Demi Lovato talks about battling eating disorder

Years ago, Karen Carpenter's struggle with anorexia was viewed as a rarity. Now, celebrities are opening up about their eating disorder battles. Among them: Devi Lovato, who has authored a book of affirmations, which she hopes will help others: "Staying Strong: 365 Days a Year."

Demi hopes that her courage in discussing her own struggles with her body image will help others.  "There was nobody out there for me to look at and say, maybe this is unhealthy. Maybe starving myself isn't the answer," she said to Ellen DeGeneres in a recent appearance on her talk show. "So I want to be that for a 13-year-old girl at home deciding whether or not to eat dinner, or an 18-year-old deciding whether or not to keep her breakfast down. There needs to be a role model out there, and for the first time in my life, I actually feel like one."

Read more about Demi's journey to self-acceptance by clicking here.

Brother of Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, Brian Cuban also battled anorexia and bulimia.  He's written about his struggles: "Shattered Image: My Triumph Over Body Dysmorphic Disorder." His message to others: Regardless of your age, you can get a fresh start on your life.

"I want people to know that as someone who was 45 before he began his eating disorder recovery, it's never too late to begin a life free from eating disorders no matter how old you are," he declared. He hopes his openness will help others.

 In an exclusive interview, Marya Hornbacher talked with us about her book "Wasted Updated Edition: A Memoir of Anorexia and Bulimia (P.S.)." She describes her journey from eating disorder to recovery as the account of "a horrifying illness."

Some have said that the book "triggers" eating disorders, and Marya urges that those in recovery "identify their own triggers, and put those things away from themselves. If 'Wasted' is triggering, I encourage people to come back to it when their own recovery is more firmly in place."

In recent years, sites encouraging eating disorders have emerged. "Pro-ana and pro-mia sites are horrifying, and if I was the loved one of a suffering person, I would do anything in my power to help my loved one keep her- or himself away from triggering factors," said Marya firmly.

To recover, Marya feels that the person must "summon the strength, support, and self-direction needed to make recovery the real goal." And it takes time, she emphasizes.

"The progress we make is more an emergent force than a one-time lightning bolt to the head. There is no 'one day I was sick, and the next day I decided to get well.' There is a process of healing, and that is what we must expect, and what we must cultivate in ourselves," she added.

What does it mean to achieve recovery? "I eat when I want and when I’m hungry, and I eat what I want," Marya reflects. She no longer weighs herself, and feels that she has made peace with food.

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