Neely Quinn and Alyssa Neill on Body Image and Disordered Eating in Climbers
Date: July 15th, 2020
About Neely Quinn and Alyssa Neill
In this episode, I had a conversation with my friend and fellow nutrition practitioner, Alyssa Neill, about body image and disordered eating behaviors in climbers. We both have experienced negative body image and have successfully worked with clients on body image and disordered eating behaviors. We discuss candidly our own experiences with it all and provide tips on how to balance your diet to get all the nutrients you need while maintaining your optimal, healthy body composition.
We talk about common behaviors we see in our clients that sabotage their performance and health goals, and how to improve those behaviors. And we provide mental/emotional tools to help deal with negative body image/body dysmorphia. This discussion was a very vulnerable one for me, and I discuss some personal things I’ve never talked about on the podcast before.
Our hope with this episode was multifaceted:
1) We want to bring body image issues more into the open
2) We want people to learn how to eat in order to avoid common emotional eating pitfalls
3) We want people to start re-thinking the “optimal body type” for climbers, and realize that extreme leanness is not the end all be all of climbing hard. It’s also incredibly important to be strong, healthy, and happy.
Lastly, if you believe you have an eating disorder or are suffering with disordered eating behaviors, we encourage you to seek help. Whether that’s from a therapist, a nutritionist, a doctor, or all three, there are many resources out there for you. I did an interview with Kate Bennett, who is a therapist who specializes in eating disorders among athletes and she sees clients remotely. Alyssa is also currently taking clients remotely.
- Our personal stories
- Common behaviors we see in clients
- Common signs and symptoms of disordered eating
- Mental/emotional tools that have helped me
- How limiting beliefs about your weight can affect climbing performance
- Our thoughts on “Intuitive Eating”
- How a balanced eating routine can help with emotional eating
- Dilemma of professional climbers
- How your hormones are affected by disordered eating
About Me (Neely Quinn, ICNT)
A little about me that you might not know…
After completing my Bachelor’s degree in both Psychology and Zoology at the University of Wisconsin at Madison, I completed a 4-year holistic nutrition program called Seven Bowls School of Nutrition, Nourishment, and Healing. I graduated in 2007 as a Certified Integrative Clinical Nutrition Therapist. During my education, I learned about not only nutrition, but Western and Chinese herbs, homeopathy, the psychology of eating, and other alternative practices.
I started practicing nutrition with private clients in 2007, and I’ve been working exclusively with climbers since 2015 to help them optimize their energy levels, body composition, climbing performance, and overall well-being. I was heavily involved in the Paleo nutrition community for a few years, and I was recruited to write The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Eating Paleo, which was published in 2012. I’ve led nutrition seminars online, taught at Bauman College (a certificate program for nutrition), and taught several community classes in person. I’ve been a panelist at several conferences and festivals, including the International Climbers’ Festival in 2017-2019, and PaleoFX. I’m also an instructor for the Performance Climbing Coach seminars with Steve Bechtel et al, and I travel around the country with them to teach people about nutrition for climbers.
Outside of my nutrition life, I’m the owner of TrainingBeta.com and the host of The TrainingBeta Podcast. I live in Longmont, Colorado with my husband and co-founder of TrainingBeta, Seth, and our dog, Zala. I’ve been sport climbing for 20+ years and I’ve worked with my diet extensively to figure out proper fueling and recovery for optimal climbing performance–a lifelong pursuit. For more info about who I am as a climber and a person, check out my personal bio.
About Alyssa Neill, RDN
From Alyssa’s website…
In addition to her Didactic Program & Nutrition Science degree from the University of Rhode Island, Alyssa completed her 1300 hour Dietetic Internship at the nation’s leading school for natural medicine and whole-food nutrition, Bastyr University, in Washington.
She has over seven years of personal and professional experience with holistic nutrition, weight loss, fat loss, women’s health, hormone balance with diet, diet and lifestyle modifications, and supplement support. In addition to NourishMEnt Nutrition, she has worked as a Practitioner at Pharmaca Integrative Pharmacy, in the supplement industry, as a Private Chef, in hospitals, in Naturopathic clinics and as a Detoxification / Biotransformation researcher at High Tech Health International, Inc.
She also hosts and teaches at Womxn’s Retreats, Womxn’s Circles & gatherings. She loves cooking and creating, and so she occasionally private chefs for retreats. She leads rituals, guided meditation, writes for Climbing Magazine and for Gnarly Nutrition. She is also a sport climber and a boulderer, and she works with climbers as well as all kinds of nutrition clients.
For more info about Alyssa or to work with her as a client, visit her website at www.nourishmentnutrition.com.
- Warning signs and symptoms of Eating Disorders
- Climbing Magazine Article: Disordered Eating Poses a Danger to Climbers
- Dialectical Behavior Therapy: Check the Facts Worksheet
- Dialectical Behavior Therapy: Opposite Action Worksheet
- Dialectical Behavior Therapy: Radical Acceptance Worksheet
- RED-S resources:
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