Katharine McPhee Opened Up About Fear of an Eating Disorder Relapse While Pregnant
McPhee says it was "shocking and upsetting and concerning" for her.
Warning: This article contains eating disorder-related content and conversation.
In February, Katharine McPhee welcomed her first child with husband David Foster, whom she’s been married to since 2019. Though she shared highlights from her pregnancy with her followers on Instagram, McPhee opened up to Dr. Berlin of the Informed Pregnancy Podcast about how she feared a relapse of her eating disorder while pregnant with her son.
“It just suddenly came up in a way that hadn’t been present in a long time,” McPhee told Dr. Berlin on the March 1st episode, which was recorded four days before McPhee’s due date. “I have felt really stable in my life in the last four or five years, and my weight has been sort of like more consistent.
But feeling like there was a relapse after getting pregnant was really shocking and upsetting and concerning for me, because I was suddenly so obsessed with food, starting from this first trimester, she continued.
“I had such a distortion of the way that I looked,” McPhee said. “I look back at these pictures and my husband was documenting like every day, because I’d be like, ‘Take a picture of me now. Am I showing?’ And I look back and I’m like, ‘Oh my god, why was I so hard on myself?'”
Though McPhee noted that she didn’t go through a “full-blown relapse,” she found that she was overeating “and then I had that stuffed feeling where I couldn’t breathe. I couldn’t figure out if [it was] because there was a new thing in my body that was making me feel stuffed or if I was actually eating too much food.”
McPhee ended up consulting with the psychiatrist who had helped her through her eating disorder prior to her auditioning for the fifth season of American Idol in 2006. This psychiatrist told her that what she was feeling was actually really common for those who have struggled with an eating disorder in the past.
It made me feel so much better that I wasn’t alone in that headspace, she said, by just meeting with him and him talking me through it.
She told Dr. Berlin that, at the end of her pregnancy, she is proud to have successfully made it to the other side. “I weathered it and I’m just really grateful I’m at the end of it…I look in the mirror and I’m like, ‘Yeah, my legs, my thighs, my arms are a little bit thicker, but I’m okay with it.'”
And coming out of this battle with a newborn isn’t too bad either.