Claire Richards - British Pop Star Claire Richards Reveals Bulimia Battle
British singer Claire Richards developed bulimia at the height of her fame with pop group Steps after feeling the pressure to stay slim.
The star has battled weight issues throughout her career with the recently-reunited U.K. band, but she has now revealed the extent of her troubles during their 1990s heyday, admitting she would force herself to vomit after meals.
In an extract from her new book, All Of Me, obtained by Britain's The Sun newspaper, she writes, "I was young, in the spotlight and under pressure - not only to perform but to look a certain way. Controlling your food intake gives you the sense you're in control of life.
"I remember reading about anorexia when I was just 11. I didn't know what anorexia was then, but I remembered the word and, years later, I was to understand only too well what it meant.
"When we broke for lunch (after an awards show) we were all taken to a burger joint, so I had no choice but to sit there and eat a burger with everyone else.
"As soon as I'd finished it, I started panicking. I rushed back to where we were filming, found the toilets and stuck my fingers down my throat to try to make myself throw up. All I could think was, 'I have to get this out. I can't get on stage with this inside me.'
"I felt totally repulsed by the greasy burger I'd just swallowed. I must have been in the toilet for ages because the burger just wouldn't come up."
And the star admits she only gave up the dangerous habit after learning how bulimia sufferers' teeth can be left permanently damaged: "I liked that feeling of getting thinner and thinner. That empty feeling makes you feel thin. It was only when I read in a magazine that bulimics' teeth rot that I finally stopped."