Testimonial: “Sport has helped me ease my eating disorders”

Please note that the following testimonial is about eating disorders. If you think you may have TCA, do not hesitate to contact Anorexia, Bulimia, Info Listening Line on 0810 037 037.

“My eating disorders started when I was 14 years old. At that time, there were many blogs and websites that listed all kinds of techniques to lose weight. Like many people here I have learned to make myself vomit and not to eat. These websites are a real scourge as they are followed by millions of people.

The only things that allowed me to quit were sports and support groups. When you have people in front of you who are going through the same thing, it helps a lot. At first I started the sport to accept to eat and whet my appetite: I said to myself: “Okay, I ran, it’s good that I can eat”. But I really liked running and started doing it without thinking about dieting. It was a moment of mine, just for me. A bit like meditation. I put on music, I was in my world and just felt good. What I felt after a food crisis, I felt after running: a real moment of well-being. Running has really helped me gain an appetite, go to the bathroom, eat better…

I raced alone for two or three years, then I started boxing. The idea was to confront myself and bring out all this anger and violence that I could have. Boxing has really helped me to take a step back, not dive right into everyday life but really analyze a situation. Kind of like I can do when I look at my opponent and try to understand what shot he’s going to start with, be it from the right or the left. Then, three years ago, I discovered crossfit. It was a real crush! It is a team sport that stimulates the whole body and at the same time is very cardio. Me, I excel at that. It really helped me gain muscle mass.

“Sometimes I go for a run and the tears flow naturally”

Nowadays I do a lot of sports: I go for a run six or seven times a week and I do Crossfit two or three times. It remains a moment that I spend with myself and where I disconnect. Usually I find it very difficult to let go of my emotions, for example to cry, but sometimes I go for a run and the tears flow naturally. It’s like therapy. After the session I know that I will have a good day: my ideas are clear, organized, but above all I feel calm. Sport is really my balance. I became the boring friend who has to exercise first before she can be with her friends. I’m always late, but at least it’s my priority and I know that makes me feel good.

“Rome wasn’t built in a day”

Honestly, I don’t necessarily think I have a healthy relationship with sports. I do a lot, maybe even too much. We often replace one addiction with another and I think mine has become a sport. In eating disorders there is not only anorexia and bulimia, there is also bigorexia, which is the fact that you exercise excessively and dedicate your diet to massive gain. It was Bixente Lizarazu who spoke about it (suffers from it himself, note from the editor) and it made people realize that there are other forms of ED. I don’t have it, but I have enough perspective on myself to accept that I’m addicted to sports and I’m definitely not in denial. It’s just a way I’ve put in place to be good in my head. We don’t cure TCA, we always retain some form of vulnerability. But from the moment I stop vomiting, it’s already a big step for me. After all, Rome wasn’t built in a day. Today I can eat without stress on the terrace with my friends. These are small victories that take time. †