December 16, 2012 was the day I stopped running in silence. It was the day I wrote my first blog post about dealing with anorexia and binge eating as an All-American runner, and shared it with the world.

Writing my truth invited others to share their eating disorder experiences with me. I began to see how many athletes dealt with these issues behind closed doors–in secrecy and in shame–and it made me feel less alone. It also fueled the fire to speak louder about my experiences and ask, now what?

Now, we create change. Now, we share our stories, raise awareness, and bring recovery and hope to athletes and coaches.

Now, we help others to stop running in silence.

“Rachael was an outstanding speaker at the MITCA clinic, certainly of great value to all the coaches there. She got rave reviews, as it was so interesting hearing from an athlete on the subject. And when I read her book that night, I couldn’t put it down.”

Kernie GilliamMichigan Coaches Hall of Fame, MITCA clinic director, MITCA Coaches Education Chairperson, former MITCA President

“I was thrilled to bring Rachael to speak at Boston University. Rachael’s honesty draws the audience in and you can feel the empathy building in the room as she speaks from her heart. That experience opens the window to allow questions and a dynamic discussion follows.”

Paula QuatromoniDSc, RD, Boston University Associate Professor and Chair, Department of Health Sciences; Senior Consultant at Walden Behavioral Care

“Rachael’s presentation was one of the best I have seen here at Saint Michael’s College. Our large audience of student-athletes gave her their full and undivided attention for her entire talk. She also met with our SAAC students at lunchtime and they reported to me just how impressed they were with her and how important they all felt her talk was.”

David LandersPh.D., Emeritus Associate Professor of Psychology and Gender Studies, NCAA Faculty Athletics Representative

Rachael’s Presentations

Why I Kept Silent About My Eating Disorder, and Why Coaches Shouldn’t

As a cross country coach, author, and All-American runner recovered from an eating disorder, Rachael shares insight into her anorexia, bulimia, and binge eating disorder as an athlete, potential causes, signs to look for, and ways in which coaches can talk about/approach this topic with their athletes.

For Athletes

Rachael shares her story as an All-American runner who had anorexia, binge eating, and bulimia to tackle the misconceptions and stigma, the physical and emotional consequences, how she recovered, how athletes can speak up about their own struggles, and what we can do as an athletic community to create change.

For Students/Schools

Rachael shares her eating disorder experience as an example of the physical and emotional toll that mental illness can have on anyone. She discusses her recovery, and emphasizes how eating disorders are not unlike other challenges we may face in our lives in terms of struggling with identity, perfectionism, acceptance, fears, and body image.

For Therapists, Dietitians, Counselors

Rachael shares her anorexia, binge eating, and bulimia experiences (including insight into a  30 Bananas a Day/fruitarian stint), why eating disorders may appear differently in athletes and what makes it difficult for an athlete to recover, and an in-depth look into what did and did not work in her recovery.

For Aspiring Writers/Authors, Students, Book Clubs

Rachael shares her writing process, editing and speaking tips, and how she started Running in Silence when it began as a blog in December 2012.

Appearances, News, & Events

Upcoming

March 11, 2018, time TBA
Better Body Image Conference: Shape Self, Celebrating Body
Rachael to speak on her eating disorder/body image recovery & lead a workshop with Jennifer DiGennaro

May 29-June 1
Strong Runner Chicks Retreat in Boulder, CO
Rachael presents her eating disorder recovery story for runners

2018

February 5, 2018
Women in Sports Leadership Conference
Rachael speaks to high school athletes

January 5, 2018
ITCCCA Coaching Clinic
Rachael speaks to Illinois coaches with her presentation “Why I Kept Silent About My Eating Disorder, and Why Coaches Shouldn’t”

2017

December 22, 2017
Break the Silence about Exercise Addiction and Eating Disorders”
Rachael is quoted and her Running in Silence story is used as an anecdote.

