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Sadie Robertson Shares Struggle with Eating Disorder, Talks Truth that Set Her Free

Sadie Robertson (AP Photo)
Sadie Robertson (AP Photo)

Sadie Robertson is once again using her blog, Live Original, to be vulnerable with her fans--this time opening up about her year-long battle with an eating disorder.

The Duck Dynasty star wrote about the well publicized moment when she was told by a director at an "all natural" photo shoot, that she did not have, "the face for a no-makeup shoot." 

"Ouch," Robertson wrote, "Then, they sent me off for two hours to get my hair and makeup done. Yes, two hours to get that "all natural" look so it could appear that I just happened to wake up like this… FLAWLESS. #nofilter #nomakeup #notruth," she continued.

She explained that this upset her because after all of the work she'd done to "live original," this one shoot could make girls around the world believe that that was actually the "all natural her." 

"There are many problems with that… number one it is not really 'me' It is just simply a lie giving everyone something to compare themselves to that they can never compete with. Shoot, I can't even compete with it," Robertson wrote.



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.

A post shared by Sadie Robertson (@legitsadierob) on


Robertson then opens up about how damaged she was by photo-shopped images and false advertisements that made her strive for an image that wasn't even real.

"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. 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," Robertson confesses.

She writes that she is just now opening up about this because she didn't know how to, "speak confidently," about something that stole her confidence.

Robertson continues, writing that during the time of her own internal battles--she was helping to lead others to victory. 

"Little did they know, I was staying behind on the battlefield," she writes.

"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."

In what she calls, "the biggest plot twist," Robertson confesses this all took place the year after she appeared on 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," Robertson writes.

She shares that she started to believe lies about herself and the ugly thoughts and insecurities manifested in a spirit of fear, jealousy and deception. Now, she is able to identify that, that was the enemy speaking.

"When I came into agreement with those thoughts, it stole my perspective. I couldn't see beauty in my creation, in exercise, in my sisters, in relationships, conversations, the weather, or in the GIFT OF FOOD for crying out loud," said Robertson.

Robertson encourages fans to look beyond what they see on a screen or in a magazine and think about the person behind the post--the human.

"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," she says.

She goes on to tell readers to "check your hearts before you check the mirror--that is where your true beauty lies."

Robertson has come a long way since that "ugly year." 

"I am 15 pounds heavier then I was right after dancing with the stars. I literally cannot even wrap my head around how I was once able to get my hands to wrap around my thigh. Girls, hear me when I say this –  you could search my heart and put me on a lie detector test, and I'd still tell you that I am happier, and have more joy than ever before. I drank a large mint mocha cooler this morning, while I worshipped and rooted myself in truth, and girls…I am feeling good. If it means being "less beautiful" in the world's eyes, that's okay with me. As long as I still get to seek out real beauty – the kind that is found in God's word, and is painted out in the world before me. I will gladly lay myself down at the feet of the Creator, not only to encounter more of the beauty He created in me but to experience the creation He surrounds me with," she writes.

The big change for Robertson: seeing God's standard of beauty.

"Do these old thoughts come back from time to time? Absolutely, but it is my job to take authority over them," she says.

She concluded her post by sharing the Bible verses that she covers herself in daily.

"Brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things." Philippians 4:8

 "Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God's sight." 1 Peter 3:3-4

 "I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well." Psalm 139:14


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