'Love Who God Made You to Be': Country Music Star Lauren Alaina Talks Faith and Finding 'God-Given Worth'
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Country music star Lauren Alaina is opening up about her faith journey in a new book that chronicles her career, the death of her stepfather, and a six-year battle with bulimia.
The multi-platinum singer released Getting Good at Being You: Learning to Love Who God Made You to Be on Dec. 7 and says she wanted to be open about her struggles to help others.
"I wrote it for young women, mostly," she shared on Instagram. "Writing a book is very different than writing a song...because writing a song is writing a 3-minute summary of a situation. Writing a book is dedicating an entire chapter to a situation. It's really breaking it down and getting into the details. It's vulnerable in a completely different way."
The 2011 American Idol runner-up shares personal stories, practical faith tips, and encouragement.
"When I wrote the book, I really wanted to write it from a perspective of, 'These are the things that I've been through, and this is how I got through it,'" Alaina told the Christian Post. "Being on the other side of it, being healed, I just want you to know that it's possible; you can get through it."
The artist uses the book to bring awareness to an eating disorder she struggled with for six years.
"There was this specific blog that really bothered me, and they only referred to me as Miss Piggy and they'd put her pig nose and ears on my body," Alaina told Self Magazine in 2017. "I was 16 seeing that, and I just remember seeing that and thinking, 'They're not going to be able to do that to me anymore because I'm going to lose weight.' And that's when it got really bad."
Alaina dropped 50 pounds but her hair was falling out and she began developing polyps on her vocal cords. It wasn't until a physician warned of permanent damage that Alaina decided to seek treatment.
"You would have never thought when I was 19 years old, bubbly, loud all over the place like I always am, that I was struggling so severely internally," she told CP. "And I think it's like anything, the more we talk about something, the less that stigma kind of goes away. And the more that we all realize, hey, this is a real issue for a lot of people, and we need to figure out a way to get these people help and… get ourselves help."
A 2020 Harvard study finds that nine percent or 28.8 million Americans will suffer from an eating disorder in their lifetime, but help is always available at resources like NEPA, a 24-7 eating disorder helpline.
"I just want to be a source of love and guidance as much as I can and inspire others to be nice to themselves," Alaina explained. "If anything, just please be nice to yourself. Let me be an example of that."
The 27-year-old also uses the book to share how God pulled her from despair during her stepfather's battle with cancer. "I felt very alone. I felt like [God] wasn't there with me, but my grief was clouding that. He of course was there," she said.
Alaina hopes her book will help women understand their God-given worth. "This book encompasses all things that made me the woman I am today. Faith. Family. Friends. Fans. Loss. Love. Hope. Endings. New beginnings. Healing," she wrote on Instagram.
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