While we might say that the biological reality that lower bodyweight leads to better performance justifies the SRGs that require it, the specific ways that reality is negotiated gives us some insight into how and why anorexia athletica might form.
(1851-58) Parker's novel, then, gives us an "affective map" that allows us to connect the biological substrate of the primary-process emotions that Panksepp describes with the SRGs of sport culture in an interaction effect that can produce anorexia athletica. It is only those with the "singular objective" that characterizes a global attribution style--those who are willing to see themselves as interchangeable with their performance and their sport, the self completely absorbed--who are defined as successful.
This conscious mapping of the three-part model of the development of self-conscious emotions can then serve as a tool in what Panksepp terms "affective balance therapies"--techniques that aim to shift global attribution patterns and second-level cognitions related to self-evaluations in such a way that the primary-process emotions associated with the SEEKING system--which in the case of anorexia athletica have become dysfunctional and distorted--will be brought back to equilibrium (2009, 19-20).
As Marion Maclean writes in her memoir about anorexia athletica, "my exercise addiction ...
Anorexia athletica forms in conjunction with a sport culture that encourages athletes to reduce the totality of themselves to their performances, and it is often the athletes who are most successful at doing so who perform the best because for them, there is literally more at stake.
For along with the ways it so clearly demonstrates the affective maps that may lead to disorders like anorexia athletica, Parker's novel gives insight into the simple motivations that propel the athlete out into his or her environment in a joyful expression of physical movement.
I have tried to perform the kind of integrative analysis that shows how work in the humanities and work in the sciences can function in tandem, and how a clear picture of phenomena like anorexia athletica cannot emerge without the contributions of each.