Today’s conversation with Elle Linton, the creative entrepreneur and athlete is a very nice bookend to last week’s episode. In this episode, Elle talks about how menstrual cycle awareness has been a powerful tool for her as an athlete.
In this episode, Elle shares:
- Her experience of being on the pill from aged 13
- What she did to learn about her body and menstrual cycle after coming off the pill
- The effects of anti-inflammatories on her stomach
- How menstrual cycle awareness and being in tune with her body helped her complete a half-marathon right before her period started
- And the story of her first period
Elle says that tracking and understanding her menstrual cycle has helped develop a flexible and adaptable training plan that means that she can train less and make more progress.
Thank you, Elle!
Get in touch with Elle:
Le’Nise: Hi Elle. Thank you so much for coming on the show today. Let’s start off by getting into your first period story. So tell me the story of your first period.
Elle: So I think I had just turned 12 years old and I was definitely like either the start of year seven or eight in secondary school and I think it was a Sunday evening. So at that point I was getting ready to go ice skating because that’s what we did on a Sunday evening. And I went to the toilet and there was blood in my knickers. So I went to my mum and I was like, Mum, I think I’ve started my period. I’m pretty sure I was aware of periods. I think we all were at that time. I feel like we were excited to get our periods because we didn’t really understand what they entailed. So it was an exciting time.
And my mum had actually had a hysterectomy like probably like 12 or more years ago, so she hadn’t been having periods and so she wasn’t really fully aware of like what products were available. So she got in touch with one of my best friend’s moms, that friend was Sarah, her mum was Karen and they like sent me over a little S.O.S. package with sanitary towels. And I put one on and I went ice skating, and everything was fine for that first period. It was like exciting to share that with my friends and be like, I finally got my first period. And I wasn’t. I wasn’t the first in my group. I think I was second. If it was a competition, I was second. So yeah, it all started off well and it started off like fun and exciting and I guess it felt like the start of a new era in growing up, right?
Le’Nise: And when you then started to get more more regular periods. Actually were your periods regular after your first period.
Elle: Yeah. I think they were. I don’t remember, I don’t remember thinking this is not regular or it is not coming. They were definitely like coming each month and I think with each month they progressed. And so the first one, like I said, it was fun. It was exciting. I went ice skating, there were no issues, but every month the symptoms got worse and worse and like massively worse and worse. I thought that was just how periods were.
Le’Nise: So when you say your symptoms got worse, what sort of symptoms were you’re experiencing?
Elle: So I was having pain lots and lots and lots of pain. And it got to the point where like paracetamol wasn’t working, like over-the-counter medications weren’t working. I was having to take time off school every month because I just was not feeling up to go into school. And so I ended up going to the GP and they gave me stronger painkillers like anti-inflammatories and everything worked for a while. Like I think I was on Naproxen and that worked for a while, but then I would go through the same thing again, where eventually whatever I was doing would stop working and the pain would come back and get progressively worse each month. I remember like episodes of I call it whiting out because I’m not sure if it was fainting, but it wasn’t blackout. Like everything would just go super bright white and sounds would be amplified and I would just kind of like, pass out, I guess, for a moment. And that happened like a few times I can remember like on the London Underground. I remember happening in the train once. I remember happening on the bus to school once, and that was just normal for me as far as I was aware. Like I didn’t know any different, you know?
Le’Nise: Well. And how old were you when all of this started incrementally progressing?
Elle: So it must have been like between 11 and 13 that it got to the worse because it was at 13 that I started on the contraceptive pill.
Le’Nise: At 13 years old.
Elle: Yeah, at 13 years old, I was put on the pill because of my periods.
Le’Nise: I am shocked. This is incredibly young.
Le’Nise: Can you just talk us through the conversation that you had with your GP and your parents or your mum or your dad? How were they were involved in this decision?
Elle: So it’s just me and my mum. And like I said, I had been going to the GP. They had put me on Naproxen. I think I was on Diclofenac or something else, like I’d been on a couple. And then it just got to the point where as far as the GP was concerned, there was no more that they could do for me other than to put me on the pill, because that was a way of managing symptoms, managing my cycle and allowing me to, I guess, live a normal life like I was. It was absolutely nothing to do with it being a contraceptive. It was just for me to have that control over my cycle and to be able to go to school like throughout the month and not have to worry about, you know, being knocked out with pain and discomfort.
