Demi says simply that food is “still the biggest challenge in my life” and revealed that she struggled with disordered eating as recently as this year after her breakup from longtime boyfriend Wilmer Valderrama.
“When I was in a relationship with Wilmer I went three years without purging and when we broke up that’s one of the first things I did,” she says in the documentary. “The less I have to think about food, the easier it is to go about having a normal life and I don’t want to let anybody down so when I do have moments when I slip up, I feel very ashamed.”
Demi says her relapse started when she began missing Wilmer. “And when I feel lonely, my heart feels hungry and I end up bingeing,” she says. Demi traced her issues with eating back to her childhood, noting that she first began bingeing when she was eight-years-old after her little sister was born and she felt like less attention was on her.
“I had started working at that time and was under a lot of stress so I would bake cookies for my family and I would eat all of them and nobody would have any to eat,” she says. “That was my first memory of food being that medicine for me.”
This isn’t the first time Demi has opened up about having an eating disorder, but it may be the most candid she’s been about it.
At least 30 million people in the U.S. suffer from an eating disorder, according to the National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders, and while there’s no data on how many people relapse after receiving treatment for an eating disorder, the National Eating Disorders Association calls relapsing a “natural part of the recovery process.”
Now, Demi says that while she’s gained control over her former drug addiction, disordered eating is still a struggle for her. “I don’t want to give it the power that it controls my every thought but it’s something that I’m constantly thinking about,” she says. “Body image, what I wish I could be eating, what I wish I could be eating next, what I wish I didn’t eat, you know it’s just constant. I get envious towards people who don’t struggle with an eating disorder because I think my life would be so much easier.”
You can watch Demi talk about her relapse in her documentary here:
This article originally appeared on Women's Health US.