I’m super excited to share with you a post by fellow Health Coach & Blogger, Ritta. Ritta is a certified Holistic Health Coach from The Institute for Integrative Nutrition. Her mission is to help women develop a healthy relationship with food, their body and exercise. Because she overcame Orthorexia, Depression, Exercise Addiction and Amenorrhea, she now coaches women who are going through similar struggles. You can connect with Ritta on her website. And also connect on social media at YouTube, Instagram, Facebook
Do you have a favorite genre of music? How about a favorite brand of clothing? Why is it that we don’t let anyone tell us what kind of music we should listen to, what hobbies to have, what clothes to wear, or what our relationships should be like? Yet we let others tell us WHAT foods to eat, HOW much to eat, and WHEN to eat it?
Our ancestors were never told what to eat or how much to eat. They definitely never worried about calories! Animals don’t think to themselves “hmm, what should I eat today and how much?” They just sniff the food and use their instincts to determine whether or not they want it.
Not long ago, I had lost myself in over-exercising and Orthorexia.
I let myself obsess over health to the point where I became very unhealthy, lost my period and struggled with Hypothalamic Amenorrhea for a year and a half. I was waking up every day at 5.30 a.m. to get in a 30 minute workout, go to a very active job, and come home to workout once more for another 30-60 minutes. In my head, I thought the more the better. I would do this at least 6 days a week, all while counting every single calorie, eating fat free, low carb, vegan, paleo, etc. Whatever my Orthorexic mind told me was a healthy way to eat at the time, I’d try it.
My body started to “scream” at me begging me to stop the unhealthy behaviors, but I kept on ignoring it. I was depriving my body of sleep, overspending it and doing unnecessary tough workouts. I also ignored the other symptoms I was having such as hair loss, loss of appetite, loss of libido, pale skin, constant soreness, fatigue and so on. It wasn’t until my body decided to shut off my reproductive system and made me lose my period, that I finally started to listen to it. Sometimes we have to go through rough times and get a kind slap in the face in order to wake up and get out of our heads.
In the process of me trying to get my period back I learned so much about myself and my body.
I learned that my eating disorder and exercise addiction were never really about food and body. It was all about control. At the time, I was going through depression and that made me feel out of control with my life. The only way I knew how to cope with my depression and stress was to control my food and to “run” away from my problems through a tough workout. The workouts gave me a temporary relief from my problems. Although I was working out in an unhealthy way, the temporary relief was worth it to me. That’s why I’m grateful I lost my period.
Firstly, it taught me a ton about myself and my body. Had I not gone through what I went through, I would’ve never learned this much about myself. Secondly, you can’t heal anything you hate and resent (Amenorrhea). You have to make peace with it, acknowledge it and thank it for what it’s teaching you. Then you can start your healing process from a positive mindset.
I knew all the basics of how to get my period back such as managing stress, eating more, exercising less, sleeping more, meditating, eliminating caffeine and accepting my natural body size. I did all of those things and I did see a lot of improvement. However, I still wasn’t getting my period back with just that. It wasn’t until I realized that I needed to stop being such a perfectionist and so controlling that I finally got my period back! I had a lot of masculine energy in me. It’s very IMPORTANT to have masculine energy, but when you’re trying to get your period back, do you see how important it is to have a feminine approach to it?
Consider asking yourself the following questions:
Where in your life are you being a control freak? In what area(s) 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? Maybe it’s as simple as getting on your knees and praying to God?
I learned to let go of control and and to strengthen my faith in God. This is something I never found online when I was trying to get my period back. That’s why I want to share this with you. I know how important this last piece to the puzzle is. This is a very spiritual piece of advice, but it’ll make a huge difference in your overall health and life.
However, for a more practical tip, I’d say sleep has been one of the most important things in my health and in getting my period back.
Having a very low body fat percentage, an eating disorder and exercise addiction affected my sleep. Gaining weight has helped me greatly in getting better sleep. I also put other things into practice to help me sleep better. I created a sleep sheet that contains my favorite teas for relaxation, favorite bed time yoga routine and a couple of affirmations. You can download that here if sleep is something you struggle with. You can also watch this video where I share the best tips on how to sleep better.
Your body is the smartest bio computer, and it knows exactly what it needs in order to feel its best. If you choose to listen to it, it’ll be the best thing you could do for your health. Listen to your body, make mistakes and through trial and error, and you’ll learn better lessons than any doctor/specialist can give you.