Positives of Recovering from Hypothalamic Amenorrhea

I asked women in my new facebook support group to tell me about one thing (or more) positive about recovery or working toward recovery, which they did not expect. Some responses are shared below…

Lindsay: a sense of freedom and ease and ability to go with the flow that I had been missing since I was a teenager and that I never thought would come back.

Oh, another one: when my husband says, “Doesn’t a burger sound good tonight?” not having to make things difficult and try to convince him to go somewhere healthy and insist that I don’t really like burgers ā€¦ and just get to enjoy the freaking burger together! With a side of fries!

One more, because there are so many: when I first get home after being on a long flight, not having to go on a run before I even unpack my bags and instead just collapsing on the couch and ordering takeout.

Florence: Less anxiety, babies, ice cream, support from all of my fellow HA ladies into motherhood, boobs and poops, not waking up hungry at night, my hair growing back, feeling like a normally functioning woman, saving my bones, sleeping better, spending more time with my family and friends, holidays without a single workout, not going round with my tupperwares, eating socially, finally using my time for something i love & aiming to save the world, discovering a more fun, more balanced person inside of me.

Nicole: Not having to worry about when to eat, what to eat, and listening my body tell me what it wants. My eating used to revolve around an IBS and paleo diet as well as my workout schedule – no more of that taking up space in my head.

Oh, and my laughter is so much deeper now. Happiness feels amazing, like its own high.

Louisa: Realised that restricting myself and stressing around food/exercise was 100% the reasons behind my gut issues. Since eating everything I’ve actually been pretty ok!

Also, Sleeping in, not having to schedule my week around my workouts, desserts, a pretty much healed digestive system, freedom around food, just food in general, boobs, oh and you ladies!
Also as I’m not yet recovered just knowing there’s more that will improve is all the motivation I need to keep going šŸ’ŖšŸ» x

Sarah: Crying. Like full body weeping. You know that saying, “have a good cry?” I haven’t been able to do this for months and it’s felt strange. In the past week (just went all in), I’ve wept and I feel I’ve been cracked open in a healthy way.

Mary: Resurrection of my libido!

Corey: Realizing how high strung I was, and how my anger was on a hair trigger!! I was ALWAYS planning out the food I was going to eat, or rehashing the food I had just eaten. I still focus on food a lot, but now it’s looking forward to all the great stuff I get to eat, and enjoying it! I also didn’t expect all of the stories and personal growth shared in NPNW to apply to me as closely as it did…man, did I try to fight it! “But that’s not ME…. I’M not like that….” šŸ˜

Liz:Ā  I no longer feel out of control around food. I don’t feel disgusting anymore for feeding my body what it needs or weighing what it wants to (for the most part, there are some bad days). I had a list of “bad” foods I thought were poison to me (because if I had ever binged on them they went on this list of supposed poison trigger foods) much longer than the list of foods that I deemed pure and wouldn’t cause binging (protein veggies select oils). I had to go to the gym every day sort of like paying for an ok day. If I didn’t get to it for some reason I felt like it was an automatic terrible day. I’m definitely not in the best place but so much better and I’m so grateful. I usually am grateful to nourish my body. I try to eat mostly foods that I believe are nutritious for my body and feel grateful for that. If I am hungry or crave something I don’t usually think it’s an urge to binge but maybe that… I’m hungry and my body is telling me. I no longer eat salad for every single meal… I no longer feel like many of the foods I thought were poison are (some I do still struggle with… it takes time and is a journey to completely free myself and don’t know if I’ll ever get there… but the list is def a lot smaller)… I can eat all u can eat sushi sometimes usually no guilt. Chocolate sometimes ā¤ļø… I’m happy to enjoy a treat once in a while and see now that I can have one or two when I want and not have a compulsion to stay up and binge on 20 like I feared)… I can walk some mornings (hope to get back to running sometime bc I enjoy it) and others rest if I don’t feel like it… and it’s not the end of the world and I can function and have an ok day without exercise. So there are a lot. I have a way to go and there are def some weird thoughts about food still but I’m in a much better place and someday if I’m a mom I feel I’ll pass on much better attitudes that I would have.

Oh another very random that i was thinking of recently during a discussion with someone… i used to have major bladder issues for most of the time i had HA. I thought i might have interstitial cystitis as I frequently had infections, and even when I didn’t i often felt burning and sharp pain sensations… very strange another thing no one could quite figure out šŸ™ It mysteriously went away around when I recovered from HA. I have never had any pain or a bladder infection since. I can’t help but wonder if it was related to my super low estrogen levels…

Erika: Bladder issues is a symptom of low estrogen. šŸ˜Š I had them, too. Mine was more frequency (now if I go in the middle of the night it’s 1X where used to be as much as 4Xs). Also if I had to go, I had to go. Extreme urgency. Some of mine could have also been kidney function just from low body weight, too.

This is just a sampling of the comments. Are you ready to dive into YOUR recovery and discover how your life will change?

<3

Nico

Some new reviews

I am so utterly thrilled by the reception of our hypothalamic amenorrhea/female athlete triad recovery book so far – we seem to have met our goal of providing a resource that can help women to recognize what habits might be less than healthy, and encourage and support them through making the necessary changes. I’ll let other’s words speak for themselves.

