Hello, lovely warriors! So, I plan to talk about a very popular topic when it comes to eating disorder recovery. So many girls when they go through an eating disorder lose their periods. And once they began the journey to recovery they have the goal of getting their period back.
This was something that pushed me every single day to recover. I was so disheartened to think that I could have damaged my body beyond repair. I wanted so badly to be able to have children when I was older. I was beyond sorry for what I had done and had continually begged God for forgiveness. I spent many nights crying about it. About my choice to care more about how small I wanted to be, instead of how amazingly my body was created. I took for granted the simple things that God gave me as a woman.
Every day I worked hard to recover in order to honor my body that God blessed me with. Getting my period back was the main push towards recovery for me. But, this also caused problems. Because the first time I got it back after 7 months, I lost it again.
I got it back and thought I could go back to eating disorder ways. I thought I was suddenly healed, and so I began my cycle again. And low and behold, I never got it back till 6 months later. I was so focused on getting my period back and thinking that meant I could work out every day and eat “healthy”. I was wrong. And that is why I was never healed then.
After that, it took a while for my body to trust me again. I started working towards recovery. I eat the recommended amount of calories for someone in recovery based on my size (although I never calorie counted and suggest you do not either, unless you are in a center or a doctor had recommended it). I followed my meal plan as closely as possible. And slowly I began to free myself. I began to let myself eat whatever I was craving. I let myself eat all the foods that I restricted from for so long. It felt so good to be able to eat anything and everything, whenever I wanted.
I would get late night cravings, and instead of denying myself food, I let myself eat more than I wanted. I gave myself permission to eat the whole oreo pack if I wanted. I would consciously tell ED that I was winning. That I had the power. That I could eat whatever I wanted and my body would be thanking me the whole time.
I feel like everyone has read and seen the same thing for how to get your period back. But, really know one can tell you specifically what your body needs to trust you again and start your period. My body needed food, and lots of it. My body needed sweets and fats that I denied it before. My body needed rest and love. Majority of people who give advice to get your period back say that you have to stop working out completely.
This is true for most people. But, I never stopped working out. I also never ran, did intense cardio, or worked out with the goal to lose weight and look a certain way. I exercised because it made me feel good. I do Taekwondo, and I probably went to practice maybe once or twice a week. I tried to not do too much, and if I felt tired and felt as if my body needed a break than I did not go.
I worked out because I know that I didn’t have to. I didn’t have to workout because I ate more that day, or because I hadn’t in two weeks. I worked out because I loved what I was doing. It made me feel powerful. It made me feel good. It made me feel like my body was amazing and that I could appreciate it to its full potential.
I am not saying that if you are recovering from ED that you can get your period back and still workout everyday of the week. I’m saying that every body is different. If you have been working out and still not gotten your period back, then your body is scared. Your body still feels like it is in survival mode and in that mode your period is not what its worried about. Your body is smart. If you don’t supply it with enough energy everyday (without going to the gym and expending all that energy) than your body will not trust you.
You have to give your body permission to rest. Take this time and enjoy it. Be with yourself some. Be with God more. Enjoy your family. Read books that you never had the time to because you were too focused on your eating disorder. Move your thoughts away from every moment concentrating on your next meal, on calories, on when you’re going to workout, etc.
So take a break, enjoy your body. Show your body some love. Eat anything you want. Remember what it used to be like when you were a kid and enjoyed anything you wanted. When you came home from school looking forward to Oreos and milk. Try and find that little voice. She’s in there somewhere. Let her talk to you some. Little by little. Give her the choice to try a piece of cake at the birthday party.
You don’t have to live your life in fear of the next meal. Live in freedom of eating whatever you want.
God created you specially. He created you body to flow.
To have curves.
To be able to bear children. He created you beautiful. Never take that for granted. Because trust me once you get your period back you will be beyond happy. I ran down the stairs almost screaming to my mom and dad that I got my period back. It was a major battle that I just won against ED. I could almost see the finish line. I could feel the freedom.
My goal for you:
- If you don’t have your period yet, take a week off from exercise and enjoy your favorite dessert tonight!!! (if thats too much to ask, maybe just stretch throughout the week, and have a small “fear food” snack)
- If you do have your period, go slowly back into exercise. Focus on the way your body feels. Thank God for a wonderful body that can do what it does. And then go home and enjoy your favorite treat! (as you probably guessed, means Oreos and milk:))
I will keep your health in my prayers! Have a beautiful and amazing day. And keep working to get your period back! I believe that God has given you the strength to work hard at letting your body trust you again.
Ps. Download this image, or just look at it and pick something out of it to do today, right now. Something that you have always enjoyed.