American Idol’s Lauren Alaina talks Eating Disorder, Dad’s Alcoholism in New Music
The 50th Annual CMA Awards – Arrivals
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American Idol

American Idol’s Lauren Alaina talks Eating Disorder, Dad’s Alcoholism in New Music

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When we first met Lauren Alaina on American Idol Season 10, she was just a fresh-faced, bubbly teen from Georgia.

In the six years since then, the country singer has grown into a strong, accomplished young woman — but not before going through some difficult things along the way.

Actually, the 22-year-old struggled quite a bit after finishing as the runner-up the Fox reality competition.

51st Academy Of Country Music Awards – Arrivals
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Luckily, she’s been able to channel these heartbreaks into her new album, Road Less Traveled, a very honest release that touches on her battle with an eating disorder and her father’s alcoholism.

“I really feel like this album is my story,” Lauren tells People. “[The songs] are all different things that have happened to me over the past few years.”

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The songstress details that “everything pretty much changed” since her Idol days, providing enough material for over 300 songs that had to be cut down to only 12.

The first upheaval came in the form of divorce — her parents’, that is. Both remarried not long after, but her dad’s substance abuse issues were the biggest hurdle.

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“My dad’s an alcoholic and he went through rehab,” she shares.

As difficult as that might be, the chart topper reasons her father’s ability to tackle this illness has served as inspiration.

“Watching him really helped me because my dad had an addiction for a really long time — since he was really young — and it was really inspiring for me to see him overcome that,” she states.

Meanwhile, she was facing her own demons…

In 2011, the Southern gal was dealing with negative attention about her weight after the show. She even recalls one blogger referring to her as “Miss Piggy.”

This is proof that we all have hope. #ThrowbackThursday #YesThatIsMe

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That contributed to a quickly-worsening battle with bulimia, which only came to light in her family when doctors noted severe vocal cord polyps, caused by the purging, which began to affect her voice.

Luckily, she was able to receive the eating disorder treatment she needed — plus, vocal cord surgery for the damage.

Just last year, she finally felt comfortable focusing on her physical health again by hiring a personal trainer, turning to boxing, and switching to a high-protein, high-carb diet.

In other words, girlfriend is in the best shape — emotionally and physically — of her life, and it’s showing in her new music!

A photo posted by @laurenalaina on

But don’t just take our word for it — check out Road Less Traveled in stores now or check Lauren out on tour this summer with Luke Bryan.