December 5, 2017
University of Rhode Island, Kingston: Eating disorder talk, Q&A, book signing
Rachael shares her eating disorder story, recovery, misconceptions to the URI students and community

December 4, 2017
Boston University: Eating Disorder Talk, Q&A, Book Signing
Rachael shares her eating disorder story, recovery, misconceptions to the BU students and community

November 30, 2017
Eating Disorder Talk, Q&A: Saint Michael’s College in Colchester, Vermont
Rachael shares her eating disorder story, recovery, misconceptions to the BU student athletes and community: Blog Recap

November 15, 2017
Aquinas College Theory of Coaching class
Rachael presents “Why I Kept Silent About My Eating Disorder, and Why Coaches Shouldn’t” to aspiring coaches

November 9, 2017
MITCA Cross Country Coaches Clinic
Rachael presents “Why I Kept Silent About My Eating Disorder, and Why Coaches Shouldn’t” to the high school coaches of Michigan

November 1, 2017
Grandville High School Seminar Guest Speaker
Rachael shares her presentation on media, body image, and eating disorders to high school students

October 30, 2017
Strong Runner Chicks Podcast Interview
Rachael is interviewed about her journey in starting the Running in Silence website, publishing the book, to speaking across the U.S. about eating disorders in athletes.

October 17, 2017
Tips for Binge Eaters
Nancy Clark, RD, quotes Running in Silence for tips for binge eating disorder recovery

October 12, 2017
No Longer ‘Running in Silence’
Rachael is interviewed by Dr. David Susman about her eating disorder recovery process and book

October 11, 2017
New Book ‘Running in Silence Sheds Light on Eating Disorders
The Running in Silence prologue is posted in an article for Women’s Running

October 10, 2017
“Toxic Training: How to Recognize the Signs of an Athlete in Trouble”
Rachael is quoted and her Running in Silence story is used as an anecdote.

October 5, 2017
Running Coaches Connection Podcast
Rachael talks about the tough topic of eating disorders and gives a little preview of her upcoming presentation for the MITCA Cross Country Coaches Clinic

October 4, 2017
“Running on Empty: Five Women, Three Colleges, and the Disordered Eating That Unifies Them All”
Rachael is quoted in The Riveter about her eating disorder experience and recovery story.

September 11, 2017
5 Red Flags That Someone May Have An Eating Disorder”
Rachael is quoted in Women’s Running about her eating disorder experience and recovery story.

September 4, 2017
The Chin-Up Podcast, Episode 5
Rachael is interviewed about her book and how she overcame an eating disorder as a competitive runner

August 26, 2017
College Running & Eating Disorders
Rachael is interviewed by The Recovery Runner Podcast about the prevalence of eating disorders in collegiate running

June, 26 2017 
Pentwater Township Library Author Reading & Presentation
Rachael talks her eating disorder recovery story, reads from Running in Silence, and answers questions with the Pentwater library members and general public.

June 19, 2017
Women’s Life with Sole Sister Running Group
Rachael shares her eating disorder story, recovery, misconceptions, and the prevalence of eating disorders in runners.

May 27, 2017
Mental Health Discussion with Running in Silence at Slover Library in Norfolk, Virginia
Rachael talks her eating disorder recovery story, reads from Running in Silence, and answers questions with the library members and general public.

May 15, 2017
Our Bodies, Our Spirits: Conversations at Park Church
Rachael shares her eating disorder story, recovery process, misconceptions, and what we can do as a society to combat these issues.

April 17, 2017
Michigan Authors Book Reading, Signing, at Kent District Krause Memorial Library
Rachael reads an excerpt from Running in Silence

April 16, 2017
“Inspirational Runner: Rachael Steil”
Rachael is interviewed by RunnerClick.com about her eating disorder experience, misconceptions surrounding eating disorders in runners, and what coaches can do to create change.

April 4 & 11, 2017
Spring Renewal Wellness Week at Greater Grand Rapids DDH YMCA
Rachael signs and sells Running in Silence books

March 20, 2017
West Catholic High School Girls’ Leadership Group
Rachael shares her presentation on mental health, body image, and eating disorders

March 2, 2017
National Eating Disorder Awareness Week Running in Silence Presentation & Book Signing at Central Michigan University, put on by the Center of Hope Counseling
Rachael shares her eating disorder story, recovery, misconceptions to the CMU student athletes and community

February 28, 2017
eightWest: Eating Disorder Awareness Week: Help & Hope are Available
Rachael is interviewed about her story and Running in Silence for WOTV4 Women

February 27, 2017
FOX 17: How to learn from and participate in Eating Disorders Awareness Week
Rachael is interviewed by FOX 17 about her story and Running in Silence

