Lauren Aliana Details Her Battle With an Eating Disorder as a Teen on American Idol

American Idol alum Lauren Alaina recently revisited her time on the reality show and how online criticism exacerbated her eating disorder.

By Hayley Santaflorentina Aug 11, 2023 4:12 PMTags
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Lauren Alaina is opening up about a difficult time in her life. 

The American Idol alum recently revisited the criticism she received while in the public eye during her time on the competition show in 2011, and the years immediately after, and how it affected her struggle with eating disorders

"I started having problems with eating disorders in middle school and then in tenth grade, I go on American Idol," Alaina told Hannah Brown while a guest on the Better Tomorrow podcast August 9. "And I was in my very awkward, chubby phase."

 And while she describes that time in her life as a shift "between a teenager and a woman," she noted that both viewers and the media were harsh. 

"People commented a lot on my weight. What kind of evil humans can comment on a 16-year-old child is beyond me now, but as that 16-year-old child, it got very bad for a while," Alaina recalled. "I suffered with such a severe eating disorder in those years where nothing was connecting. It wasn't only because of me needing to work hard, I lost who I was completely. Everything. My light, it was dimmed quite a bit because of the TV aspect."

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The "Getting Over Him" singer also described how an unnamed blog would put a fake pig nose on her and call her "Miss Piggy" after each of her performances on Idol. So despite an ultimately successful run on the show—she placed as the runner up for the show's 10th season—she struggled with what was being said about her outside of the series.  

"It was an extreme high and an extreme low and I got sick," she shared. "I struggled very, very bad with bulimia for a really long time."

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She also told the Bachelorette alum that while she'd been in" complete remission for years" prior to her 2019 run on Dancing with the Stars, she made sure she was in a proper headspace before putting on her dancing shoes. As she explained, "Something about knowing I'd be back on national television again, I had to start going to therapy for it."

But now, the country star says she has a good support system around her. "Luckily, in my life," Alaina shared, "pretty much everybody knows and will check in on me and make sure I'm being healthy."

She also shared the strategies she's developed for dealing with her eating disorder.

" I've had therapy, and I've changed a lot of things in my life. And that will always be a thing I struggle with," she noted. "But I'm doing great, I'm very happy, very healthy."

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