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[TW: Eating Disorders] Nutrition in Figure Skating

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This is a topic that inevitably comes up because figure skating is a sport that needs to balance finesse and aerodynamics with strength and power. Based on some users' suggestions, I'm gonna start a separate thread to talk about it because not everyone wants to read it and so it doesn't derail other threads. 

 

Here are a couple of basic links I found about sports nutrition from USFSA: 

http://www.usfsa.org/content/2008 Elite Coaches Seminar-Nutrition.pdf

https://www.usfigureskating.org/content/2009NutritionHandout-III-PreDuringPost 09Jan13.pdf

http://iceskatingresources.org/NutritionFigureSkating.html

And an article I found of nutritional issues that top skaters have faced: http://www.businessinsider.com/figure-skaters-diets-nutrition-problem-2018-2

 

On that note, please refrain from making overly speculative comments about skaters' bodies or eating disorders/habits unless it's public information, and don't make comments about who should lose or gain weight! Comments like these can have lasting negative effects.

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Moving from the ladies' thread:

 

On 3/21/2018 at 10:25 AM, Lilona said:

Alina said on the press conference: "I think that puberty is just a fiction/invention. You just have to close your mouth and not eat!" And it's just sad...

 

On 3/21/2018 at 10:42 AM, yuzupon said:

I... sure hope that this is not a sign of something more serious. I don't like her skating, but I'd rather see her improve AND healthy.

 

On 3/21/2018 at 10:47 AM, GreatLakesGal said:

 

This is a very disturbing comment. 

 

 

On 3/21/2018 at 10:55 AM, WinForPooh said:

Damn. And here I was earlier thinking that I hope she has extra calcium and protein and good fats because 3Lo combos are so hard on the hips. :13877886:

 

On 3/21/2018 at 11:13 AM, Lilona said:

All Russian fans hope that she just made not so smart conclusion. Actually, she talked not only abt puberty but also abt gaining the weight. She said she is eating but in very small amounts.

And that from my opinion with all their work as figure skaters is wrong oO

 

On 3/21/2018 at 3:02 PM, kaeryth said:

 

... This is worrying. Alina gets excited about McDonalds and feeds her chinchillas a lot because 'they're not like her who needs to compete'. :slinkaway:

 

On 3/21/2018 at 3:13 PM, PapiandPooh422 said:

She's a growing kid. She shouldn't be doing that to herself...

 

On 3/21/2018 at 3:14 PM, robin said:

 

I'm horrified, who gave her this idea? Isn't this how Yulia tried to handle puberty? These are athletes ffs and they need the nutrients and calories

 

22 hours ago, WinForPooh said:

Damn, the adults around Alina are seriously dropping the ball, what she's saying is really disturbing and she should look to Yulia and see where she's headed.

 

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Because this is not a nice thing to say - but why would the figure skating world adults around her care about her longterm health when her career might have an expiration date that will hit before all this catches up with her and causes serious problems? She's fifteen with her scores already maxed out. There are better 14 and 13-year-olds. She can win everything for two years, risking her physical and mental health, and then spend the rest of her life dealing with the effects because there are new, improved girls who might also go through the same thing, but who cares because they will last long enough for the next lot? I'm so angry. Yulia deserved better, Zhenya with her injuries at 18 deserves better, Polina deserves better, Alina deserves better. 

 

 

18 hours ago, Murieleirum said:

Guys, unpopular opinion but I think you are overreacting.

It's normal for a female skater going through puberty to Watch her diet and there's no indication Alina is suffering from an eating disorder. You shouldn't scrutinize everything a 15 year old says and interpret It however you want. If Alina suffered from an eating disorder, she wouldn't have strenght to compete. A phrase like that indicates nothing. Yes, competitive sport is a high risk Activity, that's why athletes should be psychologically followed imo. But in the end ED's come from deeper issues than a coach telling you to watch your diet. Trust me, please. I know. 

