Speaking Appearances

If you are interested in having Rachael Steil speak about the book, the story, and its broader eating disorder context at your event, sports team, or school, please contact her for rates and availability at runninginsilence@gmail.comRachael also speaks to local book clubs.

Key Topics

  • Eating Disorders, Disordered Eating in athletics/running
  • Signs, Causes & Prevention
  • Breaking Misconceptions & Stigma
  • Physical & Emotional Consequences
  • My story & Recovery Journey
  • Support & Coaching
  • Perfectionism, Identity, Tackling Fear, Speaking Up
  • For Coaches: Why I Kept Quiet About My Eating Disorder, and Why Coaches Shouldn’t
    • As cross country coaches, we are generally aware of the possibility our athletes may have an eating disorder; but beyond the obvious anorexic runner, what are the more subtle clues of the illness? How do athletes mask these eating disorders to avoid scrutiny? What are our responsibilities as coaches to talk about eating disorders with our teams? If so, when and how should these talks take place? What makes eating disorders different for runners than the general population? How many runners are affected? Is this just a female runner issue? What is the best way for you as a coach to approach an athlete who might be struggling with an eating disorder?
      As an NAIA All-American collegiate runner, current high school cross country coach, author of the self-help memoir Running in Silence, and someone who has recovered from a debilitating eating disorder, Rachael Steil answers these questions and more by sharing her own struggle, and by offering tips, advice, and suggestions based on how she has approached, discussed, and coached her own cross country athletes. After this session, you will more confidently address and manage this important health issue with your athletes so that no one has to continue Running in Silence.


“Rachael spoke with our girls’ leadership group and she did a phenomenal job. It was extremely well organized and very heartfelt. You really could just see the message getting through to those girls, and I was over-impressed with her delivery.”
–Jill VanderEnde, West Catholic High School
“Whether an attendee was a recovered, a caregiver, or someone new to the eating disorder world, Rachael was able to connect with every attendee in the room while speaking at Central Michigan University. Rachael has made strides in her efforts to bring light to these issues and share the struggles of athletes all over. Rachael’s willingness and effort to fight for an end to the stigma associated with eating disorders is refreshing. Her words need to be heard.”
–Lisa Carpenter, M.A., L.P.C., Center of Hope Counseling
“Rachael Steil brings refreshing honesty and transparency to an issue often cloaked in shame. By sharing her story, and affirming both her own journey and the journey of those who may still be struggling, Rachael provides a liberating voice and a much-needed platform. Running in Silence is a tragically necessary story that may very well save someone’s life.”
– Jon Propper, Education Director, First (Park) Congregational Church, Grand Rapids
“Rachael Steil gives a reflective and emotion-felt presentation about her struggle with an eating disorder. With PowerPoint she offers a keen visual for understanding how she dealt with her addiction and how others might notice it in themselves and find help.  After reading her book and then meeting Rachael in person, I was immediately drawn into a peacefulness that can only come with facing a difficult truth such as she has.”
–Mary Jane Fedder, Pentwater Township Library Assistant
 “I enjoyed [Rachael’s] talk at the Women’s City Club! I was (and am) impressed with not only [her] writing, but also [her] poise during the presentation. [She] exude[s] confidence and poise–wonderful to see in young women!”
Grand Rapids Women’s City Club Member
“It’s easy to connect with Rachel as she speaks candidly about her eating disorder. Her openness and ability to bring humor to a very serious issue allows her to be approachable by those that seek help and understanding with their own personal eating disorder battles.”
–Donna Messina, President of Sole Sisters


September 15, 4-7pm Gazelle Sports Grand Rapids Bridge Run Packet Pick-Up Book Signing
September 16, 10-1pm Gazelle Sports Grand Rapids Bridge Run Packet Pick-Up Book Signing
November 9-11 MITCA Cross Country Coaches Clinic
Comfort Inn & Suits Mount Pleasant, MI http://www.mitca.org/?page_id=20


6/26/17 Pentwater Township Library Author Reading & Presentation
6/19/17 Women’s Life with Sole Sister Running Group
5/27/17 Mental Health Discussion with Running in Silence @ Slover Library in Norfolk, Virginia
5/15/17 Our Bodies, Our Spirits: Conversations at Park Church with Rachael Steil 
4/17/17 Michigan Authors Book Reading, Signing, 15-min talk @ Kent District Krause Memorial Library
4/11/17 & 4/14/17 Spring Renewal Wellness Week Running in Silence Book Signing @ Greater Grand Rapids DDH YMCA
3/20/17 West Catholic High School Girls’ Leadership Group
3/02/17 National Eating Disorder Awareness Week Running in Silence Presentation & Book Signing @ Central Michigan University
1/21/17 Holland, Michigan Barnes & Noble book signing
1/25/17 David D. Hunting Grand Rapids YMCA Senior Potluck Guest Speaker
12/14/16 Grandville Striders Sleigh Bell Shuffle (book signing)
12/15/16 Comprehensive Treatment for Eating Disorders presentation and Q&A
11/16/16 Aquinas College Reading & Signing (Wege Ballroom)
11/15/16 Book Release Party @ SheActive Boutique, Rockford
9/14/16 Forest View Hospital Breakfast and Learn 
9/7/16: PechaKucha in Grand Rapids
Misconceptions & Stigma Surrounding Eating Disorders
20 slides, 20 seconds per slide is the challenge

9/6/16 RunGR Wojinar: Eating Disorders in the Running World
7/30/16 Yoga for a Cause for Eat Breathe Thrive
6/9/16 Stigmas and Misconceptions Surrounding Eating Disorders @ Grand Rapids Women’s City Club
5/19/16 Facing Food Fears with Compassion, Connection, and Creativity
Reading and discussion @ Mindful Counseling GR
2/27/15 Stigmas and Misconceptions Surrounding Eating Disorders
Aquinas College
May 2014 The People Picture Company: Go Boldly, Love Your Body Campaign
blog reading and discussion about body image and eating disorders
Spring 2014 Manuscript excerpts for Independent Study project with Dr. Brent Chesley
Aquinas College

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