Ashlee, in an HA support group on facebook:

Nicola Rinaldi I just wanted to tell you how much your book settled all my feelings towards HA. I bought it last night and read the whole thing already. I have to say I’m in the medical field and felt silly that I didn’t know much about the science behind HA. Now I feel good about going to my first RE appointment coming up and what to expect. I can’t express how thankful I am to have all you wonderful role models in this group. I am continuing to gain weight and reduce exercise. Normally when I get stressed I eat less and run more. I now am doing the opposite and doing really well. So since this post is getting super long in conclusion I just wanted to thank everyone for being amazingly strong. I hope to not only have success in pregnancy in the future, but just as important to focus on actually living life and not focusing on and obsessing over what I “think I need to look like”.

V, in response:

Ditto to Ashlee! My husband just read the chapter for partners last night, and we both can’t stop talking about it. He said it feels like you (Nico) know my wife so well, and it gives him such encouragement to know we can get through this!

Amanda, in a different facebook group:

Loving chapter 11, Nicola Rinaldi! So many heartfelt nuggets of understanding, motivation, and inspiration! LOVE it! And just what I needed to read this morning.šŸ’œšŸ’œ

Lauren, via email:

I’m only a little way in, but it’s making me feel better already… I’ve had HA since coming off the mini-pill three and a half years ago. (Plus no periods for eight years whilst I was on that pill, since the docs said that was a “normal” side effect… Plus wonky cycles even before that — in hindsight, probably due to constant dieting.)

I genuinely didn’t realise it could have anything to do with my food intake/exercise until less than a year ago… No doctor ever mentioned it as a possibility, and I thought I was super “healthy”… Anyway, I’ve gained 20lbs over the past few months and have been really struggling with keeping up my resolve, so I feel like I stumbled on your book at just the right time!

Thank you so much for helping me feel like I’m not alone… And giving me hope that I still might get my period back!

Marcy, via facebook message:

Just finished your book, it is amazing, as I read I identified with so much of it, thank you for guiding me through making changes to my lifestyle and essentially starting to get my life back. I am only at the beginning of my journey to recovery but I feel so inspired, in fact I think I will read it again to reconfirm and keep me on track, thank you so much, I look forward to feeling better about myself, my health and all the wonderful times that lay ahead for me!!!

Sarah, in another facebook group:

The knowledge and women in this book helped restore my health and bring this little beauty into my life. “No Period. Now What?” continues to save me because honestly with breastfeeding I wasn’t eating enough and after reading a few chapters I changed my ways to keep HA at bay. So inspiring to be reminded that food is fuel and when given what it needs my body can be a baby-making machine. Thanks Nicola, Lisa, and Stephanie!!!

Lindsay

Hi, I got my copy of the book yesterday and am already like halfway done. Thank you so much for writing this! It totally affirmed my decision to cut out running entirely for the time being. It does a great job of explaining why “recovery” levels of exercise should be different from normal levels of exercise, and even if I’m not exercising excessively, it’s still a good idea to majorly cut back. Continue reading

Kristen

I have to say, in the few chapters I’ve read so far it has been the best reading material for HA. I lost my period about 18 months now and I am at the stage where eating and gaining weight is absolutely terrifying for me. I went from 184 to 118 to currently 134 and I want to train for the NYC marathon this summer. Reading about your journey and the other women’s has really hit home. I hope I have the strength one day to make myself healthy again. Just know that this book is very special, especially for people like me whose doctors, nutritionists, etc have said I was OK without my period so essentially gave me no guidance.

Lara

No Period. Now What? is awesome. I’ve never seen a book with such a balance of science and humanity. I love that every single page is speckled with our stories. It’s like reading my own diary. And then it’s all backed up with more research that I ever knew existed. I can’t imagine the amount of work that went into this. Your dedication is unreal. It fills me with pride – for you, for all of us, for all our beautiful babies. And I know it will fill future readers with hope and strength. Your impact is immeasurable

More from Amanda R.

I have just finished Part 2 of the book and I am still really enjoying reading. It struck home for me and I found going through some of it quite emotional (and I don’t think that’s just pregnancy hormones!). I could identify with so much and also realized how hard I will have to work to stop heading back in to HA land after I have the baby – I don’t think I have completely recovered really and the book certainly brought that out for me. Anyway, short summary – thumbs up!!

Kelly

NoCalorie-Counting

I just wanted to update you on an unexpected benefit to stopping my calorie counting. Almost two months now and I haven’t kept track of calories for one day. I’m still feeling good, and loving new, healthy foods. What I didn’t expect? My relationships with people are SO much better and growing deeper all around. In hindsight, why? Because I now have the mental energy to CARE deeply about others rather than just counting calories! It amazes me, and I am so thankful to God for giving me you ladies and for giving me a kick in the butt. My only regret is that I didn’t do this sooner!

Amanda R.

Two Girlfriends Enjoy A Casual Conversation

IĀ  really like the mix between the science and the personal stories and how the book is written in a way that makes me imagine it’s a conversation with a friend rather than just a stuffy reference book šŸ™‚