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When Your Definition of Healthy Changes

by Courtney on July 25, 2012

For the past couple of months, there’s been a post I’ve wanted to write.

Ultimately, however, whenever I’ve tried to sit down and actually write it out, I either can’t find the words or I just have too sour of an outlook on the situation to truly get to the point I’m trying to get across.

The fact of the matter is, these past couple of months have been hard for me, on more levels than I could have ever imagined. Mentally, physically, and emotionally. Outside of Jay, my mom, and some of my very close friends (both in real life, and in the blog world), I really haven’t brought this up with anyone until now.

So here we are today, and I finally feel like I’m in a place where I can talk about this thing openly and honestly. First and foremost…I am okay, so please don’t worry about me. I’ll spare you all the nitty gritty details of everything (just because I think it’s important to maintain some sense of privacy and keep certain things for off the blog), but I am feeling compelled to share this “thing” after hiding behind it long enough.

So I’ll just get to right to the point…about two months ago, I was diagnosed with Hypothalamic Amenorrhea, or “HA.” I’d be willing to bet that most of you have never even heard of this before, and had it not been for me reading the blogs of some fabulous ladies, I probably wouldn’t have known what it was either.

Basically, it’s a condition where menstruation stops for several months due to a problem involving the hypothalamus in the brain.

I knew that something was up a few months ago, so I made an appointment to go see my regular OB-GYN. After a couple of tests with her and another month or so of waiting, she suggested that I go see a specialist.

I was lucky to get an appointment after only about a month of waiting, thanks to a cancellation, and I went in to meet with the specialist. Before we even spoke about everything, I had a sneaking suspicion that I already knew what he was going to tell me, but I waited.

The doctor continued to talk, ask questions, write down information furiously, and then proceeded to tell me his answer to my “why is this happening to me” question. And then, wouldn’t you know, he explained what I already suspected…

While he said he can’t be 100% certain, it was his medical opinion that the cause of my HA is a combination of recent heavy exercise, as well as that God-awful time period when I was not feeding my body the nutrients that it needed.  And even though his response didn’t surprise me, since the research I’d done previously was very similar, my heart still sank like a rock and I immediately started playing the “what if” game…

What if I had only taken care of my body back then?

What if I hadn’t exercised so much?

I spent that first week very, very angry with myself. I had nobody to blame but myself, really. Slowly, I began to accept this thing for what it was and I realized that the past was the past. There was nothing I could do about it…the only thing I could do was move forward and make the best of it.

From that first visit, I spent a majority of the month of June, and some of July, shuffling in and out of the doctor’s office and hospital. I’ve been in for tests, more tests, more very unpleasant tests, and even MRI scans (the reason for my special treat this day), just to be sure that there was nothing else that was physically interfering with my ill-functioning body. I’m happy to report that all of those tests came back normal, and I am so incredibly grateful for that, as I know that there are amazing women out there who are dealing/have dealt with far worse than me.

*****

So you may be wondering why I’m even bothering to share this with you all today? Well, for the past couple of months, I struggled with that same question, which is why I’ve put off even talking about it. But today, I feel like I can finally explain it.

For one, I’ve felt like I’ve been living somewhat of a lie, which I no longer want to live. Day after day, I write on this blog all about “healthy living,” and here I am…not healthy. It isn’t fair of me to lead you all on to thinking that I am some “picture of health,” because right now, I am not.

Also related to the blog…you may have noticed that I’ve really cut back on sharing my daily exercise with you. Well, that’s because it hasn’t been happening. Back at that first appointment of mine, my doctor’s natural “prescription” in order to try to combat my HA was to begin what he amusingly calls the “Haagan Dazs Diet” – cut back significantly on exercise and try to gain about 5-10 pounds.