Le’Nise: It’s just I just find it so shocking because you just think about the brain development that’s happening at that age and you’re introducing this this drug that disrupts the communication between the brain and the ovaries and the telling the brain what level of oestrogen and progesterone it needs to produce the ovaries needs to produce. And so I wonder when you were having all these conversations about the different anti-inflammatories, painkillers, the contraceptive pill, were you having any other individual investigations like for fibroids or endometriosis?
Elle: No, I do not remember having any other investigations. It was just here’s the pill, bye, goodluck. And I mean on the surface it works well for me, you know, like it was 21 days of a pill, seven days pill free. Like it then became the fourth day of not taking the pill. My period came. I knew how long it would last. It felt like I had complete control over this cycle. I still did have discomfort, but it was nothing that was debilitating in the sense it stopped me from going to school, living a life. And, you know, it became the norm for me to go back to back pills. I remember when I learnt that you could take you didn’t even have to stop. You could take them non-stop. So if I was going on holiday, it would be like, Cool, well, I’ll just keep taking my pill and live my life, you know? So from that sense, I think it works well. But I think the thing that really upsets me looking back is that I was then on the pill for 17 years.
Le’Nise: 17 years? Yeah. Oh, my goodness. My reactions. I’m sorry.
Elle: I don’t know whether to laugh or cry, period, as I just do both at the same time. But yeah, I was on the pill for 17 years and like you said, like the pill is affecting the the messages between these hormones in your body. And that was what’s that was what encouraged me to come off the pill because I started to realise that I was having thoughts that I was sure were not me. And I was thinking like. I actually don’t even know who I am. Like, I don’t know who I am. I’ve been on the pill since I was 13 years old. My body has never had a chance to be itself. I’ve never had a chance to have thoughts that are, you know, charged by hormones. Like I’ve always been closely controlled with what I’ve been putting into my body. That’s the only reason that I came off the pill, because I figured it was about time I figured out who I actually was.
Le’Nise: So you were on the pill from 13 until you were 30?
Le’Nise: Wow. And when you came off the pill, you wanted to do one of the reasons to discover who you really were. Tell us a little bit about that discovery.
Elle: So it all started when I was having some bleeding in between my periods and we didn’t really know what it was. The GP couldn’t figure out what it was. I didn’t have a clue. And then I feel like my whole life I’ve always had to be like that researcher on Google to figure out what’s going on. And then I figured out one day that I think I had what was called cervicitis and I had cells that were from the inside of my uterus, I believe, growing on the outside of my cervix when they should be on the inside. And the cells are very, very sensitive. So they would literally bleed because they felt like it. But before I figured that out, the GP was just like, well, you know what, it’s probably your pill, let’s change your pill. And I had been on Microgynon for like, I don’t know how many years at that point and she changed me to another pill and that didn’t work. I still had the bleeding.
And then she changed me to another pill and it was on this pill, and I don’t remember the name. I honestly was having suicidal thoughts and I was like, I would never be the person that would willingly choose to end my life, but on that pill that’s how I felt. And I was like, This is insane. And I start taking that pill and the suicidal thoughts went away and I was. So that’s what made me think, Oh my gosh, like this, this tiny pill is powerful enough to completely change your mindset and make you want to do things that you know that you wouldn’t want to do on a normal day. And that’s why I then really wanted to figure out, like, what would my natural thoughts be like? Who would I be without taking this pill every day? And that’s what encouraged me to stop.
Le’Nise: What were your natural thoughts? What did you discovered about who you really were without hormonal contraception?
Elle: So coming off the pill actually was not as easy as it seems. First of all, like I went to the doctor because obviously that’s who started me. And by this point, I had done a little bit of research. I had spoken to friends. I had like read that, you know, you shouldn’t take the pill over 35 or something like this is like almost ten years ago now, I guess. I think this is around the time there were starting to be seen, like Netflix documentaries about the pill and other forms of contraceptives.
I went to the GP and I was like, Hey, like I feel like it’s a good time to come off the pill. What do you think? And and he was like, Oh, you don’t have to do that for like another five years. And I was like, Yeah, but like, what does the research say? And he didn’t really have an answer. And then when I was like, Oh, I just want to come off the pill, he was like, How about that? And I think I was on the combined pills of how about the like progesterone only pill? I think it is. And I was like, I feel like you’re not really listening to me here. Like, I don’t want to take these things. So I kind of went away and I just stopped taking the pill. But then I ended up going back on the pill because my skin got so much worse. Like, I’ve always had acne, but my skin got even worse when I stopped taking the pill. So I went back on the pill and then I ended up, I can’t remember if I had stopped or started, but I ended up bleeding for like two weeks straight. And I was like, This is insane.
