Maintaining with period--getting over amenorrhea?

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Maintaining with period--getting over amenorrhea?

Postby satt » Thu Sep 13, 2012 8:33 pm

So I've been struggling with an ED, and I've finally caved in to recovery and begun to gain weight. I wasn't at too low of a weight to begin with--my lowest was 89, and I'm 4'11"--but apparently it was low enough for my period to stop. The last time I weighed myself I was 94 lbs, but now, I don't want to know my weight, as I'm trying to be concerned more with my health than with the numbers. My doctor has a goal for me between 97-108 lbs, judging by how my body reacts to the weight gain. I haven't had a period since last January. Recently (this past week) I've begun the weight gain process, which means cutting back on my running (I usually run 45 minutes, 7 days a week, now I've cut it down to 5 days) and increasing my caloric intake. This increase includes things that previously weren't in my diet--coconut milk ice cream, peanut butter, soy yogurt, etc. This is all fine to gain weight with, I'm sure, but I'm worried about maintaining when I reach a healthy weight for my body.

My dietician also says that it's not just the fat that will my help me get my period back, but a variety of fat. As a vegan, my fat sources are limited, and so, she's told me that I should be eating not just nuts, nut butters, avocado, etc, but the fats from the coconut milk as well. However, once I get to my goal weight, I'm not going to keep eating the coconut milk ice cream every night, or else I'll surely continue to gain weight. But I'm not sure how to keep a variety of fats in my diet without keeping in these high-calorie foods. Does anyone have any advice? Anything from anyone who has suffered through similar problems would be helpful.
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Re: Maintaining with period--getting over amenorrhea?

Postby mouche » Thu Sep 13, 2012 9:21 pm

[quote]As a vegan, my fat sources are limited

I would disagree with this. The only significant fat sources you omit as a vegan are meats and dairy. They don't offer anything that vegan fat sources don't, but in contrast do offer plenty of less healthy components.

Nuts and nut butters, seeds, avocadoes, olives and olive oil, coconut milk and coconut cream sounds like plenty of variety to me, I think that sounds really good. Don't forget things like hummus and chocolate will also contain a fair whack of fat, and it's easy to throw in some olives or sun-dried tomatoes (in oil - not too well drained!) to a pasta dish or stew or salad.

A couple of years ago I dropped a fair bit of weight due to some eating-disorder type thoughts (I found a lot of support through this forum, and then had a few counselling sessions), and was eating virtually no fat. When I incorporated it back into my diet, the one thing everyone commented on was how much healthier my hair looked! I've had the same hairdresser since I even had hair, and she couldn't believe the transformation - she didn't know about my issues but she asked if I had changed what I was eating, and that was when it clicked that I had started actively putting fat back into my diet. My hair got darker and thicker again, and people often asked if I had dyed it. The ends are still growing out and people always ask if I had dyed it and gone back to my natural colour. Anyway, all of this is just to say that more fat is definitely good, and your body will thank you for it.

As far as maintenance goes, I would say the safest bet is to keep eating what you are eating but just a little bit less of it. No need to keep eating ice cream every day if you don't want to, but make sure you're still getting your fats and the necessary calories in. Maybe keep a food log if you don't already? Track what you eat, when you eat it, how you are feeling - energy levels both in and out of exercise, mood, body image, and how much you enjoyed your meal. Eating should be enjoyable or at least something you see as providing vital fuel and nutrients for your body, not a chore.

Keep us posted on how everything goes.
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Re: Maintaining with period--getting over amenorrhea?

Postby ColleenE » Thu Sep 13, 2012 10:37 pm

Hey Satt,
I struggled with eating disorders for years and was amenorrheic, so I totally get the psychological/physical difficulties of ED. Really. It sucks. I still deal with it, but to a lesser degree than when I was younger. Thankfully, I turned my ED around young enough not to suffer many bad consequences, but I know several women in their 40s who went through it too and now have the bones of 90-yr-olds.

First, try to frame your challenge in this way: You want your body to no longer tell you that something's wrong. You don't want your body to have BIG problems later in life due to osteoporosis, etc. So it's not "I need to gain weight", it's "I need to make my body healthy so I can do things I love to do until I'm old". Fat also helps with the absorption of nutrients, amongst many other vital functions.

As far as eating fat: **eating fat in your diet will NOT make you fat**. That is a huge myth. You do not need to eat vast amounts of fat to help your body attain a healthy state (from what I've read, 15-30% of calories is perfect) and *you will not keep gaining weight once you have the right balance* of fat, carbs, and protein. Look at the diets of athletes like Ironwoman Chrissie Wellington (google a picture of her image if you don't know what she looks like). Chrissie has said many times that her diet incorporates nut butters on ricecakes and so much olive oil "She puts it on her oatmeal." Fat is not the enemy. Of course, if all you eat is coconut icecream, of course you will gain weight beyond what you wish. But you would also do the same thing if you at nonfat soy icecream all the time!! Instead, try a few Tbsps of olive oil on your salad, some nut butters on a banana, some coconut meat in a smoothie, have some almonds as a snack. You are not going to be consuming so much of these nutrient dense foods that you will continue to gain weight. Things will balance out. Instead of eating X calories (for example) in carbs and Y in protein and Z in fat, you can change the ratio but keep the same calories, more or less. So X+Y+Z will still equal the same number.

Hope that makes sense!
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Re: Maintaining with period--getting over amenorrhea?

Postby Hiking Fox » Fri Sep 14, 2012 8:54 am

Satt, you started a related thread recently and lots of people have posted advice and opinions in it. You haven't acknowledged any of them.

Why this new thread?
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