Today I have one of the most important podcasts to ever come out of SHIFT. Although I have had some nutritionists on to talk about issues related to poor nutrition education, and also harmful practices that are still existent in gymnastics related to fueling for performance, I’ve never directly asked a former gymnast who has gone through about their experiences.
One of my good friends, Tasia Percevecz, was a Level 10 gymnast (who had elite aspirations) and also competed Division 1 Gymnastics later in her career. She now competes as a professional athlete for one of the most successful CrossFit Games teams in the world, CrossFit Mayhem, alongside Rich Froning and other elite athletes.
After getting to know her over the last few years, she shared with me how she struggled with serious body image issues and disordered eating (binging between restricting calories and eating large amounts of food later). She told me that many of the issues she had with her mental health, as well as physical health and many overuse injuries, stemmed from the poor education given to her about nutrition and also harmful practices used to track performance, such as getting weighed and body fat tested on a regular bases when she was a young kid.
On the new podcast today, she shares her entire story with me, the harmful practices she feels need to be removed from the sport, and what she feels can be done to help young gymnasts training now. I feel this is a MUST listen episode for not only everyone in gymnastics, but anyone with works with young athletes.
We talk about
- Where body image and disordered eating stems from
- How she feels the cultural myth of ‘being smaller’ is toxic
- How she managed her negative voices, fears, and anxiety about nutrition and performance
- How she found a great nutritionist who helped her learn more about herself and a healthy relationship with food
- How social media, technology, and teammates played a role for her
- Advice on communication and education strategies for coaches, parents, and gymnasts
You can listen to the entire interview on iTunes, Spotify, or Stitcher below!
Addressing Body Image Issues, Disordered Eating, and Nutrition in Gymnastics with Tasia Percevecz
Hope you have a great week!