So I had to go to the doctor again and they gave me tablets to like stop the bleeding. And then I was like, I have to stop this cycle. I have to stop it. But in terms of like who I was mentally like, it was I was fine, like the symptoms of suicidal thoughts and all that craziness completely disappeared when I stopped taking that pill. So I had no issues. But the biggest thing was I then had to learn about my body because the pill took away the need to understand how my body functions, like I had to learn about my cycle and how I would feel and how my body would feel and how it would react to hormones. And, you know, how long was my cycle? Like, do I still get period pain? Like, do I get PMS? Do I feel moody? Do I do my boobs hurt before? Like, I didn’t know the answer to any of this. So it was a massive learning curve in my early thirties, which sounds insane saying to be honest.
Le’Nise: Wow. I mean, what a journey you went on, having had really painful periods from when you first got your period to then being on the pill and different types of contraception up until 30 and then having to go through this whole journey of self-discovery. So emotionally, you know, who are you all you know? Or this is the person you were. You thought you were really the person that you are, that you are, and then learning about your body.
And what’s really interesting is that you mentioned early in our conversation that your mum had had a hysterectomy. Do you mind just saying a little bit about that? Because I’m curious about because you kind of just mentioned it quite casually, but then you had these really painful periods and didn’t have any investigations for, you know, fibroids and choices. But then you mentioned that your mum had had a hysterectomy, which is where, you know, I don’t know if it was a partial or full where her uterus and ovaries were removed. But can you just say a bit more about that?
Elle: Yes. I don’t remember if she had partial or full, but she had that because she had her own issues when she was growing up with periods and with like really heavy period periods that lasted for weeks and weeks on end. And I don’t think or don’t know if she was formally diagnosed with anything like fibroids, etc. but that was the solution, I guess, that she opted for and it worked for her. And that saying that what you just said about investigations like I do remember, I don’t know why I was there. I think I ended up having a scan of my uterus at one point when they were investigating, like if I was lactose intolerant, which sounds really weird, but when I told the GP I thought I was lactose intolerant, as it turned out, they did every other test before they did the lactose test. So I know, I know. They literally they were like, let’s rule everything else out before lactose. And I’m like, I’m telling you, that’s a whole nother story. So I remember having this scan and I do remember the doctor being like, Look, you’ve got a beautiful uterus, so a beautiful ovary is like, okay, well, everything’s well there they do. You know that that all of that was fine. And I think I’ve been lucky in that I’ve not quite inherited whatever was up with my mum, to be honest.
Le’Nise: And having gone through this journey of self-discovery and then also kind of overlaying your your whole kind of experience as an athlete, what’s changed in your body? Like, what have you had to do differently and how have you had to think differently about your body?
Elle: So I think that’s been a whole nother discovery in itself because. I cycle. I run. I do classes. And then. Say, for example, with cycling we could be out for a long ride and I’ll be out like all day. So I have to think about the fact that, you know, the first two days of my period are very heavy. And for me, like, I need to know that I’ll be able to go to a toilet and be able to, like, change products or clean myself up when I need to. So that’s always factored in.
But then the most important thing has been like learning how to work with my menstrual cycle. Because there are times like during my cycle where I do feel stronger and there are times where I feel more tired. And I say that actually it’s only been in the last two or three years that I think that’s really come to the forefront for me. And I think it’s just best because there’s been so little research done on the female physiology and being an athlete, being active that it’s taken that long for it to seep down into the mainstream.
So yeah, I spent the last two or three years like really looking at my cycle, learning, learning about all the phases, learning about and how typically how you would feel. Because obviously there’s, there’s a textbook like scenario and then there’s the reality. So learning about how I typically should feel, how it typically should perform at that time, and then aligning my training with that. So for example, with running or cycling, I do all my like long, longer easy runs and rides towards the end of my cycle. And then I do like the intervals, the hard stuff, the faster towards the start. And that’s kind of like where the simplified version of breaking it down. And I think that’s meant that, you know, you can actually train less, which sounds really counterintuitive, but you don’t have to train six days a week because you’re working with your body rather than doing sessions, you know, that are not progressing, you know, making stronger, not making fitter and having to do six sessions a week.
