Tuesday, January 20, 2009

I am healthy now.

THAT is what I thought when I got a visit from Miss Flow last night. I'm at my lowest weight, yet I still got this unexpected visitor. As I'm sure most of you know, ED takes this as "wow Laura, you've REALLY let yourself go. You must have gained so much weight over that week that you didn't weigh yourself!". Well actually...I didn't. But thanks ED. In fact, I am perfectly stable, so maybe this unexpected visitor showed up because my nutrition is getting better. My weight just needs to follow.

And actually, I have a LOT to talk about regarding our womanly cycle. But first!

For dessert last night I had a container of HALF frozen vanilla bean greek style yogurt. I prefer it to be COMPLETELY frozen, but we had just plugged our fridge back in after the long break, so it wasn't cold enough yet! (but apparently it was cold enough to freeze my cottage cheese which is right below the freezer! Oh, you have to love dorm life!)

But honestly, look how creamy it looks!!

And I figured I would show everyone what I see when I look out my window every day. Just for a little more visual pleasure.

Now it's lesson time.
And here is where I am going to be teaching this wonderful lesson:

Coffee cup filled.

Actually, you play that. I already know who's it is =]

Nutrition and Infertility

Would you believe that this was the topic of our Nutrition class today? The day after I got my period, we would discuss different reasons why someon
e would be infertile (and you can bet your bottom dollar that being underweight was a HUGE component). However, I learned quite a bit more than I thought I would from this lesson, and I thought I would share it with you.

I will ask for your feedback though. I am in a course that discusses nutrition throughout life, and if any of this information is triggering please PLEASE tell me so that I can remove it immediately.

First of all, there are two different hormones to signal the fe
male brain to began our menstrual cycle. One of them is of course, Estrogen. The other is Lepton, which is a hormone derived from fat cells. The more fat cells you have, the more hormones that are able to be released. This is one of the reasons why if a woman is underweight, she will lose her period. (signal ED- Laura...you have enough fat cells to start your period. You are fat.) (signal Laura- BULLSHIT ED!)

ED is actually wrong in this scenario (big surprise!!). Anyone with a BMI of less than TWENTY (20) is at risk of becoming infertile.

Also, Chronic Under nutrition can lead to the birth of a small and frail infant who has an increased likelihood of dieing within the first year of life. This means the longer we starve ourselves, girls, the greater the risk that we will lose our baby someday! I know I'm not planning on having a child ANY time soon, but we need to stop focusing on the little "highs" we get from ED right now, and focus on the future- OUR lives and our FAMILIES lives.

ANOTHER thing that I didn't realize is that people who are underweight can get their period, but not release an egg. This is called an Anovulatory Cycle. These women do not know that there is no egg being released, because they are getting their p
eriod. So for all I know, I am STILL not fully menstruating!

A few other random facts:

-Women who exercise for >1 hour a day and do not menstruate are at a greater risk of bone loss and stress fractures.

-A low fat (<20%>2
5g fiber daily) is linked to reduced estrogen and irregular periods. This can cause infertility.

-****Carotenemia- a high intake of beta-carotene is linked to amennorhea (loss of menstrul cycle for 3+ months) and menstrual disfuction. It's been found in anorexic girls that their high intake of carots and other caretenoids causes a yellowing of the skin and loss of period. ( I DID NOT KNOW THIS!!!)

I'm really not sure if this was helpful/hurtful/indifferent to you girls.

But for me, it was the perfect thing to hear especially because I ju
st got my mentrual cycle back after 3 months. (I only had it ONCE three months ago. It was six months PRIOR to that that I got it last). Like I said previously, I don't plan on having a child any time soon...but I would like to someday. And I need to start taking care of myself NOW.


  1. haha that's my blog- i spied my Clif bar! yum!
    yay for being HEALTHY, Laura. Weight is one thing and HEALTH is another. I am so excited for you!!!!!

  2. Oh girl - fabulous yogurt!!

    Thanks for posting the nutrition info! I, personally, love to read about nutrition so I enjoyed it! Scary about the carrots though because I love 'em - maybe I should cut back a wee bit!

  3. I'm happy for you, not only for Auntie Flow, but also for realizing that this does NOT mean you are finished with recovery yet. I always fear that girls who start their periods think, "well I guess I'm fine now," but you recognize that this is just a step along the way...great job!

  4. Wow, what a great post. It really does show the importance of living a healthy life. Great job Laura. Glad to hear that you are healthy. And you're definitely vibrant today too! It comes across in your awesome post!

