Michelle Duggar: Bulimia Struggle as a Teen Revealed in Daughters' Book

Image: Michelle Duggar: Bulimia Struggle as a Teen Revealed in Daughters' Book

Thursday, 27 Feb 2014 05:34 PM

By Jonna Lorenz

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Michelle Duggar is speaking out about her struggles with bulimia as a teen, which are revealed in her oldest daughters’ upcoming book “Growing Up Duggar.”

Duggar, a mom of 19 and star of TLC’s reality show "19 Kids & Counting," told People that her daughters Jana, Jill, Jessa, and Jinger brought up her past struggles with bulimia when they were writing their book and she decided that "if my sharing it is going to help another young lady, then I want to share it."

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Duggar told People that she began forcing herself to throw up when she was 14.

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

Duggar kept the habit a secret until she began dating her future husband, Jim Bob Duggar, at age 16. He supported her and held her accountable through her recovery, which Duggar said built a solid foundation for their relationship. They were married when she was 17.

Duggar’s daughters initially disguised their mother’s identity, referring to her as a teenager named Maria who felt sad and empty and turned to a dangerous eating disorder.

Comments on the Duggar Family Blog Facebook page, which is administered by fans, were supportive


“It's hard to believe, but I'm glad that she is speaking about this to help others who may also struggle with such,” wrote one poster.

“Not many Christians are willing to admit they struggle. I think it makes non believers more comfortable with us. Good for you Michelle for showing that yes even Christians struggle but we have our Lord to help us every day,” wrote another.

The book "Growing Up Duggar" comes out March 4.

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