I read enough about Julia's Story here to know Eteri had nothing to do with Julia's ED, which originated from family pressure and expectations. And blaming Eteri for Evgenia's injuries without any actual insight is like blaming Brian for Yuzuru's injuries. 

I've read a lot of interviews to Eteri and the rest of the team, and if you want to demonize her without truly researching you are free to do so, but I know many experts (mainly, Ambesi and Dolfini) Who completely admire her work and dedication to her athletes.

And, once again, Eating disorder's signs are different from just a joke that can be 'close your mouth and don't eat'. Your hair fall out, you look like a zombie, you lose muscle mass so you can't move anymore, you lose color, you lose your period, you can't eat in public and either binge privately or obsess over food instead of doing anything else in your life, you cannot concentrate on anything and It usually comes with depression and other serious mentale issues. So, suspecting that someone suffers from this from just a phrase is a heavy feat, and accusing a coach to cause such disorders is even worse.

I don't want to continue to discuss about this because It is just ridiculous. If you think you can convince me you have solid proof of Alina's ED, or that Eteri is a serial athletes ruiner, you are free to send me a pm. If not, goodbye and enjoy the rest of this competition. 

 

18 hours ago, WinForPooh said:
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:offtopic: Eating disorders are not one size fits all, all those who have an eating disorder do not fit that stereotype. Please do not perpetuate that particular stereotype. All those who suffer from bulimia or anorexia do not look or act the way you described and it is wrong to say so. There are ballet dancers who are anorexic and continue performing at high levels until they finally succumb to their injuries. There are gymnasts who do that. There are also figure skaters who do that. All sufferers of ED are not bald and weak and ready to be hospitalised any moment.

 

Eating disorders in figure skating is a very serious issue, Alina's comments about how her she feeds her chinchillas because they don't have to compete are definite red flags. Nobody said she has an ED, they said her comments are disturbing coming from a teenager in a sport where body image, puberty and eating disorders are all real issues. If they're not disturbing to you, that is your opinion, but everybody else is entitled to their own, as well.

 

Nobody has accused Eteri of anything, but have pointed out a few things that are evident, referencing an interview where she did very admiringly talk about Yulia's will power in not eating solid food and surviving on powders. I did read that interview and in light of what came to be after that, the attitude of an adult who coached her to a girl who was suffering from an ED was disturbing. If it is not to you, that is also your opinion. I do not share it.

 

I did not blame Eteri for Zhenya's injury - I'm the only one who brought that up, and I did not mention Eteri at all. I pointed out a general attitude that is based on disregarding skaters' longterm health because they are not necessary for figure skating purposes after two or three years. The disposability of figure skaters is how I've heard it put and it rings very true. If you disagree, that is again your opinion and one that I do not share, but since you have stated yours - without spoilers - I'm replying here the same way, instead of PMing. 

Thank you @yuzupon, I should have thought of that, so I've put everything under spoiler because you're right. Please click only if you're okay with reading about eating disorders, I''m sorry.

 

18 hours ago, SparkleSalad said:

@WinForPooh  Brilliantly said. Everything I was thinking but too flustered to say clearly.

 

I'll just leave these links for anyone who would like to do some very basic Wiki reading on disordered eating in sports.

 

 

17 hours ago, Xen said:

Um, guys, Let's leave the issue of ED aside? Eteri is a polarizing figure as is, and so much as we're not really in Sambo-70, we don't really know what's going on.

 

17 hours ago, yuzupon said:

For anyone who might need it:

TRIGGER WARNING FOR EATING DISORDER!!!

It's an important thing to talk about, probably not in this thread, but important. You might want to skip several pages if this is triggering for you.

 

16 hours ago, Xen said:

About this issue, OP from mods?

