Before I get into anything, if you are a self-identified male reading this post right now, I suggest you exit out. Why? Because I want to talk about a pretty complex topic that strictly females deal with. Let me give you a hint: think of a red dot.
Okay, I think you get the idea.
Anyways, for anyone else who also has or does experience the good ol’ menstrual cycle, you will know what I’m highlighting. The reason why I need to talk about this once and for all is because–if you have been following my blog for a while and have read a few of my health updates–well, I don’t have one right now. It’s been almost four years. I am shocked that my body hasn’t gotten severely injured yet!
After binge-watching more YouTube videos about regaining periods than I could handle last night, I had to sit down with myself and be the utmost honest I could possibly be. I interrogated my mind similarly to how a detective or nosy magazine interviewer would do so with a criminal or a celebrity. Are you afraid of weight gain? How often do you exercise? Do you really think you’re eating enough fat? Why are you still so stressed out, even when you aren’t aware of it?
Every YouTube video I watched had a slightly different answer: Eat more fats! No, you can eat whatever you want as long as you gain weight! You can maintain your weight, but just cut exercise cold-turkey! Nothing matters as long as you stop stressing out about everything! Just believe that you already have it and it will come back! Aside from the fact that every single video I watched suggested against birth control, never have I felt more lost in my life. Weight loss was literally a no-brainer in comparison. Exercise, eat wholesome food, sleep adequately, and be consistent. Kind of like how most people want to start a new diet or just eat healthier, I still don’t really know where to start in regards to getting my period back.
As of now, I pretty much tried the majority of the suggestions. Gain ten pounds? Check. Gain more body fat? Check. Reduce exercise? Check. Eat more healthy fats? Well, most of the time. It’s been months and months since I’ve lowered exercise from seven days a week to three to four, put on ten pounds (I want to say that most is fat), and consume as much fat as my heart desires. Still….nothing at all.
When some people experience metabolic damage and can’t seem to stop gaining weight no matter how much they exercise or how little they eat, they reach a point where they don’t care about anything and just hit the junk food aisle and eliminate all physical activity. They somehow lose weight or maintain their weight without knowing why. Around junior year, I thought that if I did the same with my menstrual cycle by not caring about it and going about my routine, I would retrieve it somehow. Apparently, that was also not the answer.
With this being said, I know that I really have to take this problem seriously. No matter what any health or fitness influencer says, not having a period is not healthy at all. I have gotten my first period when I was eleven years-old and have maintained that normal cycle for years until a bit after I turned sixteen. I will be twenty years-old in four months and a week, and my goal is to reunite with my cycle before my twentieth birthday.
How will I go about this? Well, I’m still in the process of making an official, personally sealed, and concrete plan, but I have something most certainly figured out. Since the start of the fall quarter means the start of a new lifestyle, here’s what I plan on doing for a whole month.
- I will not exercise intensively once I step foot on my college campus, which is the day of September 11th (as most people know, that’s not at all a happy day). I want to give myself at least ten days to enjoy my HIIT and weight training workouts. To tell the truth, exercise is really an activity I adore with all my heart. Despite going from allowing exercise to dictate how happy I felt versus going for two or even three days without exercise, I still have an addiction. Hate to admit it, but I am DEATHLY afraid of giving up all vigorous exercise for a month. However, I am even more afraid of not ever receiving my period and putting my body more at risk for osteoporosis, heart disease, and infertility (I still don’t want kids, but still, infertility won’t be pleasant). For that time-being, my exercise will only consist of walking around campus and at work, yoga at the school’s yoga club, and some occasional biking to class or to certain parts of campus.
- No longer will I be weighing myself regularly. My roommates and I will probably not even have a scale in our room anyways, so the only way I can weigh myself would be to go to the recreational center’s locker room. You can probably guess how often I’ll be going to the gym. To make sure I don’t lose or gain too much weight, I will simply check how my clothes fit.
- Once classes begin, I plan on cutting food tracking almost completely. It’s most likely that I will track for maybe three days out of first week to make sure I don’t undereat, but I think my appetite is naturally set above average. Because I used to obsessively count calories for a few years, the images of serving sizes and measurements are ingrained enough in my mind (this is not necessarily a good thing) for me to know how much I will eat.
- Diet-wise, I have decided to break all boundaries with restriction and fear. I still plan on sticking to a mostly whole foods diet with little to no oils in my cooking. However, I don’t plan on skipping any opportunities for treating myself. Bring on the fluffy vegan pancakes, almond butter toast, buckwheat coconut granola, Larabars, fruit salads, vegan orange chicken, and loads of guacamole!
Waiting for the results are going to be incredibly scary for me. I’ll be elated if my cycle returns, but I truly hope that this process is worth it. I’m not at all excited to start resting, and I fear what will happen to my body. I really do. It was so hard for me to admit it, and it still is. But I can’t wait for my period to come anymore without doing anything. Like any other person I value, I need to be open for it to do so.
Deep down, I know that periods are more important than visible ab lines. I have my entire life to work for a six-pack, but I only have a matter of years before I develop osteoporosis and heart disease. Healing starts now, with a change of perspective.