One of the coaches at the gym sometimes uses drinks/snacks as a manipulation tool - like no drink or no snack until you do such and such. He says in his homeland Romania the girls would go without eating - like skipped meals - if they didn't perform something as the coach wanted, for punishment. I think also if they weighed more than they should have at a weigh-in. Really healthy huh. The coach at my gym can't go that far though, obviously, but it makes you wonder when he tells these stories that what his thoughts are.
Here's Alexandra Marinescu's story on this subject:
[quote]One of the biggest pressures was to remain slim, and the gymnasts lived in constant terror of the scales. Marinescu soon found out there was more to keeping your figure than just a moderate diet and hard training. "The others used to introduce their fingers into their throat and voluntarily provoke vomiting, in order to eliminate the food from the organism. At the same time, the feeling of being hungry was somehow deluded." The gymnasts also used diuretics: "We took into consideration the fact that it might do us harm, but the fear of the scales was even worse. Afterwards, we found out that this medicine remained in the blood and it might have been traced at doping controls, which didn't really exist at that time. They had taken us to a medical control and the doctors were amazed when they read the analysis and they saw how much furosemide we had inside". If the gymnasts failed to reach the weight the coaches expected of them, the girls were punished both physically and psychologically by head coach Octavian Belu. Once, Alexandra recalls, he made the gymnasts put on five track suits and sit in the sauna. "We stayed in there until we were almost fainted."
According to Marinescu, the toughest punishment she ever received from Belu was being locked up in his room for three days. For the first twenty four hours, she says, she was given neither food nor drink. "I stayed there all day and only came out with an attendant, for training, and afterward he locked me back into his room." After training the second day, she was brought back to Belu's room, where he gave her an orange. "I squeezed it in my mouth in order to quench my thirst with its juice. He didn't even allow me to drink any water, because I was putting on weight." The same procedure followed the third day, in the evening she was allowed back to her room.[/quote]
Marinescu has a book called "Alexandra's Secrets"; read more excerpts from the book at: