Posted by: cindy | August 12, 2008

Olympic Athlete Battles Bulimia

Dara Torres

Dara Torres

For athletes, being thin means more than succumbing to pressure from fashion magazines and the media. Much more.  Making your weight to increasing your speed, the pressure for athletes to keep their weight at a certain level equates to pleasing coaches and securing a victory.

Even though men are not immune from eating disorders, by and large, the majority of eating disorder cases affect females. Most often, it strikes females in late adolescent and college years and comes in the form of anorexia nervosa or bulimia.  According to the organization Athletes with Eating Disorders, female athletes are at a double risk for developing an eating disorder.  Female athletes that participate in sports that value appearance and a lean body like figure skating or gymnastics, are more prone to an eating disorder.

Dara Torres is a 41 year old Olympic swimmer, currently competing in Beijing. In a recent interview, she openly discusses the pressure to be think and make weight as a swimmer back in her college years.  When the scales were tipping too high for her coaches likes, a friend in her dormitory showed Dara how to purge.

Dara’s bulimialasted for about 5 years and during those years she competed in the 1988 Olympics and was ranked Number 1 in the world for 100 freestyle. Dara placed 7th in the 1988 Olympics.  When she decided to try out for the 1992 Olympics team, she realized that she could never make it if she continued on with her bulimia.  Even though she was making weight, she had no energy. So Dara decided to quit. Just like that. Cold Turkey.

Fast forward to today, 16 years and one pregnancylater and you have Dara’s inspiring physical and mental condition sending a clear message to all of us, including her young daughter.  If you treat your body with respect and protection, its power can surpass your wildest expectations.

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