  Reveal hidden contents

 

 

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For those who are curious about how much energy/calories is burned by skating, while not exact, you could try this: http://www.myfitnesspal.com/exercise/calories-burned/skating-ice-speed-competitive-143

 

I think we also need to separate the idea of nutrition and puberty changes especially where female skaters are concerned (not as a separate thread, just they should not be mixed up).

 

Personally I'm a bit surprised by skaters not eating. I think when I was skating over summer vacation as a teenager, I remember always eating during ice resurfacing breaks. Perhaps contrary to others, I actually was considered too slim and light, so was advised to gain a bit more muscle and weight ironically. So diet would vary depending on the goal of the skater, weight control for one, or muscle/weight gain for another.

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Mmmm, the main problem in wordings that Alina used in Russian:

– Показалось, что вы немного подросли всего за три месяца.

– Да. Есть трудности в связи с этим. Мы с тренером смотрим, что можно немного изменить в технике, чтобы не уступать. И это помогает.

А в плане пубертата, когда жирной становишься, мне кажется, это все выдумки. Просто нужно закрыть свой рот и не есть! Или хотя бы чуть-чуть. Я ем, но в маленьких количествах, – рассказала Загитова. 

 

My translation:

Q: It seems like you''re getting taller in just three months.

Alina: Yes. Have some difficulties bcs of that. We with trainer watch, what we can change a little in technic, that we won't give in. And that is helping.

And in case of puberty, when you became fat, I think - this is just a fiction/invention. You just have to close your mouth and not eat! Or at least a little bit. I'm eating but in small amounts.

 

So she is either ignorant or just don't know well abt puberty.

 

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1 hour ago, Lilona said:

Mmmm, the main problem in wordings that Alina used in Russian:

– Показалось, что вы немного подросли всего за три месяца.

– Да. Есть трудности в связи с этим. Мы с тренером смотрим, что можно немного изменить в технике, чтобы не уступать. И это помогает.

А в плане пубертата, когда жирной становишься, мне кажется, это все выдумки. Просто нужно закрыть свой рот и не есть! Или хотя бы чуть-чуть. Я ем, но в маленьких количествах, – рассказала Загитова. 

 

My translation:

Q: It seems like you''re getting taller in just three months.

Alina: Yes. Have some difficulties bcs of that. We with trainer watch, what we can change a little in technic, that we won't give in. And that is helping.

And in case of puberty, when you became fat, I think - this is just a fiction/invention. You just have to close your mouth and not eat! Or at least a little bit. I'm eating but in small amounts.

 

So she is either ignorant or just don't know well abt puberty.

 

I've seen this interpreted otherways elsewhere. That she might be thinking the question is "Does puberty mean automatic weight gain?" In which case she would be correct, that puberty automatically means gaining weight, is not always applicable to everyone.  If that's what she meant, then she's not too far off the mark since puberty changes in height, weight, body shape etc vary from people to people, and sometimes are delayed not just due to exercise, but also just genes (*points to self, stayed same weight for years*). But the idea of athletes not followingy any diet,  is foreign to me. Most competitive athletes, whether via a trainer/nutritionist, or just by themselves, will follow some dietary regiment that is meant to help them perform at their best.

 

However, given what happened to Yulia, and the news about ED from Gracie Gold, body image issues discussed by Adam Rippon and Ashley, it is natural that people will wonder if something similar is at play with Alina, especially as Eteri's skaters do look "leaner" than many other skaters. But IMO, they still do have those stronger thighs that are pretty prevelant among figure skaters.

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There was a documentary/something along those lines posted in the Team Russia thread a few weeks ago that - according to reported translation, so big pinch of salt - had Alina saying she eats only a full meal at breakfast and she skips dinner or eats only fruits. :shrug: Again, it's just a reported translation, and I kind of dismissed it at first, but then came the press con the other day, and... Well, she doesn't seem to have the best relationship with food. Especially if she surrogate-stuffs her pets when she gets excited about junk food. Red flags, and noticeable in a sport where eating disorders are a problem. But could also be a big mountain made out of a molehill. I hope so, for her sake.

