Lauren Alaina revealed that she battled bulimia after becoming a runner up on American Idol. She opens up about overcoming the eating disorder which nearly ended her career and how it became the inspiration for her new single ‘Road Less Traveled.’
Now 21 years old, the singer-songwriter was just 16 when she was the season 10 runner up on American Idol in 2011, losing out to Scotty McCreery. She’s got a new single out, ‘The Road Less Traveled’ and is now revealing the story behind it.
In an interview with The Tennessean, Lauren Alaina said she was already struggling with body image even before American Idol. Thus she was all the more vulnerable when she found out about a blogger who was routinely calling her “Miss Piggy” and, adding to the derision was altering her photos by adding pig nose and pig ears.
She lost the weight at first by sticking to a near starvation diet of 500 calories a day, already a risky move. She went on to explain that she was also taking injections in her legs and that eventually she became bulimic. All the while she also kept to a diet and exercise routine. Cumulatively she lost 40 pounds, she said.
That didn’t go unnoticed and one can Google and find many an article about Lauren Alaina’s weight loss transformation. While it might have seemed like yet another success story, she now reveals it was something quite different, and dangerous.
She said, “I think people kind of wondered how I was losing all of that weight…At the time, I was so sick, but I still wanted to be smaller. I’m 5-8 and was wearing a size 0.”
It was a visit to the doctor, when she had polyps on her vocal chords that she had to face the consequences. The doctor asked her if she had an eating disorder and at first she denied it. But, as she explained her mother forced the truth out of her.
She went on to say, “I remember being so embarrassed. I thought I was hiding it from her, so when she said that, I was like, ‘Oh.’ I burst into tears.”
She said the doctor told her that if she didn’t stop throwing up she would never sing again. Alaina said, “Obviously, singing is the only thing I want to do in life.” She added, ” I have no backup plan. People knowing made me not want to do it.”
It was help of her mother and the support of family that Alaina was able to stop the behavior. As for her current regime she told the publication that she follows the Atkins 40 plan and has both a fitness trainer and a chef as she continues her recovery.
Reflecting, she said of the blogger whose comments were her flashpoint, “I was letting someone I was never going to be in the same room with impact my every day happiness.”
She revealed that she faces an ongoing struggle. She said, “I still wake up with the uglies and I still have days where I say things to myself that I shouldn’t say. But I feel like speaking out about it has made me want to be healthier.”
She also spoke about the new single, ‘The Road Less Traveled’ which she co-wrote with Jesse Frasure as well as Meghan Trainor, who rose to fame with the now iconic song ‘All About that Bass’ that has become for many an anthem of body positivity.
Alaina said of it, “This song came from a part of me that isn’t the prettiest part of me, but I want to use it to encourage people regardless of what they see as their flaw.”
And let’s hope that it will serve as an inspiration and solace to those who may be suffering from the feelings of inadequacy that may lead to such destructive behaviors.
You can see the full interview here as Lauren Alaina opens up about overcoming bulemia and listen to the new song below.