It's been a huge year for Sam Frost, who went from an unknown Melbourne finance consultant to one of TV's most talked-about personalities after her breakup with Blake Garvey on The Bachelor.
But the 25-year-old, who recently moved to Sydney, has a lot more to share about her life. TheFIX spoke exclusively with Sam about her personal battles involving her mother's eating disorders and depression... and how being in the public eye put her own body in the firing line.
"I've dealt with much bigger things than a guy leaving me for somebody else," Sam tells us. "I did have my low moments, but I knew I was going to be okay."
It hasn't always been easy though. Sam has fielded her fair share of nasty jabs on social media one sore point being criticisms over her weight changes.
"People have no idea when they're writing these comments," she says. "When I was on the show and I came out and had a look on Facebook… people were slamming me for gaining weight.
"I knew I'd gained weight but it didn't bother me… and now I am back to my normal weight, people are like, 'oh yuck Sam's too skinny, look at her ribs'."
Body image issues have been a part of Sam's life for years. Her mother Debbie struggled with depression, anorexia and bulimia and Sam hopes to make a difference by sharing her story.
"She was struggling with anorexia and bulimia for at least 30 years," Sam reveals. "All you'd want to do is just shake it out of her and just go, 'Mum why aren't you eating?' and she'd be like, 'It's fine' and she'd try and justify it and say 'I had a really big lunch'.
"She was skin and bones, she was skinnier than I was… you would hear her being sick. It got to a point where it was so normal that you didn't think anything of it."
As one of six children, Sam watched her mother struggle to raise the family after splitting from Sam's dad when she was just three.
"She would make all of us dinners, but she'd never eat any dinner," Sam says.
Sam Frost with her mother Debbie and sister Kristine in 2010. Image: Sam Frost.
Sam's mother has long suffered from depression and was diagnosed with emphysema in 2007. However, her darkest days came in 2012 when her partner of 13 years, Paul, died suddenly of a stroke.
This "extraordinarily heavy" time took its toll on her mum, who was hospitalised in 2013. However, it was Sam's phone call to mental health hotline Beyond Blue that sparked months of hard work helping to get her mother "back on her feet".
"She's at a really healthy weight and she eats all the time," Sam says of her mum, who now lives with husband Pete in Melbourne. "It's so amazing seeing the whole thing just completely turn around. Obviously she has her moments when she does feel a bit low but she knows that she has so many people she can call and speak to."
That's also why Sam feels strongly about combatting negativity on social media and in the world at large.
"People just have throwaway comments about people with depression and mental illness and eating disorders and they don't understand how much that can impact on someone's life," she says. "I just think people need to pull up their socks and stop being so ignorant and a---holes really."
Sam's hoping to use her newfound fame to help others who've been through similar traumas. In 2015, she's working on events with Beyond Blue and The Stroke Foundation and is launching a support website with fellow bachelorette Jessica Jones.
"It's going to be a place where people can reach out, about cyberbullying especially," Sam says. "A lot of people have reached out to me since finishing up on the show... I never even possibly imagined I would be an inspiration to people and for some strange reason people look up to me and you know what, I think that I can actually do some good here."
To seek help or donate to Beyond Blue, visit BeyondBlue.org.au or call 1300 22 4636.
For stroke information and donations, visit strokefoundation.com.au.
Visit Sam's Wordpress blog here.
Related video: Sam Frost on her latest shoot for fashion label Studio Niche
Author: Adam Bub. Follow @TheAdamBub.
Approved by Jeremy Helligar.