 

I do think that the way puberty is considered in ladies' figure skating needs to change. You don't *have* to compulsorily lose jumps at puberty. There are skaters who get jumps when they're older and keep going when they're older with good 3-3 combinations (Mirai, Caro - Midori Ito was 23 when she got her Olys silver! Arakawa didn't suddenly get bad after puberty! Kaetlyn is 22 and her jumps are mostly awesome. So it's possible to jump with hips.). Maybe the way they train(ed) and their techniques should be studied and replicated to find out how they compensate for - or maybe even use - their changed bodies in their skating. Instead of sticking with the tiny-hips-superfast-rotation-technique training when the body changes, trying to subdue the body to suit the training and technique. Then maybe puberty wouldn't be such a scary monster, it would be a manageable and inevitable stage that these girls go into knowing their teams have a viable plan (other than just don't go through puberty :/ ). 

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I just stumbled upon this and remembered this thread. The focus is more on menstruation, but it also touches upon eating disorders and I had no idea Akiko had that, too:

http://ohlovesosweet.tumblr.com/post/132286077986/figure-skater-suzuki-akiko-speaks-up-note-all

 

I wonder if there are more retired skaters who have spoken up about their experiences with these things that are otherwise taboo...

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7 hours ago, KatjaThera said:

I just stumbled upon this and remembered this thread. The focus is more on menstruation, but it also touches upon eating disorders and I had no idea Akiko had that, too:

http://ohlovesosweet.tumblr.com/post/132286077986/figure-skater-suzuki-akiko-speaks-up-note-all

 

I wonder if there are more retired skaters who have spoken up about their experiences with these things that are otherwise taboo...

 

This kind of reminds me a little bit of an interview with Miki a long time ago. This is from memory so I might be wrong but she said something like she didn't realize she was pregnant for a long time because her period was so irregular anyway, it wasn't odd when she didn't get it for months.

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On 3/23/2018 at 1:27 PM, Xen said:

I've seen this interpreted otherways elsewhere. That she might be thinking the question is "Does puberty mean automatic weight gain?" In which case she would be correct, that puberty automatically means gaining weight, is not always applicable to everyone.  If that's what she meant, then she's not too far off the mark since puberty changes in height, weight, body shape etc vary from people to people, and sometimes are delayed not just due to exercise, but also just genes (*points to self, stayed same weight for years*). But the idea of athletes not followingy any diet,  is foreign to me. Most competitive athletes, whether via a trainer/nutritionist, or just by themselves, will follow some dietary regiment that is meant to help them perform at their best.

 

However, given what happened to Yulia, and the news about ED from Gracie Gold, body image issues discussed by Adam Rippon and Ashley, it is natural that people will wonder if something similar is at play with Alina, especially as Eteri's skaters do look "leaner" than many other skaters. But IMO, they still do have those stronger thighs that are pretty prevelant among figure skaters.

 

Yes, Alina in particular gives me the impression that she has her own relationship with nutrition and she might have to work on it a little bit... at her age, it's normal, after all. Among the people I know, when I was growing, it was rare to see a girl that was completely 100% healthy with her eating habits. 

 

But in any case, it's important that the families support the athlete and try to talk with them often about this to make sure that everything is okay. 

 

Some months ago Med put a story on instagram with a fruit/protein shake and wrote 'dinner'. For some people, that might be worrying and I have to admit, it makes me go alert as well. But it's true that there are some people who manage to have a very rigid diet and don't go overboard and start with serious ED issues - if you are determined and strong-willed, and you understand that you have to have a certain calorie intake and you can't go below, but also cannot go overboard, then I think that it's doable, and things that would normally get a yellow flag, are harmless. 