This has been a struggle for me, and I’m not going to lie and say that it hasn’t. I honestly love to exercise. I love to sweat, and I love that feeling of accomplishment I have when I’m done. I knew that it would be hard on me mentally to cut exercise out completely, so I checked with the specialist and see whether or not some light exercise would be acceptable…

Enter the June Yoga Challenge. Thank goodness I ended up finding a love for yoga with that challenge, since it has really been my only form of exercise besides walking (which has proven to be an excellent way to multi-task while catching up on my reading). They have been my sanity’s saving grace…and sometimes, if my house is hot enough, they even allow me to still sweat a bit too. Amen.

As far as the extra pounds go? I’ve been making an effort to eat more every day (many of my snacks have been going undocumented here, as well as my evening bowls of ice cream) and while I do mostly try to stick with healthy fats (like extra avocado, nuts, and nut butter) it doesn’t always happen. Sometimes I say “screw it,” and enjoy an extra scoop of ice cream or brownie. What can I say…guilty.

Since getting that diagnosis almost two months ago, I’ve gained around six pounds which, not surprisingly, was not hard for my body to do at all, of course. Yeah, I could do without ‘em. Honestly, I don’t love the fact that I’ve had to go out and buy clothes in bigger sizes, and I wish I could say that I’m at a point where I feel comfortable in my own skin, but right now I’m just not. I know I’ll get there…just like Ashley so admirably is…it’s just taking me some time. But ultimately, there’s no question: I’ve taken the extra pounds in order to get my body back to working like it should, and I am happy to say that I’m slowly on the right track.

*****

If you’ve made it this far into this lengthy, picture-less post, then thank you. Please, please, do not feel sorry for me after reading all of this. HA, while trying at times, is miniscule compared to so many critical situations out there. If nothing else, I hope that by me sharing this with you all, there is at least one person who can benefit from it somehow. HA has been popping up more and more, yet so few people know about it.

So for right now, I’m just continuing to work on my personal definition of healthy…even though it may be different from just about everyone else.

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{ 262 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Meredith July 25, 2012 at 2:37 pm

I am so happy you wrote this post as I have been going through the same thing. Its hard feeling like youre going through it alone! Its so scary because of the fear of the unknown. What if I dont work out so hard today? What if i add a little extra avacado to my salad? And though its hard to realize, those “bad” things are ok! Its something I struggle with every day, so thank you for being open and honest.

Much Love,

Meredith

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2 Kate July 25, 2012 at 2:39 pm

I am very sorry for your struggles and hope that you start feeling better very soon. I don’t comment much on blog posts, but I am a daily reader of many “healthy living” blogs. Sometimes they leave me wondering..”what’s wrong with me” when I eat twice as much as the pictures shown in these blogs, drink more than a sip of beer and exercise half as long, if at all, during the work week. I want you to know I truly appreciate your honesty with the readers. I personally wonder if many of these “healthy living” blogs are actually quite unhealthy and are dangerous to their impressionable readers, especially ones that are not personal trainers/dieticans. I know there have been weeks where I have had to stop reading the blogs that post their food and exercise solely so I wouldn’t feel badly about myself/drive myself crazy.

I think you are a very sweet, honest person and love reading your blog – feel better!

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3 Jessie July 25, 2012 at 3:27 pm

Kate, you couldn’t of said it any better! I feel the exact same way as you. Courtney I know so many people will benefit from this post. Thank you for sharing and opening up to all of us. You truly are amazing.
Jessie recently posted..A new beginning…

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4 Karleen July 25, 2012 at 4:06 pm

I totally agree with your comment as well! Sometimes I feel guilty with my overeating and/or indulging and this blog actually helps me overcome that. Courtney, u r awesome for all that u share with us and I’m sure it took a lot to be able to share something so personal with us. But thank u because I think a lot of your readers can relate. My friends and I at one point last year were seeing great results at the gym but our diets were not on par. To counteract that, we think we became what is commonly called as exercise anorexia or exercise addicts. To realize that your body can suffer a serious toll for that scares me and makes me feel lucky that I didn’t go through any serious scares. I am happy that u were able to seek treatment and are now resting your body about can recharge and get back to normal. Thank u for being so real!!

