The Pressures In The Life Of An Athlete
The Pressures In The Life Of An Athlete

It is not very surprising nor does it take much pondering why athletes are the most fitness conscious people in the world. To be a successful sportsperson, one must diligently believe in theory and in practice that ‘the fit survive, but only the fittest will thrive’. The life of a sportsperson revolves around achieving and maintaining fitness and wellness round the clock. Whether it is their eating habits, sleep, workout, recreation, etc. it all comes down to them being at the prime of their athletic selves. Every athlete, amateur or pro, follow a strict and well – structured plan for his/her day to day life, the most crucial being his/her diet.

Now, we all know how eating habits are among the most ill – maintained and poorly followed practices that almost everyone has a hard time coping when it comes to maintaining a certain system. While it is easier for some, it certainly is not so for others and if you are a serious athlete, you know how far up on the scale of difficulty level it can stretch to. You can relate how agonizing it must be, for instance, to spring back up from a silly, momentary indulgence. No matter how determined and confident you may feel about not chowing down on that fat laden pizza, you will, at one point or another, succumb to its drizzling invitation to your otherwise well – tamed tummy. It will be satisfying, yes, but that joy will be short – lived; sooner or later, you will be regretting and start counting your calorie intake and calculatingly strategizing how to balance it all out again, which will not be an easy task nor will it be a quick fix.

Female Athletes And Eating Disorders

Female Athlete
Female Athlete

The stress of maintaining a well – balanced diet is more seriously felt by female athletes. While some manage it well enough, there are those who cave in to the pressure. They begin to fear over – eating so much that even the thought of food stresses them out till it gets to the point that they hardly eat even when all they can think of is eating. The belief that body leanness will enhance their performance in their respective sport will trigger in them the need to push themselves into losing more weight. Whether that message is correct or not is entirely irrelevant to them. Sometimes, a single word from a coach about needing lean bodies will drive them towards this dangerous path. Of course, at other times, it is the sport itself that will pressurize them into losing weight unnecessarily to the point that it is dangerous. Just so we don’t lose track here, let us remind ourselves that the desire to lose weight is not at all an unhealthy concept; but to lose weight for a reason other than to be fit and healthy is what is dangerous about it.  The need to better one’s performance in comparison to their counterparts is a sign of a healthy competitive spirit but there are those who take it a step further into the stage of an unhealthy and dangerous obsession.

When Good Becomes Bad

Stressed Out Athlete
Stressed Out Athlete

Sports like gymnastics, figure skating, competitive cheerleading, diving, swimming, distance running and skiing are harsh in terms of judgment on the performer’s physical appearance. Initially, the athlete will feel good about the accomplishment in getting a lean body that has resulted in improved performance. Over time, however, this accomplishment will lead into an obsessed need to further cut down food intake in order to lose more weight till it gets to the point when calorie restriction is not enough for them leading them to indulge in even more dangerous practices like purging. This further induces psychological problems like depression and low self – esteem.

Initially, it may have sounded harmless and counted as an unavoidable, occupational issue, but an eating disorder can lead to dangerous consequences; fatal even, like Anorexia Nervosa which we will talk about in the upcoming articles. Help is available to those who are in need of it but awareness is crucial for that assistance to be delivered and that is what we at are trying to do – make people aware and know that they are not alone.

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