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Um. Well, I'm probably biased, but I had ED to some extent while doing a lot of sports in my teenage years. There was a long stretch of time when I would eat only yogurt for lunch and diner in a bid to lose weight. And definitely before weighing in for competitions I would dehydrate myself intentionally to make sure that I don't have "excess water" in my body, and then drink up later. It's common practice, done in a "controlled" way. Eventually I quit due to injuries, which may or may not be related, one would never know (it's a sport with high rate of injuries anyway). But let me clarify why it's tough for athletes to take the ED message. Their initial reaction would be "what, not another one of these unnecessary concerns from people who don't understand athletes anyway." Or they could say : "no that's totally not me, I'm just managing my diet responsibly". I, honestly, still identify with these messages so much, that i find the hype over Alina's comment hard to understand.

 

1/ All top athletes manage their diets. This makes sense, we are what we eat. But nutrition science is a dark art - nobody knows what works 100%, and then there's our own body that's unique too. So often you would just go with the trend - do what others do - do what works for you. eg: having a full breakfast / lunch, then a fruit for dinner, is *very* common. But not everyone ends their career with injuries. And those who did - well, it's just part of sports. It's hard to pin down (except for clinically clear ED cases) that the imbalance of whatever intake was the cause.  So, ED exists on a continuous scale, and normal athletes are quite up-there already (definitely *far* from the general public's way of diet management).

 

2/ Puberty is complicated: while we gain an enormous amount of muscles, there's also some random fat deposits that we're not used to. There's a lot of self-consciousness / bodyshaming from the athlete themselves: why can't I be like XYZ kind of mentality. And I think this is an issue not in sports, but in society as a whole.  In athletics, the male body is the symbol of strength, power, etc. Think of a sport - any sport -- and name a few stars. Now, tell me, "what's the body type of an athlete in this sport? Long-distance runners? Thin and well-defined, like raisins, almost fat-free. Rowers: some upper arm muscles, but mostly enormous legs. Swimmers: broad shoulders etc. Now, how many of the bodies you have mentioned are based on *female* athletes? For me, zero. I have plenty of female athletes whom I admire, but the male body type is still what I associate with the top performance. And with this, it's natural for female athletes to hate the changes that happen to them (their bodies seem to be going in the wrong direction).

 

3/ There's the notion that if you have period, then you're not practicing hard enough. It's true that if you train lots + not eat much, there's no period (or it's super light, and very irregular). But we don't feel anything weird, and so we think it's just a result of hard training. If anything, it is very convenient not to have heavy periods, and it confirms that we've been working hard. THere's also a theory floating around in my team that the blood just get reabsorbed by the body, so that it's very "efficient". We all believed it in. And we didn't bother to check. There wasn't time , plus, a lot of the times, you just need to work yourself into believing, and then you will achieve. That's the mentality in sports, and we're used to that.

 

4/ As teenagers, we're still kids. Having a family etc, honestly, was not on my radar. Boys / loves are just nuisances, so to  speak. Our idols train hard, have grit, go through all the tough stuff, and we want to do that too. So while I'm very grateful that Akiko spoke up -- words came from an athlete there's a lot of credibility with them -- but I don't find the reasoning she gave too compelling. (It sounds like that's what she's thinking about now, but not years back then when she was in competitions)

 

5/ Athletes push boundaries, physical and mental ones. We cut corners. Whether we like it or not, we get injured. Physically. Mentally. And we triumph. No pain no gain - then, why not push the internals of the body to the limits too? Pains and injuries, sadly, are necessities in sports, and to get anywhere, be on any podium with some competition, you must be able to overcome the challenges. So, related to my point 3/, it's like a badge of pride to push yourself to the limits, and survive.
 

The long ramble is to say: it's part of the job, we accept it, we take pride in being able condition our bodies into crazy shapes. Yes we're damaging it, but any obsession is unhealthy, and to win you just have to be obsessed. Athletes are mature -- and of course they know the risks (though they may not assess it correctly, or choose to do it anyway for crazy reasons). . But how's (managing your diet) is that different from running on the treadmill until having cardiac arrhythmia, for example? (Positive risk from over training, and yes it does happen). Or how about tonnes of people skate with sprained ankles, broken bones, this and that. I mean, your body is not perfect everyday, should you give in to every single cuts?

