Lauren Fleshman: Eating Disorders in the Running World

Life has been busy. Not only have I started my own YouTube channel, but I’ve also been scheduled for numerous speaking engagements, one of which I most recently completed this past Saturday with Yoga For a Cause. That event involved my first-ever radio interview with Rachael Morrow of the Grand Rapids Center for Healing Yoga a few days prior. And to be honest, speaking on the radio felt nerve-wracking. But practice makes perfect, right? Or imperfect is okay, perhaps, in accordance with the message of this website and the Running in Silence book.


The shirt from the yoga event: “I Love This Body.”

As for the YouTube videos, it’s been a lot of trial and error, many retakes, what seems like minutes of “nothing-happening” recording time as I stare at the ground to try to gather my thoughts (promptly deleted in the editing process, of course), and admittedly, fears that people will not always agree with what I have to say. I believe in what has worked for me, and I know I must speak up for myself in order to help others just in case what I’ve done may be the right tools and create “aha” moments for those listeners. I’ve felt that any time I’ve worked in the eating disorder world, it’s been a tricky atmosphere, and perhaps that’s what makes it so difficult to talk about–especially for athletic coaches.

Which brings me to professional runner Lauren Fleshman’s most recent podcast on eating disorders. Recently retired from the sport of running, Fleshman is in a phase of “rewiring,” which means stepping up the game in bringing important issues to light in the running world–one of which is eating disorders in athletics. She recently posted an amazing podcast on the subject, to which I responded as a coach, and as someone who has dealt with an eating disorder herself. Please check it out to gather more information for yourselves, and help them by filling out the survey below it!

Coaches, we must address this issue each year in athletics.

Anyone with eating disorders, we must speak up not only to help ourselves, but also to give a voice and confidence to those who are afraid.

Those who do not understand eating disorders must find tools to help spot the eating disorder “signs” and refrain from comments that may perpetuate the eating disorder and disordered eating epidemic.

Eating disorders–and the shame and isolation associated with it–affects so many of our loved ones and keeps alive this false sense of “success” that we must break to develop our young athletes into more whole, balanced, happy people.

Order your copy of Running in Silence: My Drive for Perfection and the Eating Disorder That Fed It here.

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