Lucinda ‘Froomes’ Price’s Eating Disorder Was Misdiagnosed By Docs For Years — Now, She Wants Things To Change

CONTENT WARNING: This article discusses disordered eating.

For many women, going to the doctor feels like going into battle. Armed with a Notes app list of symptoms, we march in hoping that our issues will be taken seriously and that our pain will be understood and corrected. But sometimes, whether it be through misunderstanding, a lack of resources or simple disregard, our pain is dismissed. Like so many women before her, this was the reality for writer, comedian and internet personality Lucinda ‘Froomes’ Price, as she battled an eating disorder that she didn’t know she had.

Over the years, Froomes went to the doctor with a list of issues. She was depressed, chronically tired, and suffered from painful bouts of Reynaud’s — a condition where blood flow in the extremities rapidly decreases, causing pain. But it was years of these symptoms, doctor appointments and confusion before she finally found answers.

“For so long with all of these different things — like being depressed or having very low energy, or having Reynauds — It was all was really exacerbated by the eating disorder,” Froomes told PEDESTRIAN.TV.

“There were lots of different warning signs that nobody that I saw picked up on.”

Froomes admits that she was struggling, but it wasn’t until she saw a psychologist that her symptoms finally made sense.

“As soon as I finally got help from a psychologist, she was like, ‘No, the symptoms you’re saying are something that happens to someone when they’re under eating or have anorexia.

“I was like ‘okay, cool, that would’ve been good to know two years ago’,” Froomes explained.

“I didn’t get proper help for the eating disorder until I was not eligible anymore to get help because I was over the threshold weight.”

(Image: Instagram / Froomes)

Although Froomes eventually was diagnosed with an eating disorder, her struggles with the medical system weren’t over — even after she had recovered.

“Especially with eating disorders, I think there’s a blind spot with doctors and I think it’s also because they don’t feel equipped to deal with them,” she explained.

“Even when I was in recovery for an eating disorder, and was binge eating, I went to a doctor to get a blood test. When the results came in, she told me to eat less and exercise more.

“I had a ‘regular BMI’ at this point. I was not there with any risk of being ‘unhealthy’ but shit like that has absolutely no nuance or understanding of how a comment like that can affect people — even without an eating disorder.”

These days, Froomes is more than comfortable talking about her experiences with ED.

It’s a theme she’s explored generously through her upcoming book, All I Ever Wanted Was To Be Hot, a biting exploration on her journey with body dysmorphia and her eating disorder in a society where being hot is valued so damn highly. Although it’s a serious topic, the memoir is jam-packed with the humour and wit we’ve come to know and love from the multi-hyphanate.

But despite having recovered, Froomes knows she’s not the only woman who has experienced difficulties having their pain taken seriously by medical professionals. That’s why she’s signed on as the spokesperson for the Victorian Government’s state-wide Inquiry Into Women’s Pain — an initiative that seeks to uncover the real, enduring challenges women face when seeking care and support for their pain.

You see, according to data by the Victorian Government, chronic pain affects a higher proportion of girls and women than it does men around the world. However, women are less likely to receive treatment. To make matters even more frightening, women experience more pain in general and apparently, it’s more longer lasting and severe pain than men. This is often due to gendered bias within the medical industry, leading to a denial of pain and hence lack of treatment.

IRL angel!!!!! (Image: Instrgeam / Froomes)

What Is The Inquiry Into Women’s Pain?

The Inquiry Into Women’s Pain was launched in January this year as part of the government’s Women’s Health and Wellbeing Program. It is an initiative that hopes to find out more information about the lived experience of women and girls aged 12 and over.

When it was first announced many people assumed that the inquiry was mainly related to issues surrounding reproductive pain. However, the scope of the survey is all pain experienced by women — from migraines, to eating disorders and everything in between.

The game plan is to find out as much information about women’s pain as possible through a survey, where Victorian women and girls are encouraged to share their own experiences of pain and pain management.

After a review of these responses, a final report will be written up and delivered to the Victroian Women’s Health Advisory Council in December 2024. This will help the big dogs in the state government discern where opportunities of improvement and growth are needed within our medical sect, and where to put some cashola to make sure these changes are made.

Using her personal experience, Froomes has signed on as an spokesperson for the inquiry. While she’s a passionate advocate, she wants doctors to know that this isn’t a sledge — rather an opportunity for them to recieve more much-needed funding.

“I never want individual doctors to feel like we’re like ‘what the fuck?’ because they’re under so much stress. Especially with GPs who have so much to look at everyday and they’re so overstretched,” Froomes says.

“I can understand how things fall through the cracks. But what I would love to see the money go towards is a bit more understanding of the warning signs of eating disorders, maybe kind of like, the different pain experiences related to that.”

How can we help?

“Do the survey, that’s the number one,” Froomes says.

“I know a lot of women who are genuinely scarred by situations where they’ve gone to the doctor and haven’t been believed. I think even having this as a place to go and do a survey and feel like you’re being heard is a good thing. The more women that do it, the better. They’ll get a broad scope.”

The survey — which is currently open until Wednesday, July 31, 2024 — is the perfect opportunity for women and girls to have their voices heard. Hopefully, with enough voice getting behind it, it’ll be a vehicle to keep the government accountable to make the changes we need to see.

“I think their main drive is to geta holistic vibe check on what needs to be done,” Froomes continued. “But otherwise, ladies, take a fucking load off, do the survey and enjoy your time. Let them do the rest.”

You can fill out the survey HERE. Froomes’ memoir All I Ever Wanted Was To Be Hot can be pre-ordered through Pantera Press, $34.99.

If you need support, give Butterfly Foundation a call on 1800 33 4673 or chat online.

If you are in distress, please call Lifeline on 13 11 14 or chat online. 

Under 25? You can reach Kids Helpline at 1800 55 1800 or chat online.