Trigger warning: This article contains a discussion about eating disorders.
Demi Lovato's recent return to the spotlight has also included some very candid discussions about the mental health struggles she’s navigated over the years, including her eating disorder.
Ahead of releasing her new single "I Love Me," the singer appeared on The Ellen DeGeneres Show on Thursday (March 5). She opened up about the track’s positive message, and further detailed how she began to believe it herself. It wasn’t a one-and-done listening session that convinced her, though: The song came to her after a contentious few months with her old team, she said.
DeGeneres admitted she had only just learned during the show that Lovato had previously worked with a team who would accompany her to Ellen's show and essentially sweep the area, allegedly without Lovato's knowledge.
"There was a team that used to handle everything before you got here," Ellen said. "They were told to hide all of the sugar and put everything away so that when you got to your dressing room, even backstage, there was no sugar anywhere near. Did you know that was happening?"
Lovato apparently did not.
“But I lived a life for the past six years that I felt like wasn’t my own," she explained. "Because I struggled really hard with an eating disorder, yes, and that was my primary problem and then it turned into other things, but my life, I just felt was — I hate to use this word, but I felt like it was controlled by so many people around me."
She went on to detail the ways in which fruit would be removed from her hotel room, or how someone might take the phone out to remove her ability to call for room service. (It’s not clear who ordered or executed this, or why.) Now, however, she's recruited a new team that she feels has "supported her journey."
"This year, when I turned 27 — I have a new team — Scooter Braun, my manager, gave me the best birthday cake and I spent it with Ariana Grande, who is one of my good friends, and we just had the best birthday," she said. She finally had the opportunity to eat cake, not just "watermelon cake" topped with fat-free whipped cream, which she had on her birthday "for many years."
"I think at some point it becomes dangerous to try to control someone’s food when they’re in recovery from an eating disorder," Lovato said of her experience.
If you or a friend are struggling with mental health, head to halfofus.com for ways to get help.