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5 Courtney July 25, 2012 at 4:41 pm

Thank you, ladies!

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6 Lauren July 26, 2012 at 10:06 am

oh my gosh I agree. I hate the WIAW blogs because I’m like “that’s all you ate?” and i feel super guilty about eating a little more or actually super indulging on a weekend or skipping a workout! I’ve decided to back off of reading blogs for a while and focus on how I feel and what’s healthy to me.

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7 Michelle @ Eat Move Balance July 25, 2012 at 2:40 pm

I’m a little speechless. Your honesty, combined with the healing that is inevitably taking place as a result of getting your thoughts out in the open, will probably help many others. Actually, not probably. It will. It already did (pointing at myself).

Thank you.
Michelle @ Eat Move Balance recently posted..Colorado Road Trip: Boulder

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8 Lindsay @ The Lean Green Bean July 25, 2012 at 2:41 pm

thinking of you, pretty lady! good for you for taking a step back and doing what’s best for your body now. **HUGS**
Lindsay @ The Lean Green Bean recently posted..#surviveon35: Recap & Thoughts

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9 Jen July 25, 2012 at 2:43 pm

I am so sorry you’re going through this, Courtney. You’re so sweet to share this with your readers. I know this post will help so many people!

Please try not to be too hard on yourself. I either have HA or PCOS (different doctors diagnosed me with different things) and I blamed myself a lot. But the truth is some women can be thin and exercise intensely and have it not impact their cycles and fertility, while others just can’t. And there’s no clear cut reason why.

I’m making the assumption that you want kids someday, and I promise there are a lot of HA success stories. Sarah from theshubox is the first one who comes to mind.

Hang in there <3
Jen recently posted..Planning the next one

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10 Courtney July 25, 2012 at 4:40 pm

You assumed right :)
Thanks, Jen!

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11 Michelle Caputo July 26, 2012 at 10:59 am

I was FINALLY diagnosis with HA last October! None of the doctors I sought new what was wrong with me. After a series of tests my reproductive endocrinoligst diangosis me. I’m proud to say that I’m 15 weeks pregnant and am due in Jan! Like Jen said, there are MANY success stories!

- Michelle

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12 Lindsay July 26, 2012 at 2:02 pm

Michelle – Congratulations! Do you mind sharing if you did anything in particular that you feel was the key to getting your cycle back? I have had HA for 3 years. I gained 12 pounds, backed off cardio and, due to surgery, haven’t done the slightest bit of exercise in 4 months. Still, nothing. :(

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13 Michelle Caputo July 26, 2012 at 2:12 pm

I actually never got my cycle back. I was told that I couldnt ovulate. I wasn’t producing nearly the amount of estrogen I needed. I went through IUI. 3 rounds of injections and got pregnant. I consider myself VERY lucky. Many other woman have a lot harder time conceiving. My only advice is don’t give up! I asked my dr what I could do to help my cycle come back. He said pretty much nothing. It went away 4 years ago from weight loss. He said the damage was done. It may come back in a few months or it may come back when i’m 40 years old. No guarantee. I asked should I gain weight? He said, not necessary at all. I am now at a healthy BMI and body weight 5`4 135 pounds (pre pregnancy). He said gaining weight could just cause other problems to arise (IE) diabetis -it runs in my family. Hang in there. And stay positive!!

14 Julie @ Peanut Butter Fingers July 25, 2012 at 2:44 pm

i remember you telling me about this back in NY in may and while it truly is none of our business, i think that by sharing what you’re going through, you’re definitely going to help people who may be struggling with the same thing, as the bloggers (chelsey and ashley) have helped you. my period is and has always been just about as regular as they come, but my heart hurts for you, as i remember a good friend of mine going through the same thing in high school. she was a crazy-good cross country runner (one of the best in the state), but inevitably had to listen to her doctor and stop running such long distances since it was taking a toll on her body. she got her period back, don’t you worry! i know you will, too! it sounds like you’re doing a great job of really taking your doctor’s advice seriously and nourishing your body. i’m always here to chat if you need me. :) xo
Julie @ Peanut Butter Fingers recently posted..Amusing Study Companions

