About Running in Silence

Running in Silence is committed to correcting the misconceptions and ending the stigma of eating disorders for those at any body weight who struggle to speak up.

Order your Running in Silence book HERE.

Rachael Steil clocked in as an All-American collegiate runner; she became a girl clawing for a comeback on a 30-bananas-a-day diet. This year-long struggle with raw food ended when she realized she had to find her self-respect beyond her identity as a successful runner on a perfect diet. Running in Silence opens the door on the secret world of eating disorders. It provides vital insights for those who don’t suffer from this disease and an honest and harrowing personal story for those who do. Steil challenges the stigma of eating disorders, looks past appearance, and dives into the heart of obsession.
“I shivered in my sweaty t-shirt and stretchy black pants as I sat before the glow of my laptop in the college library, my eyes scanning through a vibrant yellow website.
‘Eat all the fruit you want.’
‘Never get fat.’
Raw. Food. Diet.
It had been hours since I ran at track practice that winter, but I hadn’t bothered to shower let alone change clothes. No, I didn’t have time for that, because I had found the answer to my prayers.
This has to be it.”


Running in Silence is not just about eating disorders and recovery—it’s a book that incorporates questions to help others begin dealing with their behaviors. Steil reveals the courage it takes to go to a place of pain and find the strength to heal. She breaks free on her own terms and shows the reader how to do the same. There is hope and compassion from a writer who cares about the reader. We need more stories like this with guidance. It’s a helpful book for anyone, especially to educate parents, coaches, and athletes. Running in Silence will encourage anyone to get that push they are looking for to not merely exist, but to live.”
~Suzy Favor Hamilton, three-time Olympic middle distance runner and mental health advocate
“I want everyone to go out and read this book. What struck me most about Running in Silence was the sheer honesty of how Rachael shares what she went through, how it impacted her sport, and how it impacted her emotionally, physically, and socially. As well, I was impressed by her honest desire to help others see themselves and their own personal struggles, fears, and experiences through hers by giving such vivid examples of what she went through.
I also thought that her willingness to describe her recovery journey was unique, for so few individuals can articulate that piece of the story. Most books like this that I’ve read (and I’ve read a lot!) leave me wanting to know how they recovered and looking for the author to show the reader that while recovery is possible, it requires a commitment to treatment and a winding road of hard work, setbacks, supportive people/professionals, and taking chances to break the cycle and learn to embrace new strategies. I found Running in Silence so much more honest and impactful in that regard.”
~Paula Quatromoni, DSc, RD, Boston University Associate Professor and Chair, Department of Health Sciences; Senior Consultant, Walden Behavioral Care
“Rachael Steil is a talented writer dedicated to sharing her journey, her struggle, and her most vulnerable moments to help others. Her courage shines through on the pages of Running in Silence. Rachael has an important story to tell and she not only shares it, she offers up actionable tools for those who struggle with disordered eating to begin unraveling their own stories and find their own courage.”
~Jennifer DiGennaro, Founder and Owner at Nourished Energy
“Rachael’s story is one that everyone can take something away from. Her voice and honest account of overcoming her struggles, especially with an eating disorder that’s not widely discussed, makes this book a leader of its kind.”
~Brittany Burgunder, author of Safety in Numbers
“Not all of us can identify with eating disorders, but Running in Silence gives a star athlete’s perspective of what it’s like. The decline and then the journey back is a compelling story that gives us hope that any of us can recover from our challenges.”
~Don Kern, adventure runner, author of and the Adventure Continues . . . , and director of the Metro Health Grand Rapids Marathon


25 Responses to About Running in Silence

  1. Justin says:

    Thanks for posting your experiences and I look forward to reading the rest of your posts! I know it must take a lot of courage to admit that you had a problem and be willing to share it with everyone… but I’m sure it will help others who might be in similar situations. Good luck with your training and I hope you achieve all your goals!

  2. Danielle says:

    I had a very similar experience to you, running in college, having an eating disorder, and not really able to identify myself as such. It is tough because I thought I was eating a certain way to benefit my running, but in the end I was always sick or injured. Now that I realize I did have an eating disorder, food is no longer an enemy. Food fuels my body for running. I still have some anxiety when going out to eat, or not knowing exactly what goes into my food, but I am getting to a healthier place with food. I think what you are posting is great and a real look into athletes and disordered eating. Keep writing :)

  3. Michelle says:

    I was a weight loss counselor for several years before I got married. Counseling others on healthful eating habits and monitoring their progress was therapeutic in dealing with my own eating disorder and obsessive-compulsive exercise (more that we have in common). Your blog is a highly valuable contribution in so many respects and will reach out to a wide variety of age groups and genders even vis-a-vis the honed perspective. I’d venture to say that the experience of blogging will continue to be a cathartic experience for you. Best of luck in your journey of self-discovery and self-management, and keep on writing!

