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How one innocent remark sparked a food obsession

AMANDA Woodrow, 25, is a runner from Edinburgh who had anorexica athletica for eight years.

A national schools champion at 800m by the age of 14, her eating disorder "snowballed" after a remark made by a former coach that her thighs were "a bit thick".

Woodrow, pictured below, said: "I have always been really funny about food, but I think as I got more successful I became more conscious of it. Then it became a mechanism to stay at the top.

"It was never about appearance, it was never an aesthetic thing, it was always for performance benefit for me."

Woodrow said it became increasingly hard to recover from injury and she left the sport for a few years. When she came back she began running on the road instead of the track, which gave her more chances to over-exercise. She eventually sought help from a doctor after realising she was "exhausted". Her recovery was helped by counselling and cognitive analytical therapy.

Woodrow has been back running for a year and now competes in the 1500m and 3000m with Edinburgh Athletics Club. "I am so grateful to be able to run again," she said.

But she wants more awareness to be raised.

"Lynsey Sharp [who won silver in the 800m on Friday] was the only girl who beat me as a junior," she said. "People need to be aware so that more girls don't end up on my side, and more girls end up like Lynsey."

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