“Weighing… it’s hell. This’s fear. These’re tears. A minute before the weigh-in, everyone used to take off everything possible, go to the toilet and somehow make yourself lighter.” Revelations of the former figure skater
Recently pair skater Alexandra Boikova has shared her diet and the topic of weight in figure skating has been actively discussed. Here’s another article about diets in figure skating with comments from a former figure skater who wishes to remain anonymous. Even after the end of a career, the topic of weight loss remains very painful for many. The article is mainly about Russian sport, but unfortunately it’s relevant for skaters from other countries too.
source: rsport.ria.ru dd. 13th June 2022 by Anastasiia Panina
Quotes from our heroine who wishes to remain anonymous: “I was first told to lose weight at the age of eleven. But in general, my mother was told about this when she just brought me to the skating rink – at the age of six. They said that the child is chubby, you need to feed her only cabbage and stewed vegetables. Mom did not listen to such a sound advice.”
“Weighing… it’s hell. This is fear. These are tears. I was shaking, and not only me, we stood in a crowd and everyone was shaking. Everyone was waiting for her “minute of glory.” A minute before the weigh-in, everyone tried to take off everything that was possible. Go to the toilet and somehow make yourself lighter. Weighing in the coaching room is a something special. If in the medical room they didn’t scold us so much, in the coaching room you could hear a lot. There they scolded as fiercely as possible, without choosing expressions. And, of course, then it was transferred to the ice. And all your mistakes are not because something wrong with the technique, but because you are fat.”
A separate issue is the relationship with water. Figure skaters, with the tacit or loud consent of the coaches, have declared water a dangerous enemy.
“We had weighing every day, sometimes even twice a day, and we did not know if it would be in the afternoon, in the morning or after all the training. So we didn’t drink water all day, because we didn’t know when exactly we would be weighed, and plus a hundred grams is a disaster.”
Alina Zagitova in the TV show calmly told the whole country how she only rinsed her mouth at the Olympics, but did not drink water – she was afraid of gaining a hundred grams, because this, in her opinion, could somehow affect her performance.
Victoria Sinitsina, in an interview with RIA Novosti Sport, said that when the ice training ended and evening came, she put on pants, three sweaters, and once a week she also wrapped herself in film, and used to run continuously for an hour – thus creating for herself a hard drying.
Despite all the measures taken, including the refusal to drink water, every second female skater at some point hears from the coach that she needs to lose weight. What she does? She goes to her friends from the group or to her mother, who communicates with the mothers of older girls in the group. They already have experience in dealing with excess weight and willingly share this experience.
Since you need to lose weight immediately – the coach does not wait, competitors are not standing still – radical measures are chosen.
“Once it was necessary to lose 6 kilograms in a week and a half. I’ve tried everything. I could not eat at all for three days. There was a diet on which I lost a lot of weight, but almost could not work: yogurt in the morning, an apple in the afternoon and a glass of kefir in the evening. I hate kefir, but the coaches said that I should definitely drink it. I tried a protein diet, a mono-diet on buckwheat. But the most effective and terrible for the body was the chocolate diet. You eat only something sweet – two Snickers bars a day, for example – and nothing else. This was enough for me so that each weigh-in showed a small loose of weight.
Not a single diet helped me lose weight like calming down and letting go of it all. No matter how much I ran in the film, or tortured my body, only at rest did it begin to lose weight.’
“From time to time it happened that my weight suited everyone, but it was very rare. It was difficult to keep it, because against the background of our usual training, additional running and food restrictions were a serious stress for the body.”
“I’m still afraid of weighing and I weigh myself ten times a day – such a stupid habit. My relationship with food cannot be called completely healthy. I still do not accept myself and often scold myself for eating. I can start to eat my feelings, then wake up and remember that, in general, everything is fine – I don’t have to go to training tomorrow.”
The drama also is that there are other people next to our heroine and her coaches. Not all coaches humiliate and insult, not all coaches avoid sending skaters to a doctor and even a nutritionist to solve problems, not all girls find it so difficult to keep weight. But this circumstance does not devalue the experience and suffering of others.
“I have examples of great coaching staffs, where the coach, even if he sees the problem, solves it through general physical and special physical training, and the athlete does not even know that the coach had complaints about his weight. Because these complaints the head coach addressed to the physical training coach, for example, and everyone worked together to resolve the issue. And there are also gorgeous girls who from nature have a beautiful figure for aesthetic sports. The issue of weight has never been raised with them.”
“There is no pattern, male or female coach, young or not. Who studied hard at the institute or read books, knows what and when develops. Understands how muscles work, how the body of a maturing athlete is arranged. The desire to understand the issues of eating behavior and proper attitude to weight loss depends on the demands of the coach, first of all, to himself.”
“I have a feeling that our career was divided into two parts – before and after senior sports. This is generally different sports, I think many will agree with me.” Ice dancer Anastasia Skoptsova about finishing her career