Life without Anorexia

My motto is
'Dont let the sadness of your past & the fear of your future ruin the happiness of your present'

My life at the moment is completely different to how it once was. I spent 5 years sick with anorexia nervosia and depression as well as struggling with self harm and overexercising. I spent 2 years in different treatment centres.
And since 2012 i have been declared healthy from my eating disorder.

I have been blogging for 7 years, and my whole journey is written in my posts. I now represent healthy and happiness. I want to show anyone struggling that it is possible to recover, no matter how hard it may seem.

I now blog about recovery, my life, veganism and positivity!

If you have any questions leave them in the comment section as i am much quicker at answering there, otherwise you can always send an email: lifewithoutanorexia@hotmail.com

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Thursday, July 3, 2014

Getting your period back

I know  i have some guy readers, so this post might not interest you!! Hahah XD

One of the top questions I'm asked is about getting your period back. Surprisingly,  this was one of the things I never cared about. For most girls getting their period - Meaning they can have a child I  the future is one of their motivations to recover.

And it's a good motivator!! Because having your period is a sign that your body is healthy. For me... I've never been that interested in having kids. .. I've just said I would adopt. And it took a while for me to actually get my period back, and for it to become regular (about a year after I got it) So basically only this year has it been regular.

The answer you have been looking for: How to get your period back has pretty much already been answered in the comments (and thank you to those who answered) and it might not be the answer you are looking for or want... but Patience, a healthy weight and fat procent is what will get you your period back.
  I mean eating food in iron is good, and some need hormone tablets. But in the end... You need a healthy weight preferably a higher BMI (C. A 20+). After having an eating disorder it's extra important to have a higher weight because your body has been under so much stress and to feel healthy and safe and it needs that extra protection.  So even if you had a lower weight before you got sick, don't care about that.
   Also a certain fat procent. .... I know there are those who do strength training while recovering to build muscle instead of fat. But that doesn't help You. Your body needs fat.. Having fat DOESNT make you fat.
  Fat protects your organs, your brain, helps with different processes in the body. It's protection.  So without a healthy fat procent, you most probably won't get your period.

and then it comes to exercise.... the mistake I made, which is why I learned afterwards why it took so long for my period to become regular is because I was doing too much exercise. This is one of the reasons why you shouldn't do too much exercise or any hard core exercise during recovery.  Your body is already under so much stress, trying to repair its self.  Exercise adds stress. And this can lead to you becoming anemic or even infertile in some cases.  And like an anonymous pointed out, some athletes train so hard and so long that they don't have their period anymore... Also they can often have a low fat procent which doesn't make it better.

You have to think like this - Your period is a sign that your body is healthy,  that It would be able to carry a baby for 9 months. But if you are starving yourself, doing lots of exercise, don't have enough fat on your body... Your body doesn't feel healthy = no period.

So even if actually getting your period once a month sucks, it's actually a sign you are healthy. And let's be honest... having a reason to eat lots of chocolate and lie in bed all day & be moody at everyone isn't actually so bad ;) ;) ;)

Think of your health, body and future. Work on reaching your goal weight and eating enough. .. eating food with iron can help. If your period doesn't come back a few weeks or months after you've reached your goal weight, talk to a doctor :)

Hopefully this helps!
  

19 comments:

  1. Thank you so much for this post Izzy!!
    Now researching foods high in iron....:) although i don't know how i'll ever be able to get to a BMI of 20 and somehow be okay with it :/ I'm at around 19 - 19.5 now and still have fat feelings and absolutely don't want to gain anymore :( Do you think I'm able to get a period at this bmi?
    Thank you Izzy, you're amazing!
    - Kat

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    1. Although I don't have eating disorder, but I had bmi of 18 before, and I have my period. So, I think you can have your period at that bmi. However in your case, maybe you need to gain a few more pounds to have your period. It's just my opinion anyway i'm not a doctor. It's okay to gain more pounds, you are not going to be fat. Good luck and be strong! Fight the voice in your head Kat :)