Le’Nise: That is so interesting as an athlete, how you’ve been able to build in menstrual cycle awareness into your training and how you plan your weeks and how you plan your month. What happens or how do you account for times where you have a race or you have to teach a class and let’s say you’re in the first couple of days of your period.
Elle: So I think basically I just know that I have to work with my body on that day. So for example, a recent example was I had a half marathon a couple of months ago and I think it fell. Right before my period started, actually. And although although the textbooks say that, you know, typically you won’t be feeling great at that point, I’ve actually found that the one or two days before my period, I feel pretty good.
And so I decided my strategy on that morning was going to be a run walk because I knew that just going along wouldn’t be good for me. So I did a four minute run, one minute walk, which meant that 5 minutes into my half marathon or 4 minutes into my half marathon I was walking. And it was hilarious. People were like, looking at me like, what is she doing? Like, Is she okay? And they probably thought I was never going to make it to the end, but I did it in just under two and a half hours, which, considering I haven’t trained well, was the same time I did like my first ever half and I was super happy with that. I finished and I felt strong and I know that I have if I know that I have something coming up on the first two days of my period, typically if it’s a class like. I know that I will get through it. And I think it’s just about having strategies in place and knowing like, you know, if I’m going to do a ride, I will put in a cafe stop make sure that there’s a cafe stop where I know there are clean toilets that I can use.
And I’ve adjusted what products I use. So for cycling I will use a menstrual cup which works really well because typically even if I’m on a heavy day, that will still last me like at least two, 3 hours or more. And then yeah, I just I just I have all, I have all the products I need, like period pads for heavy flow. I got all of those, I got period leggings, you name it, and I’ve got it basically. And I will just batten down the hatches. It will be a menstrual cup, it’ll be period pads, period leggings. And I get to get to work, get it done and then it’s all good.
Le’Nise: Wow. Well, I love that. I love the adaptability and I love the fact that, you know, you have all of these different products that and you’re able to you’re able to just chop and change based on whatever you need on that individual day.
And just going back to what you were saying about your half marathon, I remember you putting a post on Instagram about it, and I thought it was so interesting because, you know, that’s such a real life. That’s a real life example of adapting to your cycle and pacing yourself really well and pacing yourself to the point where you actually finish at around the same time as another half marathon that you did when, maybe you ran the whole way.
Yeah, which is just so fascinating because I think when you were running a race, you, you almost you get caught up with a crowd. And I found that when I was running in the past where you actually and I found that I had lost my pace because I was going with the momentum of the crowd. And I ended up having to walk a bit at the end because I just exhausted myself. So I just love what you said about running your own race, pacing yourself, not worrying about what other people were doing and how it got you to where you where you needed to be.
Elle: Yeah, it was honestly, it was like the best feeling. And I can’t even explain just, just being free to listen to your body and make that decision on the morning to go with how you feel on that day. Because we all know, like no matter what, what you put in, you could just have a bad night’s sleep and that, like, ruins everything. And you’re just going to upset yourself if you’ve gone with this big grand plan that you decided on six months ago, and then it doesn’t work on the day. So I’m all for like just listening to how you feel and going with the flow. Pun intended. Yeah.
Le’Nise: We haven’t had many athletes on the show, so I’m really happy that you’re here and that you’re talking about this. So if someone’s listening and they’re very into sports or they’re a professional athlete or an amateur athlete, or they just, you know, they just do a lot of classes or whatever. And they’re very interested in this idea that you’ve been talking about, about overlaying menstrual cycle awareness into their training, but they don’t know where to start. What would be your suggestion to them?
Elle: So I would say the most important thing, first of all, is to just know, know your cycle and understand how a cycle works. So I’d say knowledge is power. And I started off by doing lots of reading, like I’m currently reading your book. I’ve read Period Power, I’ve read ROAR by Doctor Stacy Sims and just learning about how a cycle works.
And then secondly, I say track your cycle. So I’ve been tracking my cycle now for at least six years, if not like seven or eight. And you really get to know like how your body works. And that’s the first way to like, no, no and see any changes. If you have the time and inclination, it’s good to like maybe keep a journal of your symptoms and really line that up with where you are in the cycle. So the first thing, yeah, learn and learn and then start to apply bit by bit of what you’re learning to your cycle. So I started off with the supplement regime that Doctor Stacy Sims suggests, which were like a few basic supplements that I already had anyway that you take five days in meeting up to the start of your period. And it probably sounds like an exaggeration, but that literally changed my life. Like. I went from being the person who because by the way, I now I’m not able to take anti-inflammatories. They damaged my stomach to the point that I now can’t take them.
