Aussie Olympian’s hidden 2-year struggle


Australian swimmer Emily Seebohm has started the new year by publicly revealing her two-year struggle with an eating disorder.

Seebohm posted a heartfelt confession to Instagram on Friday morning, revealing her unhealthy obsession with losing weight resulted in binging, purging, taking laxatives and skipping meals.

She also admitted to being embarrassed whenever she wore swimwear.

The 28-year-old vowed to treat her body better in 2021, and hoped her story would encourage others battling eating disorders to do the same.

Emily Seebohm on the Gold Coast.
Emily Seebohm on the Gold Coast.

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"For over two years I've been dealing with an eating disorder," Seebohm posted to Instagram on Friday morning.

"I've binged, purged and taken laxatives. I've counted calories, skipped meals and constantly weighed myself. I've been embarrassed to be in my togs. I have judged my body every time I have been in front of a mirror.

"I've been told that the only way I can swim faster is by losing weight and I have believed it. This year I'm going to be braver for myself. To give my body the love it deserves and to start I needed to be honest to everyone including myself.

"I'm not asking for anything but hoping that I can help someone who could be feeling the same. I got this butterfly tattoo late last year as the Butterfly Foundation helps people struggling with eating disorders and I wanted a reminder that I can do this!"

Australian swimmer Brittany Elmslie responded to the post: "It sure isn't easy. Always here, always proud."

Radio presenter Abby Coleman commented: "It's so hard to admit it. Proud you have. I used to feel like it would be something I could never ever recover from but anyone going through it, complete recovery is possible."

Seebohm is a two-time Olympic gold medallist and former backstroke world record holder.

The Brisbane-based athlete has been preparing for the postponed Tokyo Olympics, where she remains one of the favourites to snare gold in the 100-metre backstroke.

It would be her fourth Olympic Games, having previously represented Australia at Beijing in 2008, London in 2012 and Rio de Janeiro in 2016.

In August 2018, Seebohm announced she had separated with boyfriend and Olympic swimmer Mitch Larkin, who she had been dating for two years prior.

"I just want to move on and want nothing to do with him … that is the best outcome," Seebohm said at the time.

"I feel stronger than ever and ready to put all this behind me and move on with my life."

She is currently dating radio presenter David Lutteral.




Originally published as Aussie Olympian's hidden 2-year struggle