You can probably relate to today's topic really well if you've been extremely worried about your weight gain. But not only — whatever the (health) challenge you may be dealing with, you might be catastrophizing over it.
Have you heard the work catastrophizing? Catastrophizing basically means seeing the worst outcome, getting ready for all the most negative things, and filling your mind with the worst scenario thoughts all the time.
In most cases though, there's no catastrophe happening! It's just us who are making our lives so hard with all sorts of negative thoughts.
We're totally able to catastrophize every and any aspect in our lives. Women with hypothalamic amenorrhea, binge eating or body image issues, catastrophize the most over their looks, body, food and fitness.
I want to give you a few examples so you can understand better what I mean, and what you can do if you find yourself thinking the worst case scenario thoughts too.
“I Will Never Recover!
This one is especially common in those dealing with hypothalamic amenorrhea. If that's what you're struggling with, you may feel like it takes forever to get your period. Even so long that you may want to throw your hands up and stop trying altogether. You get so frustrated with weight gain that you really think that you probably never recover.
You just need more time.
If you have hypothalamic amenorrhea and you've taken all the necessary steps to get better but still haven't seen any results, you need to keep going. You will get there. If you don't get your period now, it doesn't mean you'll never get it. Stop catastrophizing!
“I Will Never Stop Gaining Weight!”
That's what it may look like to you when you start recovering from hypothalamic amenorrhea, or decide to give intuitive eating a try.
Some of us keep gaining weight even after we have recovered… We can gain weight for various reasons in various points in our lives. But it would be crazy to think that we will never stop gaining weight. Check out this interview for more about it!
You will stop gaining at some point. You need to gain whatever you need to gain, to bring your body back to balance if it's been out of balance for a while.
I know that the smaller body that I lived in for years, was too small for what my body naturally needs to be. I forced it to this certain size by over exercising and eating less than was good for me. Compared to my previous weight, I really did gain a lot or weight, but I didn't gain endlessly. This is how things will probably go for you too.
If you keep eating healthy, whole foods most of the time and include some fun stuff once in a while, you're not going to blow up and continue to gain weight forever. Note though that if you have hypothalamic amenorrhea, it's totally fine to eat these “fun foods” more frequently to help to get your calories up.
“Why ONLY ME?”
Whether you have an eating disorder, dysfunctional relationship with exercise, adrenal fatigue or hypothalamic amenorrhea, you are not the only one.
You may know a girl who works out twice as hard as you and is seemingly okay. You may see thousands of pictures of perfectly lean bodies on Instagram and wonder, why YOU are the only one who can't be super lean and train every day and eat 1200 calories and have your life together…
Trust me, you're definitely NOT the only one.
You don't know that girl who's training hard and eating almost nothing. How do you know she's well?
You probably know really well that it took 100 shots to get this one perfect Insta-worthy picture that still needed to be edited afterwards.
Since I started writing about hypothalamic amenorrhea 1.5 years ago, there's been no single week where I haven't received emails from girls telling me that they have it too. So believe me, you're not the only one. This problem is much bigger than we even know, because not too many women want to talk about it.
“I Will Never Be Able to Work Out Again!”
I'd be lying if I said I haven't said the very same thing when I got super frustrated.
I struggled a lot, even after getting my period back, with finding the right balance with my workouts. Every time I did little too much, I would lose my sleep and my cycle would get longer again.
But these things didn't mean that I can never work out anymore!
I can, I just needed to find the right balance for me. And you will have to do the same thing. It is true that you may not be able to return to the exact same amount and volume of exercise, but I have a feeling that you don't even want to return to 2-hour workouts every single day.
You can absolutely return to working out once your cycle is back and more regular. Don't panic if starting to work out throws your cycle off at first a bit, you're still getting to know your different, healed body. It definitely takes some tweaking.
“No One Ever Wants to Date Me When I Look Like This!”
This is absolutely not true. Would you tell this your best friend who has gained 20lbs, that no one will ever be interested in her anymore? I don't think so, so stop telling the same thing to yourself too.
A girl once told me that dating is so much harder now because she has “lost her biggest asset, her lean body”. I would never want to date a guy who cares only about how I look. My lean body simply can't be my biggest asset. When a relationship is based only on that, it can't be a very deep one, can it?
Yes, it's true that the way we look is the first thing other person sees about us. But they don't only see our lean abs or round butt, or lack of these things. They also see our confidence, posture, how we're walking… After that, they get to know what we think and talk about. This is what matters. These need to be your best assets, not your abs.
There's no need to think about the worst case scenario all the time! Stop catastrophizing and using words like always, never, ever, the only one, etc.
When you find yourself catastrophizing, take a step back and ask yourself: Is this really true?
If I'm unhealthy now, does it mean that I will always be unhealthy?
If I'm single now, does it really mean that I will never find anyone?
If I need to take a break from working out now, does it mean that I'll never be able to move my body again?
What you'll find is that no, these things are not true. You need some time to heal yourself and find your balance again. Because if it's lost now, it doesn't mean that you'll never be able to find it again.
Do you have hypothalamic amenorrhea? Learn how to eat to recover from it.
You can also apply for 1:1 coaching with me!
Sorry, it‘s me again, but I need to write because i totally relate to every single word! In every area of my life I always expect the worst. Sadly, even my friends and family would describe as „the always worrying one“ because I overthink each problem and no–problem as long as it reallys turns into a huge catastrophe. Seems to be the self fulfilling prophecy.
Of course this really sucks me and I am working on positive thinking.
Well, just wanted to say that you really hit the nail on the head again – thanks!
Kersten Kimura says
Thanks so much for commenting, I LOVE to hear from readers!
You know, I think positive thinking can be helpful but sometimes it may not be the greatest tool. Because by thinking positively, we may simply cover up our issues
. Instead, sometimes it helps to get more analytical and really go step by step and think: What kind of evidence do I have, that shows that XWZ that I’ve been telling to myself, actually isn’t true? That way, you have real facts to support you.
For example, if you want to say “no one ever wants to date me” then you probably have evidence from your life that this is NOT the truth 🙂
Thanks so much again for your so kindly and helpful words!
Very great tips and interestingly thoughts! Seems to be a very good idea to analyse the fears. Then prove if they are true and search for evidences in real life to make sure that they are not (probably they in most cases they won’t 😉 ).
You’re so inspiring!
Kersten Kimura says
Thank you so much! I love hearing your thoughts 🙂