Kesha Opens Up About Hiding Food at the Height of Her Eating Disorder: I Was 'Slowly Starving Myself'
"The worse I got and the sicker I got, the better a lot of people around me were saying that I looked," Kesha says of battling an eating disorder in her Rolling Stone cover story
In her new Rolling Stone cover interview, the pop star shares the pressure she felt to be a certain size to find success in the music industry, recalling, “I really just thought I wasn’t supposed to eat food.”
“And then if I ever did, I felt very ashamed, and I would make myself throw up because I’d think, ‘Oh, my God, I can’t believe I actually did that horrible thing. I’m so ashamed of myself because I don’t deserve to eat food,’ ” she admitted.
Over time, she said, “I was slowly, slowly starving myself.”
It didn’t help that those around her were championing her weight loss. “The worse I got and the sicker I got, the better a lot of people around me were saying that I looked. They would just be like, ‘Oh, my gosh, keep doing whatever you’re doing! You look so beautiful, so stunning.’ ”
Trying to hide the disorder from her circle brought even more anxiety. Once at a dinner party, she said, she couldn’t figure out how to dispose of her uneaten meal. “And I was like, ‘Oh, my God, what if they walk outside and see this food in a bush? Or they see it in the garbage can?’ And I just had all this mounting anxiety,” she said. “And then finally I was like, ‘F—. This. S—. F— this s—. I’m hungry!’ And I am so anxious that I feel like I’m going to explode from all the secrets. All the secret times I’m pretending to eat or other times I’m purging, and I’m trying to not let anybody know.”
The star, 30, said she was physically “shaking” from frustration: “I was just mad that I had let myself get to that point.”
It was soon after that she asked her mom to meet her, admitting, “I didn’t know how to even eat. At that point, I’d forgotten how to do it.”
With her mother’s help, she made the move to a rehabilitation program, which she completed in 2014. Yet, even after, Kesha said she still felt “like a loser.”
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It was a friend in the industry, she said, that helped her finally realize what she’d overcome. “He was like, ‘Congratulations to you,’ ” she shared, recalling a phone call from the friend after he received several Grammy awards. “And I was like, ‘For what?’ And he was like, ‘Who cares about my Grammys? You just saved your f—ing life.’ And I just was blown away by that, because it made me look at the whole thing totally differently.”
Kesha told Rolling Stone she realized, “Oh, wait. I did just take my life into my own hands and choose life over a slow, painful, shameful self-imposed death.”
The star has opened up about her struggle before, encouraging those with eating disorders to seek help. As she shared in a PSA for the National Eating Disorders Association, “Recovery is possible.”