Amenorrhea – how many of you have or still suffer from it? How badly do you wish to get your period back? And, here’s a good one; how badly do you want your period back WITHOUT having to let go of your disordered eating habits and exercise addiction? I personally didn’t want to have to gain weight and especially did not want to stop exercising.
My Personal Amenorrhea Recovery
I’ve already talked about amenorrhea and shared a little bit of my personal story when I was struggling with it, but today I’m getting a bit more personal. I have many tips to share, but if I could pick ONE tip that wasn’t the most obvious for me at the time it’d be this one I’m sharing today.
First of all I want to make it clear that everybody’s journey to recovery is completely different. What worked for me might not work for you. We’re all very bio-individual meaning that there isn’t ONE thing that’ll work for every person on earth. Just like with diet. Vegans swear that that theirs is THE best way to eat, while Paleo eaters can say the same. They think that just because it works for them it’ll work for everyone else on Earth. In my opinion this is a selfish way of thinking.
Therefor, listening to your body is key to achieving health. We’ve been taught to ignore our bodies, but our bodies never ignore us. When we get a craving, we ignore it or satisfy it instead of actually figuring out what it is our body is truly craving and asking us for…
Don’t worry if this is you, you’re not alone, and it’s not your fault that you’re treating your body poorly. Let me take you back about 4 years ago when I suffered from Amenorrhea;
When I was going through orthorexia and exercise addiction it was mostly about control. I felt like I didn’t have control over other aspects of my life, so I resorted to controlling my food and exercise. I grew up in Denmark and quickly had to act like an adult.
My family is from Iraq and we moved to Denmark when I was young. From a young age I was the “adult” of the house. I had to attend meetings for my parents to translate and I took care of my siblings. I got married and moved to the states and started to lose control of my life. Things are very different in Denmark than they are in the U.S.
It was like being born all over again, only this time as an adult. Not to be able to go and visit my family, especially my brother who is so dear to me was the most depressing thing in my life. The only way I felt like I could be back in control was by controlling my food and my weight. I brainwashed myself into thinking that I’d be happy when I looked, ate, behaved, and worked out a certain way. It gave me a false sense of control. Dieting does the same thing. I was using so much energy on food and exercise because it was distracting me from my deeper issues.
My Addiction Worsened
I realized quickly that exercise was the best stress buster for me. I became addicted to it, because it took my stress and depression away for the 1 1/2 I was working out everyday. I lost more and more weight, got stricter and stricter on myself, which lead to a long list of other health issues such as insomnia, loss of appetite, lack of libido and finally I lost my period!
This caused me even more stress, so I did a ton of research about it and discovered Amenorrhea. To make a long story short; all I could find online about getting your period back was “eat more, stop exercising and rest.” I knew I had to do all of those things in order to get my period back, but I just wasn’t willing to gain weight and stop exercising completely. I was still in that “control” mindset. I tried quitting exercise for 5 days and my body started aching and just went straight back to my old habits.
Therefor I decided that instead of stopping exercise completely I’d cut down a little bit. I was still eating the same amount of food, but exercising less. I was very surprised that I wasn’t gaining weight. I thought that if I exercised less, I would gain all the weight back. Then I increased my calorie intake while still exercising less, and I still wasn’t gaining that much weight! It blew my mind! I started being more and more curious and open to exploring things about my body.
Finally I realized how much more I actually had to eat in order to gain weight! I was slowly getting comfortable with being uncomfortable. Because that’s the only way you grow. Growth is an uncomfortable thing. But I was determined to get my period back. I was slowly letting go of being in control 100% of the time, and by doing so I was actually giving my body not only a chance to recover, but I was also letting my mind rest!
The Important Lesson I Learned
This was such an important step I took in my recovery. I stopped being in my own head, and didn’t let thoughts about food, body, and exercise take over my mind and my life. Instead, I was minimizing those thoughts and by doing so I was opening my mind, body and heart to new opportunities, new positive thoughts and new possibilities. It all started to click for me.
I started to focus more and more on what my heart and soul were truly hungry for. Once I started doing this day in and day out, all my other problems started to diminish! I got my period back without even trying so hard! I was still exercising and eating so much more than I used to. Although those two things were important, I think letting go of control played a much bigger role in the long run. Had I not developed a new mindset and a form of spirituality during my recovery journey, it would have been a much harder process and I would possibly still be suffering from those things. It wasn’t just about beating orthorexia and exercise addiction, it was about transforming my life! Transformation was the key was the key for me in overcoming my disorders. Like Einstein said;
“No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it.”
A very big lesson I learned was this;
Femininity is imperative to getting your period back. Demanding guarantees and results is very masculine. Having a femenine approach is key to your journey. Now consider asking yourself this following question;
-Where in your life are you being too much of a control freak? In what area can you allow yourself to begin letting go of control. Maybe it’s going to a restaurant without studying the menu a million times before you go. Maybe it’s by going for a nice walk instead of going to the gym. Or maybe it’s as simple as getting on your knees and praying to God? Just pick one little thing you could do right now to let go of control. Start taking action now, even if it’s just a small step.
If you found this tip helpful, please share it with anyone who’s going through eating disorders, exercise addiction, body image issues and/or amenorrhea.