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    2. Hi I'm a BMI of 19.5 now and feel exactly the same. Today I've decided no exercise at all and healthy fats all day such as milk, cheese, full fat ice cream and yogurts and nuts until I get my period back. My motivation to be healthy is finally greater than the motivation to be thin. Hope you can see this soon :

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  2. Thank you for all the hard work you are putting into this blog. I want you to know that logging in on this site and reading all your posts is one of the favorite part of my day as it gives me the strength to keep on fighting my ED and give my body the nutrition it needs. I have been without my period 1 year now (nothing at all for 12 months) and it's wierd because i have never been under 18,6 in BMI (as I have struggled with more or less intense ortorexia) and still my period went away... so therefore i'm confused if it really is my ED that has caused it (as i'm under the impression that you need to be severely underweight for your period to disappear). But maybe i'm wrong?

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    1. Hey... I think I might have the answer. Whether or not you are underweight, not providing your body with adequate nutrition, not consuming enough fat or restricting your intake in any way will effect your reproductive system before anything else in your body. This is just a sign to show you that something that you are doing is not healthy and definitely cannot be continued

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    2. You dont have to be underweight to lose your period, but if you are exercising too much, and putting too much stress on your body this can mess up your hormones and your body doesnt feel safe. Thats like athletes, they can have a healthy weight because of their muscle mass but dont have their period because they are exercising so much.
      So think of this... think of your body!!

      And thank you :)

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  3. The topic of periods stress me out so much ): I am 19 and have had one period in my whole life (randomly in November 2012 I had a period, even though I was still a little underweight - but I was on holiday and really relaxed and eating well, one of the few times in my life!). I had to get special blood work done, and the dr said I have no female hormones, which is bad, and the only way I can fix it is with weight gain. You think that would motivate me to gain quicker, right? Still doesn't -_-. But I'm a bit like you - having children doesn't bother me so it's hard to find the motivation, but the doctor said I can get osteoporosis and my bone density is already below average which is scary (mostly because I don't want to shrink aha!). But I gained a little this week so hopefully my body is starting to heal. What do you think is a good amount to gain each week when recovering? My psychologist says 0.5-1kg, but I think that's a little too much too quickly, I don't think I've ever gained that fast! I gained 200-300g this week, do you think that's good?

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    1. Gaining 0,5-1kg is the reccommended amount.. think like this if you're only gaining 200 or 300g gaining weight will take forever, it will feel liek all your life you are just trying to gain weight. And actually 0,5kg isnt alot.. think, if you need to gain around 5kg (or whatever amount) it will take you about 10 weeks to do that if you are aiming to gain 0,5kg a week.... Otherwise, it will take you even longer. And you will never reach that point where you can begin accpeting and loving your body at your healthy weight because you still need to gain weight.
      For me, there came a point where i just got so tired of having to gain weight, of having to eat soo much all the time. Not havuing the freedom to choose what i ate... i just wanted to reach that day where i was told, i no longer have to gain weight if i dont awnt to.. and could just start trusting my body, loving my body... living my healthy life instead of focusing everything on eating lots and gaining weight. It was like i was scared to move because i mioght lose weight, and that wasnt what i wanted... but i also wanted to go for walks and runs.

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  4. Hey Izzy! Thank you so much for this blog, it helped me awfully a lot in my recovery!
    Im just wondering, I am at a healthy bmi which is under 20, and ive been in recovery dor three months. Last month though, my period came but lasted no more than 5 days. Is this adequate and normal? Or do I still have to eat loads?

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  5. I don't have an ED but my BMI is only 12. I haven't had my period for almost a year and am trying to get it back. I was exercising but got no results. I will definitely look for foods with iron and healthy fats. Thank you! :)

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  6. Hey Izzy!
    I am 14 and only recently got my period back..about a week and a half ago.
    I was wondering what you did straight after you got yours back... were you exercising at all? Because i want to go swimming with my friends but i am worried that that will stop my period again and i will have to get it back again!
    Thank you so much for the blog!

