By Pepper

Written with Meghan Trainor and Jesse Frasure, Lauren Alaina‘s latest single “Road Less Traveled” was inspired by her struggle with an eating disorder.

“This song came from a part of me that isn’t the prettiest part of me, but I want to use it to encourage people regardless of what they see as their flaw,” said Alaina in a heartbreaking new interview with The Tennessean.

She reveals just how bad things got, but also how she’s now triumphed over bulimia.

After one blogger called the 5’8,” then-16-year-old, “Miss Piggy” during her days as a contestant on American Idol, Alaina restricted herself to 500 calories a day and took injections in her leg, trying to lose weight.

Eventually, she became bulimic.

“I think people kind of wondered how I was losing all of that weight,” she says. “At the time, I was so sick, but I still wanted to be smaller. I’m 5-8 and was wearing a size 0.”

Related: Lauren Alaina’s “Road Less Traveled”

Finally, when a doctor examined polyps on her throat that she’d had since she was a child, and pointedly asked if she’d ever had an eating disorder, Alaina was forced to admit the truth, and seek treatment.

She’s now working with a chef and trainer, and hopes that by speaking out about her struggle, that she’ll inspire others – and herself – to be healthier.

“I still wake up with the uglies and I still have days where I say things to myself that I shouldn’t say,” she adds. “But I feel like speaking out about it has made me want to be healthier.”

Watch Lauren perform “Road Less Traveled” on NBC’s “The Today Show” here.

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