Hi Bridget! Love ALL your posts, almost every single one resonates with me, it is almost insane!! You don't even know how much you are touching and influencing young women in a positive way as a model and role model.
I would love to hear more about the struggle with loosing/ regaining/ then loosing and regaining your period again. It is so crucial for girls to get their period to be functioning healthy humans but it is sadly often overlooked, and not given enough attention. SO many girls struggle with this due to weight loss/ stress.
Any tips you have for getting it back? Also would love to hear things that most people WONT tell you about regaining your period back. Every medical website says eat more, rest more, relax more. So we know that!! But what about the struggles/ unexpected things? How long did it take? Anything you wish you knew prior?
Looking forward to hearing about your journey with this! Much love!!! xoxo
Hi! Thank you so much for your kind words 😀 That means so much to me. I really do want to be totally transparent and a good role model.
This was definitely a subject that I would dance around whilst unwell. People would write in and ask for guidance here, and I would give them logical advice – eat a little more, eat more fat and cut the cardio. Definitely hypocritical of me. Because the truth is, I lose my period whenever my hips get below 34.5. So honestly – from the age of 17 to 26 I lost my period around two to six months out of the year. September this year will mark the one year anniversary that I have managed to keep my period for an entire year since I was 16. Considering that I got my period when I was 14, I am definitely going to celebrate, because this is a big deal for me.
First off, I am not a doctor. I am only speaking from my experience here and my first year nutritionist education, so please get a second opinion. And a grain of salt… So - my tips for getting it back. It is really tricky to wrap your head around this when you are sick, but you need to eat more. The hormones responsible for the female reproductive system are fat-based. So you need to have fat in your body in order for them to function. It is as simple as that. Mine always (thankfully) came back around a month or two after I started to eat properly. There isn’t really a food group that can facilitate this, although fat helps (better bang for your buck calorie wise). I also recommend cutting out all intense physical activity for a while. Do yoga, walk, and get in touch with your body again. Let it heal itself. I wish I could tell you more, but the medical websites have it down! There isn’t really a trick to this. You just have to care for your body, and give it exactly what it is asking you for.
Regaining it is strangely bittersweet. It would always leave me feeling thankful that I am giving my bones a chance to restore health and my body a chance to carry a baby again – but also that evil voice in me would try to tell me that I had ‘failed’. Losing my period was always such a thrill for me, it meant my destructive habits were working and I was really actually skinny. Funnily enough whenever I was that small I was never skinny enough for myself. I always had more weight to lose, and was so anxious and depressed about my perceived fatness. Body dysmorphia is really a bitch.
With each return of my lost period came more symptoms. I used to have periods with zero pain or anxiety, but each time I lost it, it returned with a little more vengeance. The first one coming back was hard. I would have huge amounts of anxiety and cramps. But then after a few more cycles it would even out. And it stopped being something to overcome, and more something to welcome each month. And welcome it I do. When I can feel it coming, I eat chocolate, relax in a bath, and (literally) thank my body for being cool to me after all the damage I intentionally did to it. Our bodies are incredible – they do so much in every little instant of our lives to keep us healthy. The more I learn in college about it, the more I respect mine. And am thankful that I did not destroy it (despite my best efforts).
After I decided to recover from my disordered eating February 2017, my period came back in March after being missing for a year. It was definitely the worst come back yet, I had days of anxiety and was ill at ease. I made a promise to myself that I would never skip it again. I thought that I could train hard and eat properly, get into the shape required of me for my job, but not lose my period. This was more of an experiment than anything. My evil voices were pretty under control at this point, and I was curious if I could lose weight “healthily”. Come August 2017, I was nearly back at the size I was the year before, and had skipped my period again. When I was told that my body wasn’t looking good enough, something snapped. Enough was enough. I made a vow to myself to allow my body to reach its natural, healthy size. I would eat healthily, eat well, and eat enough. I would exercise to add to my life. And if there was a place for me in the industry after all that, fantastic. So far, so good. There are people in the industry who like women to be empowered and strong. Women who have voices. Who enjoy fitness and health as much as the next person, but don’t let their entire lives be dominated by them.
What frustrates me the most is that every single one of the models I have talked to about this has experienced the same struggle with their fertility to some degree. The extreme body measures put upon most models is not conducive to a healthy existence. We should be allowed to be whatever size works for us. Most of us sit naturally at a size 4-6, not a 0-2. There are exceptions of course. But these are the anomaly, not the rule. My message here is for diversity. No woman should look in a catalogue, or on a billboard, or in a magazine and see a young girl who is unwell. Who’s body has shut down from starvation, all in an attempt to fit someone else’s twisted idea of what beauty is.
We should all be allowed to swallow the message that you are enough, exactly the way you are. That whilst health and fitness are important to a well lived life, they are naught but an aspect. Training hard and eating “clean” (ARGH) does not make a person healthy. Being free to discover exactly who you were put on this earth to be does. I want all people to cast off the shackles of disordered eating and to stop striving to fit someone else’s idea of who you should be. If we all make the decision to stop playing the game, eventually the game will be cast into history.
And we will have changed the world 😀
I dictate my road.