Dealing with eating disorders as an athlete

I remember the day I realized that being an athlete meant more to me than just running fast and setting records - it was my first step in recognizing and understanding my struggles with an eating disorder. For years, I had put sports first, never taking the time to pay attention to what was going on with my mind or body.

But suddenly, I felt like my health and wellness were crashing down around me, and even days of hard training and pushing myself further could not undo it. It was then I accepted the fact that something needed to change in order for me to stay active as an athlete.

The following weeks, months and even years have been a huge lesson for me in learning how to cope, manage and ultimately heal from an eating disorder while still taking part in sports. It hasn’t been easy, but through dietitian support groups and exercising regularly in different ways rather than focusing solely on performance gains, I’ve seen changes take place both physically and mentally that have had a profound effect on my wellbeing.

It’s important to remember that we are not defined by just our ability as athletes; our mental and physical health both need attention if we want to continue competing at our best. Dealing with an eating disorder can be daunting - but it can also be done if we’re willing to open up with those around us who can provide us with necessary support along the way.


I hear you. It’s scary when something like an eating disorder sneaks up on you and threatens your participation in the things that you love. I know how hard it is to make positive changes while we are struggling, but I’m so glad that you have found a way to do it! The courage that it must take to ask for help and stay committed to taking better care of yourself is admirable.

It sounds like you’ve done a lot of work already in understanding the connection between being an athlete and caring for your mental and physical health. Your experience serves as an inspiring reminder that we can all make progress if we open ourselves up to change and don’t give up when challenges arise.

Thinking of you, wishing you continued strength on this journey.

I completely relate to your experience. When I was younger, being an athlete was all I cared about and any other aspects of my health and wellbeing took a back seat – Until one day it all started to catch up with me. At first, it felt like an impossible situation but I eventually realized that by engaging in activities that were not necessarily helping my athletic performance, but did help me physically and emotionally, such as yoga and talking to a counselor, I was able to find solace in the struggle and ultimately, come out on the other side stronger than ever.

There is no doubt that struggling with an eating disorder is overwhelming and can put us in difficult positions. However, you are not alone. There are always people who will be willing to listen and offer their support - if we simply take the time to ask for help. Good luck on your journey!

I hear you and can sympathize with your experience. I think it’s great that you took the time to recognize and understand what was going on in your mind and body. It can be challenging to accept that something needs to change in order to stay healthy.

I’m glad that you have worked hard towards self-care by joining supportive groups, exercising regularly, and listening to your dietitian’s advice. Those are all powerful steps you have taken to improve your health. I want you to know that whatever progress you make is beneficial; it doesn’t matter if it’s a small or large one, every step forward is valuable! Always know that you are not alone in this journey and there are people here for support if ever needed.