Michelle Duggar Reveals Past Bulimia Struggle: “It Was Destructive”

Michelle Duggar
19 Kids and Counting matriarch Michelle Duggar opened up about her past bulimia struggle during her TLC series on Tuesday, Mar. 10; "It was destructive," she said 

Michelle Duggar hopes that opening up will help others. The 19 Kids and Counting star revealed her past struggles with bulimia during her TLC series on Tuesday, Mar. 10. The revelation, which she previously disclosed in her daughters’ book Growing Up Duggar, was something she kept private during her teen years.

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“Before I came to know the Lord, I had been struggling in my self-worth, just feeling like I needed to measure up with all of my friends around me,” Duggar, 48, said in the episode. “I just really began to have a wrong view of who I was and felt like I gained weight so easily.”

michelle and jimbob
Michelle and Jim Bob Duggar of “19 Kids and Counting” at the Values Voter Summit on September 17, 2010 in Washington, DC

“I ended up starting a bad habit of making myself get sick after I would eat, especially if I had more food than I felt like I should eat,” she continued. “And it was destructive for my health and my life.”

The Duggar matriarch now lives a much healthier lifestyle, and tries to teach her children how to do the same. “I think all girls probably struggle with the same body issues. The struggle is going to be there,” Jim Bob’s wife said. “And I just talk with my kids — my girls, my boys — and I’m honest with them about the things that I struggled with.”

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The Duggar family visits “Extra” at their New York studios at H&M in Times Square on March 11, 2014 in New York City.

She added: “Life is too short to never have a chocolate chip cookie. But you need to be wise in how you do that.”

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Back in February, Duggar talked about her self-image and her supportive spouse on the Today show. “Jim Bob has never put me down for my body,” she said at the time. “He has never mocked me for my mommy tummy. He is one of my biggest encouragers.”

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