Graduate Focus – Erica Quinn, Fitness and Lifestyle Coach

Hey there! I’m Erica, a mum of 3, a wife, a personal trainer and a nutrition and lifestyle coach. I own a fab little personal training studio with my husband where I work with so many amazing women helping them use fitness as a part of life.

Erica Quinn Image

“Over the past 5 years I’ve become obsessed with menstrual cycle awareness, the female body and how it works from the inside out. Women are complex creatures and our menstrual cycle phases is not just a ‘period’, it is part of who we are, it dictates our moods and energies, not just at the end of every month, but throughout the whole monthly cycle!

Which brings me to how I got here myself – in 2015 I was made redundant from a corporate job where I worked for 18 years. This is when I decided to change career and become a personal trainer. Training was always a big part of my life and I wanted to help other women make it part of theirs.

At this time I also came off the pill after 15 years and unfortunately all ‘hormonal hell’ broke loose. I suffered from crazy hormones, irregular cycles, leaky gut, oestrogen dominance, and a year of sadness and panic attacks.

In 2017/18 I battled so much with myself, I would beat myself up about everything but especially my training performance in the gym. Since I came off the pill my energy was different and It would kill me when I was not able to train the way I wanted, my recovery would be all over the place and I just didn’t understand why. Finally I pushed myself so much I ended up suffering from panic attacks for the first time in my life. This is when I knew something was wrong and that I needed help. I knew I wanted to fix myself naturally as I knew it was hormonal, I could see patterns in my training ability and my cycle so I started my own research trying to understand my ups and downs and how to balance out my hormones. Through my research I came across Elysia Doody, a former IHS graduate and a nutritional therapist who specialised in helping women. Elysia had a podcast ‘The Female Wellness Hub’ and when I listened to her first episode I knew this was the right person to help me, and thankfully with the her amazing guidance through food and lifestyle changes we got my hormones back on track which in turn, relieved my anxiety, depression and we healed my leaky gut.

I absolutely fell in love with the concept that we had the power to heal ourselves once we were willing to put the work in. I had studied nutrition in my personal training course but found it very difficult to understand, I passed my exams but was left with more questions than answers, I then signed up for a sports nutrition course, again this was not given me the answers I was looking for, I did not want to train ‘athletes,’ I wanted to empower women to eat healthy for life not just for fat loss or a training goal.

After my own issues with my hormones and using not only food, but stress reducing techniques, and with the support and guidance through all of this with Elysia I knew this was the direction I needed to take. I reached out to Elysia to see where she did her study. Once she gave me the information I did not feel the need to research anywhere else, I knew IHS was the right college for me.

Nutrition has been one of the hardest things I have studied over the last couple of years and the Diploma on Nutrition & Lifestyle coaching finally helped everything click, it was such an amazing and life changing course for me.

At first I was apprehensive at doing online study but the course was so well run, the support given by the college was second to none and the fact there were deadlines for each assignment meant I was 100% invested on completing the course on time. The amount of information in each module – both on food and how to work with clients – made the course very doable and I was able to put everything I learned into practice with my own clients. There are so many opportunities and directions you can go with this diploma, the ongoing support from the college has been amazing, I always know if I need any help with anything I can ask in the support group which gives me peace of mind and I feel part of this amazing movement into Functional healing.

After I qualified as a nutrition and lifestyle coach, I also researched more on our menstrual cycle, I read many books on how to help understand and fix our periods. Nutrition & training were 2 big factors of my teachings but only when I found ‘menstrual cycle awareness’, was I able to put both together.

It’s important for every woman to understand that your period (your bleed) may come once a month, but the days in between are what make the difference in how you experience it, how you eat, train, rest and how you manage your energies throughout the month play a big part in our hormonal health now and into the future.

From struggling with my own training over the last few years, I came to understand that my training is dictated by my hormonal changes throughout each month. As women we are not the same every day, biology is happening and once we become more aware of this our hormones actually become our biggest asset in everyday life.

With all that said, finally I have been able to put my personal training, nutrition & lifestyle coaching and menstrual cycle awareness knowledge all together to come up with a new way of training alongside our cycle.

In January of 2021, I launched a new online program ‘Train in Harmony with your Cycle’. Here I help women work with their hormonal strengths and utilize their superpowers in each phase of their cycle. I teach women how to track and train with the ebbs and flow of their own menstrual cycle.

This program is a yearlong process where I provide you with the tools and knowledge needed to adapt how you eat, exercise and live in response to how your body’s natural cycles, rhythms and hormones change, week to week, month to month and in our lifetime.

I also have a blog page where I help women educate themselves on all things, fitness nutrition and hormones, I want to spread the word on everything I have learned to help women have ‘Menstrual cycle awareness’ themselves and to teach it to their own daughters, as I feel it is key for women and their future hormonal health.

The more aware we are of our cycle the more we can plan our lives and stop been so hard on ourselves when we are not feeling like supermum or hitting the gym hard. It is so natural to have these waves of feelings as they go in sync with our hormonal journey every month and when we can understand our own flow month to month we will learn to love our cycle instead of dreading it and most importantly when you start to listen and understand your own body it is the most amazing and empowering feeling ever.

The more educated we are on our bodies the more empowered we feel in our bodies.

If you want to learn more check out my web page ericaquinn.ie where you will find my blog and you can sign up for my ‘4Phase Challenge

You can also follow me on Instagram and Facebook @ericquinnnlc

If you have any questions at all or you would like to set up a call, email me at ericaquinn.nlc@gmail.com”