Demi Lovato is focused on loving herself in 2018.
The 25-year-old singer opened up about the ongoing challenges of recovering from an eating disorder and her determination to break free from the need to be perfect on Thursday, in an emotional caption on Instagram.
“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,” she said.
“Learning to love my body the way it is is challenging but life changing,” Lovato added. “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.”
She continued: “Today I’m feeling strong. You all can do it too. It IS possible. Thank you God for this new chapter in my life. #EDrecovery #happyAF.”
Lovato shared her inspiring and touching words alongside a photo of herself at the beach, smiling in a strapless one-piece stripped bathing suit.
Though Lovato has abstained from drugs and alcohol for nearly six years, she admitted in the film she has yet to effectively treat her eating disorder. “Food is still the biggest challenge in my life,” she said, explaining she had recently relapsed and purged.
“I don’t want to give it the power that it controls my every thought but it’s something that I’m constantly thinking about,” Lovato added. “Body image, what I wish I could be eating, what I wish I could be eating next, what I wish I didn’t eat, you know it’s just constant. I get envious towards people who don’t struggle with an eating disorder because I think my life would be so much easier.”
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Lovato traces back her struggles with food to her childhood.
“The food came first, when I was 8 years old and my little sister was born, a lot of the attention was taken off me and onto my little sister,” she shared of sibling Madison de la Garza. “I had started working at that time and was under a lot of stress so I would bake cookies for my family, and 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.”
“When I was in a relationship with [Wilmer Valderrama] I went three years without purging and when we broke up that’s one of the first things I did,” she admitted to manager and confidant Phil McIntyre in the flick. “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. And when I feel lonely my heart feels hungry and I end up binging.”
Simply Complicated follows Lovato’s ups and downs as well as the making of her latest album, Tell Me You Love Me, over a course of seven months in early 2017.
“I have been very open and honest with [fans] about my struggles so I don’t think it was a huge weight lifted off my shoulders but it’s something I definitely feel relief from,” Lovato previously told PEOPLE of the documentary. “Being so honest and open and talking about subjects that I never talked about before is a big part of why I feel relieved … I feel like I got to really speak my truth through the documentary and also through the album.”