Le’Nise: Oh, my gosh.
Elle: Right. That’s how bad it got. And so, yeah, I would I could only take paracetamol. And it was indeed very much. But I went from the point of now being off the pill, taking paracetamol to sometimes maybe once every six cycles I take one paracetamol. So it’s been amazing to not have to rely on painkillers to feel good on my periods and like know that you can. So yeah. So once you’ve, once you start to implement little things each month and see how that works for you and then, you know, all of these books share information on, you know, types of training that work. And just really look at your look at what you’re doing and see if you can just juggle things around. Like I was saying about keeping the high intensity stuff in the point where you feel really good and then just slowing it down, being a bit more like restorative through the second half of your cycle. And I think probably the hardest time to work is during your actual period because that’s very individual. No, like you’re supposed to be at your strongest as opposed to be at your best. But that might not necessarily be how you feel because like I said, my first two days are super heavy. So sometimes sometimes I’m like, if it’s a class at home, I can go hard for 30 minutes if I feel like in the mood. But otherwise I still have to take those two days of being gentle with myself. So yeah, I think learn, implement and always be kind to yourself.
Le’Nise: That’s interesting what you said about you’re supposed to be at your strongest during your period because that’s not what my experience is. And that’s not actually what I what I’ve seen in the research, and I’ve seen a few people say that online. But if you look biologically and hormonally what’s going on, it actually, you’re more resilient during a period in that like you can take you can take a lot because your body is going through so much. But what I’ve seen in the research is that actually after you finish your period, you’re at your strongest with the rise of testosterone and the rise of oestrogen. So that’s really interesting. That’s that you’ve said that is kind of a proof that you have to just see what’s going on in your body and not rely so much on what the books are telling you because the books aren’t going to overlay exactly with your own experience.
Elle: Yeah, I’m like I was saying the books say that just before your period is when you know you’re tired and you’ve got an energy. But actually that’s when I’m like, I can get my 5K PB so if I listen to the books, I will be wasting that time. But yeah, you have to do what works for you and what works for your body.
Le’Nise: Yeah. So you’re also a personal trainer. How does does this cycle awareness apply to your clients or does it apply to the work that you do with your clients?
Elle: Yeah. So being a personal trainer is actually quite hard because you only see your clients for like, you know, one hour a week or one hour a month for some of them or 3 hours a week. It’s a very short amount of time. So every day before I have a client, I always check in with them to be like, you know, how are you feeling today? Like, is there anything that you don’t want to do? Is there anything that you do want to do? And like, that’s kind of like my way of asking, you know, at what point are you on your cycle? You don’t have to say, I’m on my period, but you can just let me know like I’m feeling full of energy today or I’m feeling like I really want to slow things down. And, and then I think it’s I’ve got clients who are like premenopausal, menopausal, like everything in between, basically just being female physiology.
And so I’ve had to do a lot of learning as well. And I also started reading a book about being active, like through through menopause and after menopause. And there was a comment in the book and it was like, you know, she was saying that it’s great to start reading this book so, you know, your body’s going through. And actually, I was like, I think you should be reading this book like way before you even start to have any symptoms. I’m like, Why should we wait till we start going through a situation to learn about it? Like, I would love to have known what I know now about periods before I started my period rather than, you know, 20 years after starting. So I’m learning about how the body works through all the different stages of life so that I can implement that with clients. Because when you’re active is so important to, you know, have that information so that you can not only move right, but eat right and nail the basics, which is so important, like sleep and hydration and your protein. Those are the important things, like less so than what we’re doing in our 1 to 1 sessions. So I feel like I tried to educate myself so that I can share that and encourage my clients to educate themselves so that they can the cost of their bodies in the best possible way, depending on their stage of life, like where they are.
Le’Nise: So that’s that’s amazing. I want to go back to what you said about how you made some simple changes. And actually, now you don’t you don’t have to use well, you can’t use anti-inflammatories, but every kind of six periods, you use, you take maybe one paracetamol. And I just want to go back to that because I think it’s so powerful for people to know that you can change your period. You know, it’s just it’s not just people like me saying, yes, you can have a better period. You approached that through simple changes that you’ve make in supplements the way you eat. I don’t know exactly what you did, but that you. It is possible to change your menstrual health. It is possible to have a better period. Can you talk a little bit about your relationship with your period now?
