It’s the elephant in the room, or in some cases goes undiagnosed or misdiagnosed – for way too long. But, it is real and it is dangerous. The sad truth is that it affects all ages, male and female (although more female), and especially in sports such as gymnastics, running, bodybuilding, endurance sports, and wrestling all which place an emphasis on the athlete’s appearance, size, weight and diet.
Eating disorders can start out benign, simply wanting to lose a few pounds. The athlete or fitness enthusiast receives positive feedback how on great they look – and there it begins – the slippery slope. Or, the competitive athlete who is goal driven, believe that they can achieve more success and win at all costs with a smaller more powerful strength to weight ratio. More is better, right? Wrong!
Interestingly, people who develop eating disorders share some common traits: feeling unworthy, insecure, have an intense need to be accepted, suffer from depression/anxiety and lack the skills to cope with their emotions and personal issues. They desperately need to take control of their lives and body weight is an easy target.
Don’t let your pursuit of health and fitness sweep you away on an unhealthy and detrimental journey that is very difficult to rebound. The physical and emotional repercussions of an eating disorder are hard to shake off – and often can evolve into another obsession. It is best to get help in the early stages by finding someone to talk with and learning how to eat a healthy and balanced diet that will help you achieve YOUR optimal body composition – not what the magazines say you should look like.
How do you know when you are at a healthy body weight? Here are some guidelines for you to go by:
- you feel powerful and strong during workouts,
- you see improvements in your performance overtime,
- you are not sick very often,
- you sleep well most nights
- you are not injured very often or at all,
- you have a positive outlook and like your body
- you realize you are not a machine but a human being
- you see yourself as perfectly and uniquely created, and beautiful!
For more information visit: ww.nedawareness.org