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September 8, 2021

Missy Greco’s Experience with Eating and Exercise Disorders

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Every athlete knows that the key to success is working hard and being committed to the sport. However, this can often lead to mental health disorders, such as Compulsive Exercise Disorder. An athlete might have Compulsive Exercise Disorder when they allow exercise to significantly interfere with their daily activities and when not exercising, they experience stress, anxiety, and depression. The constant exercising and strict diet regimen, however, can be easily disguised as “putting in the work,” so that even the person experiencing Compulsive Exercise Disorder doesn’t realize it.

Missy Greco, a soccer player for Winona State University talks about her experience with Compulsive Exercise Disorder, how to recognize the problem, and who to talk to when you do.

Related: Former George Washington Track & Field Athlete | My Struggle with an Eating Disorder and My Recovery

Missy says that it all started when she was training for her soccer team’s fitness test. When she passed the test and saw her tremendous results, “it became an obsession.” The desire to work hard to pass the fitness test became a necessity to be exercising and a discomfort with rest. The counting calories became binge-eating and making herself sick. Like many others who experience this disorder, Missy passed it off as just being committed to the sport.

Related: A Student-Athlete’s Battle with Mental Health

One of her teammates and even the athletic trainers came to her because they noticed and wanted to address the problem, but she shrugged it off. She said “self-realization is necessary,” in solving the problem.

The best advice that she can offer to other athletes in similar situations is: “You can be fit without being obsessive, compulsive, and crazy. You can do great things while still eating, you can do awesome things while giving yourself a rest day.”