Elle: So in terms of what you just said, like 100%, I agree. I feel like society has made us believe that we have to tolerate what we are given. And that isn’t the case. Me and my period. Now, I would say that there are parts of it that I am happy with and there are parts that are frustrating. And I say the most frustrating part is that I have quite a short cycle. So it’s typically like around 24, 25 days. So it feels like it feels like I’m always on my period, but I feel like my period is a sign of my health. So any time that something changes that, because I’m tracking it, because I know it, like I know that something’s up. And the times that I do have to take that one paracetamol it’s been closely related to COVID. So after I’ve had COVID a few times, unfortunately, and I’ve also had the vaccines and had very adverse reactions and not like hospitalising, but very, very adverse. And I found that after each of the episodes like my period changes and the flow changes and the pain changes. So that’s when I’ve had to take paracetamol.
So it’s definitely for me, a sign of my health is. I feel like. It feels like a just a natural process now. And now I’ve moved away from using tampons and sanitary towels because I’ve tried to be more sustainable and actually like. I just enjoy the process of cleansing. And sometimes I’m just like, I wish that I could do, this sounds probably so weird, but just bleed and be done with it. Like not have to worry about all these products and, you know, staining the bedsheets and all this kind of stuff. So yeah. So like it’s for me now, it’s a very just natural process and it’s annoying when it comes when I’m about to go on holiday, which feels like every holiday this year. But it is what is.
Le’Nise: Yeah. Can you just go back to what you said about the effect that taking all the anti-inflammatories had on your stomach? Because that’s something that I’ve seen a lot in clinic, but that’s not something you necessarily hear people talk about. And you go to the doctor, they’ll tell you to you know, they’ll just tell you, take the painkillers, you know, just keep taking them. But then for you, that’s had a really negative impact on your, is it the lining of your stomach?
Elle: Yeah. So basically, like I said, every time I went back to the GP because something wasn’t working, they would just put me on to stronger and stronger painkillers. And I do think Naproxen was the one that did this to me finally. And I had actually go into the GP because I think I had a pain in my knee and the GP was like, Well, here’s some naproxen, take one of these like three times a day. And I said to the doctor, I was like, Are you sure? Like, I need to take that much because I take like half like once a day for my periods. And he was like, Nope, do that. And I went, Ah. And I took, I think I took one in an evening. And then I woke up and I took one in the morning and I was getting ready for work. And I have never had a pain like this in my life.
And anyone who’s had a pain in the actual stomach, because I think when we say we have stomach ache, most people may like their bowels, but when you’ve had a pain in your stomach, which is very high and close to your heart, like it is scary. And I take myself down to A&E because I had no idea what was going on and they were like, Oh sorry, we don’t have the machine and sent me to another A&E. And then I literally sat down with a doctor and he’s like, You’ve got is it gastritis, whatever, when the lining of your stomach is bleeding? And he was like. Asking me what had happened, and he said it was the Naproxen or the anti-inflammatory. And he was just like. Don’t take these again. And I think that I didn’t really understand how serious it was.
So then a while later, like, I continue taking my periods at the smaller dose, but by this point my stomach was like, I’ve had enough. I remember being at home. I was renting at this point with my friend and my landlord. And being having this pain again. But this time I was like, I know what it is, so I had to call the out of hours GP and he came came to me. His name was Dr. Hope, ironically. I was like, That’s what I need. So I was like, Don’t you got to give me that omeprazole or something. The thing that like lines up stuff and it stops the pain. So yeah, again, he was like, you can’t take anti-inflammatories, like nothing. Don’t do it. So from that day, my stomach still suffers. Like, I’m from the Caribbean. I love spicy foods. Sometimes when I eat spicy foods like the pain, the next morning is not bad. Like it was then to take me to hospital. But I do have a stash of the stomach lining tablets for the days I wake up and feel like that. And now I feel like because my stomach so sensitive, it’s also linked to stress. If I get stressed, my stomach just gets out of balance and the pain starts. So yeah, just from something as simple as taking those painkillers for my period has landed me with a very sensitive stomach that doesn’t like spice.
