National Eating Disorders Association

Stories of Hope

Never on Thin Ice Again
By Alix Meyer

? From 5 to 17 years old, I spent the majority of my time pushing my body to its limits for competitive figure skating. I spent countless hours on the ice in addition to time spent with off-ice training, meetings with coaches, and even re-watching skating competitions in order to learn from my mistakes. At 16, I changed coaches- a strict Chinese-Russian coach straight from China who was training a boy who soon went to the 2014 Olympics- who demanded that I lose a large amount of weight, which now seems absurd because I was already in peak training condition. Desperate to please my coach and my mother, I slowly lost the weight, but also developed bulimia. When I quit skating, I realized that my unhealthy habits were not only harming myself, but also hurting others around me. I was tired of worrying about my weight: I wanted to be happy and healthy. I wanted to be able to be with friends without saying cruel things about myself. I can't say that I just sat in a chair one day and decided, "that's it, I'm done being bulimic." Instead, I realized one day that I needed to accept who I was, and that my friends and family were there to help me. I stopped looking at food as the enemy, and looked at it as a joy in life. I realized all of the health side effects bulimia had and would continue to have on me, and I soon realized that I didn't want that in my life. It took months to forcing myself to think different of food, and I couldn't have done it without surrounding myself with positive people like my friends and colleagues. Today, I'm 20 and a college graduate. I feel that I'm leaps and bounds stronger and better than I was when I was 16, when I was desperate to please my coach and my mother. I've learned over time that I need to focus on myself, and to focus on what makes me happy, rather than worrying about whether my weight satisfies people like my coach, who will not decide how I live my life in the long run. Back to top