When I first realized that I may have to put on weight in order to restore my period and get healthy again, my reaction was like this:
“This is not for me”.
“I'm not underweight.”
“I don't train THAT much.”
“I eat well.”
“There must be another solution!”
I'm quite sure you are/were the same way. Always trying to justify why I wasn't taking action, always trying to convince myself that this is NOT what I have to do. That lasted for about few weeks before I accepted this thought and told myself that I have to give it a try.
However, I was still worried and talked to people closest to me, asking their opinion.
When Your Friends Want to Support You… But They Haven't Been There!
Of course, they all agreed with me when I said that I don't think weight is my problem. They wanted to be supportive. Because I really didn't look unhealthy or undernourished, and I didn't do hours of cardio a day like I used to in the past. My relationship with scale was over, we were completely done. Everything seemed normal!
My really good friend who is in healthcare, told me that BMI of 22.1 is totally normal and that there's no way that could be the reason for why I wasn't getting my period.
That's because she really believed so.
My mom told me that people on the Internet are weird and give all sorts of weird advice 🙂 so I shouldn't stop working out if I didn't want to.
That's because she had never heard about anyone else having hypothalamic amenorrhea other than me, and because she wanted me to keep doing what I loved – training hard.
It all came from a good place, but there was one problem: They hadn't been there. They had never had hypothalamic amenorrhea.
I don't blame them, most people don't know about hypothalamic amenorrhea! They couldn't possibly know what the right solution was.
But I had been doing my research for a while and realized that what I had done years ago may have caused me to lose my period. I mean, I was training quite a bit and especially years ago – and maybe the amount of running I used to do in the past wouldn't have been a problem had I not severely undernourished myself at the same time.
So the more I thought about my past, the more I realized that I have to try the stop-training-gain-weight thing.
“There Has To Be A Better Way!”
And then I told my husband about it… that I will probably have to gain some weight because that seems to be the only thing that has worked for some other women, and that I think I'm going to give it a try.
I was disappointed by his reaction… (and he knows , so that's okay :))
He told me,
There has to be a better way! You shouldn't stop working out when it makes you so happy. We can find another solution.
Because he was right, working out did make me happy!
He repeated, there has to be a better way.
The problem was, I didn't know what it was, and of course, he didn't either.
Truthfully, his reaction hurt me back then. I really didn't expect this kind of answer, he didn't seem to be getting me at all… What I had expected to hear was this: No matter how much weight you gain, I will still love you. I want what's best for your health.
But that was not what I heard. What he said translated to my ears as you shouldn't gain weight…
I was really thinking he wouldn't like me anymore. However, it wasn't until later that I realized that the only reason why he said that there has to be a better way was was that he wanted what he thought was best for me – and he knew that working out makes me happy.
People Around You Want You The Best
You don't need approval from people around you to start recovery. Most of them have never dealt with hypothalamic amenorrhea, and especially guys may not even know that something like this could happen.
Also, no matter what your friends', family member's or spouse's reaction is, believe me, it comes from a good place. Nobody wants you to suffer, that's why they support you in everything.
No matter how afraid you are of the change, keep in mind that
- No one close to you will stop loving you because you will put on weight. Would you stop loving them if something like this happened to them?
- If someone walks out from your life because you gained weight… I don't think you have people like this in your life, but if you do, I'm glad you found out their true nature. You didn't lose anything.
- No one close to you will want you bad health. If you are missing periods, your health cannot be good. It just isn't – you're not making your hormones the way you should, which doesn't only affect your fertility but so many other aspects of your health as well.
- Your relationships may in fact get better as you recover. You will likely have more time for people close to you because you aren't working out as much and because you have more time! Ask your friends over to cook or bake together – it's a fun thing to do and as you know, you should really focus on getting tons of nutrition right now.
- Another way how your relationships get better is this: Your libido wakes up again! It can't be bad news for your spouse. You may say that even just a thought of getting naked is horrible because your weight has made you insecure – but understand that it's all in your head. Your spouse doesn't care if you put on some weight, especially because you're much more fun now – IF YOU ONLY LET YOURSELF be!
Looking for assurance from your friends – am I doing the right thing by starting recovery? – is not unusual. We need support! Few of us are super confident in this decision because for most of us, weight gain is terrifying: What if I put on all this weight but it doesn't help?
Just know that your friends may not know much if anything about hypothalamic amenorrhea, so they may not be able to give you the best advice – but also remember that everything they say is well intentioned. If you know that you probably have hypothalamic amenorrhea (and if you don't, I can help you figure it out), don't put the recovery off and get to work instead. You don't need anyone's assurance to start fixing your health.
If you need support on your journey to recover from hypothalamic amenorrhea, my ebook, programs and FREE 20-minute coaching calls are available for you! I get back to every email, so let me know if I can help.