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Demi Lovato Opens Up About Body Image In An Inspiring Instagram Post

08/27/2014 12:15 pm ET | Updated Aug 27, 2014

In the wake of this year's MTV Video Music Awards, Demi Lovato took to Instagram to share an inspiring message about body struggles.

On Monday, Aug. 25, the star posted a side-by-side image of four of her recent VMA outfits with an accompanying note:

"This picture makes me feel so many mixed emotions.. I remember the day I wore the dress in the very first picture. I remember asking for spanx to flatten my stomach because I use to feel so heavy and 'fat,'" the star wrote. "Now looking at this picture, you can clearly see my hip bones. It makes me sad because I wasted so many years ashamed of my body when I could've been living the happy and healthy life I live today."

"It TRULY just goes to show you that your perceptions can lie to you," she continued. "OR they can make you learn to enjoy life. Fortunately looking at the picture of myself in the red dress yesterday, I not only feel so grateful for the love and support I've had from fans, friends and family, but... I also feel.. beautiful. I'm so excited to live my life the way I deserve to and to the complete fullest. Thank you guys once again.. I'm so thankful for my Lovatics. I love you... And never forget that staying strong is worth it."

Lovato attended treatment for eating disorders and cutting back in 2010, and has since become one of the most outspoken celebrity advocates for changing the way we think and talk about bodies in our culture.

"Most models are thinner than 98 percent of Americans," she tweeted in 2012 in support of National Eating Disorders Awareness Week. "Instead of trying to change our bodies, how about we try to change our culture?"

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