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We credit Demi Lovato for working to open up a dialogue around something that's normally stigmatised and kept hidden: eating disorders. She famously revealed her own struggles with mental health and body dysmorphia, speaking out in an effort to connect with other people who were and are experiencing the same reality. She opened up about everything from the cycles of negativity she went through to the feeling of hitting “rock bottom” to the time she spent undertaking rehabilitation.
Since then, she's continued to champion the cause, encouraging others to be honest and confident by doing the same. Totally admirable, right? Her honesty reached a whole new level yesterday, though, when she posted a side-by-side photo to her Instagram story. It shows a picture of Lovato during the worst of her eating disorder, looking noticeably frail. This is juxtaposed next to a current picture of Lovato, looking healthy and confident. In other words, it’s an important and powerful post that demonstrates the seriousness of eating disorders.
Keep scrolling to see her photo.
As you can see, she posted the image along with the words "recovery is possible." This comes a day after her YouTube documentary, Simply Complicated, debuted, in which she speaks about her physical and emotional journey.
As Lovato told Glamour, overcoming an eating disorder is definitely not simple or easy. And it doesn't happen overnight. In fact, it's an ongoing process that lasts, sometimes, for life. "It's an everyday battle, [but] the struggle is still very much there. … What's most important to me is that I just keep fighting, and I keep aiming for a goal of complete freedom. Even if that may not be possible, I'm going to aim for that goal," she said.
This post is powerful (and not only because it has the ability to reach all 61.5 million of her followers). It shows how debilitating an eating disorder can be, but also offers hope and motivation for healing.
Go to Glamour to read Lovato's full interview. Then read one editor's extremely personal account of living with an eating disorder 11 years later.