The 28-year-old Australian, who was a fixture on the Energy Standard club during the recent International Swimming League season, detailed some of the things she has experienced, including being told that in order to swim faster, she needed to lose weight.
“I’ve binged, purged and taken laxatives,” Seebohm wrote in the heartfelt post. “I’ve counted calories, skipped meals and constantly weighed myself. I’ve been embarrassed to be in my togs. I have judged my body every time I have been in front of a mirror.
“I’ve been told that the only way I can swim faster is by losing weight and I have believed it.”
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The Adelaide, South Australia native vows to “be braver” for herself in 2021, and hopes by sharing her story she can help others going through a similar situation.
“This year I’m going to be braver for myself,” she said. “To give my body the love it deserves and to start I needed to be honest to everyone including myself. I’m not asking for anything but hoping that I can help someone who could be feeling the same. I got this butterfly tattoo late last year as the butterfly foundation helps people struggling with eating disorders and I wanted a reminder that I can do this!”
Seebohm is a three-time Olympian for Australia, winning a gold medal in her debut at the 2008 Games in the women’s 400 medley relay at just 16 years of age. She went on to win three medals in 2012, including a gold in the 400 free relay and an individual silver in the 100 backstroke, and then added a fifth Olympic medal (silver) in the 400 medley relay in 2016.
In addition to her Olympic success, Seebohm is also a five-time Long Course World Champion, including winning the women’s 100 and 200 backstroke events in 2015 and successfully defending her 200 title in 2017.
After winning the inaugural ISL championship with Energy Standard in 2019, Seebohm helped the club to a runner-up finish in November inside the Budapest bubble, scoring 162.0 points for the season which ranked 14th among women and 25th overall.