Lauren Alaina is well-known for her sunny smile and sweet disposition, but the rising country singer has been hiding a very serious private struggle. In a new interview, Alaina shares her battle with bulimia.

In a Facebook Live interview with Motto, the American Idol Season 10 runner-up admits she wrestles with insecurities that began after her run on the show.

“I had bulimia for a few years,” she says. “I was really sick. I don’t know that person, I can’t believe that was me.”

“I just desperately wanted to be thin,” she adds. “That’s all I thought. I was obsessed with it, which it was ridiculous because I had everything going for me. I was following my dream. Everything I wanted at the time, I was getting. But I was obsessed with this other thing that was making me unhappy.”

The 21-year-old singer was in her late teens at the height of her bulimia struggle. Her mother was instrumental in her recovery.

“My mom made me look in the mirror every day and say three things that I loved about myself,” Alaina says. “At first, I couldn’t name anything. It was so sad. When my mom made me do that, I looked in the mirror and I literally couldn’t name one thing that I loved about myself.”

Alaina says she’s finding it easier to love herself these days, noting it can be something small like her eyelashes, or appreciating her outgoing personality. “I try to remind myself of the things that I like about myself that make me who I am,” she says.

The singer has been working on her second album, which has no set release date yet. Her new songs focus on themes of confidence and loving yourself, she says. “It’s all about, no matter where you come from, that you can be who you want to be and achieve what you want to achieve. I want people to learn to love who they are. Because that’s the hardest thing in life, being able to see yourself the way other people see you.”

She’s hoping she can speak to other women through her music.

“A lot of my fans are young women that are my age,” she notes. “We’re all going through the same problems at the same time, so I just tried to be really honest with that.”

Lauren Alaina talks bulimia struggle