Disordered Eating and Sport

This is a topic that is all too often overlooked (or avoided). On The New York Times Well Blog, Tara Parker Pope interviews tennis great Monica Seles on the topic of her binge eating disorder and latest book. From the interview:

“I had to throw out the word diet. I love food. That’s who I am. I enjoy a good meal. I’ve got to accept who I am. I’ve had enough of people telling me what to do. I had to do this one thing for myself, not for my mother, for the media or for my career.

I threw out every single diet notion I’d learned. I allowed myself to eat every single food group. My extreme cravings went away. I allowed myself to have cookies or pasta. I stopped dieting and I started living life. That’s how I lost 37 pounds. ”

This is powerful stuff. While Ms. Seles found a way out of her destructive behavior, not everyone is able to overcome this challenge alone. Furthermore, the issue that we’ve witnessed again and again at Trismarter.com is the eating disorder that is fueled by the drive to perform (lose weight= go faster) or the recreational athlete/professional disordered eater that adopts an endurance lifestyle for the sake of promoting unhealthy behavior (run 3 hours= earn an apple).

Unlike what we’re classically taught in medical school, eating disorders are not only common in young, “Type A” females from high-pressure families. The prevalence of eating disorders amongst male cyclists has even been documented in an article published by the Journal of the American Dietetic Association. From the ADA website, Helping a Friend with an Eating Disorder.

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