Photo: Courtesy of Lululemon Athletica
As a Marine in Iraq, there were a lot of things that were out of Theresa Larson’s control. The first lieutenant, who was trained in engineering, would spend her days on the front lines, building vehicle checkpoints and small shelters for soldiers to sleep in.
So Larson found control the only way she knew how: by vomiting up to five times a day.
“People cope differently with stress,” says Larson, now 35. “For me, being a perfectionist, I coped with the way I trained and ate.”
Larson’s experience is hardly uncommon. A 2001 study published in Military Medicine found that 62.8 percent of female soldiers suffer from some sort of disordered eating. Many are afraid of coming forward, for fear of being discharged. Larson chronicles her decision to sacrifice her military career to save her health in her memoir, “Warrior” (HarperOne, out now).