Weight Loss & Running Faster: Beyond Fuel

“But Rachael, you need fuel to run well.”

“Your body is a machine. You are the driver. The body needs fuel and maintenance.”

“If you burn it, it really does not matter what you put in the furnace.”

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard these comments, and easily dismissed them in the depths of my eating disorder while running. I knew how important food was. In fact, I knew everything about food. When anyone assumed I didn’t see food as fuel, it was tough for me to give them much credit since all they knew about nutrition was that you eat to have energy.

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Thin Enough? The Athlete’s Dangerous Secret

Following up on the recent bravery of Michigan State University standout runner Rachele Schulist, I want to share my story too, because I think it’s important for all of us who’ve dealt with body image issues to speak up–
and that includes MANY of us.

Let’s examine what Rachele calls, “the lie of not being thin enough”:

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TOP LEFT PHOTO: Being thin for collegiate running got me school records, 6th & 7th places at the national cross country and track meets, and times a minute faster than I had ever run for a 5k. Sounds “successful,” right? It also created isolation, obsession with food, constant hunger, and a disconnect between me and my teammates. My only identity was cutting food and running fast.

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Brittany Burgunder is BACK–and With a Book!

I was honored to star Brittany Burgunder as a guest back in September 2014 as she was preparing to get her book Safety in Numbers published. The book is here at last, published this past January. After I read the book, I wanted to connect with Brittany again to hear more about the impact this book has made on her life as well as on the lives of so many others.


1) How did you feel when you first got a publisher for your book?

I was extremely excited and nervous. It was a dream come true that I was actually going to embark on the journey of turning my story into a published book. On the other hand, it was terrifying knowing that my most vulnerable thoughts would be on display. I think a part of me believed I’d never publish my story, or that I would never go through with it. Once I got a publisher, reality suddenly struck me in the face–I was really going to do this.

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Guilt and Ghosts: Struggling in Eating Disorder Recovery

I still have so much anxiety about what and how much I’m eating because my body will stop at nothing to get what it wants–even if I think it doesn’t need it, even if I think I did everything right, even if I think I know what I am supposed to do.

Words from friends play over and over in my mind as I observe myself:

“Looks like you’ve got some good meat on you now,” she says, gently pinching my arm. I feel the heat rise in my face. Anger? Frustration? Guilt? Embarrassment?

“Yeah, I thought you looked different from the last time I saw you.”

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