Finalist was dangerously underweight after living on just six coffees a day

She was trying to get a thigh gap

A fitness-addict finalist drank only coffee to make herself severely underweight – all to get a thigh gap.

Anorexia sufferer, Kirsty Bonnick, 21, was inspired by fitness snaps on Instagram to lose weighs.

To get there the International Wildlife Biology student starved herself on an alarming 500 calories with at least two and a half hours of exercise every day.

She told The Sun: “I was obsessed. I’d spend hours trawling Instagram, looking at girls with tiny stomachs and huge gaps between their thighs.

“The need to look like that overwhelmed me. When I saw so many people posting thigh gap pictures on Instagram, I realised I had to have one.

Kirsty dropped to six stone to get a thigh gap. Photo: Instagram

Kirty added: “To suppress my hunger, I’d be drinking five or six cups of black coffee a day – about two litres – as well as two litres of diet soda.

“The caffeine kept my hunger pangs at bay, and gave me the energy to keep exercising.”

Kirsty has always loved to keep fit, having played netball and weight trained for years.

And her love of sport was matched by her love of food.

But this all changed when she went into her second year at the University of Glamorgan.

She said: “I spent freshers’ week with my friends, drinking and partying. When it was over I’d gained weight.

“Looking at pictures made me feel sick, I hated my body. I was only 10st 10lb so it was silly.

“I upped my gym sessions from twice a week to once a day, and swapped weight training for cardio, to lose my muscled legs.

Screen Shot 2015-09-11 at 15.19.01

Kirsty was consuming just 500 calories a day. Photo: Instagram

By September last year Kirsty hit her lowest weight of just 6st and was now dwarfed by her size eight clothes.

She says: “I was constantly zoning out in lectures, I just couldn’t make myself focus on anything.

“I was always cold and shivering, and I couldn’t lie down in the bath because the porcelain pressed painfully on my bones.

“Even my bed was so uncomfortable, I’d be lucky to get three hours sleep a night.”

During a holiday to Spain last summer, Kirsty realised how much she needed help.

She says: “After lying in the sun all day, my body was so weak that when I stood up I immediately fainted.

“I was drifting in and out of consciousness as Liam picked me up and ran in the sea to try and cool me down.

Kirsty has now returned to a healthy weight

Kirsty has now returned to a healthy weight

Last September she went to see a doctor and was diagnosed with anorexia athletica.

Kirsty says: “My mum broke down sobbing, she just kept saying how guilty she felt and blaming herself.

“I started eating 2,500 calories a day, which was a huge shock to my system. I was constantly in pain with bloating and water weight.

“I had to completely cut out exercise, which was incredibly difficult. Watching the scales creep up was torture, so I started getting blind-weighed.”

In just one month, Kirsty put on 1st 12lbs — but her struggle was not over.

She says: “I was so close to relapsing several times. But I knew I couldn’t do that to myself, or to my loved ones.”

After seven months of recovery Kirsty is up to a healthy weight and is still blind-weighed.

She has returned to the gym, but exercises just three times a week and eats enough to make up for the calories lost.

Kirsty says: “I’ve given up my obsession with thigh gaps. I’m weight training now, so I can get back to my old, strong self.

“To anyone suffering with an eating disorder, you need to choose the scary option of recovery.

“I was so afraid, but being afraid means you’re about to do something brave. I’ll never regret choosing recovery.

“I look at old pictures of myself now and realise how desperately unhealthy my life was. I never want to go back to that.”