Olympic athletes have a dedication like no other. We see these individuals dedicate most of their lives to their sport, just for a chance to compete on the world stage. But what happens in the next chapter of their lives in this new, uncharted territory where elite training composed most of their identity? Do they carry on with their sport in a less competitive fashion? Try new sports?
For Olympic track runner Georganne Moline, life after elite competition actually doesn’t look too different. Healthy habits have been ingrained in her fast-paced routine for a while, but Georganne is finally looking forward to enjoying life at a different pace.
[Macrostax]: You recently announced your retirement from professional track! Tell us about how you’re feeling and how you’ve been navigating that transition.
[Georganne]: This transition has definitely been tough. I’ve always identified with being a runner and running professionally is where I have felt worthy—I never felt like I belonged before track came into my life. Track is also my passion and my outlet; it’s how I decompress from everything in my life. Walking away from the sport made me feel lost at first but also brought me a lot of freedom in so many ways— I am discovering that I am so much more than just an athlete. I am building a new relationship with running without the identity attachments, anxiety, and pressure that came with it when it was my job.
[M]: Continuing to do something that was previously your profession can be tough, because the way you approach it is totally different. Do you plan on staying involved in the sport at all? I think you mentioned potentially coaching or hosting seminars?
[G]: I’ve always been very detail-oriented when it comes to running mechanics and hurdle technique. I love talking about anything track-related and my passion lies in motivating others so I would love to share what I have learned over the past 20 years with the world! I know that I want to continue to inspire people through my story and my struggles. Influencing the youth is where my heart is but I also want to find ways to empower all women and help them be the best versions of themselves. Fitness is a huge part of my life… always has been and always will be. If I could do something involving fitness, nutrition, and the mental side of things, that would be ideal!
[M]: Can you talk about how your goals with your nutrition will change? For people that have been strict with their nutrition for a long time, it can be difficult to switch back to something a little more “flexible”. Are you looking forward to enjoying a few more untracked meals here and there, and are you still going to be tracking for the most part? How do you navigate that balance?
[G]: I have always believed in moderation and try not to see any food as “bad”. Now that I am no longer competing at an elite level, I indulge a bit more and I am a little more lenient when it comes to eating sweets. I really love how healthy carbs, lean meats and good fats make me feel so it’s not something I will stray very far from. Also, I’ve always struggled with putting on weight. I was made fun of most of my life for being really thin and it’s taken me years to put on muscle. For the most part, my habits will stay the same. When I was a pro athlete I logged my food to make sure I was eating enough to maintain and fuel my body and I plan to use the same strategy. However, I am really excited for my intake of food to increase and have the flexibility of enjoying more “cheat” meals!
[M]: Putting on lean muscle can be tricky! Can you elaborate on your experience with that? Is that something that track athletes typically have trouble with?
[G]: Most track athletes like to stay within a specific weight range and even have an ideal “race weight”. Putting on as little as 5 pounds can really alter performance. For some people in a positive way but for the majority of track athletes, it is seen as a hindrance.
[M]: Most people don’t know this, but carbs actually help with putting on muscle. And it’s unfortunate that the average American fears carbs or is in a low carb mindset.
[G]: As a runner, I’ve always had a healthy relationship with carbs. We were always told that carbs are what would make us run fast because they would give us energy. That statement has always stood true. At one point I took rice and bread out of my diet when I was in my off-season because I wasn’t working out. It only lasted a week because in that short of a time, I constantly felt hungry and craved processed foods. When I went back to eating more carbs, my eating habits and mood went back to normal!
[M]: When you are able to achieve that good balance of carbs, protein, and fat, what effects do you notice in your performance (or just the way you feel)?
[G]: I feel irritable, sluggish and tired. My motivation decreases and my mood changes drastically. I always thought I just needed to drink more coffee but realized I just wasn’t eating enough!
[M]: And we know you track your macros with the Macrostax app! What are your food-logging habits?
[G]: I usually just log my food as I go: after each meal. The barcode scanner is a lifesaver. Logging my food gives me a sense of accomplishment . At each meal, I try to get as close to my macro goals as possible and find it fun to figure out new foods I can eat that help me reach my goals! Macrostax has truly enlightened me— I have a better understanding as to what my body needs. I always thought I was eating enough and assumed that I was always tired because of how demanding my career was. Macrostax showed me that my carb and protein consumption was extremely low which had a negative effect on my mood and energy levels. When I made changes and reached my goals, I experienced a significant improvement in my energy and even in my body’s physique.
[M]: Let’s talk food for a second …any must-haves? Treats or splurges?
[G]: My riced cauliflower egg scramble with 21-grain toast with butter and fruit on the side is what starts my days off on the right foot! As for treats, I absolutely love red wine and cookies. Throughout the day I try not to consume foods or drinks with added sugars or empty carbs so that I can indulge at night without guilt! I always find it hard to reach my carb goals so I’m convinced that the wine and cookies help 😉
[M]: We hope that you can have all the wine and cookies you please now! You’ve earned it! Anything you’re looking forward to in this next chapter?
[G]: Traveling around the world and visiting friends and family while also meeting new people. I’m really excited to visit more places and have the freedom to explore!
[M]: Best of luck, Georganne!
Want to dial in your nutrition? Macrostax gives you a sustainable plan so you can reach your goals while still eating what you love! For the best sustainable results, sign up for a yearly Macrostax subscription here!