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15 Courtney July 25, 2012 at 4:39 pm

Thanks, friend :) xo

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16 Rachel July 25, 2012 at 2:45 pm

I am so happy you posted this. Currently I’ve been struggling with trying to get my period back. I lost it from running too much/not eating enough and my Doctor actually put me hormone pills to get it back– which it did. And it came back the month after but this month? Gone. And I know why.. I upped my running thinking was ok. It’s so comforting to know that someone else is going through this too because it’s really scary :( I feel like I’m not healthy at all because I was one who would get their period every month since I got it. I’ve also been doing the same as you… trying to decrease the exercising but at some times the old ED thinking gets the best of me :/

- Rachel
Rachel recently posted..Fart Boy Strikes Again

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17 Kaitlyn @ Chocolate Running Shoes July 25, 2012 at 2:46 pm

Courtney – I love this post. I’ve followed Ashley along with her HA journey, and just as I’ve told her in the past, I think it’s so admirable for you to share this.

I definitely struggle with my definition of health, too. To get a little personal, I am tall with a large-bone framed, and have been genetically given large, muscular legs….I’ve never ever ever been teeny tiny, and I never will. I am fortunate to have my health, but I really really really struggle with it sometimes….the fact that for me, healthy doesn’t look like that “skinny, fit” body, which has become a vision of health, is SO hard. That vision is sooooo not what healthy always is or has to be. To know that I’m not the only one who gets confused by the definition of health at times is really reassuring.
Figuring out the definition of health sure is complicated :) I’m glad to know that I’m not alone.
Kaitlyn @ Chocolate Running Shoes recently posted..WIAW #6

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18 Karleen July 25, 2012 at 4:12 pm

Kaitlyn, thank you for sharing your story as well. I have never been teeny tiny. I have an athletic build if you will and no matter how hard I workout or diet, I’ll always have that body type. What I have learned and still continue to struggle with embracing, is the fact that god made us all in his own unique way and we should feel blessed to be given that healthy body. Ugh, such a daily struggle living in this day in age where u see the perfect model advertisements everywhere and girls at the gym that always seem to look perfect without trying as hard as you feel like you’re working

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19 Megan@ The Running Doc July 25, 2012 at 2:50 pm

I can only imagine how hard it must have been to write this post. As someone who has also had female issues (mine weren’t HA, but rather ovarian cysts), I know how frustrating it can be to know your body isn’t functioning as it should and to feel as though there’s very little you can do to change it. But you’re not alone and everyone’s “healthy” is a little bit different, if yours involves ice cream on a nightly basis and walking then so be it! There’s truly no reason you should feel bad or guilty about that for one second.
Megan@ The Running Doc recently posted..T-4 Days Until the Olympics

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20 Becki (@Fight4Wellness) July 25, 2012 at 2:52 pm

Because of the field I’m in I have heard of HA before and could guess what was coming, but that didn’t make it any less powerful to read. Your health is the most important thing, always.
Becki (@Fight4Wellness) recently posted..Dealing With a Bad Run: My First Day of Half Marathon Training

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21 Lauren @ Chocolate, Cheese and Wine July 25, 2012 at 2:52 pm

Courtney, I love how honest you have always been. As a long time reader, I really appreciate your sincerity which keeps me reading. I’m glad that you were able to recognize the problem and I hope everything is back to normal soon.
Lauren @ Chocolate, Cheese and Wine recently posted..C25K Week 1 Recap!

