Duck Dynasty's Sadie Robertson said the impact of body shaming following her stint on Dancing With the Stars in 2014 led to her struggling with an eating disorder.
In a new interview with Entertainment Tonight, Sadie—who came in second place on season 19 alongside pro Mark Ballas—said it was challenging when people started noticing how her body changed after she was no longer working out as intensely as she was during the dance competition series.
"I had this body that I never thought I'd have," Sadie explained to the outlet. "I had a six-pack for two weeks, but then Thanksgiving hit and it went away. People started commenting."
Though Sadie claimed they were "innocent comments at first," certain people in her life were "negative influences."
"[They] 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," the reality star told ET. "I was insecure at the time, so I believed them and thought, 'Oh, I need to push it.'"
Sadie also shared that modeling following her time on DWTS further exasperated her eating issues, with people telling her to lose more weight in order to "look like a real model." It took a major toll.
"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."
Sadie, who said she turned to her faith to overcome her body image issues, has opened up about struggling with an eating disorder before. In 2017, she took to Instagram to share her 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. "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."
For more reflections from Sadie, check out her advice podcast Whoa That's Good on YouTube, Apple Podcasts, and Spotify.