Sports nutritionist Nancy Clark suggests that you ask yourself why it is that you’re willing to abuse your body. Why won’t you nourish yourself properly? Is it a fear of “getting fat”? As other videos in this series explain, that isn’t going to happen. For a full explanation, watch “I Want to Get My Period Back, But I Don’t Want to Gain Weight.”
RED-S / REDs (Relative Energy Deficiency in Sport) is just that – an insufficient amount of fuel for your activity. Your body will thank you for providing it with enough fuel. Nancy also shares her unique perspective on figuring out your body type.
Read the transcript
[Tina] My wise, logical mind says, “Do this for your health,” but I just don’t want to.
[Nancy] If you don’t want to invest in your body for health reasons, you probably want to dig deep, deep down and try to figure out, “Why not?” Why is your body not important to you? Why are you willing to abuse your body? Are you not good enough to be worthy of having a healthy body? That’s a really deep issue, and it really probably is best answered by a therapist.
But it’s kind of short-sighted, in what’s stopping you is probably youth, this quest for this perfect body. It’s probably a perfectionism issue, and sometimes people have worked so hard to get to this “perfect” body and they think that if they eat more or, you know, let themselves indulge in fun foods or something, that they’ll just explode and turn into the ugly toad in the forest or something, and that doesn’t happen. So you have fears that are not grounded in facts, and just look at your fears. I think, of course, you want a healthy body. I mean, doesn’t every runner? Doesn’t every person? And if you’re saying that you don’t want a healthy body, there’s some fears that are tied up with that, and if you can just figure out what are you afraid of – and generally people are afraid of “getting fat” – and no, your body’s going to restore itself.
The apple doesn’t fall too far from the tree. You can look at your genetic family and sort of see what you’re supposed to weigh, more or less. Lifestyle factors come into that, but I would really invite you to look at the fears that are surrounding your unwillingness to budge.
[Tina] And when you speak to fears, and you said about genetics, what if someone does look at their family and thinks, “I don’t want to look like that.” What would you say to that? That is a fear.
[Nancy] And what you want to look at is your family. Say, if they live in large bodies, is that because they overeat, don’t exercise, live on potato chips and soft drinks? Why is their weight what it is? Are they on antidepressants and that has led to weight gain?
And if your body is just naturally solid, if you are from Poland or Hungary or Mexico, people, like dogs, come in different breeds, so you really have to figure out what breed of dog you are. And if you are a Labrador or a Golden Retriever, you’re not a Whippet, you’re not an English Setter, you’re not a Chihuahua, and you never will be. So there’s a lot of body image work that needs to be done here, and the problem probably may not be your body, but it’s your relationship with your body. And just remember that people, like dogs, come in different sizes and shapes. If you are a Bulldog and other people in your family are Bulldogs, you will always be a Bulldog. Yes, you can starve yourself so that you look more like a Chihuahua, but you’ll be a very miserable Chihuahua, and your body will always want to go back to being a Bulldog. And you know, Bulldogs are strong and powerful. I think you just want to nourish the body that you’re meant to have and be grateful for it. You know, what would your grandmother say if you said, “I hate this body that you gave me”? That body was probably good enough for her, and it’s good for you, too.
[Tina] Yes, thank you so much.
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 nancy:
Nancy Clark, MS, RD, CSSD has a successful sports nutrition private practice in the Boston area. She has years of experience helping active clients—from “ordinary mortals” to Olympians—win with good nutrition. Her best-selling “Nancy Clark’s Sports Nutrition Guidebook” has sold over 800,000 copies. It is a popular resource for reliable sports nutrition information, as is her online sports nutrition workshop. Nancy is a sought-after nutrition counselor for athletes who struggle with food-and weight issues, as well as a nutrition speaker popular with dietitians, trainers, coaches, and other health professionals. You can find her at https://nancyclarkrd.com/.