E5: The Power of Taking Back The Narrative: PCOS & Bullying

Brittany Schlater is an 84+ kg open powerlifter from Ontario, Canada. You may also know her as a 3x Canadian champion and 2021 IPF Worlds Gold Medalist. You may have heard of the infamous Reddit thread that was dedicated to bullying her over her appearance - due to the physical symptoms of her polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) - and questioned her drug-tested status because of her extraordinary strength. The ongoing abuse nearly made her take her own life, and when brought to light, shook the powerlifting community. In this episode, Brittany takes back the narrative and shares her story which teaches us that you never know what someone has and is going through and that bullying is never okay.


  • Passing of baby sister and divorce of parents
  • Feelings of guilt, depression, and self-harming/suicidal ideation beginning at 6 years old
  • Raising herself in the new family dynamic
  • Feelings of guilt and deserving of punishment permeating throughout Brittany’s life
  • Stressful teenage years as an LGBTQ+ youth
  • Dealing with dysfunctional thought patterns
  • Starting powerlifting but using it as a “socially acceptable” version of self-harming
  • Catalytic mental health crisis at the gym and medical emergency
  • Developing a healthier relationship with powerlifting
  • How powerlifting helps Brittany’s mental health
  • Panic attack during last squat warm up at 2021 IPF Worlds
  • Mental health lessons learned from 2021 IPF Worlds
  • What is polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS)?
  • The Reddit Ordeal: how Brittany found the thread, the thread itself, and what happened immediately after (including becoming suicidal)
  • Moving forward from the Reddit Ordeal by taking back the narrative
  • Getting back into powerlifting
  • Closing questions


Brittany Schlater:
IG: https://www.instagram.com/bertlebee/

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