May we all start the year as strong and inspiring as Demi Lovato.
We're only four days into 2018, and the 25-year-old singer is already setting an example for so many. Lovato shared a photo of herself in a black and white striped bathing suit on a beautiful beach as the sun kisses her skin, but the picture itself will mean a lot more once you read her touching caption.
"So, I'm insecure about my legs in this picture, but I'm posting it because I look so happy and this year I've decided I'm letting go of my perfectionism and embracing freedom from self-criticism. Learning to love my body the way it is is challenging but life-changing," Lovato writes, opening up to her fans on Instagram.
"Giving up my eating disorder has been the most challenging journey of my life, but I work every day towards solid recovery even if I mess up sometimes. Today I'm feeling strong," she added. "You all can do it too. It IS possible. Thank you, God, for this new chapter in my life. #EDrecovery #happyAF."
Actress and singer Sofía Carson praised Lovato and tweeted, "@ddlovato thank you for this, on behalf of every girl in the world who has ever wanted to be something that they're not or has wanted to look differently than they do, thank you. You are beautiful."
Lovato replied, "Thank you so much," along with a heart emoji.
Last year, her YouTube documentary Demi Lovato: Simply Complicated premiered, and Lovato openly addressed everything from cocaine, casual sex, and her road to recovery. She revealed that she's still battling an eating disorder.
"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," Lovato confesses to McIntyre. "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. What started the relapse was missing Wilmer. When I feel lonely my heart feels hungry and I end up binging."
Lovato adds, "I don't know how to figure out how to be alone."
The bingeing began at age 8, after Madison de la Garza was born. "A lot of the attention was taken off me and onto my little sister," she says of the actress. "I had started working at that time and was under a lot of stress, so I would bake cookies for my family. I would eat all of them and nobody would have any to eat. That was my first memory of food being that medicine for me."
Lovato believes her eating disorder began after she suffered intense bullying as a child, especially when classmates started a campaign urging her to commit suicide. "Food is still the biggest challenge in my life," she tells a trainer. "I don't want to give it the power to say it controls my every thought, but it's something I'm constantly thinking about."
For the first time in her life, Lovato isn't afraid to share her truth. "The last decade has taught me a lifetime of lessons. I've learned that secrets make you sick. I'm learning how to be a voice and not a victim. I've learned sex is natural. I've learned that love is necessary, heartbreak is unavoidable and loneliness is brutal," the 25-year-old pop star says in the documentary. "I've learned that the key to being happy is to tell your truth and be OK without all the answers."
We applaud you, Demi!
Here's a look at the "Échame La Culpa" singer through the years: