Sport

Carissa Moore: I don't feel imprisoned by food anymore

Carissa Moore has her own day in her honour in her native Honolulu and has won three of the last four World Surf League titles but reveals that conquering body image issues has been her biggest struggle.

The American became the youngest female world champion when she first won in 2011 at 19 but admits she used to be more obsessed with making the "hottest surfer girl lists".

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"It used to bother me because all of my peers were on them, and I would look at myself and be like, 'Why am I not beautiful? Why don't all these people think that I deserve to be on those lists?' There are the really skinny surfer girls out there, and I've realised I'm not one of them," said Moore, speaking to ESPNW.

"I can't try to be one of them, so I'm gonna find something that's unique and beautiful about me - which is my strong legs and my arms."

Carissa Moore and other surfers witnessed a shooting.
Carissa Moore and other surfers witnessed a shooting. Photo: Matthew Stockman

The 23-year-old has spoken openly about her insecurities, in hope of helping other young girls overcome body image issues. "Now I've gotten to a place where I don't feel imprisoned by food anymore," she said.

"I used to size my wrists every day with thumb and forefinger just to make sure I was still feeling thin. In high school, I'd pack my lunch, eat everything in the morning and wouldn't eat for the rest of the day. Then I'd get home from school, and I would just stuff my face and then I would feel guilty again. At some point, I would wake up in the middle of the night, eat, go work out and go back to bed. It wasn't healthy."

The Surfers' Hall of Fame inductee hopes her experiences can help women change their idea of the ideal body, no doubt influenced by the rise of social media.

"There's something special and unique about you. Don't try to compare yourself to anyone else. Don't try to be someone else. Confidence is the best accessory. I think being healthy and strong is the most beautiful thing," she said.

Speaking out: World surfing champion Carissa Moore.
Speaking out: World surfing champion Carissa Moore. Photo: Getty Images

"I think it's important for girls to know that everyone goes through these struggles, so don't feel alone. Find a healthy way to get through it and embrace yourself, embrace the journey."

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