I'm Kersten, NASM Certified personal trainer and a hypothalamic amenorrhea warrior.
My work is twofold: I help women to overcome hypothalamic amenorrhea (missing periods caused by excess exercise and food restrictions) and men and women get healthier and fitter through smart, reasonable exercise that doesn’t take more than 30 minutes a day.
If you are determined to recover from overtraining, including finding your healthy menstrual cycle again, click here to see how I can help you.
If you’re here for personal fitness training, click here.
Why Urban Jane?
Urban Jane is a combination of old and new, ancient and modern.
I'm a girl who trains outside, sometimes takes barefoot walks and most of the time, eats Paleo-inspired, whole, non-processed foods.
But I'm also a girl who loves her kettlebells, spends quite a bit of time on Instagram and is known for her colorful nail designs.
I'm enjoying my life by combining best from both worlds.
That's me in a nutshell, but if you are interested about learning how I found my way to health and fitness world, keep reading.
I’ve been physically active all my life. I was in my high school’s track and field and basketball teams. I used to be the biggest fan of track and field, never missing any olympics or world championships from TV. In high school, I may have even skipped my classes to stay home and make sure I won’t miss the best parts of Sydney Olympics in 2000…
Health and fitness was definitely my passion; however, after graduating from high school it never crossed my mind to study sports or fitness.
I guess I figured that I need to study something more “meaningful” than that. I cannot really explain why but back then I thought that fitness is okay as a hobby, but for “real living” I should do something else.
So I went to study linguistics, spent 11 years in academia and received my PhD in 2014.
It was a fun time. I got to study and live abroad, travel quite a bit for the conferences and meet new people. But linguistics was never really my true passion. My true passion had always been health and fitness.
When I moved to Berkeley in 2012 as a part of my PhD program, my life changed in so many aspects.
Just before moving there I had developed a bad depression. When I think of it now, there were two major reasons: studying and working on something that I didn’t enjoy and being in a wrong relationship.
I constantly made myself to do things that I didn’t enjoy because they seemed like good things and I was supposed to like them–or that's what I thought.
Meeting all those fun people in the Bay area and hearing their amazing stories made me realize that I do have a choice. I can make a change. I get to change things that I'm not happy with.
To get over my depression and move on with my life, I had to stop doing the work I didn’t enjoy and quit the relationship I didn’t feel comfortable in.
Together with a professional help, it was running and exercising that kept me sane and helped me through the hard times. I was always happier when I worked out.
When my friends and family members started to ask my help in creating them exercise plans or eating better, I was more than happy to do it and even happier to see that my advice was actually helpful. People loved their results.
I started to realize that through fitness I can create value to other people while enjoying it myself.
In spring 2014 I signed up for NASM Personal Trainer Certification program. I was extremely excited when the study book came in the mail! I studied several hours every day, passed the test and am now working as a personal trainer and devoting almost all my time to health and fitness.
Figuring Out Female Hormones
During all this time though, I suffered from lack of periods, known as hypothalamic amenorrhea. While I loved to move a lot, at one point my exercise became too stressful for my body. My goal had shifted from becoming a better runner to lose more and more weight. As a result of over exercising and under eating, I lost my period for many years.
The issue was that no doctor told me that there's anything wrong or dangerous about it. It wasn't until 2016 when I learned that not having a period is actually dangerous for your health.
My unhealthy relationship with food and fitness started about 10 years ago when I started running excessively. There were a lot of ups and downs, but seven years after this mess started, I was able to really fix my relationship with exercise and food and get rid of binge eating. However, the overtraining that I had done years ago was still affecting me and my hormonal balance.
To restore my period, I had to change my lifestyle completely–and I did. I didn't get back only my cycle, but also my sleep, clear thinking, good mood, energy, sex drive and more.
Now, my goal is to help people get fit–physically and mentally, without going to extremes and hurting their bodies. I'm happy to help you on this journey too.
DISCLAIMER: I am not a licensed medical professional. All views expressed on this website are based on my own personal research and experiences. Please consult your doctor with any medical issues before beginning a training program.