ICE DANCING WASN’T JUST Krista Weyhing’s passion – it was her refuge from the series of tragedies she endured during the last half of 2016 and early 2017. In that time, the teenager’s beloved grandfather succumbed to pancreatic cancer, two friends committed suicide and two family dogs died.
In early 2017, Weyhing, of Louisville, Kentucky, began training in earnest for a season of national ice dancing competitions. She’d been eating a healthy diet featuring shrimp, fish, salads, nuts and cheese. Determined to lose a few pounds, Weyhing cut out carbohydrates and sweets. “I had a need for control,” Weyhing, 18, says. “I saw it as a way to attain success, to feel everything was going to be OK.” By the summer, Weyhing was starving herself. On a given day, she’d eat a couple teaspoons of microwaved egg whites and some raw vegetables. She started purging, making herself throw up what little food she consumed.
Last July, after completing a three-minute program during a competition, Weyhing collapsed in her coach’s arms. By the end of the month, she was in The Renfrew Center, a treatment facility for eating disorders in Coconut Creek, Florida. (Renfrew has 19 treatment centers in 13 states nationwide.) After seven weeks of intensive therapy, Weyhing left the facility in recovery from her eating disorder. “I’m definitely in a place where I want to get better,” she says, talking openly about her struggle in the hope that others suffering with an eating disorder will be encouraged to seek professional help. She attends weekly support group meetings with about 20 teenage girls and young women in recovery from eating disorders.