The 25-year-old Mariash has been a runner for nearly as long as she can remember, and began competing in triathlons in 1998. Like many female athletes, she strictly limited her food — dipping as low as 800 calories a day — to improve her performance by losing weight.

But her results were just the opposite.

“I used to wake up really tired,” she said. “I used to take a lot of time off training because I was so exhausted.”

No shit. Holy crap! 800 calories???

“In high school track, we all starved. That’s not how you get to the Olympics,” she said. “Now I can train harder, farther. Things I was afraid of, like a four-hour bike ride, are easy now.”

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