U.S. swimmer and seven-time Olympic medal winner Amanda Beard recently revealed her 12-year private struggle with eating disorders and self-mutilation.
“I did a good job of putting on a front: ‘Life is perfect. Everything’s fun.’ When I’d go home, it was just darkness,” Amanda told People magazine.
Amanda said her problems with food came to a head following a growth spurt during her teenage years. Gaining 25 pounds and growing eight inches in a short period time disoriented Amanda, negatively affecting her performance in swim competitions and prompting commentators to call her fat and washed up. Amanda turned to extreme dieting as a means of gaining control over her developing body and swim career and self-harm to combat feelings of depression.
At the urging of her now-husband Sasha Brown, Amanda sought help for her eating disorder and self-mutilation. Through therapy and depression medication, Amanda gained a healthier perspective on life.