Amelia Boone Is A Human Being (And Still A Badass)
“I don’t want to be ‘the eating disorder recovery girl’, I don’t want to be ‘the athlete’. This is just me. I’m super flawed, I’m super complex, just like everybody else out there.”
Today's guest is lauded for her grit. And a preternatural ability to suffer.
Her name is Amelia Boone. And she is the most dominant & decorated female in the history of OCR (obstacle course racing).
Over the course of her storied athletic career, Amelia has amassed over 50 podiums and 30 victories. She is a Spartan Race World Champion and 3-time World's Toughest Mudder Champion. The ultimate weekend warrior, she’s done all of this while balancing a full time career as a corporate attorney — first at the prestigious Skadden Arps law firm in Chicago and currently at Apple in Silicon Valley.
Dubbed ‘The Queen of Pain', it’s a career that’s landed her magazine covers, major publication features, national television gigs, and a legion of adoring fans across the world.
But it's also a career that came with pressures that drained the fun out of competition. And a mask that obscured a deeper dysfunction lurking beneath the surface.
Amidst the celebration of Amelia as an unbreakable champion, prodded for her daily habits, morning routine and training regimen, she privately battled an obstacle more daunting than any race she’d endured: an eating disorder she kept hidden for the better part of two decades.
Today we celebrate Amelia not for her accolades, but for a different kind of courage — the vulnerability to face her disorder. Forge a path to wholeness. And change the way we talk about about a condition that debilitates millions.
I first met Amelia a couple years ago. I freely admit my projection of her steely disposition intimidated me. But slowly she began sharing more openly and about her struggles, culminating in a vulnerable blog post that laid bare her protracted struggle. Her guilt. Her shame. Her honesty. Her courage.
The facade gone, I fell for the human. I wanted to help amplify her powerful message. Today I have that honor.
This is a conversation about the perniciousness and pervasiveness of eating disorders. And the path towards healing.
More specifically, we discuss the difference between an eating disorder and disordered eating. The distinction between anorexia and bulemia. And how Amelia's particular strain of this condition, known as ‘relative energy deficiency in sport' (red-s), led to the many bone injuries that sidelined her athletic trajectory skyward.
We dive into the relationship between childhood trauma and eating disorders. The psychological consequences of starving one's self. The ‘shame spiral' that perpetuates the condition. The denial she compartmentalized with Pop-Tarts. The clarity and courage required to seek treatment. What is required to build a strong foundation for long-term recovery. And advice for those who currently suffer.
A companion piece to my conversation with Dotsie Bausch (RRP 355), my hope is that this conversation — a must listen for anyone caught in the grips of this disorder — provides the necessary nuance and clarity to better understand an affliction that impacts over 30 million people in the US alone.
If you are struggling with an eating disorder and are in need of support,