How Amenorrhea Prepared Me for Quarantine

Listen on Podcast Episode 21 on Kier Here

Having amenorrhea was a blessing in disguise, honestly. It was a signal from my body telling me my hormones were not balanced.

Some people are not as lucky to have such a clear sign. Some people don’t have any signs so they don’t even know something is wrong. If I didn’t lose my period, I’d have kept going on the path that I was on which could have resulted in things much much worse. 

So I went “all in” to fix it and the approach of going “all in” means to stop intensive exercise except for walking and optional light yoga and to eat more.

Well, you guys, I took that to heart and I didn’t take up that light yoga. Why? I don’t know. I should have. I mean if that was the only exercise I could do, why didn’t I take advantage of it? Maybe I felt like I didn’t deserve to? Maybe I was too busy crying and feeling sorry for myself? Honestly. I don’t know. I didn’t think it mattered at the time and now I absolutely regret it. Here’s why…

I took a full 3 months off from all activity except walking.

This caused my body to tighten up but I didn’t even realize it because I wasn’t even moving enough to feel it.

But I certainly feel it now. I’m not nearly as flexible as I was last year. I don’t move as fluidly. I actually feel really awkward and clumsy when I do certain movements. I legit feel like an old stale rubber band. Like I want to stretch and bend and that’s what I was made for, but its tougher and just not the same. When I get out of bed, I feel like an old woman because my back and my feet ache.  When I go hiking, I barely trust my legs and my feet.

I even developed plantar fasciitis from NOT moving. Yea, trip on that one. Runners typically get plantar fasciitis. I stopped running and got planter fasciitis. Something I never saw coming.  

Sometimes, I legit feel like I’m living in someone else’s body. All because I stopped moving for 3 months and gained weight.

Even with 3 full months of exercising again, I feel very rigid and very tight! I feel much better now than I did when I first started exercising again, don’t get me wrong. BUT it’s taking me a hell of a lot longer to bounce back than I thought it would.

If there’s one thing I could go back and do differently during my 3 months of recovery it’s that I would have done low impact movement (not necessarily workouts) but extremely low-intensity exercises like stretching, foaming rolling and mobility movements like dynamic stretching- and maybe even that yoga!

These are all things that wouldn’t stress my nervous system and keeping me from getting my period but they would allow me to move. I’ve been doing all these things now but it’s much harder to start them than it is to maintain them. 

Not everyone goes through HA recovery, but everyone is going through this corona virus quarantine and the first thing most people do is stop moving. When you’re confined to your house and can’t really go places, we easily become sedentary.

Who knows how long this quarantine will last? It’s almost been a month, Who knows if it will be 2, or 3, or more!

When I was in recovery, I felt very much like I was on house arrest. I couldn’t go to the gym and that made me feel very isolated – which is probably what you all are feeling right now!

Don’t land yourself into my shoes. Move. Stretch. Do something active DAILY. Don’t just wait for the gym to reopen. You have full control of what you do right now. There are so many fitness professionals and mobility specialists giving free workouts away and that’s a great place to start. And if you need help finding the help you need or coming up with a routine I’d be very happy to help. Just message me on instagram @funsized.nutrition

And to anyone who is going through HA right now or even if you have something else going on and your doctor told you ‘no exercise’ – there are still movements you can do to keep your machine well-greased so that everything doesn’t tight up and lockup on you.

And if you’re going through HA recovery or you’re hesitant about starting your recovery journey, you are so very lucky that it’s not just you who can’t go to the gym, it’s EVERYBODY else too. I know we’re all social distancing but that probably doesn’t make you feel so alone about what you’re doing – or not doing.

In a very weird way, I feel like My HA recovery journey has prepared me for this uncertain time that we are experiencing in quarantine. It helped me look at everything I thought I knew about fitness and nutrition in a new light. I relearned what self-care really means; deliberately showing love and respect to your body through with plentiful food, restorative exercise and a safe environment.

Had I not gone through what I gone through, I probably wouldn’t know how to handle this lockdown situation right now. I probably wouldn’t have the mindset to handle being away from the gym, I probably wouldn’t have the knowledge of the right kinds of exercises to be doing at home, I’d have been doing tons of high intensity exercises and I probably would have drastically cut my carbs thinking omg if I’m not lifting, then I don’t need this fuel and I probably would give my clients the wrong advice too.

But now I know differently! Now I know that I can absolutely survive without the gym and I’m not stressing about it. If I could go 3 months without any exercise – I can easily go more than 3 months doing home workouts without a gym. 

I don’t regret what I did and what I had to do to fix it. I’ve learned so much but I’ve had to learn the hard way. And I don’t want anyone to have to go through what I did so that’s why I share my story and my feelings.

I feel pain now but again if I my body hadn’t given me a signal pain, I wouldn’t have known what to do better. The body is amazing. It’s smarter than we are. It knows what it needs and we need to do our part of decoding the signals.

I know I just kinda vented about the bad things but I want to counter that. It’s a little practice I’ve been doing to stay positive. Every time I think of a negative I try to follow up with a positive. So here goes…

My body is so resilient. It does so much for me. My feet have walked me to some of my favorite places, my belly has been full with my favorite foods, my legs have held me up when my mind didn’t feel strong enough to stand. My body has been there for me since day one. It loves me and I love it too.

I hope that you can find the beauty within it to because we all deserve to move and be happy.

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