Speaking to Ashley Graham on her podcast Pretty Big Deal, the singer has revealed how her eating disorder led to her drug overdose, and why she is no longer willing to destroy her mental health to look a certain way.
Demi Lovato has never shied away from talking about her mental health battles, and has always been vocal about her struggles with addiction, self-harm, anorexia, and bulimia.
Now, she has opened up about how trying to recover from her longtime eating disorder eventually led to her drug overdose in 2018 – and why she is no longer willing to destroy her mental health to look a certain way.
Speaking on Ashley Graham’s Pretty Big Deal podcast, Lovato explained that she had thought she was recovering from her eating disorder but “was actually just completely falling into it”.
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While her bulimia symptoms had been obvious, her eating disorder had become harder to recognise when it took on a more covert form: overexercising and extreme dieting. She explained that as a result, she had convinced herself she was recovering.
“When you don’t have people that know the signs around you… like, what I think I really needed was someone to come in and saying like, ‘Hey, I think you need to look into how much you’re working out,’ like, maybe three times a day is excessive for working out,” the singer said.
“Like, there were days when I lived at the gym, and I would take business meetings at the gym on my breaks from my workouts,” she continued. “And I’d be gross, but at least I didn’t have to leave and shower and I could go right back into my workout. I’d eat a meal, go workout, eat a meal, go workout. And it’s like, that’s just not happiness to me, that’s not freedom.”
This relentless pursuit of a certain body type eventually led to her drug overdose is July 2018, Lovato explained. “When you have certain people around you that are telling you certain things, that you should look a certain way, it makes it harder,” she said “So I was in that situation – I was running myself into the ground, and I honestly think that’s kind of what led to everything happening over the past year. It was just me thinking I found recovery when I didn’t and then living this kind of life, and trying to tell the world that I was happy with myself when I really wasn’t.”
Going forward, Lovato said her mindset had shifted towards taking better care of her body. “I made a choice going into this next album, okay when I present this, I’m not going to worry about what I look like. I’m not going to worry about trying to look a certain way or fit a certain mold or whatever” she said. “Someone needs to stand up for people who don’t naturally look that way. Like I had to work my ass off every day at the gym six days a week to maintain that figure, and it’s just like, that led me only one way, and I don’t want to go down that path again. So I’m not willing to destroy my mental health to look a certain way anymore.”
Jessica Rapana is a journalist based in London, and enjoys writing across all areas of women’s lifestyle content. She is especially fond of news, health, entertainment and travel content, and drinks coffee like a Gilmore Girl.