I'm grateful for my journey and lessons so I can share and help you prevent the mistakes I made.
You might relate to parts of my story or you may not. I’m sharing my experience so you can help prevent the symptoms I experienced in all of my 20’s and connect the dots of my story with Relative Energy Deficiency in Sport.
I enjoyed playing soccer, goofing around on monkey bars and sprinting as a kid. I was born in Toronto On. I spent a couple of years at age 9 in India studying there. When I returned and finished high school, I realized how weak I was in gym class and I wasn’t able to do a single pull up or even do the monkey bars any more. All I wanted, was to be able to do pull ups so I can keep my younger self alive. Once I graduated from high school, my little sister and I ran stairs close to home a few times a week. I knew I had to do more and join a gym.I came across a fitness show and connected with a few trainers. I signed up for personal training the very next morning which was on a Sunday.
Here I’m about 110 lbs skinny fat wanting to be stronger. I trained with a PT 3 times a week sometimes 4. I asked questions always wanting to learn more . About a month in after my session I would spend about another hour working on areas we didn’t train that day. I was given advice to do cardio to get leaner. So, my gym time would be an avg of 2.5 hours some days longer. I started training almost every day. And even after a nice holiday meal, I would feel guilty and book a training session in right after! This went on for a few month and one day after doing an intense leg day with my PT I hurt my right knee. It impacted me on everything I did. It was painful even going up stairs, I stopped running and had to stop wearing heels as well. Then I hurt my wrist and then my shoulder all during training during the same year.
I’m also on birthcontrol to help regulate my periods. I end up bleeding more with sporadic spotting throughout the month. I had to spend a day laying in bed with an advil because of severe back pain, moodiness and cramps. I experienced migraines daily. I would end up having cramps for most of the month as well. I was eating what we were told that was healthy. An example of my food was: Special K for breakfast with a daily Activia with 1% milk or soy milk, a subway sandwich for lunch… You get the picture. I was on the S.A.D diet ( the standard american diet ). Plus I LOVED SUGAR!
I decide to compete in my 1st fitness competition in 2011. My training had completely changed! I would wake up, sometimes have oatmeal for breakfast with scoop of protein powder and take a pre workout. I was hooked on energy drinks because I wasn’t sleeping well. I spent almost a year when I was 21 with insomnia! Not connecting the dots to why I wasn’t able to fall asleep or get a restful sleep.
My training schedule looked like weights every morning and cardio, second workout in the evening mostly a bootcamp style weights/ cardio or see my PT.
I wasn’t a fan of steady state cardio. It felt too boring and time consuming. I needed to build muscle and from my body type it was pretty challenging for me to do so. Plus having all my injuries did not help. I remember trying a fat burner once and It made me extremely sick and that was the end of that. I did enjoy having the experience of competing on stage. I took a week off after the show and planned on competing in The World Bodybuilding Fitness Federation in 4 month right here in Toronto.
During this training prep, I trained with a strength coach who assessed my hormones with training and nutrition called BioPrint. This was all eye opening and challenging because my nutrition had changed 100% I was on a low carb, gluten free, paleo diet. Not eating carbs was extremely difficult. I started eating The Breakfast for Champions. It consisted of rotating hormone free meat and nuts daily so you don’t build intolerances to it and It’s my favorite breakfast to go to till today. It’s built to create a successful day and to optimize your neurotransmitters that are incharge of focus and drive. We worked on insulin management, improving my sleep, gut health and detoxification. My training consisted of RAMP training which was hard. I had a love and hate relationship with it. My only source of cardio was pulling and pushing sleds and my rest was jumping rope between laps LOL I’ll never forget how challenging it was. I still love doing sleds but I don’t jump rope in between! I placed in the top 10 and I was pretty happy with how far I had come! It was the strongest I’ve ever felt and I was able to finally do 5 sets of 5 pulls ups!