 

 I'm sure that a lot of what I just said are like "common myths" around ED, but this is really how athletes think, and to convince them, you would need to address those points. (Actually, I do have a theory on what to do, but it's late now so let me just post this).

 

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Bringing back this thread a bit, because Gabby posted this:

I know there had been concerns about her in the past and it's sad to have them confirmed. I do hope she's getting help and support now, especially as she took time off from skating. But it makes me wonder again how many skaters might have troubles like this (and not just ED; I know Javi admitted to having anxiety in the past, at least).

 

On 11/21/2018 at 9:17 AM, wingman said:

Um. Well, I'm probably biased, but I had ED to some extent while doing a lot of sports in my teenage years. There was a long stretch of time when I would eat only yogurt for lunch and diner in a bid to lose weight. And definitely before weighing in for competitions I would dehydrate myself intentionally to make sure that I don't have "excess water" in my body, and then drink up later. It's common practice, done in a "controlled" way. Eventually I quit due to injuries, which may or may not be related, one would never know (it's a sport with high rate of injuries anyway). But let me clarify why it's tough for athletes to take the ED message. Their initial reaction would be "what, not another one of these unnecessary concerns from people who don't understand athletes anyway." Or they could say : "no that's totally not me, I'm just managing my diet responsibly". I, honestly, still identify with these messages so much, that i find the hype over Alina's comment hard to understand.

 

1/ All top athletes manage their diets. This makes sense, we are what we eat. But nutrition science is a dark art - nobody knows what works 100%, and then there's our own body that's unique too. So often you would just go with the trend - do what others do - do what works for you. eg: having a full breakfast / lunch, then a fruit for dinner, is *very* common. But not everyone ends their career with injuries. And those who did - well, it's just part of sports. It's hard to pin down (except for clinically clear ED cases) that the imbalance of whatever intake was the cause.  So, ED exists on a continuous scale, and normal athletes are quite up-there already (definitely *far* from the general public's way of diet management).

 

2/ Puberty is complicated: while we gain an enormous amount of muscles, there's also some random fat deposits that we're not used to. There's a lot of self-consciousness / bodyshaming from the athlete themselves: why can't I be like XYZ kind of mentality. And I think this is an issue not in sports, but in society as a whole.  In athletics, the male body is the symbol of strength, power, etc. Think of a sport - any sport -- and name a few stars. Now, tell me, "what's the body type of an athlete in this sport? Long-distance runners? Thin and well-defined, like raisins, almost fat-free. Rowers: some upper arm muscles, but mostly enormous legs. Swimmers: broad shoulders etc. Now, how many of the bodies you have mentioned are based on *female* athletes? For me, zero. I have plenty of female athletes whom I admire, but the male body type is still what I associate with the top performance. And with this, it's natural for female athletes to hate the changes that happen to them (their bodies seem to be going in the wrong direction).

 

3/ There's the notion that if you have period, then you're not practicing hard enough. It's true that if you train lots + not eat much, there's no period (or it's super light, and very irregular). But we don't feel anything weird, and so we think it's just a result of hard training. If anything, it is very convenient not to have heavy periods, and it confirms that we've been working hard. THere's also a theory floating around in my team that the blood just get reabsorbed by the body, so that it's very "efficient". We all believed it in. And we didn't bother to check. There wasn't time , plus, a lot of the times, you just need to work yourself into believing, and then you will achieve. That's the mentality in sports, and we're used to that.

