Olympian Alice Merryweather Is Rediscovering 'Genuine Joy' After Anorexia
I’ve been skiing since I was 4 years old and racing since I was 8. Throughout high school, I never felt insecure—I was confident in my body and proud of being strong. Once I achieved my goal of making the World Cup team, though, there was no huge next step to take, and I turned my focus and perfectionism inward. I became more conscious of what I looked like and what I was consuming.
The turning point was when the World Cup season was cut short in the spring of 2020. I’d fallen short of my goals, and on top of that, I was taking a heavier class load than usual at Dartmouth College, and my housing where I was going to be training fell through. It was a perfect storm of stress. I found a reprieve—and thought I was gaining control—through my diet. I stopped eating enough, but I would justify it with excuses like “I didn’t work out that hard today.”
My boyfriend, Sam, was the first person to mention the words eating disorder to me. He noticed I couldn’t manage my emotions. I also complained about being cold, even on hot summer days, which is a symptom. I brushed it aside. I was making the right athletic choice, I reasoned.