Demi Lovato Book Reveals Dark Eating Disorder Past; 'X Factor' Judge Admits Body Issues Make Fox Show Hard To Watch [PHOTOS]

By Carly Shields November 15, 2013 3:51 PM EST
The X Factor judge, Demi Lovato, opens about her life with eating disorders. (Photo: Reuters)
The X Factor judge, Demi Lovato, opens about her life with eating disorders. (Photo: Reuters)

X Factor judge Demi Lovato is a tour de force on TV, but the pop personality says it's not easy being on camera when you're not happy with your body. In her new book, Staying Strong: 365 Days A Year, Lovato discusses her struggles with eating disorders and how she came to terms with them — and speaking to reporters Thursday, Lovato revealed it's still not easy. 

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At Thursday's taping of The X Factor, Lovato told reporters that, "It is still hard being in front of the camera when you have suffered from eating disorders, and I still don't watch my episodes. It is hard."

That said, the 21-year-old actress, singer and television personality had a goal in mind when she decided to pen her first book. "This book helps me to continue to love myself," Lovato said. "And it changed my self-esteem and my thought process. I just feel a lot happier. I feel great."

In 2010, Lovato was on tour with the Jonas Brothers when she suddenly withdrew to enter a treatment facility. Reports at the time revealed that Lovato decided to enter treatment after punching a female back-up dancer during an altercation, sparking an intervention that brought the performer's issues with bulimia, self-injury, and substance abuse to light. Lovato later explained that she "basically had a nervous breakdown," and was diagnosed with bipolar disorder during her inpatient treatment. 

Demi Loavto's book Staying Strong: 365 Days a Year (Photo: Book Cover)
Demi Loavto's book Staying Strong: 365 Days a Year (Photo: Book Cover)

Lovato said she wouldn't be alive today if she hadn't received any help. "At one point nobody thought I was going to make it. But here I am, standing here today as a judge," she said. "I am here today breathing and have a heartbeat, and that is what I am thankful for." She says her desperate need for change ended up saving her life.  

But the actresses big goal for her book is to help other young girls like her get through their own eating disorders and find the help that they need. 

"I was called a role model the second I made it in the industry, and I never felt like one," she said. "I finally feel like a role model, and I am doing the things I am supposed to do in this world. This [book] is one of the small ways I can make a difference — if it changes one person's life or makes someone happy and changes their energy in their day." Lovato has taken major strides in building her own self-confidence, even revealing that she's getting more comfortable wearing less makeup

Lovato has a much needed vacation coming up in January and is planning to do all the things she loves, including horseback riding, watching TV shows on her couch and exercising. She'll have a month to help herself get health again. 

While Lovato can now add "author" to her list of titles, the performer's heart is still in show business — and she said she would prefer to stick with singing versus acting. "I think ultimately my main thing is singing. Maybe movies once in a while, if the right role comes along." 

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