 

4/ As teenagers, we're still kids. Having a family etc, honestly, was not on my radar. Boys / loves are just nuisances, so to  speak. Our idols train hard, have grit, go through all the tough stuff, and we want to do that too. So while I'm very grateful that Akiko spoke up -- words came from an athlete there's a lot of credibility with them -- but I don't find the reasoning she gave too compelling. (It sounds like that's what she's thinking about now, but not years back then when she was in competitions)

 

5/ Athletes push boundaries, physical and mental ones. We cut corners. Whether we like it or not, we get injured. Physically. Mentally. And we triumph. No pain no gain - then, why not push the internals of the body to the limits too? Pains and injuries, sadly, are necessities in sports, and to get anywhere, be on any podium with some competition, you must be able to overcome the challenges. So, related to my point 3/, it's like a badge of pride to push yourself to the limits, and survive.
 

The long ramble is to say: it's part of the job, we accept it, we take pride in being able condition our bodies into crazy shapes. Yes we're damaging it, but any obsession is unhealthy, and to win you just have to be obsessed. Athletes are mature -- and of course they know the risks (though they may not assess it correctly, or choose to do it anyway for crazy reasons). . But how's (managing your diet) is that different from running on the treadmill until having cardiac arrhythmia, for example? (Positive risk from over training, and yes it does happen). Or how about tonnes of people skate with sprained ankles, broken bones, this and that. I mean, your body is not perfect everyday, should you give in to every single cuts?

 

 I'm sure that a lot of what I just said are like "common myths" around ED, but this is really how athletes think, and to convince them, you would need to address those points. (Actually, I do have a theory on what to do, but it's late now so let me just post this).

 

Late reply, but thank you for giving us an athlete's point of view on this. I guess there might be a fine line between normally managing your diet and an eating disorder. I've never really had an eating disorder, though I have been struggling with my weight all my adult life.

 

I guess the line is crossed when instead of getting benefits from the way you eat and what you eat, it hurts you and your performance. I doubt it is possible to perform at your top level while having an ED. Or is it?

 

I understand skating with sprained ankles and broken bones when it's a now and never thing. But I doubt anyone would say they perform better because of the sprains or broken bones. So I'm not sure it's comparable. Athletes manage their diets in order to be in the best shape they can be. Is it really possible for them to be in the best shape they can be while having an ED? They might think they are, but are they really? So the cross to ED could happen while aiming for better performance. And they might not want to fix it because they still think it's the right thing and it helps them perform. That's not the case with performing with injuries. That's just pushing through it in order to meet a goal, but it's definitely not something they believe helps them perform. (Though then again, Yuzu did say his best performances happened when he was driven into a corner by hardships >_> But that's still not the same and it's more of a mentality thing.)

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On 12/28/2018 at 2:23 PM, KatjaThera said:

I guess the line is crossed when instead of getting benefits from the way you eat and what you eat, it hurts you and your performance. I doubt it is possible to perform at your top level while having an ED. Or is it?

 

I would say you are correct in part. When it becomes a full-on disorder it affects your daily life, your relationship with everyone close to you, your mood, everything depends on your weight and what you eat. Sometimes it's more hidden though, and in those cases it is usually coupled with other disorders (depression, isolation, dissociation etc etc). I've had a friend who recovered from bulimia after thinking that she would die from it. Her case was a standard, very visible case of ED. What was not visible, however, was that both her mother and her father displayed heavy symptoms of ED, although they were perfectly functional in their daily lives - they went to work, they paid the bills, they slept at night, and so on. But the father would regularily puke after eating if he felt like it, the mother was aware of it, and the mother would skip random meals, and make her daughter feel guilty for eating instead. 
So actually, I think one can go and be successfull and perform well and win in a sport even if they have an ED. That's the big illusion of ED, especially Anorexia - you think you are in control. You are in total control of yourself, until you reach the breaking point - and then you realize that it's the disease that's controlling you. 

 

So actually, I think there are plenty of athletes of all sports who suffer from ED, but they don't know it yet. Or they pretend they don't know. And they're just waiting to reach their breaking point. 

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