Aunt Flow where’d you go?

Good morning and happy Friday!

I’m sure your just as excited if not more than I am that Friday has arrived.  This week has been a long one!  I think stepping back from my normal routine has definitely made the days drag on for me.  I’ll get to that in a second but first I wanted to share a few health and fitness links I enjoyed from this week.

10 Mistakes Not to Make at the Gym by Paige at Your Trainer Paige

6 Tabata Workout Tips for First Timers from Erin on Fit Bottomed Girls

5 Things that helped me beat my obsession with weight by Oh She Glows

Q & A on GPP (I’ve been loving these workouts! by Meg at A Dash of Meg

Okay now let’s talk about my fitness from the week.  Before I get to deep into this post I’ll let any male readers I have know this might be a post you want to skip.  Unless you’re interested in the menstrual cycle!

You may have heard me mention earlier this week that I was cutting back on my higher intensity workouts and focusing on letting my body rest.  I’ve talked about the importance of rest before here, but to be honest, I’m some what of a hypocrite when it comes to getting in the essential rest.  I have scaled back a little from the past where I would do two a day workouts and spend hours at the gym or on the road doing steady cardio.  However, I’m guilty of continuing to push myself even though my body has been telling me to stop.  Besides the constant soreness, muscle cramps, dizziness, and fatigue I’ve been experiencing, I haven’t had a menstrual cycle since May.  Sorry, TMI but I feel it’s crucial in explaining why I needed a break.  I’ve always had a light period and have had some irregularities with my cycle in the past.  Mainly when training for a half marathon or when I’m doing a lot of heavy cardio.  I’ve spoken with my doctor about this issue in the past and it was pushed aside as due to over exercising and not having enough body fat.  Obviously she hasn’t seen my fat storage in my booty!  Anyway, before May (for about 5 months) my cycle was there but very irregular.  Because of this I cut back on long distance running and began focusing more on interval training.   I expected Aunt Flow to be more of a normal visitor but instead she took an extended vacation and hasn’t returned.   I know some women would be excited to not have a period but personally I know that it’s my body telling me that something isn’t right with my hormones and I really don’t like to mess with those.

Unfortunately I’m not able to get in to see my doctor until mid September.  So I’ve been reading a lot about what could be causing this lack of a cycle and some things I can do to get it back.  The one thing I keep seeing is to REST MORE.

The problem is, not exercising and resting is EXTREMELY hard for me.  I’m so used to my fitness routine and unfortunately I have a body type that without exercise, I gain weight.  So I’m trying to find a healthy balance that will keep me from gaining while still allowing my body to rest.  I’ll be incorporating more stretching, yoga, foam rolling, and relaxing into my routine. Here’s what my week of “rest” looked like.

Saturday – Boot camp

Sunday – Off

Monday – Yoga

Tuesday – 30 minute stretch and evening walk

Wednesday – Mellow cycle class followed by 20 minutes of foam rolling and stretching

Thursday – 2 mile walk and stretching

Friday – Yoga and walk

I know some of you might say, “well yoga is a workout and cycle is definitely a workout,” but to me, these were much more low impact than I typically do.  Now next week might be a little harder to be as relaxed since I’m itching to get back into the gym.  I am going to be trying my best to incorporate more low impact days by walking more and practicing more yoga.  Definitely a goal I will be focusing on for my Weekly Goals!

QUESTIONS – 

  • Have you lost your menstrual cycle before? 
  • Have you had to majorly cut back on exercise because of a health issue? 
  • What types of low impact workouts do you do on active rest days? 
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Comments

  1. Oh Giselle! This hasn’t happened to me, but I know I’d be alarmed too. So glad to hear that you’re taking it easy. I think you could handle a second full rest day… 🙂

  2. Giselle, I am hesitant as to how to write this, because I really don’t want you to take it the wrong way, but I say this with a caring heart, so please keep that in mind… I think exercise and lack of body fat is most definitely your culprit. I’ve seen your posts on your weekly exercise, and it’s pretty intense. You’re also very slim … I know you may think you have “plenty” of body fat compared to all of those extremely skinny celebrities out there, but as women, we require more fat than just a little extra junk in our trunk. Not to mention those celebrities that are ridiculously thin … that is just NOT normal. I applaud you for taking initiative and doing something about it rather than just pushing it to the side (like I did for several years). I was diagnosed with hypothalamic amenorrhea a couple years back after not having a period for about 5 years due to over exercise, under eating, and as a result, too little body fat. I stepped back my exercise for a few months to walking and gentle yoga, upped my healthy fats and calories, gained a few lbs, and wouldn’t you know it, Aunt Flow returned. If you have any questions, please email me! xoxo

