Demi Lovato Shares Powerful Before-and-After Photo Documenting Eating Disorder Recovery

Demi Lovato is having one heck of a year. She dropped her YouTube documentary, “Simply Complicated,” to critical acclaim. Her sixth album, Tell Me You Love Me, is racing up the charts. And in August, she released her second fashion line with Fabletics and Kate Hudson. But, as impressive as her professional accomplishments are, the 25-year-old singer’s proudest feat is likely the happy place she is right now with her life and her health.

On Wednesday, Lovato—who has been open about her battle with eating disorders like anorexia and bulimia—shared a powerful before-and-after photo documenting her struggle. The photo, captioned “Then” and “Now,” showed two shots of Lovato—one, in the depths of her eating disorder, and another, while in recovery. She captioned the Instagram photo, “Recovery is possible.”

Demi Lovato

Photo: Instagram

MORE: How Demi Lovato Wants to Help Shatter Unrealistic Body Standards For Women

Lovato’s Instagram comes a day before the debut of her YouTube documentary, in which she delves deeper into her eating disorder battle. In the film, Lovato explained that she went three years without purging (self-induced vomiting) while dating actor Wilmer Valderrama. However, after the couple broke up in June 2016, the singer revealed that she “immediately” relapsed.

“When I was in a relationship with Wilmer I went three years without purging and when we broke up that’s one of the first things I did,” Lovato said. “The less I have to think about food, the easier it is to go about having a normal life and I don’t want to let anybody down so when I do have moments when I slip up, I feel very ashamed. What started the relapse was missing Wilmer. And when I feel lonely my heart feels hungry and I end up binging.”

MORE: Is It Possible to Ever Fully Recover from an Eating Disorder?

The singer also detailed how body image has been on her mind since she was a young child. She recalled a time when she would bake cookies and eat the entire batch herself as the moment she started using food therapeutically.

“I would bake cookies for my family and I would eat all of them and nobody would have any to eat,” she said. “That was my first memory of food being that medicine for me,” she said. “Food is still the biggest challenge in my life and it controls—I don’t want to give it the power to say it controls my every thought, but it’s something that I’m constantly thinking about.”

And though Lovato admits she’snow  in a better place, after finding solace at the gym and becoming stronger, she acknowledges that her recovery from an eating disorder may be a lifelong process.

“Body image, what I’m going to eat next, what I wish I could be eating, what I wish I didn’t eat,” she said. “It’s just constant. Like I get envious toward people that don’t struggle with an eating disorder just because I feel like my life would be so much easier.”

If Lovato isn’t the epitome of strength, we don’t know what is. Congratulations to her on her inspiring recovery.



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