A girl has documented her recovery from anorexia after her weight plummeted to a horrifying five stone (70lbs).
Hospitality management student, Gaia Rio, split from her boyfriend, triggering the eating disorder, and had to buy children's clothes given her dramatic weight loss.
The 19-year-old, originally from Italy but moved to Switzerland to study, was left 'basically dying' because of the illness, but has since doubled her weight.
"I broke up with my ex-boyfriend and I barely ate for a week because I was feeling sad, my stomach felt completely closed," Gaia explained. "My feelings for him slowly disappeared but that week of barely eating made me lose two-kilograms so easily, so I thought that if I could lose one or two kilos more I would feel much better about myself.
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"I have never been chubby, but after losing those two kilos I started having bad thoughts about myself.
"I kept thinking, I am not beautiful enough, that's why he broke up with me and if I don't do something no one will like me.
"Actually, these were the most stupid thoughts I could have ever had and it was the beginning of what I believe to be the worst period of my life.
"Two years of my life were wasted on counting calories, being isolated, starving, feeling sad and angry at anything and anyone around me for no reason and preventing myself from being happy and free."
At the peak of the disorder Gaia only ate plain salads, filling up on water and tea. Because of it, she lost many of her friends because she'd steer clear of going out for meals. She labelled anorexia a a 'terrible monster'.
"I started thinking that there was no point in me spending time with them if I was not like them because I was different, at the same time this made me proud too because yes I wanted to be different from them, I wanted to be special," Gaia said.
"Being anorexic could help me to be different, my parents did so much for me, but I was too sick to realise how much love they were showing me and my obsession made me totally blind."
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Thankfully she was able to turn everything around and start eating properly again.
Despite the difficulties, she says she feels proud of herself for overcoming the demons that faced her and now weighs 10 stone (140lbs)
She now exercises daily - and enjoys a varied diet including nutrients, carbs and fats - labelling eating as 'one of the best things on earth'..
"The most difficult part was allowing myself to get out of what I used to call my comfort zone," she said.
"My family loves me even more and my friends see me as an example of a really determined person who faced something really hard throughout her life and ended up winning."
Gaia often updates her Instagram account with pictures of her new body, and says that the profile is all about rediscovering herself.
She says she also gets messages off people who are suffering from similar eating disorders, asking for advice and inspiration.
"I am actually helping or at least trying to help a lot of people who are going through this, I did not know that so many people are suffering from anorexia," she said.
"Every day, lots of girls text me in order to get motivation from me and suggestions.
"I would say that I know recovering is going to be hard but it's actually the best thing you could ever do for yourself.
"Put yourself first, put your happiness first, I am sure suffering is not what you really want to do for your whole life so what are you waiting for."
What an inspiration.
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