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07th Oct 2021

Tom Daley shares his experience with eating disorders

Sarah McKenna Barry

“Men always seem to not have eating disorders, and it’s hard to talk about it.”

*This article contains references to eating disorders.*

British Olympic diver Tom Daley has spoken about his experience with the eating disorder bulimia.

In a fan question and answers segment for The Guardian, the athlete spoke about the pressure he experienced in sport, and how that impacted his body image and self-esteem.

One fan asked: “You wrote about this in your book. Is it fair to say you developed an eating disorder?”

Tom replied: “I used to make myself throw up, in 2012.

“I weigh myself everyday. I’ve had a very strange relationship with food and my body image. I guess it’s a mild form of that.”

The diver continued: “Men always seem to not have eating disorders, and it’s hard to talk about it. But I would consider myself to be someone that has very much struggled with body image, and eating, and feeling guilty and shameful of the things that I eat.”

Elsewhere in the Q&A, Tom spoke about feeling very exposed in his sport.

He said: “You have these body issues as an athlete. Lots of people would look at athletes and be like: ‘What are you talking about? You’re an athlete, you’re in shape, you have nothing to worry about.’

“But especially as a diver, you’re up on the diving board and you’re so naked, so visible, so it’s quite hard to be content with your body, because you always want to be better.”

According to Bodywhys, eating disorders in men are, historically, “under-diagnosed, under-recognised and under-treated”.

Their site reads: “It is a common misconception that eating disorders only affect women. The reality is that eating disorders affect both men and women, boys and girls.”

If you have been affected by any of the details in this story you can contact Bodywhys on 01-2107906 or email [email protected].