“I always felt like I was supposed to help people in general, and then I just thought, ‘Well, maybe this is actually what I’m supposed to help people with, is navigating nutrition and navigating feeling like they don’t belong.'”
So many athletes who cope with injuries and other setbacks emerge with a powerful drive to give back. For Starla Garcia, that desire arose even before she’d reached the other side—when she was still a collegiate runner in the depths of an eating disorder.
Even in her darkest days, Starla knew that when she reached recovery, she would want to help other runners in the same position—especially people of color, who are underrepresented in dietetics and eating disorder treatment.
As she explains in this episode, overcoming challenges has brought her not only a fulfilling career, but the confidence to advocate for herself and others (including at the doctor’s office—something many injured athletes struggle to do, and Starla has amazing advice about this). And, it’s brought her an entirely new perspective on running, one that allows her joy and freedom even as she reaches better, faster times.
NOTE: This episode discusses eating disorders and recovery. If you are dealing with these issues right now and want support, you can call or text the National Eating Disorders Helpline at (800) 931-2237 or chat with someone online at nationaleatingdisorders.org.
Thank you so much to our sponsors for season 6:
Fluid Running, which has revolutionized fitness by bringing running to the deep water
IceeNOW.com, which provides innovative injury prevention and recovery solutions for athletes
ADAM Rehabilitation, creators of the ADAM Brace System, the most stable exercise system built to save the health of your shoulders
You can subscribe to The Injured Athletes Club on Spotify, Stitcher, Apple Podcasts, Audible, Amazon Music, or wherever you get your podcasts, and if you like what you hear, please leave us a rating or a review in Apple podcasts. That helps other injured athletes find the show.
Link to purchase the video replay for the IAC webinar she spoke at, Eating During Injury Recovery (doing so helps support the podcast!)
Starla Garcia is Helping Runners Embrace Their Cultural Identities Through Food, an article by Stacey Megally for Women’s Running