In this video on eating disorders and athletes, it describes how a student at UCLA was a gymnast, and during that time in her life she struggled trying to keep an ideal weight to be able to continue to compete. Though she didn’t have any trouble while being a gymnast, it wasn’t until after she left this style of life, she started to have trouble with eating disorders. She did seek help from her former coach is on the road to recovery.
This makes me think about all athletes that have to have a certain weight, or just a target weight that need to meet each month or however often. I’m not involved in anything athlete, but I put myself in the shoes of someone who is and imaged being told that the weight I am isn’t enough to be successful. It makes me feel like nothing I do to loose this weight will be enough and I can see why, those who do, turn to anorexic or bulimia.
The thought of coach telling their athletes, or team, that they need to try harder to loose weight or even gain weight is sickening. Being in that lifestyle their bodies are already fit and healthy enough to be successful in their sport. But to have someone you look up to, respect, and try your hardest to please telling you that your body isn’t right is just the worst thing someone can do.
It’s like the coach is training a person to think that unless they are a certain way, they are no one and useless. And being involved in a sport for so long with that train of thought, then leaving becomes such a scary thing because that person no longer has strict goals to follow when it comes to their body, no one to tell them they need to do more, and they aren’t doing exercise excessively. Which makes them gain weight, or loss their muscle mass. Which can drive them into a panic because they possible feel like the body they have is how they should identify as. Therefore causing the eating disorder to happen.
So, being in a sport is almost mentally and physically damaging because of this vicious cycle. I know it’s not always like this for people, especially if they have an easier (and healthier) time keeping the weight desired. That being said, it’s something to think about,