After years of struggling with an eating disorder, Demi Lovato is finally having a real birthday cake and eating it too. During her appearance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show on Thursday (March 5), Lovato opened up about her “controlled” eating habits, which included her team deliberately hiding sugar from her everywhere she went.
“I lived a life for the past six years that I felt like wasn’t my own because I struggled really hard with an eating disorder, yes, and that was my primary problem. … I just felt like my life was so — and I hate to use this word — but it felt, like, controlled by so many people around me,” she told Ellen after disclosing she didn’t know about the sugar hiding until this week. “If I was in my hotel room at night, they would take the phone out of the hotel room so I couldn’t call room service. Or if there was fruit in my room, they took it out because that’s extra sugar. We’re not talking about brownies and cookies and candies and stuff like that; it was fruit.”
The only exception to not being allowed to eat fruit came once a year on Aug. 20 — the singer’s birthday — when her teammates cut her a watermelon “cake” with fat-free whipped cream on top.
“For years I did that, and it kind of became this ongoing joke, but I just really wanted birthday cake,” the 27-year-old singer admitted.
This past August, Lovato’s new manager Scooter Braun surprised her with a birthday cake covered in sprinkles, frosting and candles. “I spent it with Ariana Grande, who is one of my good friends, and we just had the best birthday,” Lovato recalled. “I just remember crying because I was finally eating cake with a manager that didn’t need anything from me and that loved me for who I am and supported my journey.”
Photos and videos from her 27th birthday flashed on the screen above, showing Grande, Braun and more of Lovato’s inner-circle celebrating her in a seemingly standard, but incredibly imporant, way she hadn’t been familiar with. “Only few know how much this cake means to me.. thank you @scooterbraun.. so grateful,” Lovato wrote at the time on her Instagram story, showing off the confection.
Update: Grande has since taken to Instagram to applaud Lovato, writing, “Love u a lot and am endlessly proud.”
Watch snippets of Lovato’s interview on Ellen below.
— Ariana Grande Today (@ArianaToday) March 5, 2020