As we continue to look at athletes and eating disorders, our focus shifts to female athletes. The majority of those who struggle with eating disorders are female. The pressure to be thin, beautiful, strong, and athletic that is put on women in sports like gymnastics, figure skating or swimming is immense. As this pressure mounts in the age of social media, more and more female athletes are being treated for eating disorders. If your family is searching for therapists in Raleigh, NC to treat eating disorders, be sure to call Legacy Freedom.
Pressure from other female athletes to adopt unhealthy training and eating behaviors can be intense. Here are some tips to avoid eating disorder behaviors while maintaining your athletic prowess:
- Have a training plan. A good training program includes fitness and nutrition planning. Knowing how to reach your goals healthily is important. When you are training without a plan, you are more susceptible to being swayed to an unhealthy behavior like purging or using laxatives than if you have and stick to a well-created plan.
- Take your rest days. Pushing too hard and over tiring yourself can cause physical harm. Risking severe injury, complications from dehydration or exhaustion isn't worth the extra time in the gym or on the field. Listen to your body first.
- When in doubt, ask for help. If you feel yourself slipping into a routine or patterns of behavior that you feel may be the beginnings of an eating disorder, say something! Talk to a physician, coach, fellow athlete, friend or partner. If your body image, weight, eating or exercise concerns seem to be out of proportion, getting help before a full blown eating disorder starts is key.
- Focus on performance, not calories. Rather than staring down the calorie counts on the treadmill or the rowing machine, focus on your body's performance. Are your running times getting faster? Do you feel stronger? Can you see measurable improvement in other areas? Getting caught in the calorie trap is one of the slippery stepping stones towards developing an eating disorder. Monitoring your intake is healthy but fixating on it is not.
- Be honest with yourself. If you have struggled previously with an eating disorder and feel that your athletic training is stirring up those old feelings, seek out support. Make your feelings known to your coach or your support network and seek professional help.
- Make your voice heard. Feel like the training schedule is too much? Are the dietary restrictions too rigid? Speak up! Your training should be an adequate reflection of your goals and your abilities. While pushing yourself towards those goals in a healthy way is acceptable, doing so in a way that could cause injury or using methods that aren't healthy to achieve those results is not.
Dependable Therapists in Raleigh, NC For Eating Disorders
If you are a female athlete who is struggling with an eating disorder or you are concerned about a friend or loved one, Legacy Freedom can help. Our therapists in Raleigh, NC are trained to help you identify and overcome your eating disorder. Healing an eating disorder is a journey. Identifying the root of the disorder is imperative for recovery, and at Legacy Freedom, we utilize a holistic approach to mental health and eating disorder treatment that puts you, not your disorder, at the center of everything we do.
Learn more about our holistic approach to mental health care and our alternative therapy offerings on our blog. Your care team is waiting to help you being your journey to healing. Call or click to connect with Legacy Freedom of Raleigh today!