Demi Lovato Covers 'Self,' Opens Up About Eating Disorder And Bipolar Diagnosis

It's safe to say that Demi Lovato is having her career-defining moment. After a whirlwind couple years -- during which the Disney starlet struggled with eating disorders, stints in rehab, and a diagnosis of bipolar disorder -- Demi has come out the other side stronger and more confident than ever before. Now looking happy than healthy on the cover of the August 2012 issue of Self magazine, the singer opens up about how she got through it all -- and what makes her feel confident and beautiful now.

Demi was diagnosed with bipolar disorder after a breakdown in October 2011 which led her to cancel a tour and head to rehab. She has said in previous interviews that the diagnosis was a "relief."

“Finding out I had a real emotional disorder helped me put together the pieces of the puzzle," she tells Self. "I remember being on my tour bus thinking, My life is so awesome right now, but I’m so depressed. Then, a few days later, I’d be on top of the world. It was really confusing. When I got diagnosed, my life made more sense.”

With the 'pieces of the puzzle' coming together for Demi, she's also hitting a new stride in her career. With a TV gig as a judge on the "X Factor," Demi has found support in co-star Britney Spears. Demi says of her fellow judge, "We’ve gone through a lot of the same things, so we have a connection.”

After overcoming her struggles with anorexia, bulimia, self-harm and depression, Demi is looking inside to regain her strength -- which she commemorated with "Stay Strong" tattoos on her wrists -- and discover what real beauty is. She says:

I used to feel my most beautiful when I was on the red carpet or at events or something where I’m all dolled up. Now I feel like the moment when I feel most beautiful is when I’m able to hang out with a guy without my makeup on or lay on the beach with no makeup on and not even worrying about what my hair or what I look like before I fall asleep. When I’m confident enough to show myself without makeup on, that’s when I feel my most confident.

And it shows -- in a beach photo shoot in bright separates, posing with a surf board, Demi looks confident, radiant and healthy. Check out some photos from the shoot in the slideshow below!

Are you inspired by Demi's transformation? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below or tweet @HuffPostTeen!

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Demi Lovato in Self Magazine