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‘I’ve had a very strange relationship with food’: Tom Daley opens up about eating disorder


British diver Tom Daley was in the spotlight earlier this year for his fantastic diving skills at the 2020 Olympics. The gold medalist, now 27, has made a splash since he was 14. He first appeared at the 2008 Olympics. The following year, he became world champion at the age of 15.

He came out in 2013, becoming an LGBTQ + rights activist. Today he is married to screenwriter Dustin Lance Black, with whom he has a three-year-old son. Talking to The keeper recently an athlete, who is also a knitting master, has worked wonders on Olympic cardigan – answered several questions from writers and readers.

He spoke, among other things, about the mental space he found himself in, about problems with the body image and about his struggle with an eating disorder. In light of the recent debate about athletes deserve a break from sports to focus on their mental healthUnderstanding Daly’s problem becomes important. Read more.

When asked how he has stayed motivated for so many years and what methods he uses to get into the zone on competition day, Daly said he is trying to do a “10-minute meditation every day.” “… Be it breathing work, guided meditation, knitting or crocheting. The elusive Olympic gold medal supported me, but there is always something that motivates me. It can be difficult sometimes, as it is for everyone, but I want to set a good example. [my son] Robbie is working hard that you are not just given things and that whatever you have is okay. “

While it looks like a “bad day” to him, the diver said, “I need a lot of sleep and I like to eat, so if there is no food in the house, I will definitely be a little cranky. A workout or just a walk changes my mood. Knitting or doing something with Robbie can also help.

“On a bad training day, I had a spiral, but my coach told me to be like Peter Pan and fly out of it. One bad day is a day in a week, in a month, in a year, in an entire career that has also gone very well. I’m trying to admit it and move on. “

He also talked about “sexualizing athletes in sports,” saying that this opens the door to body image problems. “As an athlete, you have body problems. Many people look at athletes and think, “What are you talking about? You are an athlete, you are in shape, you have nothing to worry about. ” But especially as a diver, you are on the trampoline, and you are so naked, so visible that it is quite difficult to be content with your body, because you always want to get better. “

He described this in detail in his new autobiography, recounting The keeper that he developed an eating disorder. “In 2012, I vomited. I weigh myself every day. I had a very strange relationship with food and my body. I guess this is a mild form of this. Men always seem to have no eating disorders, and it’s hard to talk about it. But I would consider myself a person who struggled a lot with the body image and food, and felt guilty and ashamed about what I eat, ”said Daly.

According to ANAD (National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Related Disorders), eating disorders affect at least 9 percent of the world’s population.

Dr. Samir Parikh, Head of Mental Health and Behavioral Sciences, Fortis Healthcare, says: indianexpress.com that it is important to seek professional help.

“There are several types of eating disorders: anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, overeating, and a few other minor ones. For anorexia nervosa, try to limit intake. A person may worry about gaining weight, even if their weight is significantly lower than necessary; they keep avoiding [eating], – he explains.

According to the doctor, people with anorexia nervosa have a “severe fear of gaining weight.” “They are also concerned about their body shape. They either have a restrictive diet or a cleansing diet. In the latter case, if they eat something, they will try to get rid of it. In a sense, it is a serious illness because people feel that they are doing the right thing, ”he says.

Dr. Parikh explains that with bulimia, a person can suddenly eat a lot, which is accompanied by “compensatory behavior”, which consists in using laxatives, diuretics, vomiting, excessive physical exertion, etc. And when overeating, they have episodes or spells, when which they mindlessly eat “without any concern.”

“Eating disorders are influenced by a variety of factors, including body image perception. It’s not just for women. You need to look for help, otherwise they can continue their thought process. If a person is diagnosed with an eating disorder, specialist intervention will certainly be required, ”he concludes.

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