  4. Anonymous says:

    This sums up everything that I have felt for the past 3 years. Thank you for sharing this. It’s great to know that I am not alone and that it is possible to grow towards a path of recovery. Again, thank you for posting.

    • rachael says:

      I’m sorry you’ve had to deal with this; it is a beast of a thing, isn’t it? I wish you luck in your recovery!
      If you have any questions, please let me know. Thanks for reading!

  5. Stacey says:

    I found your blog through runnersworld.com and it is breaking my heart. I have suffered from severe anorexia/bulimia since I was 9 years old (I’m 32 now), and only in the past year have truly been able to let go significantly of the grips of the disease. I have been through many hospitalizations and counseling, and really only credit my recovery (in progress) to finally realizing my own happiness and potential in life.
    Reading your blog stirs up so many painful memories of being absolutely possessed by my eating disorder. One thing that struck me in particular is your 20th birthday story, where you brought your own special foods to your friend’s house, and refused to believe you could eat like your friends because your ED convinced you that you were somehow different from them. Being injured on top of that — wow, can I relate! I, too, am a competitive and somewhat obsessive runner, and it is when I can’t run that the ED really rears its ugly head. Your words speak to me on a very intimate level, and I thank you for being so candid. I truly hope you are on the path to wellness now.
    I do caution you, however, that by including exact height/weights, and listing specifically what you eat day to day may trigger other sufferers or worse, allow them to exploit it as “thinspiration.” Though I appreciate your honesty and understand your reasoning for including all of these specifics, I urge you to include some kind of a warning on the blog about this being a potential trigger. I see you have a disclaimer about the raw diet, but this seems like more of a “don’t mean to offend” rather than a warning. Of course, this won’t completely prevent triggering or exploitation, but it may help a bit. I’m sure you would agree that we need to protect other sufferers.
    Thank you again and like I said, I hope you’re on the road to recovery. Here’s hoping I stay there, too :)

    • rachael says:

      I am so sorry you’ve had to deal with this for so long–what a horrible, frustrating illness it is. I hope your journey through recovery continues to improve.
      Thank you for your kind comment, I appreciate the support! I feel like I am slowly making my way through this and I’m in a much better place than I was back then.
      I agree with your thoughts on the “thinspiration” concept. I wondered about that when I first started the website and didn’t ever act on those thoughts, so it’s good to hear from someone else about fixing it. I will make the changes soon, so thank you!
      Good luck on your journey into recovery and thanks again for your words!

  6. Noah says:

    Reading your blog has been such a treat! I just wanted to say that your a great writer and you seem like an amazing person. I’m in a very similar position as you right now. I’m actually a male runner in high school (going to be a senior next year) and developed an eating disorder a couple years ago. It has been a very rough roller coaster and things are still very far from being perfect. I’m still trying to develop a healthier relationship with food but it’s been quite difficult. I had lost so much weight (I got down to about 90 pounds) but since then I’ve gained most of it back like you. Reading your story has made me feel like I have someone to connect to and seeing your recovery is very inspiring. I would say that we’re in quite similar positions right now and I’m so glad that you created this blog. Thank you so much! Keep writing!

    • rachael says:

      Noah, thank you for reading! And thanks for the kind words. :) I’m sorry you’ve been dealing with your own eating disorder for the past few years–what a struggle! Have you sought therapy? I hope you are working through it now and you are on your way to recovery. Good luck, and please feel free to ask me any questions; I’d be happy to help!

  7. Rob says:

    I just wanted to say “Thank you” for taking the time and effort to share these intimate details about your struggle. I have no doubt that many, many people have benefited from your words. I know I have. :-)

  8. C.E. says:


    Sorry for this informal way of reaching out, but I couldn’t find an email on your blog. I’m currently working on a piece regarding eating disorders in male runners. I thought you, through the community you’ve created and the insight you have on the issue in general, might be able to help me out.

    If so, let me know a place where I can get in touch and provide more details.


    • rachael says:

      Hello! Sorry for the delayed response.
      I will contact you via email–comment below if you do not receive it and we will work something out! :)

  9. Williamwes says:

    This is one awesome forum post. Keep writing.

  10. Rachel Luehm says:

    I love reading through the comments on here and seeing how many lives you have touched, Rach! It always gives me goosebumps. You are a rock star! Love you!!

  11. Very cool post! I read your site fairly often and you always post really
    great stuff. I shared this on Facebook and my
    followers really enjoyed it. Keep up the great work!

  12. Sol says:

    Hugely enjoyed this article :), keep up the great authorship and I’ll keep reading.
    Will be sharing this with my twitter followers and I’m suee they’ll enjoy it as well!

  13. Wendy says:

    I would like to know when or if you are speaking in VT

    Thank you!

    • Rachael says:

      Hi Wendy,
      I will be speaking in Colchester, VT at Saint Michael’s College November 30, 2017 in the evening. More details to come!
      Please let me know if you have any other questions!
      Rachael Steil

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