  5. Congrats on your period! Hee, life would be so much funnier if EVERY woman got congratulated every time they had their period, wouldn't it? 'Sorry you're all crabby and stuff, but -- HEY -- you have your period! So it's not all bad!'

    I actually found the info you posted very helpful. At the risk of sharing TMI, I stopped getting my period when I stopped taking birth control regularly, about 2.5 years ago. I take it for a month every now and then to 'force' a cycle, because it's not good for your body to let that tissue sit around for more than six months (squick). I'd sort of convinced myself that it couldn't be related to low body weight/fat, since my BMI isn't below 18.5 (er, I was KIDDING myself that wasn't the reason), so it's useful to know that 20 is actually the 'magic' number.

    This is the reason I hate ED most of all. I will KILL him if he takes away my ability to have a child. Okay, I'll kill him anyway. Who needs ED?

  6. I wanted to post, as I am probably a medical oddity.

    My bmi is currently 9.5%, and I still am visited by the Great Monthly. At my pre-anorectic weight, my nutritionist figured I may have been at most 15 - 16%. I've got alot of muscle on me.

    Makes sense now, that I've never been able to have children, despite numerous "A-OK" blood checks on my hormones. My Ob tells me not to blame it on myself, yet....

  7. Laura thank you for this info and YAY to Auntie flow!!!!! This info is a true eye opener... I AM FEARFUL of not being able to have kids someday.. health is SOOO much more important!!!! ED WILL NOT TAKE WOMANHOOD FROM US!!!!!!!!!

  8. great post! thanks for the info-- but a few of my doctors actually say that there is no medical evidence that proves a link between being too thin and becoming infertile. they also said while it may not be possible for a woman to become pregnant if she is too thin-- if she were to gain the weight she would be fully capable.. hmm.. not sure what to think. by the way i'm bummed u didn't like the bar! o well to each their own!

  9. heya girlie,
    im so happy for you that you got a visit from aunt flow...i know ed may make u feel as though its a bad thing..but its definetly not. and everyone gets their preiods back at differnt weights etc (if they loose it at all)..the nutritionist at my ed centre said shes seen some clients at very healthy weights and with fullhealth but no period and others so sick but with a period. its everyones own body for themsleves, all differnt. but hun be happy,

    i wish so much i had mine..its been over 2 years and it scares me so much, i have osteopenia because of the lack of estrogen and i worry about not bieng able to have kids...ed takes so much away from us. thanks for posting this hun, it really gave me food for thought! i think its a really important issue in recovery.

    the yogurt looks yummy :)
    have a great night girlie,
    love u

  10. congrats girl! that is truly something to be celebrated!! I'm so glad that you have this as a reminder that your doing what you need to do and your body is functioning properly..you must feel fabulous!

    Thank for sharing all that info girlie!

    have a good night lover :)<3

  11. yay girl! and we're on the same page because she came to visit me today too!

    and I remember thinking the same thing when my cycle came back after being gone for almost a year when i was at my worst...i used to joke that it was cool that i didn't have to worry about it but after getting a nice, firm lecture from my gyno (and admitting to her about the ed) i realized how bad it was...and as far as i can remember that was one of the things that help me spring back from the point i was at! so i hope you're able to keep combating that ED voice and be glad aunt flo is back, because she = babies (in the future of course!).

    and love the 1/2 frozen yogurt...best way to eat it!

  12. haha OH GOSH NO they don't make you drink milk at every meal haha. You just have to get in however many "milks" your meal plan requires, whether it be in milk/choco milk or yogurt orrrr cottage cheese.
    ugh i would die if i had to drink milk every meal!

  13. Hey I just found your blog and I enjoyed reading this entry and your profile. I am also a freshman, at the University of New Hampshire and finding that this whole balancing act is not as easy as it seems. Hang in there! On another note, around here there aren't many grocery stores so I have to make due with the dinning halls. They sure make it hard to eat healthy..but I am taking steps to take out the "bad stuff."

  14. That's super ironic that I would come across your blog at a time like this! After 7 months my womanhood decided to return to me as well and this post makes me SO happy to have found your blog! The statistics definitely function as an eye-opener/slap-in-the-face of a sort, kind of like, "Hey, look what you're doinnggggg, it's bad! Be healthy KTHNXBYE!"

    It's truly fabulous though to read that you're doing so well and living such a healthy life and if I can figure out how to subscribe then I certainly will be doing so! Heehee.