Carb Queen (Guest blog Rachael Steil)
Jul 9, 2019
This guest blog is by Rachael Steil. I actually met Rachael first by reading her book Running in Silence. I felt compelled to get to know this incredible lady.I find her vulnerable story of overcoming binge eating during her collegiate running career a must read for all my athletes I work with. She also does incredible work bringing light to eating disorder awareness and advocacy. Check out her tee that proceeds go towards mental health and eating disorders.
Trusting your Dietitian
Initially I was skeptical about Trina’s first task to have me consume more carbs, because I thought that if I unleashed the “beast” within, I would eat carbs non-stop. I thought the body was capable of eating out of my control, that something was “broken” inside of me.
And then the magic happened. It started with wheat tortillas and bread. At first I thought I was eating “too many” when I told her I binged on them at the end of long training days. Trina told me that it sounded like my body just needed to eat that much food. It was more than what was suggested on the meal plan, but she told me the meal plan was only a guide, and that our bodies weren’t giant calculators needing the same exact certain number of calories each day. I didn’t believe Trina at first, but I found my cravings die down when I ate more of the foods we decided I should try (especially carbs). It also planted the seed that maybe my body was actually hungry, and that this wasn’t a matter of discipline and willpower. I found myself bingeing less on jars of peanut butter and chocolate syrup and realized how important satisfaction/tastiness of food was in feeling content. I began to see that maybe my body wasn’t as “broken” or “out of control” as I originally thought, but that maybe there was a time period where it felt “out of control” because my body had some catching up to do after years of restriction.
I am forever grateful for what my dietitian taught me. She incorporated the meal plan to help me remember how to return to “normal” meals. I often say it was like learning how to walk again. I could recall doing it before, but I had to relearn what that felt like, and she gradually showed me how to do that. The journey with my dietitian was a long process not without struggle, but I’m thankful for the huge step she took with me to eat the foods I deemed “unhealthy” for so long. She helped me to focus more on getting all the macronutrients in at each meal rather than worrying about calories or if I was eating “too much.” We talked about how hunger wasn’t just the stomach growling, but also thinking about food and not being able to concentrate on things like my schoolwork. All of these discussions and trial and errors helped me get back to the most balanced I’ve ever been in my life with food. I didn’t think eating disorder recovery would end like the way it has. I didn’t think I’d see the day where I’d no longer obsess about food, nor did I think I would never stop fighting my own body.
And to think how reluctant as I was to see my dietitian at first! I’m so thankful I took the leap to have her on my team.
Where you can find Rachael and her community:
AUTHOR • ATHLETE • NUTRITION THERAPIST
ReBecca McConville, MS, RD, CSSD CEDRD
"The life-long athlete in me wants to make sure that all athletes stay at the top of their game for as long as they choose to be in their sport. This book will keep athletes on track before your season starts, in the grind of the season, at the end of your season—and be ready to go for the next one."