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  7. Hi Izzy what did you eat to regain your period? I've managed to reach a BMI of 19.0 (my highest) before I decided to relax for a while and not think about having to eat more to gain weight. It caused me to drop down to a BMI of 17.7. I panicked and ate more again (lots and lots of nuts and cheese and peanut butter) and now I'm back to a BMI of 18.7. I've had a healthy BMI for at least 6 months already (except that recent accidental weight loss). What can I eat for my menses to return quickly?

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  8. Hi Izzy. Thank you so much for this blog in general! You've given me so much hope that true recovery is possible.You're a real inspiration. Every time I have an ED related question, I just pop on your blog, and normally find the answer - it's such a comfort. I'm currently at BMI 17.3 and am desperate to get my period back. I walk my dogs for around 45 minutes every day - do you think this is too much exercise? Thank you.

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  9. Hy Izzy its been 6mounths n I never had my periods so I have gained weight and i did about 5 pregnancy test n they all say negative and am worried becouse am just 17 yrs old

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  10. Hi. This blog has helped so much as I've been trying to recover from my ED. I have been see-sawing back and forth for the past four years in terms of my weight (I am 18 years old now). On Christmas of last year, I got my period back. Between then and now, it's gotten lighter and lighter until last month I just didn't have it at all. I cut out exercise from my day in hopes that would help my body. Last week, I was out of my weight range and my parents decided to try a Family Based Treatment plan. But then, suddenly, I got my period back! I was very happy and excited, but since I'm still under an 18.5 bmi, they still want me to gain more weight. I'm not sure what to do because I haven't been able to reach my dietician. I'm having a hard time trusting anyone right now and would appreciate any advice.

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  11. Hi Izzy. Thank you for posting this - I was just about to head to the gym to weight train. I've had mildly anorexic tendencies since I was 13, but had the major weight loss from ages 17-19. My BMI got down to 17.7 before I started having serious health issues. I got scared because I was trying to maintain that weight, but it kept dropping, and people were concerned, so I brought my BMI up to 18.7. Over the next year I allowed myself to gain 6 more pounds, and after learning more about anorexia and how it's what was causing me to be cold all the time and have kidney problems, I became willing to eat more. My BMI is just below 21, I'm giving my scale away, and I stopped taking stimulants, but I don't appear anorexic in the slightest anymore. I'm seeking a trauma therapist - did therapy targeted specifically at the ED make a difference for you?

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  12. Hi Izzy. I would really like your imput since you have gone through the same thing that I am currently going through. I had anorexia this year, and I have finally gone past the stage of denial and low self-esteem. But I still have to gain a lot of weight. I have a BMI of 15.6. Do you know any quick way that I can gain weight so that I can gain my period back?

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  13. Hi. I am 15 yrs old. I haven't gotten my periods within 3 months.( nearly 4 months). I have been eating less in last months. But now i am eating much and also taking vitamin pills. How much time it will take to take my periods back?

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  14. I'm 19 and I have had disordered eating for about 6 years that spiralled out of control about a year ago. My body naturally wants to be at a bmi of about 21. For about 6 months I restricted entire food groups to the extent that my diet was almost purely green vegetables and apples, purged frequently, recorded everything I ate and overexercised. I lost about 10kg of my already healthy frame over the course of 5 months. I became extremely depressed and my life spiralled out of control. Once I committed to recovery I gained all the weight back in about 1 month, which made me even more depressed. I have been in recovery for about 4 months. My metabolism is improving and my weight has stabilised (now at a bmi of ~20), and today I finally got my period back!!! I was so happy I cried. I have discovered that while some people may still have periods at lower bmis (17-18 etc), my body needs to be around 20. My message is that while recovery is fucking hard, it is so so worth it. It's incredible what I am able to accomplish when my mind isn't entirely preoccupied with thoughts of calories and the number on the scales. Another thing to add is that I have been vegetarian for years (for ethical/environmental reasons) and while I cannot advocate for that lifestyle enough, I don't think the restrictive mentality is conducive to my recovery, especially when I am studying full-time and working part time, and don't have the time/energy to create a properly balanced vegetarian diet (which takes meticulous planning and preparation). So for now put yourselves first. Good luck girls xxx

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