What My Period Taught Me

I’m one of those people who is a little too open and honest about personal topics. The topics that other’s would consider awkward.

So people who know me weren’t surprised when my news of getting my period (after being absent for 2 years) nearly went viral.

Now I completely understand that it’s not glamorous to talk about your menstrual cycle, I get it. But what is glamorous, is being healthy.

Getting my periods was my indicator that I was at my ideal weight .My body was absorbing all the nutrients it needed to function properly and recover from the neglect and abuse I once put it through.

I don’t agree with an exact goal weight that comes from using the BMI. Everybody is different and functions better at their own individual weight.

One of the many arguments with my doctor over the years was about getting me to my “goal” weight. Go figure! (no pun intended).

My doctor was all for the pill. In fact, every doctor I spoke with recommended the pill.

This was because when a woman doesn’t ovulate and her hormones are out of balance, calcium and other nutrients aren’t properly absorbed by the body. This then can lead to fragile, brittle bones  and one day osteoporosis.

So by going on the pill and reaching a certain weight that is based on the BMI is exactly what I was being forced to do.

I didn’t want anything to do with the pill. I didn’t want a synthetic period that hides the real issue as to why I’m not getting my own period. I was also aware that the pill takes away many other nutrients from your body and don’t even get me started on how it affects my mood.

Using the BMI as a reference often got me fixated on a certain number based on others when I should be learning to listen to my own body.

I’m glad I stood my ground and stood up for my beliefs on this one.

I have learned to trust my body and not to compare it to others. I won’t lie and say it was easy because it was painfully hard, and some days it still is but knowing that the hard work has paid off, I know now that it was worth it.

Something common among people who suffer from eating disorders is their interest in health and nutrition.

Friends and family often don’t understand this because it is completely contradicting.

Many suffers of anorexia are very knowledgeable about nutrition. Many pursue it as a career, but in the peak of their illness, the meaning of health is disordered.

Its common that suffers often started their diet with the intension to get healthier which then turned into an eating disorder.

When the results from a new diet become visible and your health and energy levels are improving it’s easy to get carried away and take it further.

Not everyone requires the same nutritional needs. This is also why I am against common weight loss diets and programs because everybody is different and requires specialised programs to suit their own unique needs.

For example, the diet and exercise program that once helped me shed a little weight, gave me more energy and helped my overall health and wellbeing became toxic when I stuck with the diet for a long period of time.

When your body weight drops below a healthy level, the fat around your brain also drops so the way you think is altered.

When all fats, including the healthy fats are completely removed from your body, you are more prone to depression. Your body won’t receive all the nutrients that it needs. Energy levels drop and before you know it your overall health is spiralling down and soon it becomes out of control.

So even when people, like myself ate extremely healthy foods during anorexia and through recovery it doesn’t mean that your “healthy” diet is healthy for you or the person next to you.

This is the one thing that took me a long time to deal with.

Through recovery I ate an amazing diet.

Friends and colleges were amazed by how many nuts, avocado’s, seeds and oils I ate every single day and said if they ate that much they would balloon.

Why anyone would say that to someone with an eating disorder is beyond me but as much as that pained me to hear those comments, my body needed those nutrients to help my brain and my body recover.

With all of those amazing healthy fats and wholesome nutrition, I put on weight but it happened extremely slowly. I didn’t balloon at all. (Though some days I felt like I did, which was all in my disordered thinking).

So now that I have reached my goal weight and on the way to being glamorously healthy, what now?

Stay tuned…

As always, I love reading your comments!

Be kind to yourself,

Lisa x

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15 Comments

Filed under Body Image, Health

15 responses to “What My Period Taught Me

  1. This was a very interesting read!
    I totally agree with you on not using the pill to give you a “fake” period! I have often not been regular, and I like your ideas of good diet, etc. And yes, that diet is different for everyone! But a great variety of good, nutritious foods can certainly only help one’s cycle. 🙂

    Bonnie

  2. Jess

    Exactly my issue now. Lost weight from disordered eating and they put me on progrestorone- which didn’t do anything. Being thin is more important to me than evoluating. Unfortunately. One day though, one day…

    • Hi Jess,
      Im sorry to hear that you are struggling.
      Keep being positive and working hard to over coming challenges each week.
      Its a horrible illness that pretends to be your friend but it drags you down to loneliness.
      There’s a light at the tunnel and I hope my story shows you that 🙂

  3. Thank-you for sharing this. I have been recovering from an ed for over 4 years. Now I have been at a healthy weight for 6 months, but my period had yet to return.
    I completely agree with what you said here, the healing process is a long road.<3

    • Hi Laura,
      Thanks your your comment!
      Congrats for getting to your goal weight! Thats such awesome news!
      It will take a while for your cycle to kick in. I believe by eliminating chemicals out of your diet, so it doesnt mess around with your hormones helps.
      Was your goal weight based from a BMI?
      x

      • Thanks! What do you mean by chemicals? I am not currently eating any that I am aware of. My healthy weight range is 120-130 pounds.

      • Any chemicals in foods such as additives and preservatives, flavor enhances , food coloring ect and limiting caffeine aswell (sorry if your a coffee girl!)
        It all takes time though. Are you finding recovery getting easier?

      • Oh okay I see. I don’t eat any of those except for two cups of coffee a day.
        Recovery is easier now that I am not afraid to eat when I am hungry, but I wonder if I ever will truly be free of an ed. How is it for you?

  4. Great post and congratulations on getting your period after so long!! Your bodies way of thanking you for treating it kind again, that’s pretty amazing 🙂

  5. Chelsie @ Balance, Not Scale

    Lisa — thank you. Ohmygoodness. I wish I could say it a trillion times over.
    I’m on the cusp of moving from strong recovery into true recovery into LIVING without ED whatsover, and I’ve been really, really struggling to make those final transitions. I’m not quite sure what I’m holding on to, but I know that whatever it is, it’s still toxic.
    I haven’t gotten my period in what’s going on nearly 30 months … and before that, it was never, ever regular. Honestly, I’ve been scared to get it back in a way because that would mean my weight is at a point that I never thought it would be again. At the same time, I really, really want kids someday, and I DO want health, recovery and all the physical and mental benefits that come along with it. You’ve made the prospect infinitely more attractive. So thank you, again and again. Thanks. 🙂 ❤

  6. Congratulations on your body showing another sign of recovery! A great insightful post into the wonder of our bodies.

  7. Absolutely awesome post! Very well written girly and congrats on your period! I too am very honest and open, sometimes too much[?] 😛

  8. Min

    It’s taken me a long time to recognise this but my body definitely lets me know when I’m not a healthy weight. I swear as soon as my BMI goes under 19 my periods disappear. Only a few kilos less than that and my brain seems to almost seems to only half function. It’s taken ten years to see that for myself my body functions best when my BMI is 20-21. As you said everyone’s healthy weight is individual.

    My diet also changed from vegetarian to vegan 17 months ago. I was heavier than I am now and I think becoming vegan helped to stabilise my weight. My mind has trouble comprehending that I’m not fat, especially after days when I’ve overeaten, but it’s a working progress and trying to listen to the rational part of myself rather than my Hyde telling me that only consuming air is an awesome idea :/

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