Le’Nise: Did you ever tell your doctor, the original doctor, who told you to take the Naproxen for your knee pain, what had happened?
Elle: I would love to have told him. The thing is with I don’t know about anyone else, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen the same GP twice. So it’s not like back in the day when I was a kid I had a relationship with my GP because you saw the same GP, but since then I’ve never seen the same GP twice. But to me I feel like had I seen him again I would have said like that was negligible because even I thought to myself when he said, Take one three times a day, I was like, Hey, but that’s a really high dose as far as I’m concerned. And he reassured me, But you know why trust our GP? Because I’m not medically trained. I’m like, I’m trusting you to help me fix this pain.
Le’Nise: Yeah, well. Well, I’m so really sorry that you you went through that. That’s just that’s horrible. And, you know, it’s I don’t want it to be a cautionary tale for other people, but it’s a it’s a kind of reminder that these painkillers, they do have an impact on our bodies. And, you know, if we take them and not saying that you were taking them indiscriminately, but, you know, you see people just kind of popping painkillers and feeling like it’s normal to take take painkillers when you have your period deal with a period of pain that way. But they do have an effect.
Elle: Yeah. And I think I’ve always been like, you know, on the cautious side of taking painkillers. So I think, you know, if your body has a pain, it’s a signal that something’s wrong. And I would rather fix that thing that’s wrong than just mask the pain.
Le’Nise: So tell us a little bit more about the work that you do, because you’ve kind of you’ve have this really interesting career that you’ve created for yourself. You’re a personal trainer, you’re a running ambassador for Adidas. You know, you do lots of different things so tell us a little bit more about that.
Elle: So I never know how to describe what I do. So I just call myself a creative entrepreneur, fitness professional. Yeah, I’m a running coach for Adidas at the moment, I’m a cycling coach, also ambassador from there. And then the pandemic meant that I started my own classes online. And I think, to be honest, it all just stems from the fact that I love to learn and I love to share that knowledge with other people. So that’s that’s how I share my knowledge because through through, like looking after your body and through looking after your health, you know, you’re going to feel better and enjoy life more. And I mean, who wouldn’t want that and who wouldn’t want that for everyone else around them? So I think that’s where that comes from for me.
Le’Nise: What have you got coming up next?
Elle: Oh, my gosh. Well, I think a lot of nothing because Christmas. In the in the new year. I, I well, first of all, my main priority actually is my own health and wellness because, you know, I’m always looking to learn and figure out how my body works. So I’m doing some stuff around that. But then I have my classes which are weekly for women. Cyclists, runners, general fitness. And like I said, our strength based sessions are based around menstrual cycles. So we have certain exercises. We will do the same exercises. But you know, if you’re at a different stage in your cycle, I give you different ranges and weights to use based on where you are in your cycle. So we’re essentially doing the same workout, but you’re making it work for your cycle and then yeah, just just doing things. I think my blog is my biggest thing where I’m always sharing the latest thing that I’ve learnt and sharing what’s happening. But I’m hoping 2023 is going to be an exciting year both internally for me and for my business.
Le’Nise: So the strength based classes that you’ve mentioned, where can people find out more about those? Where can they sign up?
Elle: And everything is on my website and my socials. So that will be in your blurb, right? Yeah. Yeah. So it’s easy to sign up, come along currently on Thursdays weekly and also catch up on demand. Yeah. And I just love talking to people so everyone is welcome to drop into my DMs. Drop me an email with any questions and I’ll always be happy to help.
Le’Nise: Fantastic. So what’s the one thought that you want to leave listeners with today?
Elle: Ooh, I would say I would say the one thing I would like to leave the listeners with is that. I feel like. The only way isn’t always like the medical way. I feel like taking that holistic view of yourself, your body, your periods, your health is a really good way to look after yourself. And I think that it’s always good to figure out the source of anything that you feel isn’t right rather than essentially putting plasters on the symptoms. So like with me, the painkillers for period pain, like I wish that I knew there were things like acupuncture and you know, even massage is a good way to help yourself feel better. So you look for the source. Never give up on looking for the source and not just to put plasters on symptoms.
Le’Nise: Thank you so much for sharing your story and coming on the show today. It’s just been really wonderful speaking to you.
Elle: Thanks for having me.
Le’Nise: And and if anyone wants to find Elle, all of her links and socials will be in the show notes. So please go and check out all of the amazing things that she does.