    • Giselle Schroer says:

      Thank you Ashley! I very much appreciate it and was actually going to private message you as I’ve read all your posts on HA. I just don’t want to jump to any conclusions without seeing a doctor then again, sometimes the doctors don’t even diagnose it correctly. Even without a diagnosis I’m going to work towards resting more and eating a little more with hope that Aunt Flow will come back. It’s weird though because since I eat mostly Paleo foods, I eat a ton of healthy fats so I would think I’d be okay… Guess not! Thank you again and I may still message you to chat 🙂

      • Sarah-Lynn says:

        Giselle, I think you have a lot of deep-seating “issues” …you are not fat and your fixation on diet-exercise….you are in so deep you aren’t even aware of how faulty your thinking is….these ladies that say “HA”…well, that’s just a blanIket term, that’s all. How is “HA” fixed? Rest and eat MORE…food…paleo is not this God-given diet that will be ones safe-keeping…you can eat FOOD and eat a lot…you can do zero exercise….if I knew then what I know now.
        Trust me walking can be your friend. There’s more to life than exercise. I was a competitive athlete…I lost it all – my identity , everything. I just….I just wish you girls would really realize…anyway..

        • Giselle Schroer says:

          Thank you for your concern and advice. I definitely agree with you that there is more to life than exercise and trust me, there is WAY more going on in my life than just that. While it may seem like I spend a lot of my time exercising or focusing on food, our day is filled with many more activities that do not center around fitness. That just happens to be what I blog more about. As far as eating Paleo goes I never began eating nor do I continue to eat paleo to lose weight. I try to eat a Paleo diet because I feel better when I do so. It keeps me from eating too many processed foods, sugar and I feel all around better when I do so. With that said I do not eat a strict Paleo diet nor do I count calories, or limit foods that I crave or desire to eat. If I want some frozen yogurt (just an example but could go with ice cream, chips, crackers, cookies etc.) I’ll eat it. I have come a very long way since my days of counting calories and worrying about every little thing I put in my mouth and I in no way think that I am fat. I may have times when I feel more confident with my body and times when I feel less so but I’m okay with that. Again, thank you so much for your concern and I appreciate your honesty 🙂

  3. Oh Giselle I am so sorry this has happened. Ashley that was so well written. I, like Ashley lost my period for just over a year back in college so I totally understand. I lost mine due to over exercising and under eating. It was awful. What helped me was finding another hobby, something else I loved to do. I am so glad you are actively doing something about it. You are a strong women and I know you will get this staightened out.

    • Giselle Schroer says:

      Thank you Renee! I like the advice of finding another hobby. Definitely a great idea and one I need to do! It’s hard because I enjoy working out so much and my son loves going to the gym to the day care so in my mind I’m making us both happy. I’m hoping to find a walking friend who will meet me a few days a week to get out of the house, get in a good walk and keep my mind off going to the gym 🙂

  4. So sorry to hear you’re having trouble Giselle! I wish I had words of wisdom for you. I’ve never had body fat low enough to stop menstration I hope it all works out for the better and soon!

    • Giselle Schroer says:

      Thanks Jenny! Personally, I wouldn’t think my body fat is too low. I’m not sure what it is right now but I’m definitely not at a weight that I would think would be too low. However, everyone’s healthy body fat percentage is different just as everyone’s healthy weight is different. Maybe as I get older, my body might need more fat to produce the right amount of hormones needed to be regular. Ugh, getting old is no fun!

  5. I’m sorry to hear about this, but it’s good you’re stepping back and trying to find a solution. It sounds like your doctor offered you a possible reason, and while it might not be one you like, it could be worthwhile to put it into action to see what happens.

    Similar to you, I am very much an exercise junkie. When I hit it, I hit it hard, and my motto is always say go big or go home, but I also only workout about three times a week. I find this, coupled with eating real, whole foods has allowed me to maintain my weight without issue. I know we’re all different and our bodies react accordingly, so you’ll need to find something that works for you and allows your hormones to be in balance. I wish you the best of luck.

    • Giselle Schroer says:

      Thank you Meghan! Yes, it is very hard to take a step back but I’m working on finding that balance. I need to follow the same type of plan with three days of hard work and more rest days or active rest like walking and yoga.

  6. I haven’t lost my period, but I can see where over-exercising and too little body fat could affect it. Though, I’m guilty of not always listening to my body, I believe rest is as important as exercise. Our bodies need the rest to recover and rebuild, in order to perform at its best the next time we work out. I’m glad you are taking a proactive approach and listening to your body. Yoga, walking and Pilates would be good rest day activities if you must do something. I usually try to walk and stretch on my rest days, but other than that, I try not do much. I hope things get better for you!