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22 Caroline @ After Dinner Dance July 25, 2012 at 2:52 pm

I can’t say I can relate, but I’m sure there will be many readers who can. And you are not a hypocrite at all – you are a role model for healthy living! You’re doing exactly what your body needs now and what’s healthy for you!
Caroline @ After Dinner Dance recently posted..What I Ate Wednesday #15

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23 Danielle@cleanfoodcreativefitness July 25, 2012 at 2:53 pm

Courtney this is such a great post! I have been reading your blog for a very long and have always loved how much you share with your readers! I have also always looked to your blog for inspiration of healthy eating and balancing foods that may not be the “healthiest” but are delicious! I’m not going to tell you I’m sorry (only cause you asked) but I will tell you how amazing you are and how strong you are to have been dealing with this! It is so hard not to play the what if game but all you can really do now is take care of your body, which it looks like you are doing! You are inspiring to many people out there and I hope you know that! We are all pulling for you and I’m sure you will be back to your routine of exercise very soon!
Danielle@cleanfoodcreativefitness recently posted..What I ate Wednesday

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24 BakingSuit July 25, 2012 at 2:53 pm

Thinking of you while you make this adjustment. It’ll be hard, but you can do it. While you wouldn’t know it by looking at me now, there was a time that I struggled keeping weight on. (Combination of stress, erratic schedule, two training sessions a day etc) It took that silly caliper test in gym class and a boyfriend noticing bruises on my hips from the bones poking out for anyone to notice that I was shrinking away thanks to the height of Grunge being popular. I dropped quickly to less than 12% body fat and the doc said if I didn’t gain 5 lbs immediately and continue to gain another 10 he would pull me from my beloved ski team and swimming job.

After basically not eating anything it was really hard to get my body to accept food and my mind to accept that I was too thin, even if I thought I looked good. It took a bit, but a steady diet of milk shakes, Peanut butter and honey sandwiches, and mandatory pasta at meals helped me gain the weight back and by then ski season was over and I was back to one workout a day.

Like many other things in the blog world, you’re not alone. Add some extra calories to every meal…and check out the new FroYo place on River Street! Dante’s, it’s a new favorite of ours.
BakingSuit recently posted..BONUS! WTF?

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25 Courtney July 25, 2012 at 4:43 pm

I’ve been wanting to try Dante’s so bad! Good to know that they’re a favorite of yours now…more reason to hit it up asap! :)

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26 ashley July 25, 2012 at 2:53 pm

i’m sorry for your struggles courtney. i went through this same thing 2 years ago when my husband and i started trying to get pregnant. i went off the pill and 7 months later……still no ‘friend.’ i had recently started working out 5-6 times a week and had lost 40 pounds within a rather short period of time. my doctor gave me the same diagnosis and remedy as yours did. a few pounds put back on, a day or 2 cut out of my gym routine and aunt flow herself appeared. we’re not pregnant yet but my ‘friend’ situation is now normal. it is a struggle but you’ll definitely get through it with the support of your fabulous family!

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27 Lauren July 25, 2012 at 2:54 pm

Girl, I love you! I am so proud of you for writing this. You know I’m always here for you. xoxo
Lauren recently posted..Just Say “No!”

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28 Courtney July 25, 2012 at 4:43 pm

Thanks Lauren. You’ve also been a great set of ears :) xo

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29 Amanda Perry @ Sistas of Strength July 25, 2012 at 2:55 pm

What a great post, and one I’m sure was really hard to write. I think it’s so important that women have a place to turn when they have their own health issues and it’s nice that more people are opening up about this and other things. So many people over-train (I am definitely guilty of this sometimes even has a trainer who encourages clients to take plenty of rest days!) and it truly can lead to health problems, mentally and physically.

I’m so proud of you for taking your doctors advice and trying to get your body back to working correctly as you say. That can’t be easy for someone who loves to sweat! Hang in here….XOXO
Amanda Perry @ Sistas of Strength recently posted..Momma Son Bonding Time

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30 Ashley @ My Food N Fitness Diaries July 25, 2012 at 2:56 pm

Love you Court! ;)

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31 Diana July 25, 2012 at 2:57 pm

Hi Courtney,

I read your blog everyday, and I usually do not comment on blogs, but I really appreciate you writing this. I am going through the same thing now. I have not actually been diagnosed with anything, but I have gone through many test and they all come back normal. No one can tell me what is wrong with me. A few years ago I lost over 10 lb., and recently I have gained all of it back, which has been really hard for me. I thought maybe by gaining the weight back that I would get my period back, but it hasn’t worked. I struggle with my weight everyday…I look at the mirror and all I see is love handles. It is very hard, especially when your mom and sister are thin and eat whatever they want and don’t exercise. I have not gone out and bought bigger clothes because I can’t accept it! Seeing this post has helped me a lot, and it makes me realize that I am not alone. Thank you so much for this post!

