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Thread: Ted Barton interviews Eteri Tutberidze

  1. #341
    On the Ice Mathman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sheetz View Post
    That's not actually what she said. She said 85% had some type of disordered eating, which is not the same as having an eating disorder.
    Reading the article as a whole, though, I don't think that Kirk's main thrust is semantics. She is not, after all, a research scholar or medical professional, just someone with her own story to tell.

    Lesleyann Coker: How pervasive are eating disorders in figure skating? In your opinion, what percentage of skaters suffer from the disease?

    Jenny Kirk: Eating disorders are incredibly secretive. If one was to attend a skating competition, or even eat a meal with a skater, it would be really hard to pick out which skaters were and were not suffering from disordered eating. It wasn’t until I was on tour, spending months at a time with the best skaters in the world, that I saw how prevalent disordered eating was amongst the top skaters in the sport.
    LC: From your experience, how does the eating disorder start and when?

    JK: Every individual who has struggled with an eating disorder has a different story to tell as to how the disorder started. The one common thread, however, is that an eating disorder isn’t something that a person “comes down with” overnight; rather, it’s a gradual progression where the disorder grows over time. For me personally, I started to control the types of food I was eating—think labeling foods “good” and “bad”—after a disappointing finish at the 2003 National Championships. At the time I believed that if I became very aware of the types of food that were going into my body, how hard I was working out off the ice, and how much I weighed, then I would be able to control my results on the ice.
    LC: Describe the lengths you and/or your fellow skaters went through to control weight, i.e. over-exercise, diuretics, laxatives, vomiting?

    JK: Skaters, or any individual suffering from an eating disorder, will go through any and all lengths to control their weight. Particularly in a sport like skating, over-exercising is extremely common. When I was competing, I would skate three hours a day and workout at the gym every morning for a little over an hour. If I felt “fat” or if I ate something that I felt I shouldn’t have, I would make myself go back to the gym for a few hours in the evening before bed in order to “erase” whatever I had eaten. I was also bulimic and would binge and purge regularly. Although I never used laxatives, they are very common in the skating world as well.
    LC: Skating requires enormous muscle strength, yet eating disorders by definition cause the body to devour its own muscle. How do skaters cope with these diametrically opposed goals of strength and weight?

    JK: This is what is so tough about athletes suffering with eating disorders. As a person’s muscle strength diminishes, it becomes incredibly hard to find the strength and stamina needed to get through rigorous long programs and training sessions. I remember as I fell deeper into the disorder, it became increasingly difficult for me to find the energy needed to complete my run throughs. Although I probably should have understood that this meant I had to eat more, I punished myself, thinking that my stamina was lacking because I was out of shape and eating too much.

  2. #342
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mathman View Post
    Reading the article as a whole, though, I don't think that Kirk's main thrust is semantics. She is not, after all, a research scholar or medical professional, just someone with her own story to tell.
    I'm simply clarifying what she said about the 85% figure. Jenny may not be a medical professional but she used the expression, which is an actual clinical term, so I assume she is familiar with its meaning. I'm not a medical professional either but I know that disordered eating and an eating disorder are not the same.

  3. #343
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    How can EG possibly keep her incredible stable of ladies figure skaters happy in the coming years? I hope she can do it.

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