A 21-year-old woman has opened up about her battle with anorexia - and how she overcame the eating disorder that almost claimed her life.
Elle Lietzow, from Melbourne, was on the brink of death after her weight plummeted to a dangerous 34 kilograms during her final school year in 2014.
She went to extreme lengths to hide her battle in her teenage years where she even left traces of food around the kitchen so her family would assume she was eating.
The model said she eventually found herself avoiding food following the constant pressure to be thin after she was cruelly taunted for being overweight.
'I was called a "fat whale" in primary school,' Ms Lietzow told Daily Mail Australia.
But after joining the swimming team, she started to 'lose weight naturally' when she competed at a national level with the Olympic team around the country.
'I started getting compliments about looking good so I was no longer tormented by the bullies in school,' she recalled.
'And so the training increased because I didn't want to be bullied again. I was training 10 times a week... and losing more weight.
'Then all the bullying stopped. They all wanted to be my friend.'
But the eating disorder spiralled out of control from the age of 15 after she became obsessed with calorie counting and would restrict her diet next to nothing.
'I pretty much stopped eating at the age of 15, and that was when I developed the eating disorder,' she said.
'The girls in school were talking about going on a diet, and we were looking at weight loss on Facebook. They were also into the extreme dieting teas. We were all talking about people losing X amount of weight.
'At the time, I remember thinking if I keep being thin, people would still be my friend and if I gain weight, then no one would want to be my friend.
'I thought maybe these girls at school were going home and not eating either. So I started eating little and overexercising.'
The then teenager was diagnosed with anorexia shortly before she turned 16. She decided to quit swimming altogether because she wanted a 'social life'.
'I wanted to socialise because everyone was partying at that age,' she said.
'When I was training, I couldn't miss any sessions because we were always training with the Olympic team and we weren't allowed to go on holiday.
'I decided to quit swimming so I could have more of a social life. But from there, I didn't have a social life because I got caught up with losing weight instead.'
She started hiding her weight loss from her family and friends - by wearing 'baggy clothes' or leaving traces of food around the kitchen to fool her family.
'I was faking my way around,' she said.
'I remember stuffing my bras and making myself look bigger by wearing baggy clothes. I never wore tight clothes.
'My parents were working full-time with very busy schedules so I was always home alone and they would come home late and asked if I'd eaten and I'd say yes.
'I used to put Weetbix crumbs in bowls with a little bit of milk to look like I'd eaten. I would get crumbs from the toaster. I would make food disappear just by throwing them in the bin. Or I would chop food up to look like I'd cooked.
'At school, I would spend ages at my locker to avoid lunchtime and when my friends asked me if I'd eaten, I would lie that I did.
'Though no one was stupid because you could see how my face was getting thinner. And at the time, I didn't know what an eating disorder was but I was trying to maintain my weight.'
However, when she was 16, she 'so-called got better' after eating again - but this time, she lost control over her diet - adding weight rapidly to her waistline.
'I became overweight because I started binge eating,' she said.
Far from getting better, the young woman was 168 centimetres tall - but she dramatically dropped from a healthy 50 kilograms to just 34 kilograms.
'I didn't know how to eat normally again. I no longer knew what a regular diet was. I just couldn't get my mental state back on track,' she said.
'The scale was going up like crazy.'
Trying to maintain her consumption, she eventually relapsed - and quickly fell back into the grips of anorexia again, without realising what she was doing to herself.
At the age of 18, her illness had become so severe, she was admitted to hospital after her mother found her suffering seizures in her bedroom.
'When I was hospitalised, I had lost 40 kilos in less than six months,' she recalled.
'My body was shutting down. My electrolyte was dangerously low and the doctors said they've never seen anyone alive at that level. I was hours from death, I almost went into a cardiac arrest.
'I was in hospital getting treatment for a month but afterwards, I didn't want to be there anymore so I discharged myself against medical advice at the first opportunity.'
When she got home, she gained 10 kilograms in four weeks - where she tipped the scales at 45 kilograms - a weight she maintained for the next two years.
'I went vegan overnight - but I made the mistake of getting trapped into ortherexia - my whole diet pretty much consisted of fruits,' she explained.
'I maintained a low weight of 45 kilos for two years which was "better" than before but still clearly unhealthy as I was yet to get my period back from when I was 17.'
And it wasn't until December last year, she finally came to the realisation that the only person who could save her from the life-threatening condition was herself.
'I remember thinking, "I'm done... I've never achieved anything being thin. No one likes you any better",' she said.
'I decided I wanted to gain weight I wanted to get my period back and also attempt to look my age instead of five years younger.
'I came across the body positive on Instagram and there were hashtags like "self love" and "body positive" and I was really inspired.
'There was no point trying to control myself because I wasn't getting any happier. I never hated anyone else for what they look like so why I should hate myself?
'And I wanted to be healthy again and get my period back since the age of 17. I finally got it back just two months ago - I was 20 - just before my 21st.'
And more than six months on, the social media influencer has made a remarkable body transformation as she continues with her recovery.
'I weigh like 65 or 70 kilograms now. I actually don't even know what my weight is but I don't really care,' she said.
'I don't weigh myself anymore because I don't believe in numbers anymore.'
The YouTube star now follows a balanced vegan diet of fats, carbohydrates and protein.
'I slowly but surely started gaining weight again,' she said as she laughed.
'I feel free and I no longer have any rules around food. For the first time, I feel so much happier. I never had boobs or curves. Now, I have a healthy figure - I love my curves.
'Since coming across the body positive movement on Instagram I have begun to fall in love with myself despite my shape or size.
'I want other young girls and woman out there to know they can rock the skin they are in without trying to look like anyone else or falling into the trap of diet culture.'
She decided to speak out about the illness, and share her confronting photographs of her remarkable healing process in the hope of inspiring other young women.
'Don't compare yourself to others because it's not worth it,' she said.
'Recovery takes time, hard work, determination, a lot of tears and ups and downs.
'Eventually you will come out on top when you start putting yourself first and focusing on how you feel rather than how you look.
'Someone else out will always love the way you look - you may not like it at the moment but someone else will.
'Life stops when you are trapped in an eating disorder and only starts up again when you start to break free from all negative behaviours.'