Being in a leotard and getting everyone’s attention while competing also adds to the fear of “looking fat,” Nathan said, and this problem can get worse as athletes’ bodies get worse. changes during puberty.
Chew, 19, and Nathan, 21, also added that these body image issues can affect athletes in the long run, even when their athletic careers are over.
“We were all supposed to fit into a certain mold, that of a ‘typical gymnast body’, regardless of our genetics and different body types. It was not uncommon, even as a teenager, to be weighed in, which has led to many we are incredibly aware of food in general, ”said Nathan, who represented Singapore at the 2014 Youth Olympic Games and is a three-time SEA Games medalist.
“These states of mind affect the transition for those who do end up leaving the sport, as the changes in intensity and hours of exercise decrease, resulting in very visible changes that inevitably shift the focus from nutrition to habits. more unhealthy ones that could endure after a career as a gymnast. “
Chew and Nathan believe the guidelines will help distract from athletes’ appearances and create a healthier environment for them to train and compete.
Chew, who competed at the 2019 SEA Games, said: “More knowledge about body confidence and body image will be shared on how one can help oneself or help others who are suffering from a (bad) body image, and this can help foster and stimulate a supportive community. “
Nathan added, “These guidelines will help community members focus on helping gymnasts get the nutrition they need and focus on the right actions for each gymnast and their body to keep them healthy and happy. . It would also make each individual think twice before making any rude remarks or comments which usually have unintended consequences. “