Demi Lovato, 25, has long been candid about her struggles with eating disorders, but on Oct. 18, she took it a step further and shared the stark reality of it by posting before and after photos that show just how malnourished she was in her late teens and how far she has come in her long and sometimes rocky recovery.
The side-by-side photos, which Us Weekly notes she shared from a fan on her Instagram story, display a gaunt, bony Lovato hunched over and looking down as she takes a selfie, next to a slightly more filled out, muscular version of herself in recovery, looking straight forward and adopting a stronger, more confident stance.
"Recovery is possible," reads a block of text above the two images.
In her YouTube documentary, "Simply Complicated," Lovato shared that she still struggles to make healthy choices and has relapsed since committing to her recovery -- most severely after her 2016 breakup with "That '70s Show" actor Wilmer Valderrama, whom she dated for nearly six years, notes E! Online.
"When I was in a relationship with Wilmer I went three years without purging, and when we broke up, that's one of the first things I did," Lovato says in the documentary, according to E! Online. "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. When I feel lonely my heart feels hungry and I end up binging."
The former Disney star turned powerhouse pop singer said that she developed an eating disorder when she experienced severe bullying at school and started doing things like making cookies for her family and eating all of them.
"[Food makes me think of] body image, what I wish I could be eating, what I wish I could be eating next, what I wish I didn't eat," she said. "It's constant. I get envious towards people who don't struggle with an eating disorder, because I think my life would be so much easier."
Lovato, who also has bipolar disorder and was addicted to drugs and alcohol for years before committing to a life of sobriety, said that she kept using and lying about it long after she first entered rehab in 2010 and said she was "not easy to work with" during that "embarrassing" time.
But that's not going to stop her from moving forward.
"I think what was difficult about the process was being honest about where I am in my life today," she told Billboard. "Telling the world that I'm not the poster child for recovery. Sometimes it is a struggle, and sometimes I still deal with issues that I have suffered from in the past. It's a challenge to maintain recovery, and I talk about that in the film. ... I want to be the best role model that I can be for my fans, so by admitting that I'm not perfect, it's kind of weird for me."