Posts Tagged ‘Athletes’

Episode 12: Eating Disorders and Athletes

Baseball Player on Field

Episode description:

Eating disorders in athletes are incredibly common but unfortunately, they often go unaddressed. NEDA estimates that eating disorders affected 62% of women and 33% of men who participate in aesthetic-based or weight-class sports. To discuss eating disorders in athletes and how we can help advocate for healthy living and recovery, former Vikings’ and current Twins’ dietitian Rasa Troup and recovered distance runner and advocate Jenny Scherer join Peace Meal.

Episode show notes:

This episode of Peace Meal features two incredible women, Rasa Troup and Jenny Scherer. Rasa Troup is a former Olympian and licensed dietitian who has previously worked for the Vikings and is currently the Head Dietitian for the Minnesota Twins. Prior to working for the Twins and Vikings, Rasa worked with the Track and Cross Country teams at the University of Minnesota and was a dietitian at The Emily Program for over a decade. Jenny Scherer is a former college and professional distance runner who struggled with anorexia. She currently works with student-athletes and advocates for a greater awareness of and education on eating disorders in athletes.

Rasa starts this episode by reflecting upon her Olympic career and how her professional career led her to the Minnesota Twins. Jenny found a career in working with athletes following her own recovery from the eating disorder anorexia. Jenny sought treatment at The Emily Program and worked with Rasa as her dietitian. Rasa and Jenny discuss the dietitian-client relationship and how Jenny’s desire to continue running informed her treatment. With the thought that food is fuel and that no food is good or bad, Jenny was able to maintain recovery with a new understanding of why she was running.

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How do Eating Disorders Present in Males?

Doctor writing on clipboard

As a field, we are beginning to understand that males are at a high-risk for eating disorders and that it is crucial to understand how males present with eating disorders and how we can treat them. Realizing that men have eating disorders is extraordinarily important. Eating disorders are serious and potentially life-threatening and unfortunately, they are often overlooked and trivialized.

The reality of the eating disorder world is that the diagnoses of eating disorders have historically been based on women. Studies to define what eating disorders are have been done primarily with women. The criteria used to describe eating disorders has been normed to women. The professional field is primarily women and treatment is often designed with a gender bias.  However, we are very aware that men can get eating disorders and that more men are presenting with symptoms and entering treatment. As a result, we have a lot of work to do to truly understand how males present with eating disorders.

To give an example of how eating disorder treatment is normed to women, we can look at current eating disorder screening tests. Typically, there are statements such as these where a client can answer yes or no.

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Beside Me When

Beside Me When

The Emily Program is excited to announce our new social campaign, Beside Me When. Beside Me When aims to encourage dialogue around eating disorder recovery and showcase stories of healing and hope. We believe that talking openly about eating disorders will change the culture of secrecy and shame, thus encouraging treatment and recovery.

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Jenny’s Recovery Story: Can The Emily Program Help Me?

Jenny Scherer 3

**This is one person’s story; everyone will have unique experiences on their own path to recovery and beyond. Some stories may mention eating disorder thoughts, behaviors and symptom use. Please use your own discretion. And speak with your therapist as needed.

Jenny Scherer was a college athlete who struggled with anorexia. She is currently recovered and is a runner, yogi, and WI sports fan. Jenny works to help student-athletes learn, develop and thrive.

Yes, The Emily Program helped me change my life, and I absolutely believe it can help you, too!

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