Disclaimer: I’m not a health professional, nutritionist, health coach, doctor, nurse, or medical professional. All opinions and health related comments are my own opinion and should be taken as such. Don’t use my advice in place of your doctor’s, but I do hope that my story is encouraging and helpful for those who are reading. I will include a few numbers in this post, but NOT to trigger people. I will include them to show that you don’t have to be ‘underweight’ to lose your period. I want to illustrate that each girl has a DIFFERENT happy weight. And I want to encourage you all that you don’t have to fit into a ‘weight’ box to be ‘healthy.’
Thus begins the first post in a series regarding my cycle. I didn’t know that you could even lose your cycle. I had my first cycle around the age of 12, and it wasn’t very normal until I turned 13 or 14. It wasn’t very long, however, before I lost it.
How did I lose it? Well, I started regular exercise. That’s not to say that regular exercise is BAD for someone. Yet, the way I did it, hurt my body at the time, more than helping it.
It was at the age of 14.5 that I started riding a stationary bike that we bought around Christmas of 2007. The feeling of sweating, adrenalin, and energy that I got from intense exercise was a feeling I really enjoyed. I didn’t seek a balance, though, in my perspective of it. That lead to an idolatry of the ‘adrenalin’, the ‘exercise’, and it became more of a chore to burn calories, than a way to enjoy God’s world and to challenge myself.
Exercise quickly became something that wasn’t as enjoyable anymore. I exercised to burn calories. I would come home from a restaurant and get on the bike for 2 hours just to burn off the meal. The guilt would melt away as soon as I was done.
During this whole time, I didn’t have my period. Remember, though that I wasn’t skinny, by any medical definition. I was about the heigh of 5′ 2″ and approximately 105-110 pounds. It was a very normal weight range, and although I may have weighed myself a couple times before, I’m guessing my weight was a bit higher before I started exercising.
It took me a long time to realize that there’s something wrong with your body when you don’t have your period. Nobody told me this. I am the queen of research. That lead to me finding out for myself, that to not have your period by the age of 16 or 17 regularly meant that something was wrong with your body.
This was when I realized that every body is different when it comes to weight. I was, at the very lowest probably at a weight of about 100-103 pounds. I remember stepping on the scale. It was gratifying getting on the scale and seeing that number. That’s what began the obsession with the number.
And it kept going downhill… from there, until we had the CONVERSATION. 🙂 That comes in the next post in the series. 🙂