    • Giselle Schroer says:

      It’s funny because personally I would not think I have too little body fat. But I guess we all have different “healthy” body fats. Who knows! I’d love to try Pilates and might look into a class somewhere. Stretching is feeling pretty good and I need to find some love for walking! I get so bored! Thanks Melissa

  7. I’d definitely be alarmed too! I’m glad you’re listening to your body and giving it what it needs, even if it’s difficult – and I can only imagine how tough it must be! I also have the type of body that gains weight without exercise, but maybe yours will adapt to the more moderate exercising. Either way, I hope everything gets back to normal soon.

    • Giselle Schroer says:

      I wish my body would adapt. I think with my age too I gain weight pretty quickly especially in my lower half. Trying to not stress over it though and think about what’s more important 🙂

  8. I know how tough it can be to scale back on exercise and give your body the rest it needs, I am a gym junkie at heart and feel off if I don’t get a good sweat in. I have also realized how extremely important it is to take care of these bodies of ours though, after all it is the only one we get. 🙂 I know you will be able to find that balance, and yoga is definitely a great way to get there.

    • Giselle Schroer says:

      Enjoying incorporating some yoga into my weekly routine already. Hoping I can find that balance happily 🙂

  9. I haven’t experienced this but the last few months I started getting PMS and BAD. I never even had cramps before then and these past few month I’ve been experiencing every symptom in the book a week before my visitor. I worry it has something to do with my training which seems counterintuitive. Did you ever experience this before you lost yours?

    • Giselle Schroer says:

      I haven’t experienced it in correlation to working out/over training. After having my son when aunt flow returned I had much worse cramps and PMS but I’m pretty sure it was related to birth. I’m sorry, sounds like no fun!

  10. I’ve experienced the exact same thing, and just want to encourage you on this journey. I know how hard it can be to lay low on the intensity but it’s SO SO important to do this.
    I avoided it for so long, and now am suffering the consequences, which at 22 is not fun at all, but I suppose that’s what I get for treating my body badly in the past.
    I know you’ll be able to gain a better balance and you will get it all straightened out! It’s hard, but worth it!

  11. I like to do walking or pilates on my active rest days. I’ve never not had my cycle before but my mum who is very into her fitness does swimming 4 times a week and many years ago in addition to that added in some weights sessions at the gym and extra cardio and it all became too much and she stopped getting her cycle. Once she cut back and relaxed it came back again.

    Hopefully the rest will help you. Such a shame you can’t get into your doctor sooner.

  12. I definitely understand how hard it is to rest! My cycle is quickly affected by working out, too. Some women can train for marathons with no problem, but I always seem to start skipping cycles or it lengthens out. Good for you for resting!! Once you back off, it will come back fairly soon. Fingers crossed it’s much sooner than later!

    • Giselle Schroer says:

      Thank you Laura! It’s nice to hear others have gone through similar experiences 🙂

  13. I think it’s really great that you are taking the steps to correct whatever is going on. So many women get into this zone of over-training, but don’t take these warning signs as a signal that your body is doing too much.
    Hang in there- take the rest you need and things will start to even out.

    • Giselle Schroer says:

      Thank you! It’s definitely a struggle but hopefully I’ll be able to find a balance that works for me 🙂

  14. Giselle I’m so proud of you, not just because you are my daughter and I love you so much. Thank you for bringing this to other women’s attention you are strong and you are a leader. I can feel the love and caring from all the women on your sight. Thank you to all of you for your caring and loving support. I’m sure things will start to get better with time.

  15. Oh girl! I’m so proud of you! I definitely think you are doing the right thing by decreasing your exercise. I’m doing the same thing. Feel free to email me anytime. I would love to cheer you on during this!

    • Giselle Schroer says:

      Thank you Brittany! I’ve been thinking about you and your struggles as well. I definitely appreciate the support and might email you to chat soon 🙂

  16. I was just reading this and all the comments…I know it’s an old post… My period has never been normal and I took birth control for six years. When I went off of it my period continued to be abnormal and in 2013 I only got it twice! Some would say that’s a good thing I know something is not right. I know I was over doing it but since my wedding I have gained about 15 pounds and still nothing. I eat Paleo and feel like I eat a TON of food and healthy fats like you said…so I don’t know. I’ve been reading a lot about it and my appointments not til next month. Other doctors just want me to go on birth control again. Like that’s not fixing the problem. Anyways I know there’s really know point in me posting this comment but it is nice to know others are having the same problems as you! So thanks for sharing.

    • Andrea,
      Don’t give up, keep trying to find out why you don’t normal mensuration. I think this happens more and more all the time. I hear of many young women having this problem.