"If I could talk to anyone struggling with any mental illness or eating disorder, I would tell them to reach out to me or someone they trust and open up about their feelings because weight gain and weight loss isn't just physical," Claire said.
Talking to a psychologist helped Claire learn how to be mindful of her thoughts with food and took some of the control away from the eating disorder.
"I found with my BED, if I was in binge mode and I said it out loud to someone or put it on my page, I was less likely to binge," she said. "If I didn't, the binge brain would end up winning." Claire explained that BED is like having a second person in your head. "I would be saying, 'No, I don't need this,' and my binge brain would be like, 'Do it, come on, who cares? You can start again tomorrow,' and this would go on and on."
Claire said, "Putting myself out there so raw and real not only helps me but it helps others learn to love themselves and know they are never alone."
She added, "My page is a safe place for anyone to message me. I reply to everyone; I know what it feels like to feel alone because no one around you understands what you're going through." She also plans to speak at high schools in her hometown to bring awareness to eating disorders to help as much as she can to prevent teens from suffering in silence.
If you or someone you love are experiencing signs and symptoms of an eating disorder, the National Eating Disorders Association has several resources, including 24/7 crisis support by texting "NEDA" to 741741.