SuPeRnOvA and SwEeTpAiN: Kathreen McPhee Suffers from Bulimia | SuPeRnOvA and SwEeTpAiN
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Kathreen McPhee Suffers from Bulimia

Kathreen McPhee is my fav in American Idol Season 5 - love her voice, sexy and pretty too. I was shocked to read some news about her health...hahahaha..that's what mostly sick with american girls. They are just too conscious with the way they looked, but did not mind of the way they see life nor their own personalities... but its not yet too late, everyone deserves to be given a second chance to change... here goes the news...
06/22/2006 4:00 PM, E!
OnlineSarah Hall

In a new interview with People magazine, the fifth season runner-up reveals that she struggled with severe bulimia for five years, bingeing, and purging in a destructive cycle that could have permanently ruined her singing voice and caused devastating consequences to her health.

At her worst, McPhee says she was making herself vomit up to seven times each day, which she equates to "putting a sledgehammer to your vocal cords."

But all that changed once the 22-year-old aspiring singer got the go-ahead from the Idol judges, and realized that in order to succeed on the talent search, she would need to rein in her eating disorder.

"When I made it onto American Idol, I knew that food--my eating disorder--was the one thing really holding me back," McPhee tells People. "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 ahold of this thing.'"

Backed up by her parents, frequent Idol audience members Peisha and Daniel McPhee, the Idol hopeful enrolled in an intensive treatment program at Los Angeles's Eating Disorder Center Of California, where she underwent three months of group and individual therapy, spending 10 hours a day, six days a week at the center.

"I really had to surrender and give up having a free life to do the program, because I'd be there from 9 in the morning until 7 at night," McPhee says. But she knew the sacrifice was necessary if she wanted to get well.

"I knew I had put off going to a treatment center long enough--I'd been struggling with bulimia since I was 17," she says.

McPhee attributes some of her problems with food to growing up in a city where tremendous emphasis is placed on celebrity-slim bodies.

"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," she says.

By using the intuitive eating approach she learned at the Eating Disorder Center, McPhee was eventually able to redefine her relationship to food.

"I learned that there's no such thing as a bad food," she says. "If you look at a doughnut, people think it's a fattening food--why? Because if you eat it you'll get fat? No, you'll get fat if you eat 10 doughnuts."

As a result, she dropped 30 pounds and broke her cycle of bingeing and purging.

"That's why I say American Idol saved my life, because if I hadn't auditioned I don't think I would have gotten a handle on food," she tells the magazine.

By openly talking about her eating disorder, McPhee stands to help fans who may be struggling with similar issues, according to Dr. Thomas Weigel, a psychiatrist at the Klarman Eating Disorders Center at McLean Hospital in Belmont, Massachusetts.

"Katharine's portrayal of her eating disorder and its effects on her life would tend toward helping people suffering with eating disorders to seek out treatment," Weigel said.

"She had a problem, which was affecting her career, and she went through a difficult treatment program to make progress toward recovery. It was hard work, but she fought against the eating disorder to get her life back."

And what a life it is. After the Idol finale, McPhee went on to sign a record deal with RCA Records in conjunction with 19 Recordings Limited.

Her first single, "My Destiny," coupled with "Somewhere Over The Rainbow," is scheduled for release on Tuesday. As of Thursday, the tracks were ranked number 52 in music by
Though the Idol competition is officially over, McPhee's still got her work cut out for her if she hopes to catch up to Taylor Hicks, who released his first single last week and instantly rocketed to the top of the charts.

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