I was feeling strong and excited about what my next goal will be and then a few weeks after my show I dislocate my right wrist. Any type of rotation made it dislocate. I was diagnosed with a TFCC tear. I had pinhole tears and a cast wasn’t needed so I had to keep it taped up until it healed. 3 month in while being taped up I was able to hold a 2 lb dumbbell. My training only consisted of lower body bodyweight workouts and I would release my anger out on sled sprints while being careful. As my wrist was getting a bit stronger, I’m doing pull ups and my left wrist dislocates too! Devastated, I start losing hope. I needed assistance in everyday living which was stressful, I wasn’t able to do the things I loved. I had trouble washing my hair as well.. I remember I wasn’t able to cut my food with a fork either and I wasn’t able to cook my own meals. I just wanted to get away .. So I started traveling more.
My digestive track was extremely inflamed even while I ate organic clean foods without dairy, gluten, egg, soy to name some top food allergens. I had built intolerances to almost everything including fruits, nuts, veggies and spices. My quest to heal myself never stopped! I travelled for conferences and courses and kept learning and healing. I had a laundry list of symptoms. I’ll share some here.
- hooked on caffeine and stimulants
- amenorrhea ( loss of period for 3 month or longer mine was 3 years )
- irregular periods
- anxiety attacks
- soft ligaments / spongy feeling in joints
- poor healing / poor detoxifier
- over training
- pms/ painful periods
- chronic overuse injuries
- high stress
- hair loss/ balding
- severe gut health issues
- reoccuring yeast infections
- poor focus/ memory/drive
- estrogen dominance……. I’ll stop here .
In 2015 I came across an online health summit where I found Nicole Jardim The Prd Fixing Girl! I joined her apprenticeship program and started working on deep healing and I finally understood the importance of a healthy menstrual cycle and how connecting ourselves to each phase is so fascinating in creating the success we truly desire. And that’s when she brought Dr. Jessica Drummond as a guest speaker and that was it! I was all in and I graduated from the Integrative women’s health institute. I finally found out WHY I wasn’t healing an what was going on. I had all the symptoms of RED-S Relative Energy Deficiency in Sport (RED-S). Since 2007, scientific evidence and clinical experience show that the aetiological factor underpinning the Triad is an energy deficiency relative to the balance between dietary energy intake (EI) and the energy expenditure required to support homoeostasis, health and the activities of daily living, growth and sporting activities. It is also evident that the clinical phenomenon is not a triad of three entities of energy availability, menstrual function and bone health, but rather a syndrome resulting from relative energy deficiency that affects many aspects of physiological function including metabolic rate, menstrual function, bone health, immunity, protein synthesis, cardiovascular and psychological health. In addition, it is evident that relative energy deficiency also affects men.
The syndrome of RED-S refers to impaired physiological function including, but not limited to, metabolic rate, menstrual function, bone health, immunity, protein synthesis, cardiovascular health caused by relative energy deficiency previously known as female athlete triad. RED-S can have serious implications for many body systems, resulting in short-term and long-term compromise of optimal health and performance. Athletes who suffer from long-term low Energy Availability may develop nutrient deficiencies (including anaemia), chronic fatigue and increased risk of infections and illnesses, all of which have the potential to harm health and performance.
My mission is to help you screen if you do have any symptoms and teach you how to prevent risk of burnout and injury prevention while creating lasting health throughout your lifespan . I’m grateful for my mentors and teachers who have helped me.
I’ve created a customized 8 week online program where we start with:
- Your vision, desires and goals
- Successful mindset routines from the top leaders
- Creating optimal mindset
- Learn how to achieve optimal gut health
- Assess your current gut health
- Learn what foods trigger inflammation and aches in the body
- Learn more about the dangerous effects of RED-S and how to prevent it and heal
- Nutrition for performance throughout your lifespan
- Herbal remedies to heal from injuries instead of taking NSAIDS
- Dangerous effects of NSAIDS
- Cashmere blanket therapy
- The secret formula for performance and success
- Bonus: Concussion prevention and post concussion managemnet
References: Mountjoy M, Sundgot-Borgen J, Burke L, et alThe IOC consensus statement: beyond the Female Athlete Triad—Relative Energy Deficiency in Sport (RED-S)Br J Sports Med 2014;48:491-497..