American Idol Katherine McPhee battles eating disorder, cancels dates

American Idol finalist Katharine McPhee cancelled all press appearances yesterday, a day after going public with her struggles with Bulimia.

McPhee was also scheduled to be interviewed by several TV shows, but cancelled at the last minute without explanation.

American Idol 2006 runner up Katherine McPhee, 22, came clean with the press, sharing her story with People Magazine in the past week.  McPhee recounted how she nearly destroyed her vocal cords from repeated vomiting that is the hallmark of Bulimia, an insidious eating disorder.  Unlike Anorexics who avoid food altogether, Bulimics binge eat, then regurgitate after ingesting their food.  

“At her worst point, she was throwing up as many as seven times a day, which is like “putting a sledgehammer to your vocal cords,” McPhee tells People.  She stated she had suffered from the disorder since age 17.

“When I made it onto American Idol, I knew that food – my eating disorder – was the one thing really holding me back,” she says. “I was bingeing my whole life away for days at a time … So when I got on the show, I said, ”you know what? I can do well in this competition. Let me give myself a chance and just get a hold of this thing.’ “McPhee states in the People report.

Her struggle was aided by the help of her parents, and her boyfriend Nick Coakas, 41.
McPhee entered the Los Angeles’s Eating Disorder Center where she spent three months in therapy.

“Growing up in Los Angeles and spending all those years in dance class, I’d been conscious of body image at a young age, and I went through phases of exercising compulsively and starving myself. … Food was my crutch; it was how I dealt with emotions and uncomfortable situations.” McPhee said to People magazine.

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