


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Bri Lamm
Bri Lamm is the Editor of ForEveryMom.com! An outgoing introvert with a heart that beats for adventure, she lives to serve the Lord, experience the world, and eat macaroni and cheese all while capturing life’s greatest moments on one of her favorite cameras. Follow her on Facebook!