Posts Tagged ‘Athletes’

Episode 71: Figure Skating and Eating Disorders with Nichole Soltis

Nichole Soltis

Episode description: 

Nichole Soltis recently earned her master’s degree from The University of Akron and is now a licensed therapist in the state of Ohio. A long-time figure skater, she will be competing at her second Adult National Championships this month. She has a passion for eating disorders and their impact on athletes, and she hopes to use her platform to spread awareness, support others, and start the conversation about eating disorders and sports. 

In this episode of Peace Meal, Nichole discusses how her passion for figure skating played a role in the development and maintenance of her eating disorder, as well as how she was able to get back on the ice after treatment. Delving first into the complicated relationship between aesthetic sports and eating disorders, she shares how restricting her food did not improve her skating performance in the way her eating disorder promised it would. Instead, it negatively affected not just her sport, but also her physical and mental health. Through recovery, Nichole learned that nourishing her body and working on her technique was the best thing for her skating performance. Now as a therapist passionate about supporting athletes, she encourages all coaches to get their athletes professional help if they notice the warning signs of an eating disorder. Nicole ends the conversation by assuring any athletes struggling with an eating disorder that getting help can mean enjoying life, food, and their sport once again. 

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Recognizing Eating Disorders in Athletes

Athlete looking at sunset

Being an athlete can often come with all kinds of pressure. Pressure to perform the best, pressure to win, and pressure to have your body look a certain way. All of this pressure and emphasis on the body contributes to the disproportionately high rates of eating disorders in athletes. In this blog, we explain the risk factors and warning signs of eating disorders in athletes, as well as the importance of valuing the person over their performance.

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Episode 50: Food is More Than a Nutrition Label with Kenzie Osborne

Kenzie Osborne

Episode description:

Kenzie Osborne is a mental health blogger, chef, recipe developer, and former NCAA athlete. After battling intensely with anorexia, she was able to find peace with food through cooking, traveling, and learning about the many benefits food has on the mind, spirit, and body.

Kenzie shares her story with us in this episode of Peace Meal. We begin by discussing a label long attached to her—“the healthy and fit one”—and its impact on her identity. A daughter of doctors and sister to high-performing athletes, she felt immense pressure as part of a family defined by health and athletics.

“That’s who [others] knew my family was. That’s who they expected me to be,” she reflects. “And I felt like when I lived up to those expectations, I was accepted and I was praised, and I would get really positive feedback.” 

As Kenzie’s “healthy” eating and exercise were validated, her eating disorder grew stronger, and its impact was far-reaching. Terrified and unable to be present around food, she missed out on social events. She faced health complications. Her wellbeing, her athletic performance—her life—suffered. Still, as it often is in a culture that normalizes disordered eating, it was hard to recognize that she had a serious illness.

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Conquering My ED: A College Story

Erica Sunarjo

**Content warning: This is one person’s story; everyone will have unique experiences in recovery and beyond. Some stories may mention eating disorder thoughts, behaviors, and symptoms. Please use your discretion when reading and speak with your support system as needed.

Erica Sunarjo is a professional writer and editor with a Master’s degree in Marketing and Social Media. She writes thought-provoking articles for publications in a variety of media. Even though she is an expert in numerous fields of business, Erica is always dedicated to learning new things. Add her on Facebook and Linkedin

My parents were hesitant about letting me attend college three states away. They let me go because I convinced them my eating disorder was under control. I lied, sort of. Maybe it doesn’t count as lying since I also convinced myself that I was perfectly fine.

In fact, I told myself that college would offer the autonomy I needed for my life, my schedule, and my eating to progress. After all, was I really recovering or recovered when my parents were so carefully monitoring and managing everything from my calorie intake to my therapy appointments?

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Muscle Dysmorphia, Sports, and Eating Disorders in Males

A person standing beside a weight rack at a gym

There’s a question that has swirled around the eating disorder field for decades: Where are all the males?

Our understanding of eating disorders in males is limited because the field has historically focused on females. Research has centered on females, diagnoses were organized around them, and screening tools and assessments have been normed to them.

We don’t have research that establishes what it means to have an eating disorder if you are male. We can approximate the population of males with eating disorders as 1/3 of the total number of people with eating disorders—but then the question arises: Why? Why would so many fewer males than females be affected?

It is unlikely that having two XX chromosomes instead of one X and one Y is the reason. Therefore, we must search for other factors to help us understand and explain the significantly lower rate in males. Are we missing the males with eating disorders?

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Episode 49: Managing Perfectionism with Kesslee

Kesslee

Episode description:

Kesslee is a young professional, part-time coach, wife, and dog mom. She is passionate about serving others to become the best version of themselves and using her journey to help them along the way.

Kesslee joins us in this episode of Peace Meal to share how perfectionism manifested during her eating disorder and recovery. She begins by recognizing the challenges of being a Division 1 distance runner. Under pressure to be small and lean for the sport, Kesslee restricted food while training more and more. The core issue, she says, was a belief that she was not enough—not for her coaches and not her parents.

Now, Kesslee has tools and strategies for combating the lie that says she is a failure. She offers a practical exercise and recommendations for those similarly worried that they’re not enough, emphasizing the power of therapy and meaningful relationships as well. Equipped with this professional and personal support, she is now focused on adding small nurturing and empowering things into her life. She strives to use her perfectionism for good and carries with her a bold affirmation: “I have been put on this earth to take up space and become stronger.”

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