Professional athletes are constantly working to keep themselves in top shape, and the 2014 ESPN The Magazine Body Issue sheds light on Michael Phelps and Amy Purdy in their birthday suits!
The 29-year-old Olympic swimmer shared that posing nude wasn’t a huge departure from parading in front of the world in a tiny swimsuit- "A Speedo doesn't really hide that much anyway.”
Phelps also confessed that during his short-lived retirement, he ended up gaining weight. "Oh, I was fat. I got fat and out of shape. It was hard because I had always eaten whatever I wanted whenever I wanted it.”
“I would always be like, 'All right, I'll go work out,' and I would never ever go. Sure enough, 25 pounds later, I was still saying the same thing. That was just part of my learning process."
He continued, "I got out of the shower one day and I'm like, ‘Wow. What am I doing?’ It was all over after that. I lost 25 pounds in probably six weeks—just working out two hours a day, eating healthy. It shed right off."
Still, he’s no spring chicken anymore- "I don't recover nearly as fast as I used to. It's one of the reasons I have to change what I put into my body. It's not the 18-year-old body it was before."
Meanwhile, Purdy (34) opened up about becoming an amputee at a young age- "I was 19 years old, and I felt like I had the flu one day. Within 24 hours, I was in the hospital on life support, and I was given less than a 2 percent chance of living. It took five days for the doctors to find out that I had contracted bacterial meningitis. I ended up losing my legs below the knees from septic shock. But I have to say that if I had not gone through that experience, I certainly wouldn't be where I'm at today."
Amy added that her road was excruciatingly tough- "I was put into an induced coma. It felt like I was hanging on by my fingertips on a cliff, like literally hanging on by a thread. It felt like if I just relaxed for one second then I would go."
Seven months later, “I was still 83 pounds, I still had kidney failure. But I haven't ever missed a season of snowboarding, and I made it a goal that I wasn't going to miss that season whether I lost my legs or not."
"What I love about my body, especially right now, is just how strong it is. I've felt that contrast of it being as weak and vulnerable as it could be. When I was in the hospital and I lost my legs—to go from that to feeling stronger than ever, and knowing the strength of my body has been what's gotten me to where I'm at today, as far as the Paralympics and Dancing With the Stars goes—I'm so proud of how healthy I am."