Well Being

Michelle Duggar’s Bulimic Past Is The Most Human Thing About Her

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michelle duggar bulimiaHere is a list of everything I know about Michelle Duggar:

  • Is a reality television star
  • Loves God in a fundamentalist way
  • Was very fruitful and multiplied a bunch of times
  • Believes in traditional gender roles
  • Seems like kind of a douche
  • Former bulimic

The last thing on the list is easily the most human part of this 19 Kids & Counting lady.

In their upcoming book, Growing Up Duggar, a few of Duggar's many offspring divulge that the mother of 19 struggled with an eating disorder in her youth. At first they couch the revelation about their mother in a  pseudonym, writing that “[o]n the outside, Marie had what everyone else wanted, but on the inside, she felt sad and empty…[s]he began to envy the girl who tried to control her weight through what turned out to be a destructive eating disorder. Not realizing how dangerous it was, Marie thought it might work for her, and soon her obsession to stay thin started controlling her life.” Once they share that this Marie character is actually their darling matriarch, we are all supposed to gasp and I suppose we do because it is kind of shocking that this woman would ever even admit to suffering from a mental illness.

Michelle Duggar herself spoke with People about the subject of her disordered past. Honestly, some of her words with the magazine make her uncomfortably relatable. Which is something I never thought I'd say because she's a fundamentalist weirdo with a million children and backwards ideals that I vehemently disagree with.

But lo and behold, Michelle Duggar was a teenager like the rest of us and was not put on this earth a fully formed evil entity. Her battle with bulimia started at age 14 as an effort to stay thin for her athletic pursuits.

“I found out that genetically I could put on weight easily, but with my activities, gymnastics and cheerleading, it was important for me not to.”

Holy shit–Michelle Duggar is a person.

“I would look around and compare myself to my friends, saying, ‘oh my, she's so small,' or ‘she has such skinny legs.'”

This has made her so much more relatable. Even huge weirdos who don't think women should be in the workplace get the blues.

“I was doing it [presumably inducing vomiting] sometimes on a daily basis, or sometimes I would go a week. I felt this was the answer to my problems.”

It's awesome that she shared her troubled past with her daughters and now with her fans. She encourages those struggling to talk about their problems with loved ones, claiming that being able to discuss her bulimia with her husband gave her “freedom.” Hopefully her openness on the subject will help some of her fans.

Even though she is everything I don't want to be as a person, I'm glad Michelle Duggar is now healthy and able to use Weight Watchers' method to maintain her weight rather than spiraling back into mental illness.

via People//Image via TLC