Eating Disorder Support Guide for Athletes


Woman sitting in front of a bowl of vegetables.If you’re concerned about your relationship with food and body image, the idea of reaching out to someone for support, especially as an athlete, can feel overwhelming. Like with OCD, there is no “right” or “wrong” way to tell someone about your eating disorder, and it is helpful to be as honest and straightforward as possible about how you’re feeling.


Reaching out for support is way more important than knowing exactly what you want to say.

Steps for Reaching Out

  1. Approach someone you trust and feel comfortable talking to, such as a trainer, parent, friend, or counselor.
  2. Communicate however feels most comfortable for you. Meet face-to-face, over the phone/video call, or write a letter.
  3. Be kind to yourself. Opening up takes courage and vulnerability. There are additional resources available and ways to seek support even if the conversation doesn’t go as planned.

Conversation Starters

  1. “I’m worried. I think I have an unhealthy relationship with food.”
  2. “I’m feeling really drained but feel really guilty about eating.”
  3. “I’m thinking about food all the time and don’t know how to stop.”
  4. “I think I have an eating disorder.”
  5. “My friends/parents have said they’re worried about my eating."

Additional Resources

Black male runner about to start a race.
Thomas Smalley Stretching an Athlete
Soccer players kicking a ball