Posts Tagged “Athletes”
Sports & Eating Disorders: The Hidden Dangers in Competitive Environments
Sports can have an incredibly positive effect on people’s lives, promoting social connection, self-confidence, and skills in teamwork and leadership. However, athletes also grapple with unique challenges, particularly when it comes to their relationship with food and their bodies. Research has shown that participation in sports can trigger or exacerbate eating disorders in those who are susceptible.
Read on to learn why athletes are at special risk of developing eating disorders, the signs to watch out for, and how these disorders can affect athletic performance.
Episode 75: Eating Disorders in Running with Rachael Steil
In this episode of Peace Meal, Rachael Steil shares her past struggles with anorexia and binge eating and her current passion for helping athletes with eating disorders. Rachael loved running from a young age, but the drive she felt to improve in her sport contributed to restrictive eating behaviors. She says she became obsessed with food and started pulling away from her friends and hobbies. Once Rachael started her recovery journey, she received incredible support from her college running coach. Reflecting on this experience, Rachael explains the essential role that coaches can have on their athletes’ lives and the importance of educating coaches on eating disorder warning signs. Rachael ends the podcast with the inspiration for creating her memoir Running in Silence and her nonprofit of the same name and previews the topic of her next book.
Rachael Steil is an eating disorder recovery advocate and the author of Running in Silence, which details her story as an All-American athlete struggling with anorexia and binge eating. She is also the founder of the Running in Silence nonprofit to break misconceptions and raise awareness for eating disorders in sports, serves on the board of the Michigan Eating Disorder Alliance, and is currently a mentor for the USTFCCCA Female Coaches Mentorship Program.
Episode 71: Figure Skating and Eating Disorders with Nichole Soltis
Nichole Soltis recently earned her master’s degree from The University of Akron and is now a licensed therapist in the state of Ohio. A long-time figure skater, she will be competing at her second Adult National Championships this month. She has a passion for eating disorders and their impact on athletes, and she hopes to use her platform to spread awareness, support others, and start the conversation about eating disorders and sports.
In this episode of Peace Meal, Nichole discusses how her passion for figure skating played a role in the development and maintenance of her eating disorder, as well as how she was able to get back on the ice after treatment. Delving first into the complicated relationship between aesthetic sports and eating disorders, she shares how restricting her food did not improve her skating performance in the way her eating disorder promised it would. Instead, it negatively affected not just her sport, but also her physical and mental health. Through recovery, Nichole learned that nourishing her body and working on her technique was the best thing for her skating performance. Now as a therapist passionate about supporting athletes, she encourages all coaches to get their athletes professional help if they notice the warning signs of an eating disorder. Nicole ends the conversation by assuring any athletes struggling with an eating disorder that getting help can mean enjoying life, food, and their sport once again.
Episode 50: Food is More Than a Nutrition Label with Kenzie Osborne
Kenzie Osborne is a mental health blogger, chef, recipe developer, and former NCAA athlete. After battling intensely with anorexia, she was able to find peace with food through cooking, traveling, and learning about the many benefits food has on the mind, spirit, and body.
Kenzie shares her story with us in this episode of Peace Meal. We begin by discussing a label long attached to her—“the healthy and fit one”—and its impact on her identity. A daughter of doctors and sister to high-performing athletes, she felt immense pressure as part of a family defined by health and athletics.
Episode 49: Managing Perfectionism with Kesslee
Kesslee is a young professional, part-time coach, wife, and dog mom. She is passionate about serving others to become the best version of themselves and using her journey to help them along the way.
Kesslee joins us in this episode of Peace Meal to share how perfectionism manifested during her eating disorder and recovery. She begins by recognizing the challenges of being a Division 1 distance runner. Under pressure to be small and lean for the sport, Kesslee restricted food while training more and more. The core issue, she says, was a belief that she was not enough—not for her coaches and not her parents.
Episode 38: Boxing, Weight Cutting, and Eating Disorder Recovery with Mark Schindler
Mark Schindler is an NBA writer and podcaster for SB Nation and his co-created site, Premium Hoops.
Mark joins us in this episode of Peace Meal to reflect on his eating disorder experience, particularly as it relates to his pursuit of a professional boxing career. His food and body image concerns manifested in the sport and contributed to an eating disorder that extended far beyond it. Sharing how his illness compromised both his physical and mental well-being, Mark warns of the dangers of weight-cutting and offers a definition of health that encompasses more than appearance. Strewn throughout the episode are meaningful words of advice and comfort for those considering recovery.
Episode 16: What is Healthy Activity?
Exercise in eating disorder recovery is a hotly disputed topic. What type of activity is positive? When does activity become disordered? Is there a place for intense exercise in recovery? The Emily Program’s Director of Nutrition, Shena Washburn, joins Peace Meal to answer these questions and more.
Episode 12: Eating Disorders and Athletes
Eating disorders in athletes are incredibly common but unfortunately, they often go unaddressed. NEDA estimates that eating disorders affected 62% of women and 33% of men who participate in aesthetic-based or weight-class sports. To discuss eating disorders in athletes and how we can help advocate for healthy living and recovery, former Vikings’ and current Twins’ dietitian Rasa Troup and recovered distance runner and advocate Jenny Scherer join Peace Meal.