It’s a major night for country star Lauren Alaina.
The newcomer won breakthrough video of the year at the CMT Awards Wednesday night, tearing up onstage as she accepted her award from country legend Reba McEntire.
“I’m not good at this, I don’t know what to do,” Alaina, 22, said through her tears. “Reba McEntire just gave me an award, so that’s pretty crazy!”
Appearing overwhelmed, she added, “Thank you … to the fans. All of these people up here that I’ve watched get awards every year — you guys inspire me.”
“I’m so nervous! I don’t get nervous, I can always talk!” Alaina said, laughing. “And Jesus! Sorry God, that should’ve come first!”
“Honestly, I never thought I would ever tell anyone that I had an eating disorder,” the country singer said. “It was my deepest, darkest secret. My dad didn’t know.”
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Alaina previously shared she had a difficult relationship with food beginning as early as 11 years old when she began purging if she thought she ate too much during a meal. After appearing on American Idol at age 15, her eating disorder grew more severe because being in the public eye led to more scrutiny of her appearance.
“There were blogs that called me Miss Piggy,” she said. “It’s a really hard thing to see as a teenager, especially when you already have problems. Reading what people had to say about me online definitely made it worse. People can be vicious. It got so bad that [I was throwing up after] every meal. For a solid two to three years, I was very, very sick. It got to the point where my hair fell out.”
Alaina sought treatment at age 18 and spent the next two years rebuilding her self-confidence.
“I took some time off from working out because I had to learn to love myself before I could do things to improve myself,” she said. “I gained quite a bit of weight in the time, trying to get to where I felt like I could handle it again.”