February 22, 2017
Be Aware, Be Educated: National Eating Disorders Awareness Week
Rachael is interviewed about her story and Running in Silence for the Maranda Show

February 19, 2017
Book Review: Running With a Loud Voice
Running in Silence is reviewed by author Dean Robertson

January 31, 2017
“West Michigan Author Educates Readers About Disordered Eating”
Rachael is interviewed about her book and eating disorder experience

January 21, 2017
Holland, Michigan Barnes & Noble book signing
Rachael signs and sells Running in Silence books

January 19, 2017
‘Running in Silence’ author to sign in Holland
Rachael is interviewed about her book and eating disorder experience

January 25, 2017
David D. Hunting Grand Rapids YMCA Senior Potluck Guest Speaker
Rachael shares her eating disorder story, recovery, misconceptions to YMCA community

2016

December 20, 2016
Shelley Irwin Morning Show
Rachael and Shelley discuss Rachael’s debut self-help memoir, Running in Silence

December 15, 2016
Comprehensive Treatment for Eating Disorders presentation and Q&A
Rachael visits CTED to talk with patients about her recovery process and what they can do to strive for recovery.

December 14, 2016
Grandville Striders Sleigh Bell Shuffle
Running in Silence book signing

December 13, 2016
Conversations with Kim Carson: The Story behind Running in Silence
Rachael is interviewed by radio personality Kim Carson about her eating disorder story, recovery process, and book

November 16, 2016
Aquinas College Reading & Signing
Rachael reads excerpts from Running in Silence and answers questions

November 15, 2016
Book Release Party at SheActive Boutique (Rockford, MI)
Rachael signs and sells Running in Silence and reads an excerpt

November 14, 2016
“Aquinas Graduate Publishes Her First Book Running in Silence”
The Rapidian article about the book release of Running in Silence

November 15, 2016
“Aquinas Alum Tells Her Story”
Aquinas College Athletics article about the
Running in Silence book release

September 14, 2016
Forest View Hospital “Breakfast and Learn”
Rachael gives her presentation on her eating disorder experience and recovery as an athlete for therapists, counselors, social workers, mental health practitioners, physicians, school social workers and school counselors.

September 7, 2016
PechaKucha in Grand Rapids: 20 slides, 20 seconds per slide challenge
Rachael shares her eating disorder story and the misconceptions and stigma surrounding eating disorders.

September 6, 2016
RunGR Wojinar
Rachael gives her presentation about eating disorders in the running community

July 30, 2016
Yoga for a Cause for Eat Breathe Thrive
Rachael gives her presentation about her eating disorder story and misconceptions and stigma

June 9, 2016
“Stigmas and Misconceptions Surrounding Eating Disorders” at Grand Rapids Women’s City Club
Rachael speaks to the Women’s City Club members about her eating disorder journey with a Running in Silence reading

May 19, 2016
Running in Silence Reading and discussion at Mindful Counseling GR: “Facing Food Fears with Compassion, Connection, and Creativity”
Rachael teams with Jennifer DiGennaro of Mindful Counseling GR to talk about issues beyond appearance and weight

April 21, 2016
“All-American Runner’s Eating Disorder Unfolds from Blog to Book”
m-Live Sports News interviews Rachael Steil about her eating disorder story and upcoming book Running in Silence

March 16, 2016
“The Longest Yard: ‘Running in Silence’ is Running Toward Publication”
The Saint newspaper interviews Rachael about her upcoming book Running in Silence

2015

February 27, 2015
“Running in Silence: Misconceptions and Stigma Surrounding Eating Disorders” at Aquinas College
Rachael shares her Running in Silence story with a reading and presentation to Aquinas students

May 4, 2015
Running on Empty: Podcast with Rachael Steil, Founder of the blog Running in Silence
Rachael is interviewed by Lize Brittin about her eating disorder journey and recovery

2014

May 2014
The People Picture Company: Go Boldly, Love Your Body Campaign
Rachael gives a reading from her blog

Spring 2014
Independent Study project presentation with Dr. Brent Chesley at Aquinas College
Rachael shares the process it took to write, edit, and put together her upcoming memoir Running in Silence, and reads several excerpts