Figuring it out

As I’ve whined about eluded to over the last 10 days or so, things have been off.

[Earmuffs, gentlemen.]

Almost two weeks ago, I had all my typical PMS symptoms: biblical bloating, tummy distress, weight gain, and intense hunger.  Oh and quite the short fuse.

Cramping started about 9 days ago.  (Pardon if this is TMI) I typically get pretty severe cramps the evening before or the day that my period arrives.

Except, it didn’t……..?

In addition to 12 days of period symptoms, I’ve had terrible acid reflux and nausea.  Awesome!

You win this round, Tomato Toast.

So I cut back on the Trader Joe’s bruschetta sauce, drank more water, and waited impatiently.  Still no period.  The pregnancy test that I took in the Target bathroom yesterday (#newlifelow), reported that there’s no bun in this churning oven.  So what gives?

Well, according to the internet, I have an eating disorder, an ectopic pregnancy, and probably a calcium deficiency.  And maybe a brain tumor.  Seriously though, a Google search of  “missed period exercise” revealed a startling number of articles with the words “disordered eating” and “extreme exercise.”  It’s more than a little scary.

In the last three weeks, I’ve amped up my workout schedule.  I’ve been doing about 8 workouts a week (3 runs, 3 TDM classes, 2 yoga classes) with a couple of rest days in the mix.  I don’t consider this “extreme exercise” but perhaps it is.  I’ve made an attempt to eat enough to fuel these activities but I can tell it’s not enough.  I had some amazing runs over the last couple weeks but I’ve also had some really tough classes and the tummy discomfort is wearing on my patience.

It’s time to start experimenting with more carbs.  I eat whole grains and fruit but I will admit that my diet is protein-based.  I’ve historically avoided carbs because I didn’t do enough activity to burn them and I believed they contributed to weight gain and bloating.  I don’t intend to regularly eat refined flour or sugar but it’s clear that I need more energy dense foods.

I don’t know what to make of the missed period.  Honestly, it’s frustrating and demoralizing.  I’m finally in a place where I feel strong and athletic and now there’s a health concern?  Really?  I know I wasn’t better off sedentary but it bums me out that there’s any negative aspect to something that’s been so positive.

Game plan:  Eat more.  Smile more.  Hug more.  Drink water more.  Wait and see…

Anyone struggle with how much and what to eat as they’ve become more active?  Anyone……skip a period?


9 thoughts on “Figuring it out

  1. Julie says:

    I SO hear you on the frustrating demoralizing part. It’s like…you’re doing all the right things, moving lots, eating great. You want your insides to be just as awesome as your outsides now are. Keeping your body good shouldn’t be dang rocket science, right?! It was a blow to my ego when I discovered there was something about my body that was unhealthy. 😦

    When I went off the pill and stopped getting my period my doctor said I could have really stopped my period for months prior and the fake hormones were basically causing a period that wouldn’t have come naturally. Awesome. So I honestly have no idea if it’s the exercise or the hormone imbalance with me. So lame!

    I hear you on the carbs. It is a macro-nutrient, so it’s something you need, but that doesn’t mean you have to eat grains (unless you want to!). You might try incorporating foods that are high in carbs and protein maybe? Like legumes and beans? Some lentils with an delicious Indian spin (dal! I heart you!) or speecy spicy black bean and chicken soup? Or hummus! Chickpeas + tahini + healthy fats = awesomesauce. See waht I mean about baby food? *sigh*

    Honestly, from what you’ve described, it doesn’t sound like an exercise or food thing. Which is also frustrating because those are pretty much the only things you can change. You have the right idea. Be at peace with your body. Focus on a healthy, happy body and the rest will catch up. 🙂

    Keep us posted? Is that weird to say?

    PS: I just did a 21 day course of estrogen and my stomach is so bloated I actually look pregnant. With a water baby. And my ankles. Oiy, my ankles. My sister says it doesn’t bode well for when I’m actually pregnant… O_o

    • Shauna says:

      At what point is it necessary to go see my OB/GYN? I guess I’ll shoot her an email….

      Thank you for the support, as always! ❤

      And yes, hummus and whole wheat pita are coming into the mix!

      • Julie says:

        If it would give you peace of mind, definitely shoot an email, but I don’t think there’s cause for concern until you miss a second one.

        Oh man, I just thought about spreading hummus on pickled carrots and celery and that sounds really good to me. *craving*

  2. I’ve only missed 1 or 2 periods in my life and they were due to ‘extreme’ stress. For me, the ‘extreme’ was emotional stress due to my dad being in serious motorcycle accident when he was visiting me and I had to deal with the situation (gather his belongings, drive to hospital, keep family updated on his condition etc…), but even lots of exercise can be ‘stress’ on the body (even though its also good for you!). Another possibility: When I was in college, I took a reproduction class and if females have less than 12% body fat (something around that number), then they will no longer have their periods. Something about needing a certain % of body fat to trigger menstrual cycles. That’s not to say you fall into that category since you may have a normal % body fat (18-30%), which would mean its related to something else entirely. Don’t know if that was informative or completely unhelpful….

    Hopefully your body gets back into the normal groove of things soon!

  3. Shauna says:

    Hey M2M – both the stress and reduced fat are definitely possibilities. Both seem a bit unlikely. I don’t think I’m out of normal body fat range – admittedly I’m skin and bones on top but I’ve got plenty of butt/thigh jiggle. I’ve been a bit stressed but I’ve had muuuuuuuch more stressful times in my life and this is my first interruption to my menstrual cycle. Still, the combination of increased exercise, decreased fat % and stress could certainly be the answer.

    Thanks for sharing your info!! I’m starving for both pizza and answers!

    • jessie says:

      I can really relate to this post! First, quick question–are you on a type of hormonal contraceptive?

      I am a 22 year old who (from your photos) is built very similar to you!. I am veryyy tiny on top (as in less than a 31 bra band size!) and a size 0/2 on bottom. While I am not currently sure if I get my period ‘naturally’ because I am on an oral hormone regime, I do know that at certain weights, I have lost my period. I also have lost my period due to stress (several intensive interviews with security clearances).

      I lost my period when I weighed about 110 lbs, maybe a bit less (I am around 5’9). But, I also lost my period at 127lbs (I packed on a serious amount of muscle, appox 7lbs muscle 10lbs necessary fat), again still at 5’9, due to stress. Right now, I am 118, healthy and getting my period (maybe with a little help from BC). It all really depends on your body, but I suggest making an appointment with the OBGYN. asap. If you find that you experience more irregular periods, maybe a type of IUD is an option to look into!

      Also, I had a hard time coming to terms with this, but perhaps a more balanced/ consciously fueling diet is necessary, I, too, and a big fan of ketosis, but sometimes I NEED those carby little Swedish Fish on a long run. I can really feel when I am underfueled, as I have a horrible habit of ‘fasting’ before runs after a negative experience with eating a few hours before I ran.

      Best of Luck

  4. Hey Shauna, sorry to read about your troubles. Don’t have much advice to give, only that my body started changing too when I started getting seriously into exercising. It needs to adapt, so maybe (and I’m sure this is NOT what you want to hear, but still…) you just need to be a little bit more patient and let it sort itself out?! I know, it’s as frustrating to deal with as being injured, but you’ll get there. You’re doing all the right things. Just don’t get discouraged!!! Big smiles. 😀

  5. Anna says:

    I don`t have much to say but I think just that even though you are not doing extreme exercise it is still a change. Anyways, what I wanted to say is that I hope you feel a lot better by now!

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