Sports Performance Counseling
We just finished our season yesterday and it went great. We won a Big East match against Villanova and that had not happened since 2001. I also set a school record of winning more matches as number one in a season.
I wanted to take this opportunity to thank you for all your help throughout the semester! I did not have a single cramp and last semester I cramped like almost every match. Your help was great and I could not have done it without you and your ideas. Thanks again.
Sincerely, Mari (collegiate tennis player)
Nutrition is a vital component for reaching optimal performance in any sport. As an endurance athlete, hours of training mean nothing without properly fueling the body. After working with Katie this past summer I was able to reach all of my training and racing goals as well as be at my lightest racing weight ever. This was also the first season of my life that I completed without one illness! I have no doubt that the nutritional plan that Katie established for me was an integral part of my success this past season. ~ Ben, Cyclist
Katie was incredibly friendly and helpful, and I learned a huge amount in just a few sessions. I’d been worried about how to maintain a healthy weight as an athlete, and she taught me exactly what I needed to know—I saw a big improvement in my running during the season after I started meeting with her. ~ Victoria, High School Cross Country Captain
. . . . thank you for all your help. I am definitely feeling better, more energized, less drained and the way I am eating is fueling me to work harder in my workouts (and keep up with my dog — it has been terrific hiking weather!)
I can’t wait for our next appointment. . . . ~ Kate
I am a senior in college, I just finished playing my last season of Division I soccer, and I am the eighth child in a family of eleven kids, all collegiate athletes. It was the end of my sophomore year of college when I finally accepted that I have been engaged in a full-blown eating disorder for one whole year, and I accepted that I was bulimic. I knew that I had to live a healthy lifestyle if I wanted any chance of reaching my full potential as an athlete, and I knew that bulimia was not the way, but I could not dig myself out of this hole on my own. So I began to seek help, and it was my junior year of college when I found Katie Jeffrey.
Looking back, I can see that many of my bulimic triggers came from the pressures within my family to be fit, my team to be skinny, and myself to show others I was an all-star athlete by the way that I looked. Basically, my appearance meant everything to me, and skinniness was my happiness. I needed to achieve this goal because my logic told me that I deserved to be happy because of all the hard work that I’ve put in throughout the years, so I deserved to have flat abs and be skinny. During my sophomore year I was so committed to attaining this goal that I was willing to go to extreme measures. I began restricting my meals, excluding all snacks, and ultimately substituting my meals for snacks. Any time I felt “full” I purged. My off season-workouts after my soccer season transitioned into long distance runs, which ultimately were not nearly the most beneficial kind of training for my sport. After three months of this constant strain on my body I could not follow my strict schedule any longer, and I slowly began to “give in”. Because off-season training for soccer had begun, its irregular workout schedule set me off because I was unsure about how many calories I was actually burning. The stress from this discomfort caused my meals to grow larger because I used food as a comforter. From there, my feelings of fullness became more frequent and more irritable, and so I gave myself no choice but to purge. Before I knew it, binging and purging became a routine that I could not get myself out of. Every day felt like a failure to me because I could no longer restrain myself from binge eating, and my only coping technique was self-induced vomiting. The summer after my sophomore year I had been taken over by feelings of failure and defeat and I needed help.
Fortunately, in my junior year with the help of my school, Katie Jeffrey came to speak to all of the athletes. She spoke about health and nutrition, and how you can use those tools to reach your optimal athletic performance. I chose to meet Katie after her presentation, and we began to meet regularly ever since. Katie proved to be well educated in health and nutrition, and she taught me many facts about certain foods and food groups, and how they affect your athletic performance as a whole. I left every meeting with Katie feeling more knowledgeable and more confident that I had the proper skills to recover from my dominant eating disorder. Katie taught me how to interpret hunger and fullness cues, and how to use your body to understand when it’s appropriate to eat, how much to eat, and when it’s appropriate to stop. I learned that every day is different with regards to how hungry you are and how much you eat, and that is normal. Katie provided me with a variety of techniques I could use to avoid binging episodes, and a variety of outlets to calm my temptations to purge. She also provided me with a multitude of balanced plates for meals and snacks that were customized to my personal preferences and comforts with food. Katie and I also set goals together during each appointment. As an athlete I am a goal-driven person, so setting goals was something that attracted me to continue working with Katie. During our meetings, we would review my previous week’s goals and gauge how I was doing with them. Then, we worked together to make clear-cut goals for the following week. Katie always sent me a follow-up email in a timely fashion that de-briefed our meeting and the goals we set ahead. I always appreciated this email because it gave me a visual for something to look back on and reminded me of what I needed to do and how to get there. Of course, all of these skills Katie taught me took a lot of practice to consistently implement them, but Katie was always positive and patient with me. With Katie on my support team, being specialized with student-athletes, I was confident that I had the potential to recover from my eating disorder in good time.
After one year of working with such a supportive team of doctors, therapists, and dietitians, I am happy to say that I am in the final stages of my recovery with bulimia. Right now, I am at a place where I love my body and my life. I have found a balance between the material goods in my life, and I understand that balance is a key component to a healthy lifestyle. Food and exercise are no longer intimidating for me, and I feel comfortable in many different social settings with food, drink, and physical activity. I truly understand that everyone is different in their own unique and beautiful way; yet, everyone is to be loved, not only by others, but also by themselves. If I were to give one piece of advice that I have learned throughout my experiences, it would be to gain the confidence to love yourself no matter how you look. Put the thoughts of others outside of your mind because you cannot control them and you do not know their personal stories the same way they do not know yours. Focus on how you want to live your life in peace and harmony, and do it.
~ Mary, Collegiate Soccer Player
Sports Nutrition Presentations
Hi Katie! . . . . thank you very much for doing the presentation. I haven’t had a chance to talk to many of the players but the ones that I did, said they really liked it and it was a lot better than some other “alcohol” related talks. So, thank you!! Thanks! ~ Diane, Providence College Coach
Thank you for meeting with our team. Without question you can see the girls really trying to eat for success. Also we are providing sports drinks during practice and I feel that it is having a positive impact even though the girls have not mentioned anything about it so no news is good news in this case I feel.
Thank you again for making time for us twice and really having an impact on all of us.
Women’s Ice Hockey