Country singer Sara Evans reveals struggles with body dysmorphia, eating disorder

Sara Evans says being in the spotlight has often been detrimental to her mental and physical health.

The “Born to Fly” singer spoke about her preoccupation with public opinion and the toll it has taken on her during a Monday appearance on two-time “Dancing with the Stars” winner Cheryl Burke’s podcast, “Sex, Lies, And Spray Tans.”

Evans spoke at length about how having her body under constant scrutiny has instilled a deep fear of gaining weight.

“I’m more scared of being fat than anything in the world, and that’s not good. That’s not normal,” Evans told Burke, also saying that she obsesses over hate comments from internet trolls, and one offhand comment from a passerby can ruin her day.

Strangers aren’t the only offenders.

“My record label, every time I had a baby, they would be like, ‘When’s she gonna lose weight?’” she said. “So things like that would just get in my head.”

The mom of three said she internalized the pressure, convincing herself she could control others’ opinions of her, “like, if I’m skinny and I’m pretty and I did a good show, then I’m loved, and I want to feel loved no matter what.”

None of these thought patterns are helped by the “extreme anxiety” that she has suffered from since childhood, she said on the podcast.

It started with an incident in 1979 when Evans was 8 years old, she told People in 2020. She was crossing the highway bordering her family’s farm in Missouri when she was hit by a car and launched 80 feet off the road.

“When they found me, I was curled up in a ball with my left leg mangled and twisted and almost severed in two. They all thought I was dead,” Evans recalls in her 2020 memoir, “Born to Fly.”

She had a severe concussion and was unconscious for almost two days, she told People. She was confined to a hospital bed for six weeks, and during that time, she said she began to feel “like I was being buried alive.”

“I had severe PTSD and anxiety, but it was the ’80s and I didn’t have a name for it. I don’t think my mother even thought, like, ‘Maybe I should take her to therapy,’” Evans said.

Later, her anxiety was exacerbated by her parents’ split, her divorce from Craig Schelske, and another near-death experience when a plane she was on malfunctioned and made an emergency landing.

But with anti-anxiety medication and the support of her family, she said she’s learned to cope better when she feels panic coming on.

“I still struggle,” she told People. “But I’m so grateful for every second of this life.”

Last month, Evans announced that she and her second husband Jay Barker were back together, more than two years after her divorce filing and his arrest in 2022 for attempting to strike Evans and her friend with his car.

. He was charged with felony aggravated assault with a weapon and ultimately submitted a “best interest” plea to a misdemeanor charge of reckless endangerment, DailyMail reported.

Evans announced that she and Barker were remaining married during the March 24 pilot episode of her podcast, “Diving in Deep with Sara Evans.”

The “Love You With All My Heart” singer made a surprise appearance at this year’s Stagecoach Music Festival, joining Post Malone to perform her 2003 hit “Suds in the Bucket.”

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