Demi Lovato Reflects on Her Years-Long Journey to Body Positivity: 'I Never Thought I'd Be in Such a Great Place'
Demi Lovato is happy, health — and “Confident”!
“I’m in a really good place right now,” the “No Promises” singer, 24, tells PEOPLE.
Indeed, as of March, the once-troubled former child star is five years sober. And after battling disordered eating, self-harm and substance abuse in her youth, Lovato finally loves her body.
The star rose to fame after appearing in Disney’s 2008 movie Camp Rock alongside Jonas Brothers Kevin, Joe and Nick, and a successful TV and singing career followed, but behind the scenes she struggled with bulimia, addiction and bipolar disorder before seeking treatment in 2011.
Over the years, she’s learned to channel her pain. It’s informed her music, most recently the 2015 Grammy-nominated album Confident: The title track, a self-love anthem, is a modern pop classic, while “Father” is a poignant goodbye letter to her estranged, abusive father who also lived with bipolar disorder before he succumbed to cancer in 2013. (She also founded the Lovato Treatment Scholarship fund in honor of her dad in 2014.)
RELATED VIDEO: Demi Lovato Reveals That She Co-Owns the Facility Where She Received Treatment in 2013
“When I’m really down, I do a positive self-affirmation,” says the star, one of Time magazine’s 100 Most Influential People of 2017. “I talk positively to myself in the mirror. As awkward and uncomfortable as it can be, it can be really self-assuring. I also talk to people around me. But getting in the gym makes me feel the best I possibly can, so I make sure I get that in.”
While on the road — last year, she and pal Nick Jonas headlined a tour together — she brings a trainer along. And when she hits the gym, she does mixed martial arts, including kickboxing, Muay Thai boxing and jujitsu, in addition to cardio and lifting weights. And it was actually at the gym that Lovato met Hudson before they teamed up for the Fabletics collection.
“It’s important to feel comfortable in what you’re wearing,” she says of Demi Lovato for Fabletics, which includes bras, tanks, leggings and knit tops that nod to her music’s messaging. (A portion of the proceeds go to the U.N.’s female-empowerment group Girl Up.)
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Since she’s been focusing on her well-being, Lovato — who will star in the YouTube documentary I Am: Demi Lovato in the fall — has chronicled her journey to body positivity on Instagram. She often posts inspiring messages and skin-baring selfies on the app, a move her younger self wouldn’t have thought possible.
For more on Demi Lovato and her new Fabletics capsule collection, pick up the new issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands everywhere Friday.
“I never thought I’d be in such a great place. That’s the beauty of working on yourself and taking care of yourself,” she says. “You get to places where you never thought you’d be.”
Click here for more on Demi Lovato for Fabletics, due mid-May.