Amy's period recovery story
Updated: Mar 14
I GOT MY PERIOD AFTER 7 YEARS!!!!!
I woke up as normal last Friday but feel a little bit of uncomfortable on my lower abdomen. Then, I found some blood on my underwear when I went to the toilet! So so so surprised and grateful for it. Want to share the joy and story with all of you!
My story (quite long since there are many stages during this 7 years):
I’m almost 21. I started my period when I was 13, which was also the same time I started my unhealthy diet to lose weight. I avoided eating animal products because I thought they would “make me fat.” (Now knowing that it was very ridiculous thought.) I skipped my dinner quite often, thinking that it was beneficial since I could save money, have more time to study and prepare for test and lose weight. I only knew that calories mattered for people’s weight and didn’t have any sense of carbs, protein, fat, and micronutrients.
And because I love sweet food so much and didn’t want to give up eating them even though I wanted to be thinner, I ate pastry for most of the meals when I ate at school (didn’t want my parents to know my unhealthy diet). If I ate more than what I thought was enough, I felt so guilty and asked myself to cut more calories down the next day. After my period came for 6 times regularly, it disappeared! And I started to lose my hair… I could always find a lot of my hair on the floor every day after taking a shower. I was shocked and knew that there was something wrong with my body, but I just so cared about my weight and that I was heavier than many of my classmates (although I was in normal BMI) and couldn’t stop myself from doing all the things above.
When I was 15, I went to France for the exchange program of my school for 2 weeks. Since it was a hard chance, I didn’t want to miss any local delicacy, so I didn’t give myself any restrictions on food. During those days, I was “binging” all the time. I couldn’t stop myself from eating even though the food were so much and I had actually felt full. I gained a lot of weight during that winter vacation, and I decided to lose weight in a “healthy” way after I came back to my country and form good habits in my life so that I won’t gain weight and feel bad about it anymore. I started to learn about nutrition, started eating animal food, started exercising and lose my weights to the amount that was a little bit more than the weight before I started my unhealthy diet. I think this process and way was healthy and I built my muscle back that was lose before, but it was not a right time for my body to lose fat and lose weight.
During this 7 years, I have seen so many doctors around Taiwan, including gynecology and obstetrics and traditional Chinese medicine, wanting to get a diagnosis and find out solutions. But doctors in gynecology and obstetrics couldn’t find what is wrong with my body since my hormone are all in normal range and the result of ultrasound are normal as well. They could only give me pills, and they thought my period will be back to normal since I looked healthy and always got period after taking pills. Some said I have PCOS, which I believed at first and thus started exercising to lose weight when I was 15. But don’t believe it anymore since I don’t have any symptoms of PCOS, and I remember there were twice my period came suddenly, both of the time are after winter vacation and summer vacation (I usually feel more relax and eat more during vacation time). Doctors in traditional Chinese medicine helped me a lot. I became more energetic and looked better and I had CM many times during those year seeing them weekly and taking Chinese medicine, but still no period. (I guess it probably because I still refused to eat certain kind of food that I think it contains too much oil or sugar). So I just stop seeing doctors and didn’t know what to do.
I found this group and the No Period. Now What? book last summer and felt hesitant because it was so hard for me to imagine eating so much and gaining weight purposely. I also didn’t believe that I would get my period back simply because of eating a lot and gaining weight. But after seeing a post telling that she got her period after the years of amenorrhea more than mine, I started to believe that I can recover from it as well. I started my journey on October 14 and I have gained so much weight. My jeans that used to be loose are all so tight now. I admitted that I feel not good and kind of upset about it but really think so worth to get my period back.
Here’s some change I made during this process that I thought is important and helpful for getting period:
1. I counted calories at the beginning to make sure I ate enough because it was so hard to achieve the minimum (Chapter 8 in NPNW) even though I had eaten whenever and whatever I want. I had to force myself to have some regular snacks and meals in bigger size to eat over the minimums. But I stop counting it after my body has been used to need and digest so much food and can achieve the number without difficulties. I am sure that I eat enough but without pressure from counting all the time or worrying if I eat enough.
2. I tried as many kinds of food as possible. Even though I don’t like the taste, I would try a little bit because I think every food has its own nutrient that can’t be replaced.
3. I avoid letting myself get hungry. Even though there was only some food that I don’t like, I ate when I feel hungry.
4. Trust the all-in process of NPNW and trust my body will recover at the end. It’s true that the process is uncomfortable, especially when we know our bodies are becoming heavier and heavier and we are wondering how other people will think about our change. But loving our body is so much more than others’ opinions. And the people who really care about us won’t stop loving us just because of our appearance.
5. I let myself rest more and feel less pressure from all the things in my life. Instead of blaming myself and feeling disappointed at myself all the time, I accept that there are sometimes I can’t meet others expectations, I don’t get a good grade, there are some difficulties I have to face. They are not because I’m stupid or I did something wrong. They are just some challenges that exist in everyone’s life. If I had to try my best, then that’s enough.
Thank you so much for all of you. I really feel grateful for the existence of a group that bound us together. You make me feel like I’m not alone facing this process. I never imagined that I will be in a group that we don’t know each other but always willing to help others and be so inclusive to others. Thanks again for help, company, and experience sharing from all of you!! ❤️
To help you on YOUR recovery journey, get a copy of No Period. Now What? If you need more help, consider booking a call with Dr. Rinaldi directly.