Demi Lovato is healthy and happy these days, but regrets having spent so many years hating her body and thinking she was fat.
Lovato made the remarks on Facebook while reflecting on the sexy red dress she wore to the 2014 MTV Video Music Awards.
Demi posted split-image photos of herself from this year and from past VMA red carpet appearances, and lamented that she thought she was fat when wore a form-fitting Herve Leger bandage dress in 2008 that accentuated her tiny waist. At the time, Lovato was suffering from anorexia and bulimia.
"I remember the day I wore the dress in the very first picture," Lovato wrote. "I remember asking for Spanx to flatten my stomach because I use to feel so heavy and 'fat.' Now, looking at this picture, you can clearly see my hip bones. It makes me sad because I wasted so many years ashamed of my body when I could've been living the happy and healthy life I live today. It TRULY just goes to show you that your perceptions can lie to you."
Lovato, who was also fat-shamed by fans after gaining a few pounds in 2013. Despite weight fluctuations, Demi said she's finally happy with her body, no matter what her size, because she has embraced self-acceptance.
Demi praised Kim Kardashian, Jennifer Lopez and Beyonce for expanding public perception of what is beautiful and paving the way for fuller figures.
"When I was a pre-teen, the people that I had to look up to [for] body image [were] extremely underweight. [They] were all very bony at that time and that was the in thing, she told Access Hollywood.
"I really credit women like Beyonce and Kim Kardashian. [They] completely revolutionized what our generation's view of perception of what beautiful is and I really think that they had a huge impact on that. You can think whatever you want about the Kardashians, but they really did help tons of women feel comfortable in their own skin and I like to carry that message on.
Look at J.Lo, look at Scarlett Johansson, Sophia Vergara, Beyonce – who I don't really consider human, she is more like a goddess – they have amazing figures that are more realistic and achievable."
Demi has been doing really well since going to rehab for bulimia, anorexia, drug addiction and bipolar disorder in 2010, but admits she still struggles with depression and sobriety.
Lovato, 22, treats her bipolar disorder with medication and therapy, but said it isn't easy to manage the mood swings and dark thoughts.
Lovato, who was addicted to alcohol, cocaine and pot, suffered from the eating disorders anorexia and bulimia since age eight. At one point, the 5-foot-3 Demi starved herself down to a skeletal 88 pounds. She finally ended the vicious cycle of bingeing and purging after realizing she could kill herself from the disease.
Lovato said she wants to be a role model for other young girls suffering from similar problems. "[I want to be a] role model," she said. "I had a negative breakdown and it changed my life forever. If I hadn’t gone into treatment, I don't know if I'd be alive today."
Looking back, she's glad she went public with her problems because her experiences may be able to help others. Demi said she's grateful for the love and support of her family and fans and finally feels beautiful.
"I not only feel so grateful for the love and support I've had from fans, friends and family, but I also feel ... beautiful," she said. "I'm so excited to live my life the way I deserve to and to the complete fullest. Thank you guys once again. And never forget that staying strong is worth it."