I haven't had my period in 18 months (since of August of 2014), and haven't experienced a regular period (a menstrual cycle that comes each month) since probably the summer of 2012. Those two years between 2012 and 2014 are defined by my rapid weight loss, eating disorder, and eventual weight gain. However, since my last period, I've been pushing it's absence to the back of my mind and trusting/convincing myself that it will come on its own, buuuuuuut it hasn't.
After days of thinking and praying about what to do to regain my period, I've decided to dive deep into the science behind it. Man, I've missed research :) #imanerd #nerdlyfe. I came across this website and it's article "The Natural Fertility Diet: How to Eat for Optimal Fertility" and have decided to follow it's guidelines as best I can.
If you've read the article, you've noticed the emphasis on animal products like eggs, dairy, and grass-fed meat. Even though the authors provide evidence for the benefits of these foods, I still choose to avoid them because I know that the essential nutrients they hold can be found just as easily in plant-based foods.
My doctor and tons of nutrition articles/websites have always told me that I just need to gain more weight and fat in order to regain my period, but I've realized that won't do the trick. "Fat" girls may still have irregular periods, due to excessive weight gain, eating disorders, heavy stress, and other factors, according to WebMD. While rest and weight gain may be my keys to regulating my period, I want to do so in the healthiest way possible, which is why I will be following The Fertility Diet as close as I can.
When it comes to exercise, my first thought was that I should just stop working out until my period comes, but I struggled with that idea A LOT because exercise is one of the most important parts of my day. About two days after this thought, my period came! It was very light and didn't last long, but I still took it as a good sign. I told myself I'd take a week off from intense exercise, but by the third day I was practically going insane, so I went for a run. I'm exercising because a) I had at least a little bit of a period, so it's definitely near in sight and b) regaining my period involves more than just weight gain - it's about de-stressing for hormonal balance and eating a well-balanced, sustainable diet, like The Fertility Diet.
I know that one of my New Year's Resolutions was to transfer my relaxation from running/weight-lifting/HIIT/etc. to God's peace, and I'm still working towards that goal. However, I've realized that life is about balance in so many ways, and it's perfectly fine for me to find peace and relaxation in areas other than just communication with God. That only becomes potentially problematic when I prioritize those areas above my faith. That being said, I went for a long, exhausting, run today AND began my day with a tall glass of water and Jesus Calling with my mama :) couldn't have asked for anything more!
Anyway, I just wanted to provide a little update on my progress and plans to regain my period! Here's more of a breakdown:
- Exercise -
- Short-term: I planned to take a full week off, but then my period miraculously came, so I took two days off and couldn't stand it anymore - I needed to run.
- Long-term: (these are tentative plants) two rest-days per week; more weight-training
- Short-term: very few processed foods, only sourdough/sprouted-grain/whole-grain bread and flours occasionally; including more fats
- Long-term: slightly more processed foods, only to satisfy cravings; fewer added oils, but more whole-food fats; focus on vitamins from whole foods
- Short-term: light exercise, as mentioned before; delayed release of ebook; reprioritization
- Long-term: constant communication with God; more quiet- and alone-time; heavier focus on Hungry Haley, rather than with YouTube videos, Instagram posts, etc.
If you have any questions or suggestions, PLEASE feel free to leave them below or email me. Thanks for reading! :)