"19 Kids and Counting" star Michelle Duggar has allowed her and her family's lives to be on display since the reality show began airing on TLC in 2008.
While the family members have been very open about their devotion to religion as well as their strong family bond, the one thing that hasn't been spoken about is Michelle's struggle with bulimia as a teenager.
The 47-year-old is opening up for the first time to People about how she struggled with an eating disorder beginning at the age of 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 was doing it sometimes on a daily basis, or sometimes I would go a week. I felt this was the answer to my problems."
The mother of 19 admitted that she didn't talk about her battle with bulimia with her friends as a teenager, but she did tell her now-husband of 29 years, Jim Bob, about her issues when they first started dating all those years ago.
"He told me to call him anytime," she said. "I just know that I would be tempted and I would have the crazy thought that I wanted to throw up, not hold on to the calories. Thank God it didn't go on longer than it did or I could have done horrible damage to my body."
So why did she wait to tell her story of overcoming the disease until now? Her eldest daughters write about her story in their new book, "Growing Up Duggar," in stores March 4.
"When the girls were writing their book, they brought this up and I thought, if my sharing it is going to help another young lady, then I want to share it."
Check out this video to hear more about how Michelle recovered from the disease, and be sure to tune in to "The Insider" on TV tonight for all the latest in entertainment news!
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