Demi Lovato gave her first interview in over a year this weekend at the Teen Vogue Summit. During a sit-down in front of an audience, Lovato explained everything she's learned over what she describes as "a very introspective year."
As fans know, Lovato has long worked to push forward the conversation about self-love and body positivity, often by sharing her own unedited photos and speaking candidly about her eating disorder. Over the past year, she's worked to shift her own terminology away from "body positivity" and toward another helpful framing, "body acceptance."
"We hear the term body positivity all the time. To be honest, I don't always feel positive about my body. Sometimes I do not like what I see. I don't sit there and dwell on it. I also don't lie to myself," she said. "I used to look in the mirror if I was having a bad body image day and say 'I love my body, you're beautifully and wonderfully made.' But I didn't believe it. I don't have to lie to myself and tell myself I have an amazing body. All I have to say is 'I'm healthy.' In that statement, I express gratitude. I am grateful for my strength and things I can do with my body. I am saying I'm healthy and I accept the way my body is today without changing anything."
To help herself with this goal of body acceptance, Lovato decided to forgo a month at the gym altogether. "For so many years I dealt with an eating disorder. What I wasn't ever open with myself about was whenever I was in the gym I was doing it to an unhealthy extreme," Lovato said. "I think that's what led me down a darker path — I was still engaging in these behaviors. Embracing my body as it is naturally is why I took the month of October off the gym."
Now, she says, she's facing off all her challenges from a place of strength.
"What I see in the mirror [is] someone that's overcome a lot. I've been through a lot and I genuinely see a fighter," Demi said. "I don't see a championship winner, but I see a fighter and someone who is going to continue to fight no matter what is thrown their way. I have a lot of confidence now because I have said the things I believe in. I know I can hold my own on a first date with someone, in a conversation with someone. That's what I see when I look in the mirror — a strong woman."
More on Demi Lovato:
- Demi Lovato Dip-Dyed Her Hair Neon Pink
- Demi Lovato's New "Me" Tattoo Serves as a Meaningful Reminder
- The Disney Channel Gave Demi Lovato the Worst Beauty Advice She's Ever Gotten
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Originally Appeared on Allure