Sadie Robertson addresses whether 'Dancing with the Stars' caused her eating disorder
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 03/29/2018
Sadie Robertson has revealed whether her stint on Dancing with the Stars played a role in the development of an eating disorder, which she has since overcome.
The former Duck Dynasty star, 20, disclosed in September of last year she had struggled with an eating disorder -- endlessly counting calories and taking body measurements -- for nearly one year after competing on Dancing with the Stars in 2014.
Now that Sadie is in a much better place mentally and physically, she's addressing rumors her time on the televised reality-dancing competition contributed to her previous unhealthy eating habits.
"I love Dancing with the Stars and I love my family out there. [Mark Ballas] is like a brother to me. He's the best partner ever, the whole cast, the whole crew, they're amazing. Those headlines made me so sad," Sadie toldEntertainment Tonight.
"The thing [was], it was all me. I was scared to do it. I was afraid of comments. I was afraid of the judges, I was afraid of what people might think of me, all these different things. I was encrypted in fear. So it was a 'me' problem, not a Dancing with the Stars problem."
Sadie was apparently overwhelmed by what she had to face at the time as a teenager in the public eye.
"I look back at that season of my life and that was when fear was conquered," Sadie explained.
"I will always look back on that and say, 'Thank goodness that happened because I had to grow up so much in those three months.' It helped me and it made me walk so much more confidently and so much stronger."
While many critics have associated Sadie's experience on the show with her body-image problems, Sadie insisted, "It has nothing to do with Dancing With the Stars."
"That was a lie. I saw the headline on that and hear it from my voice, right now: I love Dancing with the Starsand everybody involved," Sadie told ET.
"It's funny, Mark texted me that night and asked, 'Did you say this?' and I said, 'Are you kidding, no I didn't say that. Dude, you're my brother.' It has everything to do with what I was walking in with that season of my life."
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"What happened was... when you get to a state of your body looks really good for some reason or another -- for me, I was dancing eight hours a day -- of course you're going to look good and that's not always going to be a reality," Sadie said.
"When I came away from that, my mindset was, 'I have to be that. I'm now not good enough because I'm not where I was,' which got me to an unhealthy place because, for me, the only reason to obtain that was going down this cycle of not good things."
"It was me coming out of that and having the unhealthy view of my body. And whenever you have anxiety, whenever you have fear that's gripping you and whenever you also take away any confidence you have of yourself, that's a very scary place to be because it literally silences your voice. It was all in that same time period," Sadie explained to ET.
Sadie -- who recently released her new book Live Fearless -- admitted she was "striving to look" the way she thought she should, but that led to "unrealistic" expectations and an "unhealthy" mentality and lifestyle.
Part of overcoming her issues was apparently eliminating the toxic people in her life, especially haters and trolls on social media. Sadie felt she had to stop putting value on people's comments about her body.
"It was unhealthy and so consuming of your mind. And whenever you do that, you really can't see yourself, one, for who you are and, two, for what your purpose [is] because you're distracted by what you [think you're] supposed to look like," Sadie shared. "That's really sad, and that's where a lot of people find themselves."
As a result, Sadie got "rid of the lies" and ignored people talking in her ears.
"I had to get rid of looking at the comments and all that stuff, and look at myself and say, 'Okay, Sadie. Who are you?' And I'll never forget whenever I did that, when I got some things out of my life, and I looked in the mirror, I just started sobbing," Sadie recalled to ET.
"Because I was like, 'Oh, my gosh, I don't even know who this person is because I've been so distracted with what I'm supposed to look like that I forgot what I'm purposed to do.'"
The Robertson family's former hit show, Duck Dynasty, ended in March 2017 after 11 seasons on the air.