Demi Lovato’s new YouTube documentary, Simply Complicated, is out now, and in it, the singer gets super candid about living with an eating disorder.
Demi says simply that food is “still the biggest challenge in my life.” The former Disney Channel star struggled with disordered eating as recently as this year.
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“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,” Demi says in the documentary. “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.”
The two-time Grammy nominee says their relapse started when they began missing Wilmer. “And when I feel lonely, my heart feels hungry and I end up bingeing,” Demi says. The “Dancing with the Devil” singer traced their issues with eating back to childhood, noting that they first began bingeing at 8 years old, after their little sister was born.
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You can watch Demi talk about the relapse in the documentary here:
“I had started working at that time and was under a lot of stress so I would bake cookies for my family and I would eat all of them and nobody would have any to eat,” Demi says. “That was my first memory of food being that medicine for me.”
This isn’t the first time the singer has opened up about having an eating disorder, but it may be the most candid they’ve been about it.
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At least 30 million people in the U.S. suffer from an eating disorder, according to the National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders, and while there’s no data on how many people relapse after receiving treatment for an eating disorder, the National Eating Disorders Association calls relapsing a “natural part of the recovery process.”
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Now, Demi says that while they’ve gained control over a former drug addiction, disordered eating is still a struggle. “I don’t want to give it the power that it controls my every thought but it’s something that I’m constantly thinking about,” Demi says. “Body image, what I wish I could be eating, what I wish I could be eating next, what I wish I didn’t eat, you know it’s just constant. I get envious towards people who don’t struggle with an eating disorder because I think my life would be so much easier.”
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