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Katharine's Secret Struggle

7/27/2006 8:00 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

Katharine McPhee: Click to watchThe "American Idol" contestant opens up about her struggle with bulimia in an interview with sister and "EXTRA" guest correspondent Adriana McPhee. After building up the courage to tell her mother about her eating disorder, Katharine joined a program, which she says was overwhelming.

"I remember the first day, my first meal when I sat down with the other girls, I cried at the table," she said, "It was just like going face to face and seeing all the other girls struggling at the table and seeing myself actually wanting to eat as fast as I could to get out of there."

Now that she's fully recovered and back on the "Idol" tour, McPhee is happy to be seen as a role model to those in similar situations.

"If I can help somebody, you know, get help and go work on their eating disorder, that's great. If I can cheer up somebody by going to a concert one night, that's great. That's what I'm in it for." And the best part to McPhee - "I feel like I can eat whatever I want."

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