Lauren Alaina Opens Up About Battle With Bulimia While on ‘American Idol’

Lauren Alaina wants to be a source of hope and encouragement for others, especially those who struggle with their body image, as she once did. The 28-year-old has been open about her own struggles, which led to bulimia as a teenager, hoping that by sharing her story, she can inspire others who face the same battle as she once did.

“I started having problems with [an] eating disorder in middle school and then in tenth grade, I go on American Idol,” Alaina recalls to People. “And I was in my very awkward, chubby phase.”

Alaina got a fast, and unfortunate, lesson on the unkindness and cruelty of other people, when she read what other people wrote about her size while on Idol. What should have been one of the highlights of her life, quickly reached an all-time low as she grappled with the hurtful statements made about her.

“People commented a lot on my weight… What kind of evil humans can comment on a 16-year-old child is beyond me now,” Alaina reflects. “But as that 16-year-old child, it got very bad for a while. I suffered with such a severe eating disorder in those years where nothing was connecting. It wasn’t only because [I needed] to work hard, I lost who I was completely. Everything – my light… it was dimmed quite a bit because of the TV aspect.”

“It was an extreme high and an extreme low and I got sick… I struggled very, very bad with bulimia for a very long time,” she adds.

Courtesy of ABC/ American Idol


Alaina, who came in second to  Scotty McCreeryon Season 10 of American Idol in 2011, went to intensive therapy before appearing on Dancing With the Stars in 2019. Now, Alaina feels sympathy and sadness for who she was while people focused on her body instead of her talent while on a national reality TV talent show.

“I was always confident on the stage; the one thing I wasn’t confident [about] was my weight, probably my whole life,” she admits.

The Grand Ole Opry member has been outspoken about her bulimia battle in recent years, revealing what it took for her to finally get the help she needed.

“They told me that if I didn’t stop, I would never sing again, and I didn’t want that,” Alaina previously told Entertainment Tonight. “That was a wake-up call for me, and it took me a few years even after that to really get into a better place. And I still go check in with the therapist every once in a while, specifically for an eating disorder.”

“But I’m healthy now, and I got some curves and I’m proud of ’em!” she says.

Alaina recently released her Unlocked, her debut EP on Big Loud Records.

“It’s country through and through,” Alaina told Apple Music Country’s Today’s Country Radio with Kelleigh Bannen, when the project was released. “There’s nothing pop about it, which I was very intentional about. I spent a ton of time with my family over the last few years and back home in Rossville, Georgia where I came from.”

Alaina will join McCreery, along with Trace AdkinsLady A and Chris Janson. in being part of this year’s Opry Country Christmas event. Find all of Alaina’s music and tour dates at