Lauren Alaina’s Fitness Journey Helped Her Recovery From Bulimia

Often, we see stars as perfect and polished — they’ve got unbelievable resources at their disposal to always look their best, and many of them rose to fame in part because they were deemed physically attractive in the first place. It can be hard to understand how someone who has the world adoring them for their looks could suffer from poor body image, but between the added pressure of fame and the constant scrutiny of their appearance, many stars are susceptible to having a negative body image including serious and dangerous eating disorders

Country music star Lauren Alaina is among those celebrities who have struggled with bulimia, and she’s opening up about how her road to recovery has included a better relationship to fitness and health. 

Lauren Alaina smiling slightly in front of a white background with black logos
Lauren Alaina | Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Lauren Alaina is a country music star

Many people were first introduced to Alaina as a participant on Season 10 of American Idol. Alaina was a contender for the top spot in the singing competition, but she ultimately lost to Scotty McCreery. Losing the competition certainly didn’t hurt her career, however. Alaina went on to pen record deals with Interscope Records and Mercury Nashville. Her debut album Wildflower came out in 2011. It took six years for her to release a follow-up, but her single “Road Less Traveled” from that newer effort earned her the number one spot on the Country Airplay chart. Then she earned another number one spot with her duet with Kane Brown “What Ifs.” 

Since then, Alaina has returned to reality TV as a platform to keep her star on the rise. As Dancing with the Stars participant, the Georgia-born musician has managed to showcase her talents beyond the limits of the country music genre and into a wider audience. 

Lauren Alaina’s personal struggles have made headlines

RELATED: Who is Thomas Rhett’s Wife Lauren Akins?

Like many stars, Alaina’s personal life is a topic of conversation for fans and critics alike. In Alaina’s case, her love life has managed to grab some headlines. Fans had fallen for the high school sweetheart story around her love with Alex Hopkins, so they were thrilled when the pair got engaged. However, the wedding bells never got a chance to ring because Alaina and Hopkins called off their engagement before making it down the aisle. Hopkins had been by Alaina’s side during her rise to fame at such a young age — she was only 16 when she appeared on American Idol. Eventually, though, the pair drifted apart as their lives changed so drastically. 

Another of Alaina’s personal struggles that have managed to grab public attention is her battle with bulimia. According to Shape, Alaina reports being self-conscious about her body as young as 11. “I was in middle school and had just made the cheerleading team when I realized how completely different I was than those girls,” Alaina said. She hit an early growth spurt and felt out-of-place among thinner, shorter girls. By the time she made it to the American Idol stage at 16, she had already been battling bulimia for years after being teased about her weight. “I was very unhealthy. My hair was falling out and throwing up had started to damage my vocal cords,” Alaina explains.

A new relationship to fitness has helped Lauren Alaina heal 

Luckily, Alaina was able to overcome these difficulties through a new relationship with fitness. As The Tennessean explains, Alaina found a path to fitness that included celebrity trainer Erin Oprea and a personal chef who delivers meals to her house every three days. Through these avenues, Alaina has learned to appreciate her body more fully.

“I’m still learning to love myself. I want to be the girl who has a positive influence on people’s lifestyle. I don’t want to be the girl who has an eating disorder and that’s why she looks the way she looks,” Alaina explained of her fitness journey and her motivation.