Princess Diana Incorporated This Healthy Habit To Improve Her Mental Health

Princess Diana used exercise to help her cope
MJ Kim / Getty Images

Princess Diana was beloved, but she also suffered from bulimia and the fallout from her troubled marriage. The Express reports that she dealt with both issues through a regular workout regimen. Celebrity trainer Jenni Rivett worked with the princess for many years prior to her tragic death. She said that Diana found relief through physical exercise.

When they met, Diana had already been dealing with bulimia for many years, and with assistance from Rivett, she discovered how exercise could help her feel better. Diana told Rivett that she did not want the disease to continue dragging her down and preventing her from doing things she wanted to achieve.

Bulimia nervosa affects those who have the disease mentally and physically. It causes them to have bouts of binging and purging various quantities of food, which, in turn, affects their body. They are not absorbing all the nutrients they need from food, which can cause various physical side effects. Many sufferers lose weight, their hair, and experience damage to their teeth and throat from purging.

Rivett said the princess approached her battle with the disease with good humor.

Diana walks the red carpet at a fundraiser for cardiac research. Patrick Riviere / Getty Images

“Actually she had such an incredible sense of humor,” Rivett said. “The way that was brought up was with a joke. She was just trying to make light of it.”

After the first met, Diana apparently dedicated herself to their training sessions, working out with Rivett at the Harbour Club in Chelsea, London, at least three times a week. For someone with a schedule as packed as Diana, it’s even more impressive that she was so dedicated. Diana apparently first developed bulimia while pregnant with Prince William. This was revealed publicly in 1992, in an biography of the Princess of Wales.

The marriage between Prince Charles and Diana was already troubled, and Charles was allegedly still involved with Camilla Parker-Bowles, his now-wife. All the turmoil led Diana to develop the eating disorder that would plague her for years.

In the book, written by Andrew Morton, she said the following.

“Everyone in the family knew about the bulimia, and everyone blamed the bulimia for the failure of the marriage.”

Diana also said in the book that she believed bulimia was a discreet form of self-harm she could indulge in. Rivett said the exercise sessions truly helped Diana and were a crucial part of her healthy lifestyle as she recovered from bulimia. Rivett said she remained disciplined, even in the face of great turmoil, and kept showing up for session after session to enjoy the benefits.