Demi Lovato is celebrating the holidays with a lot more sparkle, as she also marks her recovery from bulimia, an eating disorder that she once said traces back to her early childhood.
On Dec. 25, the American singer-songwriter shared a photo of her stretch marks—that she spruced up with glitters—to express her gratitude for how far she has gone in her journey.
She wrote on her caption, “I used to genuinely believe recovery from an eating disorder wasn’t real. That everyone was faking or secretly relapsing behind closed doors. ‘Surely she throws up here and there’, ‘She can’t POSSIBLY accept her cellulite’—those were just a few of the things that I used to tell myself growing up. I’m so grateful that I can honestly say for the first time in my life, my dietitian looked at me and said, ‘This is what eating disorder recovery looks like.’”
“In honor of my gratitude for the place I’m in today, this was a li’l shoot I did by myself in quarantine this summer when I wanted to celebrate my stretch marks instead of being ashamed of them,” the 28-year-old star continued.
“I started wearing actual glitter paint on my stretch marks to celebrate my body and all of its features (whether society views them as good OR bad). My stretch marks aren’t going away so might as well throw a li’l glitter on em’ am I right?”
The “Still Have Me” singer concluded her post with advice to people going through the same battle: “Also let this be a reminder to anyone who doesn’t think it’s possible: IT ACTUALLY IS. YOU CAN DO IT. I BELIEVE IN YOU. This year was tough. Be gentle on yourself if you slip up, remember to get right back on track because you’re WORTH THE MIRACLE OF RECOVERY. I LOVE YOU.”
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Over the years, Lovato has been public about her fight to overcome bulimia. In an interview with American Way magazine in 2016, the actress admitted binge-eating and purging, which includes self-induced vomiting, as early as age nine.
She revealed that problems like such have been running in their family for a long time: Her grandmother and mother battled with eating disorders, and her father fought alcoholism, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia.
The Insider reported that Lovato was bullied by her peers at school and as a teen, she would often cut herself and self-medicate with alcohol, cocaine, and painkillers. In 2010, she began taking treatment at a facility where she began to overcome bulimia.
The United States National Eating Disorder Association states that recovery from eating disorders could take years with relapses along the way. And Lovato couldn’t be any happier of her constant progress against her disease and towards self-love.
She talked more about it in an Instagram post on Sept. 6 this year, where she shared another photo of herself flaunting her cellulite.
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Her caption read, “This is my biggest fear—a photo of me in a bikini unedited. And guess what, it’s CELLULIT!!!! I’m just literally sooooo tired of being ashamed of my body, editing it (yes the other bikini pics were edited and I hate that I did that but it’s the truth) so that others think I’m THEIR idea of what beautiful is, but it’s just not me.”
Lovato continued, “This is what I got. I want this new chapter in my life to be about being authentic to who I am rather than trying to meet someone else’s standards. So here’s me, unashamed, unafraid, and proud to own a body that has fought through so much and will continue to amaze me when I hopefully give birth one day.”
The singer-songwriter wishes to be a ray of light for others struggling in loving themselves in all their realness.
“Anyway, here’s me, RAW, REAL! And I love me. And you should love you too!” she added. “Just so everyone’s clear, I’m not stoked on my appearance BUT I am appreciative of it and sometimes that’s the best I can do. I hope to inspire someone to appreciate their body today, too."