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Demi Lovato Says This Body-Shaming Comment Almost Ruined Her

The star says her sobriety was nearly jeopardized after reading this headline about herself.

Demi Lovato has been an open book regarding her mental and physical health in recent years, most recently revealing the ups and downs she's been through in terms of her eating disorder, sobriety, and self-image in her YouTube docu-series Dancing with the Devil. However, in a new interview, the singer reveals that a body-shaming comment in the press nearly jeopardized her health and wellbeing.

In early March, Lovato admitted that she'd "accidentally lost weight" by listening to her body and finding balance. "I don't count calories anymore, I don't over-exercise anymore, I don't restrict or purge, and I especially don't live my life according to the diet culture," she told her fans on Instagram. But all of that progress might never have taken place if she'd let media scrutiny get the best of her, she admits in a new interview with Paper magazine.

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"I think it was right after I got out of rehab in 2018. I saw an article somewhere that said I was morbidly obese," she tells the magazine. "And that is the most triggering thing that you could possibly write about somebody with an eating disorder."

demi lovato during interview in brown or gold dress
Mike Coppola/Getty Images for JBL

After seeing the claims about her weight, Lovato says she was immediately tempted to go back to her old habits. "I wanted to quit, I wanted to use, wanted to give up," she admits.

Instead, Lovato says she decided to stop reading hurtful stories about herself as a means of protecting her mental and physical health.

"I just realized that if I don't look at those things then they can't affect me," Lovato says. "So, I stopped looking and I just really try not to look at anything negative."

Lovato says that, in addition to ignoring critical media coverage, one of the things that's helped her get back on track is ditching her all or nothing mentality when it comes to her health.

Admitting that striving for perfection—whether in terms of her sobriety or her eating habits—is not compatible with her long-term health and wellness goals, Lovato says, "Having been in recovery from eating disorders, body image and perfectionism are not friends in my eyes, and so it's been difficult to balance. But for the most part it's just something that you have to walk through with as much grace as possible." And for more celebrities who've gotten real about their struggles, Selena Gomez Opens Up About Her Mental Health: "I Knew I Couldn't Go On."

Sarah Crow
Sarah Crow is a senior editor at Eat This, Not That!, where she focuses on celebrity news and health coverage. Read more about Sarah