1 Medals or menstruation? What the athletes say
Athletes, either intentionally or unintentionally, can experience RED-S due to a desire to change body composition with the belief that it will improve their performance and increase their chances of success. This is reflected in these quotes from athletes.
Bobby’s story may seem shocking to us, and like the quotes in this section she links speed to lightness which in turn caused her to under fuel her training. In what she calls her osteoporosis nightmare she describes how she was part of a female training group where food was perceived as the enemy. Although she says she has never had an eating disorder she was constantly doing high volumes of training without taking in enough energy through her diet to allow her body to recover, adapt and progress.
In the short term the result of this was low body weight, which she regarded as a competitive advantage. The suppression of her menstrual cycle and the impact of sustained energy deficiency meant that she was physically and psychologically impacted in the long term. This ended her dreams of becoming an internationally successful athlete.