As the daughter of “Duck Dynasty” patriarch Willie Robertson, Sadie Robertson is no stranger to the spotlight. Instead of shying away from it, she uses her platform to talk about real issues that real people face.

A self-proclaimed “open book,” Sadie shared with fans her inner-most thoughts on her blog, “Live Original.” But there’s one thing she hasn’t shared before — her struggle with an “eating problem.”

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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. ❤️

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Recognizing that 97 percent of women struggle with negative body issues, Sadie felt it was time to open up about hers.

Sadie began the post with an anecdote about a recent photo shoot. It was supposed to be an “all natural” photo shoot, one that promoted her “Live Original” mentality. She wrote:

[T]hey were planning on using a life-size image, placed behind a window in 2,000 malls in America. I was super excited about it, because I thought this could be a great message for girls to see how a realistic, untouched woman wakes up in the morning.

Much to her dismay, she spent hours in hair and makeup after the director of the shoot nonchalantly stated:

“Oh, no. This girl does not have the face for a no-makeup shoot.”

The shoot left a sour taste in Sadie’s mouth. She knew that when all was said and done, the photos would be an unnatural, photoshopped version of herself, instead of the all-natural “I woke up like this” version she was expecting:

Girls everywhere would only see the perfect, life-sized cutout of an “all-natural” me, wondering how they too could “wake up like that.” 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.

Sadie said she didn’t want to be “that girl” — the girl who others tried to emulate because of her perfect exterior.

Why? Because, as Sadie admitted, she has been damaged by “that girl”:

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.

She wrote that for that year, she felt “trapped” by a battle inside her head. It consumed her all day, every day. Her worst enemies? Mirrors. Pictures. Clothes.

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message time -> so many people lately have said to me "I would love to wear that… but I would be too scared!" "I would love to post that…. but I would be too scared!!" "I wish I could pull that off… but I'm too scared to try" WHAT ARE WE SCARED OF?!? I believe we are scared of PEOPLE. The essence of the fear is not from clothes, the post, or even something pulling a pose off. We are scared of people's view of us and the opinion or comment that follows that view. When I walked in @duckanddressing today Rebecca said "sadie could you please put these jeans on everyone's scared to wear them, so maybe if they see you they will" the truth is boys may not like these jeans. They aren't tight and don't fit in all the right places, but I genuinely loved them. They are comfy and I was confident in how I felt as I'm sure y'all would be too ❤️ it ultimately comes down to what level of importance we are putting on these things and trying to portray. There are a lot of scary things in the world, but clothes should not be one of them or people's comments. Do y'all see the negative comments on my page?!? Yeah I take some heat at times, but i can not let that shape my view of what I like, who I am, or what I do. Confidence in the things bigger than yourself will cancel out fear.

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Sadie said that during that time, she had no problem helping others with their problems— just as long as she didn’t have to open up about her own.

And it was easy to hide, because it was a time when she should have been on top of the world. She had just competed on “Dancing With the Stars.” She had, in many people’s opinions, “made it.”

Nonetheless, she said, she couldn’t stand the sight of herself. She continued:

I could not see myself as beautiful, because my mind continually told me things like this, “Wow, I definitely do not look like that when I go all-natural. I cannot go out without makeup. Oh my gosh, I need to work out more. I am getting so much cellulite. Guys are not going to think I am as pretty as all these other girls on Instagram, because I don’t post the kind of pictures they do. What if that person has been staring at my pimple the whole time? I bet they are talking about me. I hate my arms; I will just wear long sleeves in this 100-degree weather. I shouldn’t eat this meal… it really is not that necessary.”

Eventually, she saw the light — but it wasn’t easy.

Recognizing this, Sadie offered some advice to others who are still struggling:

Stop trying to find the perfect lighting, and focus instead on finding the beauty in your heart. Sadly, as I said before, we have a lot of ugliness in our hearts. It’s our sin nature, and it’s not pretty – but I have good news. When we spend time intentionally covering our hearts in beauty, it will flow out of us naturally if we allow it to and if we keep it in the dark. Check your heart before you check the mirror – that is where your true beauty lies.

She advised:

[I]f 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.

Sadie is admittedly 15 pounds heavier than she was during “Dancing With the Stars.” But she no longer worries about it.

She said of overcoming her demons:

The day I prayed for the Lord to enlighten my eyes to see His standard of beauty, is the day my whole life changed.

Sadie encouraged others to do the same.

As she pointed out: “[I]n order to experience Gods beauty, you have to exhale your ugly.”

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