Hypothalamic amenorrhea. It’s one of the hardest parts of recovery. It’s HARD not to compare your exercise to someone else’s or your amount of stress or what you eat, even if you feel like you’re eating a great deal of food, resting enough, and you still don’t have your period. I’ve posted numerous times over the years about it, and I’m coming at you with encouraging news. It’s hard and long, but it’s worth it.
5 years ago (when I didn’t have my period at all)
Wow, that’s a lot of posts, and these are all just me walking through my own personal experience with HA. It’s hard, because the more you realize how important it is to get a period, the more you realize how much damage you did to your body by restricting food and exercising too much. But the good news is:
A period is regainable.
Jesus can heal.
And the rest, the food that comes with it bring more freedom.
As of now, I can say, my body has found more of a happy balance with not too much exercise and enough food. I’ve found out that:
(Happy and Healthy and Very rarely weighing myself anymore. Also I’ve had more periods in the past 2 years than I had in 8+ years)
1) My body is VERY sensitive to any restriction or lots of long distance running. – Last year I spent a lot of time training for a marathon, and though I had had a period for the first few months of the year, I didn’t really have a period any of the time during the marathon training. So, right when I cut back to: more strength training and more food, less cardio (which is more stressful for my body), my body started to feel safe again.
2) Do NOT compare your exercise routine with other ladies who may be able to exercise more and still have their periods. – You are walking a road that is only yours, and keep submitting that journey to the Lord. Don’t follow people on Instagram that you will compare yourself to and feel like you have to exercise like them in order to be ‘healthy.’ If you don’t have your period, I learned, ‘You aren’t healthy,’ and we as women need that period.
3) Eat. Eat. Eat, and don’t look at ‘calorie needs’ for women, because they just lead to more obsession and less freedom. – I found that I needed so much more food than they ‘recommend’ even if you’re trying to ‘build muscle.’
4) Surround yourself with people who have a normal relationship with food and exercise. – Learn from them and remember that that’s why God gave us each other. Friends can sharpen us, give us wise advice, help us know when we’re being too obsessed with calories or food or exercise. The close friends you have (AKA: often your family members) will often know best how to walk with you through those hard decisions.
If you’re struggling with seeing that food and rest as a gift, meditate on these verses, one of them being Jesus talking to His disciples about coming away and resting.
Mark 6:31, ‘And he said to them, “Come away by yourselves to a desolate place and rest a while.” For many were coming and going, and they had no leisure even to eat.’
Psalm 65:11-13, ‘You crown the year with Your goodness,
And Your paths drip with abundance.
12 They drop on the pastures of the wilderness,
And the little hills rejoice on every side.
13 The pastures are clothed with flocks;
The valleys also are covered with grain;
They shout for joy, they also sing.’
The Lord provided that food. It’s out of His abundance. The Lord wants you to come aside and have that leisure to rest and eat and just abide in His presence.
Don’t let the world tell you otherwise. I know it’s hard. I know it can be a long road, but cry out to the Lord and ask Him to help you every step of the way!
Have you had struggles with amenorrhea?
Were there some hard steps you had to make to recover?
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