Have you lost your period? Today I’m talking about my experience and How to Get Your Period Back After Hypothalamic Amenorrhea!
PIN How to Get Your Period Back
The blog post that everyone has been asking me to write is finally here. And, it’s gonna be long.
How to get your period back after HA, which is what hypothalamic amenorrhea is abbreviated to.
I went down this road to recovery about a year ago now and like I said in the Sunday reflection a few weeks ago, I feel free.
I no longer obsess over what I eat, or what I don’t eat.
I don’t obsess over exercise. In fact, I took 9 months off from it!
I don’t obsess over my body. Yes, there are days where I don’t love it and think about it more than I prefer, especially after having gained weight to heal. But, I think about it a whole lot less than when I was thinner! Which is still so crazy to me.
I don’t think about food ALL THE TIME and plan what I am going to eat the next day the day before.
I don’t fear planned OR spontaneous meals out anymore. I don’t have google what is on the menu before.
AND SO MANY MORE THINGS.
And super importantly? I got my period back. Which isn’t the most enjoyable thing lol BUT it’s important because it’s typically a key indicator that a body is functioning. Although it is not THE key indicator. There are women who don’t lose their period but still have very poor relationship with food and exercise.
What is Hypothalamic Amenorrhea?
This is the fancy term for when a woman loses here period because she is under a weight that HER body wants to be (and is not dictated by BMI charts) or because she is exercising too much/too intensely. It can also be a combination of the both.
I lose mine due to being underweight and I assume exercise played a part in it. And, honestly, I think I lost mine for 10 years but I only discovered it 2 years before I started recovery when I went off the birth control pill. But, I was the same weight for the previous 8 years so I imagine I would not have had one then either.
Many women think they are healthy because they have their period on birth control and this really only masks the fact that something is wrong.
What Helps Get Your Period Back
Alright, now that we know was HA is, how do we heal it?
I’m going to be honest with you, the road to recovery is hard and scary. But it’s also worth it.
Step 1: Read the book “No Period Now What.” This book changed my life and goes really in depth to the recovery process that I am going to briefly outline here. It is a MUST READ for anyone who is struggling with this.
Step 2: Eat a minimum of 2500 calories per day. YES you read that right. And that is a MINIMUM, not a maximum. I had days where I ate much more than that in early recovery.
Note: the goal at the end of recovery is to not count calories. But counting at the beginning can be very helpful for those who overestimate what they eat (like I do) to make sure they are getting enough nourishment.
Your body needs a lot more calories than you think it does to function well. And, during the recovery time, it needs EVEN MORE to repair all the damage done from not having enough energy.
Step 3: Quit intense exercise
Really, the best practice is to quit all exercise for the time being.
I did 3 months of just walking and then slowly added back a couple days of yoga and that is what I did for the rest of the 6 months until I recently started to SLOWLY add back lifting last month.
Not only is this important for the physical repair part of recovery, but for the mental part as well.
I really resisted giving up exercise, and didn’t do it at first because I was really terrified. But, if I would not have given it up, I don’t think my mind would be where it was today. Where I will never ever freak out over missing a workout (or a lot of workouts) because I did it for 9 months.
Exercise also feels really different now. It’s not a “have to” it’s a “get to” and it leaves me feeling energized instead of tired.
Step 4: Do all this until you have at least 3 periods.
For me to get one period it took 6 months. Some people are much less and some are much more. Everyone is different and there is no way to know how long it will take you. After you have 3 periods you can slowly start to transition into a more intuitive eating style of eating OR slowly add back in exercise.
But not both at the same time because if your next period is MIA then you won’t know what the culprit was!
Will you gain weight on this process? Honestly, more than likely.
But you know what? It’s not as awful as I thought it would be.
Like I said there are days where I miss my old body and being the “super fit girl” for sure. But I could still never go back to her because I truly LOVE my life now and I would never give up my life to lose a few pounds anymore and that is something I thought I would never say.
I lost my abs.
But, I gained my life.
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