'American Idol' Star Details Eating Disorder Struggle

American Idol alum Caleb Lee Hutchinson is speaking out about his battle with an eating disorder. As Heavy reports, Hutchinson spoke about his life-threatening struggles that he has faced while appearing on a recent episode of his Green Couch Podcast. Hutchinson competed on Season 16 of American Idol and came in second place to Maddie Pope, whom he has been dating since they both appeared on the series. 

In the podcast episode, which was released on Sept. 28, Hutchinson spoke about his eating disorder with his friend Sam Aldrich, a former competitive bodybuilder. As the American Idol alum explained, his struggles with eating came later on as he found comfort in food when he was dealing with difficult matters in his personal life. He shared that after a breakup in high school and a number of other hardships, he weighed around 320 pounds. 

Hutchinson began going to the gym in an attempt to slim down in advance of his high school graduation. However, as he was only eating an apple and a granola bar each day, he soon started experiencing even more health issues. He said that "a month or two" before he auditioned for American Idol, he was hospitalized due to a combination of his new exercising routine and a major lack of nutrients. 

"I was just starving myself and my body was, like, shutting down," he said. "They told me my organs were weird and stuff was happening that wasn't good. So I think, like, my body was just kind of dying, honestly." After his hospitalization, Hutchinson moved through the advanced rounds of American Idol. During this time, the production team asked him about what was going on in his life, and he opened up about his recent weight loss. This focus on the topic actually affected Hutchinson in a negative way after he saw how viewers reacted to it

"I remember my audition aired and at that point, you know, I felt like I'd lost a ton of weight and, like, people were referring to me as the 'fat kid,'" he recalled. "So it just kind of pushed me into overdrive of like, 'I'm going to get skinny.' And I did by the end of the show. I mean, you're out there and everything's going on and you don't really have time to eat, so I got down to 185. I think that was my lightest weight ever." 

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While he said that the comments still get to him years after he was thrust into the spotlight, he is on a better track now and has a healthier relationship with food. Hutchinson also explained that he decided to be open about this situation as it's one that men don't typically talk about. The singer said, "So part of the reason that I didn't suspect I had a problem was because I genuinely thought that was only for, like, women — L.A. actress model girls! So, yeah, for any men listening, it's just as valid, dude."