Please excuse the onslaught of deep posts as of late—let’s just say that God has been slowly “peeling back the blinders” over these past few weeks. Please also be advised that if you just so happen to be 1 of the 2 male Itty Bits readers, you may become mildly uncomfortable with this post because of the amount of “women talk” that is about to go on up in hurr.
Now that I’ve sufficiently scared you, I have a confession to make: I haven’t been treating my body well.
Yes, I eat my fruits and veggies. Sure, I exercise consistently. But there has been one daunting factor that I’ve been avoiding, for fear of not being able to handle it, gaining a few pounds, or worse—losing control of my body. Thankfully because of some amazing women, this problem has been continuously slapping me across the face over these past few months—so often that I had no choice but to finally push my reservations aside and face the predicament head-on.
As of June of 2011, I have been period-less. To be quite honest, I initially thought of this as a blessing in disguise. I mean, who the heck wants to deal with that nonsense once a month? But as time rolled on and I progressively grew more concerned, I began to plug all of the clues together.
After 21 years of living inside of an overweight body, I finally reached my “healthy weight” in January of 2011.
But this wasn’t enough. Rather, I wasn’t enough.
I began to restrict my diet to the point where I was eating 800-1000 calories less than what was recommended for my naturally active lifestyle. Will & I started dating. I felt the pressure of being a “beautiful girlfriend”. I restricted through the months of February to March,
all the way to June.
According to society’s standards, yes I may have looked “healthy”, but according to my body, I was NOT. At the time, however, I was SO enthralled by seeing the pounds drop, SO excited about seeing my collar bones more pronounced, that I didn’t even link the losing of my period with the loss of this weight.
And I didn’t stop there–
By the end of the summer (and into the start of Itty Bits) I had lost more weight than my body could handle, ALL of it concentrated within 4-5 months. As I started to study for NASM and face the scientific facts about intake and dietary needs, I managed to coax myself into believing that “I was different” and that “my metabolism was slower and didn’t follow the rules.” Then I read Ashley’s initial post on the issue back in February and started to link the period & weight-loss together, yet still believed the lies that my case was different.
A week later, I was prescribed progesterone to give my period the jump-start it needed. It didn’t work. I went on birth control and got my period ONCE. I went off of it and nada.
In April, Ashley posted again about the condition and put a name to it: Hypothalamic Amenorrhea (HA). It was no surprise that two of the causes are “over-exercising” and “extreme weight-loss”. I started to look more into HA, only to find additional evidence of the fact that I had unknowingly done this to myself, ALL for the sake of falling into society’s image of “perfection”. I wanted to be accepted, I wanted to be desirable, and I was willing to do anything to get there.
As I dove more into my recent pursuit of intuitive eating, I began to notice how often I had actually been ignoring my hunger cues– So much, that it’s been nearly impossible to listen to my body. I had been following so many stringent rules and standards when it came to my diet that my body no longer trusted my judgment, no longer gave me “hungry” and “full” cues, and took away a piece of my womanhood to boot.
However, this past weekend was a major wake-up call for me. I finally opened up to Will about what I had been convicted of and he was so supportive that it brought my emotions to the forefront. All of this time I was putting so much energy into being someone else. I was preaching healthy living and promoting resistance from the “skinny media”, yet drinking all of the poison myself.
And now it’s time to bite the bullet.
I sincerely apologize if some of you feel misled or misguided, but please remember that I am only human and am FAR from perfect. It took me a long time to finally commit to writing this post and opening up about my issue for that exact fear, but in the end I decided that if there is even the slightest possibility of bringing awareness to at least ONE person out there, this will all be more than worth it.
From this point forward I plan on doing something that I should have been doing from the start: Eating real food. The occasional indulgence in-between puny meals wont cut it. I’m committing to nourishing my body, training it to trust me again, and embracing myself for who I am, curves and all.