Clare Balding reveals struggle with eating disorder

olympic eating disorderClare Balding, one of the main faces of the Olympics and Paralympics due to her presenting skills on the BBC and Channel 4, has revealed that she once suffered from an eating disorder.

She is set to release a book detailing her life to the age of 19 next week and revealed that she used to abuse laxatives and make herself sick when she was working as a young jockey.

Balding told the Daily Mail that she deliberately threw up food as she struggled to keep her weight down when she was a jockey as horse-racing comprises of weekly weigh-ins.

She told the newspaper: "Would you class that as an eating disorder? It’s very difficult because of the racing context. But yes, I did it."

Previously, the 41-year-old has criticised the unbearable pressure placed on jockeys to keep their weight down as this can easily lead to anorexia and bulimia.

She felt her own pressure because she was racing for her father, who told a reporter at the time that he didn't think women made good jockeys.

Balding also lacked the petite build best suited to the sport, which led to her developing an eating disorder.

Luckily, she decided to pursue a career in broadcasting and TV presenting rather than being a jockey and overcame bulimia.

However, other people are not as fortunate and need more help, such as therapy, to help them recover.

Sometimes, they do not realise they have a problem so loved ones need to look out for certain symptoms.

Warning signs of bulimia include extreme weight loss, using diet pills or laxatives, going to the bathroom after every meal, exercising a lot  even when the weather is bad or the person is injured, swelling of the cheeks or jaw area, teeth that look 'clear', frequent teeth brushing and spending less time with family and friends.

Mood swings and depression are also important signs that someone may be struggling with an eating disorder.

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