As everyone who regularly reads this blog knows, coaching is a central part of my life and I spend a lot of time learning as much as I can about both the physical and emotional elements of effective coaching. Will is similarly interested in coaching and has spent an enormous amount of time researching anorexia athletica, an increasingly common condition that is unfamiliar to many coaches and athletes. Unlike anorexia nervosa where a person’s body habitus usually gives away the condition, anorexia athletica is far more insidious and subtle. In fact, an athlete suffering from anorexia athletica may have what looks to be a “perfect athlete’s body.” I’ve become increasingly concerned about anorexia athletica as a number of popular bloggers have normalized obsessions with excessive exercise and “clean eating” and mainstream running magazines have run multiple articles on how to eat clean, weight loss for performance and “strong as the new skinny.”
Will recently made a training video for coaches and athletes on anorexia athletica (I’m just the narrator) and I think he did an incredible job of fitting in all the key elements including recognition of AA, performance impacts of AA and how to get help for an athlete about whom you are concerned.