Katharine McPhee is opening up about struggling with her body image during pregnancy.
In a conversation with Katherine Schwarzenegger-Pratt on her Instagram Live show BDA, the American Idol alum and new mom spoke about dealing with her changing body prior to giving birth to her son Rennie with husband David Foster. McPhee, who has long been open about her battle with eating disorders, explained, “Even though you know your body is going to change, and you expect that, if you’re someone who has control issues with your body … psychologically, it just does something different. It played with my mind a little bit.”
McPhee also shared that it was difficult for her being extremely hungry during her first trimester, as she was afraid she would gain excessive weight.
“I was losing control and I was going back to this old disordered version of myself, which was upsetting because I just wanted to enjoy my baby,” she recalled. “I actually called my old psychiatrist, from when I was in a program in my early 20s, and he came and sat with me, and said, ‘What’s going on?’”
Ultimately, her psychiatrist was able to reassure her that feeling triggered by her pregnancy experience was perfectly normal. Though McPhee was seeing a dietitian at the time, she told Pratt that she decided to scale back on appointments and let her body decide what foods were right for her.
“The way I was able to overcome disordered behavior in terms of food, was not obsessing, and letting my body tell me what was needed,” she said. “Not being like, ‘It has to be oatmeal in the morning, four ounces of protein,’ because that makes me crazy.”
McPhee also recalled her followers’ reaction to her husband complimenting her post-pregnancy body, with an Instagram caption reading, “What baby!” At the time, McPhee’s fans criticized the music producer for putting too much focus on the star’s physical appearance, especially given her public struggles with body image issues. The Smash actress defended Foster in her own follow-up post, writing, "Stop being so offended by what people post who have zero impact on your life and move on. Maybe you should have more of an attitude of like, let’s say… ‘oh that’s nice he thinks his wife is hot.’ I cannot with this overly sensitive society right now."
She recalled the drama on BDA, saying, "It feels like everybody is so hypersensitive towards everybody else’s journey ... It becomes a reflection on their own personal life, their own things that they are struggling with. Something that somebody says becomes offensive to them.”
For McPhee, her hope is that it's possible to celebrate all post-pregnancy stories.
“The story for me is, I didn’t really try to lose weight, and was eating more than I ever did,” she explained, noting that she felt “shamed” for being thin following her pregnancy.
Despite her initial struggles, McPhee told Pratt she's in a much better place.
“I didn’t expect to me in such a place of gratitude towards the end [of my pregnancy] and after giving birth, which was the most incredible experience,” she said. “My body was f****ing amazing.”
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