You feel as though you eat a lot – way more than other people – so surely you can’t have RED-S / REDs! Relative Energy Deficiency in Sport only affects people who don’t eat much, right?
Well, first there’s the issue of feeling versus fact. Is it a fact that you eat a lot? And do you really know how much other people eat? Regardless of how many calories you consume, are they enough to fuel your training?
Sport nutrition and performance expert Rebecca McConville provides perspective on avoiding the comparison trap and finding your own “special sauce.”
Read the transcript
[Tina] I feel like I eat a lot and it feels like I eat a lot more than others. Surely it can’t be a lack of calories.
[Becca] One of my favorite, favorite quotes is, “Athletes don’t diet and exercise, they fuel and train,” so I want you to think about all that hard work and training you’re doing. You need the fuel for that. You also had a really key word in that; you “feel.” That’s where I challenge my athletes often. Is it a feeling or is it a fact?
And you are your N equals one. You may hear me repeatedly say that in the video, because I think it’s really critical that we kind of stick with our own “special sauce,” what works for us, what doesn’t work for us, and own that. The other piece of this is when we get into the comparison trap. There is nobody that we are with 24 hours a day, seven days a week, so if we’re glancing across the table and looking at their plate, we don’t know what they do the rest of the day. They don’t know what you do.
But you are learning what works for you, and so you have to make sure you’re honing into that. Because once we start down the comparison trap, perfectionism takes over, and it never feels good enough. And it always feels like we’re doing more, but when you’re fueling and training the way that you should, you don’t care how much you eat because it’s paying off in the results.
[Tina] So true, and I think that’s something that I definitely had to work through, because it’s difficult to not look at others when you are thinking about food all the time, or when you’re spending a lot of time with someone.
But yeah, I used to see it as, “Why am I the one being punished, when they seem to be eating less than me?” But now I’m so thankful that at least for me, with being a female, with my period, I could say, “Well, I have this superpower because I know now when I’m not eating enough,” whereas for them they may not be eating enough, but they don’t have that giant, again, no pun intended, red flag, saying like, “Something’s off here,” so I always used to see it as like, “Well, it’s not fair,” but now I see it as a gift. But looking around at others doesn’t change anything about you, so thank you for your answer there.
[Becca] Love that.
check it out
Recovering from RED-S is hard. It’s even harder if you’re working through it alone. Even if you have professional support, they’re not available 24-7, and that can lead to going down search engine rabbit holes that have the potential to derail everything.
Our online resource, RED-S: Realize. Reflect. Recover, will answer all those questions swimming around in your head about recovery. It will give you the opportunity to connect with the experts you’ve come to know here, and to surround yourself with a community of others who are going through it too.
THANK YOU! to Athletic Greens and Tracksmith for supporting this YouTube series and RED-S: Realize. Reflect. Recover.
Go to athleticgreens.com/reds to get five free travel packs of AG1 and a free one year’s supply of vitamin D3+K2 with your subscription!
When you go to https://tracksmith.com/tina and use the code TINA15 at checkout, you’ll get free shipping and Tracksmith will donate 5% of your order to Rising Hearts, the Indigenous-led nonprofit founded by Jordan Marie Daniels.
more about becca:
Rebecca McConville, RD, LD, CSSD, CEDS, is a sports nutrition and performance expert who helps her clients explore and strengthen their relationship with food, weight, body image and sports performance. Her book, “Finding Your Sweet Spot,” helps athletes maximize their potential while avoiding the dangers of RED-S. You can find Becca at https://beccamcconville.com.