Not getting your period is something that has been glamorized by diet culture, but it really should be a red flag. Diet culture is a pervasive beast and frequently teaches women that it's normal to not get your period, but the truth is that when you aren't getting your period, your body is trying to tell you that something is wrong. It's your body's way of going into survival mode and shutting down functions that it deems unnecessary to your survival, and that is not normal!
Fellow SociEATy member Allison Nowak joins me in this episode of The SociEATy Podcast to share her story of how she got her period back after restricting calories and exercising excessively which led to her not having a period for a couple of years.
Once she realized that something was wrong, Allison took the necessary steps to get her period back. What are those necessary steps, you ask? Well, there are three of them highlighted in the book No Period. Now What? (which, by the way, I highly recommend that you read). Firstly, make sure that you are eating enough food. Secondly, don't exercise too excessively (which could mean length of time that you're exercising, how intensely you're exercising, and so forth). Last but definitely not least, avoid stress! (Remember that all three of these components work together as a team, so if even one of them is out of sync, you might not get your period!)
Allison is also here to provide us with some actionable tips if, like she once was, you are trying to get your period back. She says to watch your movements and trust your instincts. (In other words, if you feel like you aren't eating enough, then you probably aren't; if you feel like you're exercising too much, then you probably are.) She also suggests going all in because even though increasing your food intake and eliminating exercise can be done slowly, there really isn't any reason to wait.
We also both agree that journaling is so important during a process such as this as is having a community. Rebelling against diet culture which is probably going to constantly try to tell you that what you're doing is wrong can be kind of scary and lonely, so having a support system is so, so important!
Please be sure to screenshot this episode and tag me, and please do reach out to me to share your stories, tips, and ideas! I would love to hear from you!
[1:19] – Colleen introduces the topic of this episode of the podcast – getting regular and healthy periods back. She also introduces this episode's guest, fellow SociEATy member, Allison Nowak.
[3:41] – Allison explains why the topic of periods and getting them back is an important topic for her.
[6:40] – Allison reflects on when she realized that it was a problem that she wasn't getting her period.
[10:19] – Allison narrates what steps she initially took to get her period back, which mostly involved eating more.
[11:15] – We learn when and how Allison discovered intuitive eating and found The SociEATy.
[14:00] – Colleen highlights three puzzle pieces of how to have a healthy period from the No Period. Now What? book.
[16:58] – Allison discusses her journey of finding a balance between eating and exercise and how she had to stop exercising altogether.
[21:13] – Colleen enthuses over the beneficial aspects of journaling.
[24:35] – Allison details what else she did to deal with stress about not excessively exercising, such as going for a walk in nice weather or watching movies.
[30:43] – Allison touches upon adding fats to what she was eating which she avoided while she dieted.
[32:03] – Colleen sheds light on how to intentionally add certain foods to get your period back while also eating intuitively.
[36:52] – Allison offers us two pieces of advice – (1) look very closely at our movements and (2) go all in because there is no reason to wait.
Links and Resources
The SociEATy's Instagram Page