Champion swimmer Emily Seebohm has taken to social media to reveal her two-year struggle with an eating disorder.
The Olympic gold medallist and former backstroke world record holder told her 44,000 followers on Instagram how she'd battled with body image and weight issues arising from competitive swimming, saying she's even been embarrassed to be in her swimsuits.
The 28-year-old, who has been preparing for the rescheduled Tokyo Olympics, revealed how she was told that losing weight was the only way she could swim faster, which resulted in her binge eating, purging and taking laxatives.
"For over two years I've been dealing with an Eating disorder," she said in the post.
"I've binged, purged and taken laxatives. I've counted calories, skipped meals and constantly weighted 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."
The Brisbane-based athlete, who has endured major disruption to her training during the COVID pandemic, culminating in the postponement of the 2020 Olympics, took the opportunity to offer a message of hope for her followers, confirming she won't let the past two years defeat her.
"This year I'm going to be braver for myself," she said. "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!"
Originally published as Seebohm reveals two-year eating disorder struggle