Demi Lovato opens up about her ongoing struggle with body issues during an upcoming appearance on “Katie,” where she reveals her insecurities started at just 3 years old.
“I remember being 3 years old in a diaper and rubbing my hand over my stomach,” Lovato says, “and I remember thinking in my head ‘I wonder if one day this will ever be flat?’”
Lovato’s misconceptions about her body, as well as bullying from peers who called her “fat,” led “The X Factor” judge to battle with bulimia, cutting, and depression.
Of the teasing, Lovato says, “It played more of a toll on me than if I was physically abused in school. ”
“I’ve always said I wished that they had just hit me in the face and gotten it over with because what they said to me sticks to me to this day and it [turned] me into the person I am today,” she tells Katie Couric.
Of course, Lovato herself ended up hitting someone else in the face, her backup dancer, during an altercation in 2010.
Calling the incident “a huge mistake,” she admits, “I wasn’t really in control of my emotions at the time and I was just out of control and there’s no excuse for it but it definitely showed everyone I needed to get help and I think two days later I was checking into rehab.”
Earlier this week, it was announced Lovato will serve as an ambassador for Secret deodorant’s “Mean Stinks” anti-bullying campaign.
“Treatment was so difficult at first, I remember walking around saying ‘I’m in prison!’” Demi recalled. “They needed to have those strict rules in order for me to understand how sick I was. I wasn’t allowed to use the bathroom by myself. We had specific phone times. There are tons of things you weren’t allowed to have, you weren’t allowed to have certain hair products or whatever that you could injure yourself with or possibly drink and you were just stripped of a lot of things.”
She continued, “I also had somebody watching over me every single time I ate. And if I didn’t finish what was on my plate, and often times I would cry because I physically couldn’t stomach it and if that happened I would have to have little consequences, nothing horrible just not being able to go to the cafeteria to eat.”
Katie Couric and Demi Lovato Share Eating-Disorder Struggles
Watch out, world, Katie Couric’s getting candid.
On the Monday, Sept. 24, episode of the journalist’s new daytime talk show, Katie, the charming host opened up and revealed that she struggled with an eating disorder for many years. Couric dropped the bombshell during her chat with guest Demi Lovato, who has also been open about her body image issues and past rehab stint.
“I wrestled with bulimia all through college and for two years after that. And I know this rigidity, this feeling that if you eat one thing that’s wrong, you’re full of self-loathing and then you punish yourself, whether it’s one cookie or a stick of gum that isn’t sugarless, that I would sometimes beat myself up for that,” Couric said.
Couric struggled with the disorder from ages 18 to 24 during her time in college at the University of Virginia, and then for the next two years when she began her reporting career. Although her struggle with the disorder lasted over six years, she ultimately overcame the eating disorder with the help of a therapist.
Lovato also opened up about her own personal battle and in-patient treatment, which she admits was “so difficult at first.”
Sympathetic to Demi’s struggles, Katie also elaborated on the inner turmoil an eating disorder can cause, “How do you have a healthy relationship with food, and say, ‘You know what, I can have one cookie and it’s OK?’ That is such a huge thing for people who wrestle with this.”
Couric declined to go into further detail, but there’s no question Demi and Katie make a powerful team when it comes to spreading the word about eating disorders.
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