Battling food and body image myths

By Aroha Treacher
  • North Island: East Coast

Champion weightlifter and elite CrossFit athlete Puawai Munro-Halkyard has opened up about her decade-long battle with bulimia. Today, she's in a place where she is comfortable with her body image and would rather fuel it than starve it.

International athlete Puawai Munro-Halkyard has put an end to her struggle with food and body image.

“I started to educate myself around I need fuel to live and to be able to perform so it's taught me a lot to appreciate my body as it is and to appreciate it for what it can do not for what it can look like.”

For 10 years, she battled with very bad eating disorders throughout her sporting career, sometimes even starving herself. She describes the period as a terrible battle.

“It was a horrible period of a lot of self-hate. It's been a lot of ups and downs because I've had to face a lot of demons inside of this head of mine, but it's helped me come out the other side and I feel like my life is only just starting.”

Since then, she's held national weightlifting titles and has competed internationally at the CrossFit regional competition three times.

“Four years ago I came across CrossFit and it taught me that I needed the energy to be able to do the things that I wanted to so I pretty much stopped pretty fast.”

Opting for strong rather than skinny, she is training for her next weightlifting competition in 12 weeks in pursuit of qualifying for the Commonwealth Games.

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