Chloe Frame told South West News Service, a British news agency, that her anorexia began two years ago when her parents were going through a divorce. At the time, starving herself was the only way she felt she could get attention, she said.
“I started becoming obsessed with food and thought if I lost weight maybe that would get me the attention from my family,” she told the outlet. “I started restricting what I was eating, I would eat three normal meals a day but just not overindulge.”
But Frame’s eating habits soon became more extreme.
“The weight wasn’t coming off quick enough so I started starving myself all day and then allowed myself to eat one meal at night time which would be around 500 calories,” she said. “I would weigh everything out and find out exactly how many calories were in each thing so I could get it to 500.”
She added: “Even when I brushed my teeth, I would only use a tiny bit of toothpaste because I was so worried it would make me put on weight.”
Frame said she stopped going to grocery stores because they overwhelmed her and would instead search for zero-calorie food online. During the rare times that she would go out to eat with a friend, she would “starve myself beforehand, and know the menu off by heart, so I knew exactly what I could get,” she said.
“Even when I did eat, I would normally be sick right afterward,” she continued. “It was exhausting and I was always so hungry but the need to be thin kept me going.”
Frame also had other side effects associated with anorexia, like feeling cold a lot of the time. At one point, she said her hair began to fall out in “massive clumps” and added that she was once constipated for four weeks.
“I was so weak and tired but was still trying to do 25,000 steps a day while eating no food,” she said. “I would say ‘I will stop when I get to this weight,' but then when I reached it, I would just keep going.”
Frame said it “felt amazing” when people would notice how much weight she had lost — adding more fuel to her dangerous habits.
But a girls' trip to Magaluf, a town on the Spanish island of Majorca, changed her life. Frame said her friends quickly noticed she restricted her food intake even more than usual so she could drink alcohol.
“One of the days I ate three chicken nuggets and was sick right away because I just couldn’t live with the guilt,” she recalled.
Following the vacation, Frame said her friends told her parents about her eating habits in a bid to save her life.
“When we got home my friends told my parents and that's when I knew I had to make a change,” she said. “The holiday saved my life because that’s when my friends started noticing. I was a really bubbly and happy person, who always enjoyed food, no one could believe this happened to me.”
Frame said she sought professional help and has since returned to a healthy weight. Her menstrual cycle, which had stopped, eventually returned as well.
“I still eat a healthy diet but I don’t weigh myself anymore,” she said. "The thoughts can sometimes be there but it’s gradually getting better.”