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32 Courtney July 25, 2012 at 4:44 pm

I will tell you that buying bigger clothes has actually made me feel SO much better. Honestly…the size may be bigger, but I’m actually comfortable in them!

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33 Brittany V July 25, 2012 at 2:57 pm

Courtney – Thank you for allowing yourself to be open, honest, and vulnerable with us … that sure takes a lot of courage :) It is a good reminder that everyone’s definition of “healthy” is different and SHOULD be… and also that your perception of this concept might change as you have life experiences. I have spent the last couple years struggling with this idea – my metabolism suddently dramatically changed, for several reasons, and all of the sudden I had a completely different body. I went from being on an eating plan to gain weight and fat in high school, to constantly being uncomfortable with my body and struggling to lose the extra weight that I think I see. So long story short, I am glad that you are taking the steps your body needs right now to become healthy, and thank you for the reminder of what “healthy” is. :)

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34 Sara July 25, 2012 at 2:59 pm

You have no idea how thankful I am that you posted this. Over the past year I’ve been going through a similar period of exercising too much and not getting the nutrients I need. In full disclosure I’m doing much better but am still healing/recovering. I’ve never really thought much about how it might impact me down the road. At all. I try not to worry, but at the same time I need to be practical. I was going to skip the Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream social currently going on at my office and pretend I had other work to do, but now I’m in a different (and more “normal/healthy”) mind frame. Thank you again – you truly have been an inspiration!

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35 Courtney July 25, 2012 at 4:46 pm

Hope you enjoyed your Ben & Jerry’s :)

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36 Kaelin July 25, 2012 at 3:01 pm

Thanking you for sharing your news! I wish you a speedy recovery!!

You mentioned that you only have yourself to blame. But I don’t believe that is true. Girls and women are bombarded with constant sources from the media to lose weight, get fitter, or look prettier. It drives me crazy! I was in a very similar place earlier this Spring, while it was more of a disordered eating/over exercising type issue. I have made peace with food, eating when I am hungry, eating what I want, which is usually healthy stuff except for the ice cream! The hardest part has been the tighter clothes and bikini season. But honestly, no one else has noticed my extra 5#. No one noticed when I was working out like a maniac either. I am not even weighing myself anymore, or calorie counting. And I am limiting myself to an hour of exercise 6 days a week. It’s been liberating!

Anyways, you are not alone. You are drop dead gorgeous!! There are many of us coming to terms with what “healthy” means for our own bodies may not be the same as what others can do with theirs. We can only live and learn and do our best with what we have from here on out. Thank you again!

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37 Courtney July 25, 2012 at 4:47 pm

Thank you so much Kaelin! It’s true…nobody else notices the minor changes as much as we do.

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38 The Healthy Hipster July 25, 2012 at 3:02 pm

I really appreciate this post for all it’s openness and sincerity. People always assume that as healthy living bloggers we suffer from the criticism and judgement of others, but nothing ever measures up to what we impose upon ourselves. Loosening that micromanaging grip on food and fitness restrictions/routines is scary and uncomfortable but in the end it results in a much saner happier life. I think if the healthy living community could br as supportive of this process as we are about weight loss and “transformations” we’d be much better for it.

:)

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39 Courtney July 25, 2012 at 4:48 pm

I couldn’t agree with you more!

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40 Kaelin July 25, 2012 at 5:00 pm

This is so true…. the more blogs and forums I read, the more I lose sight of “normal”. I begin to think that EVERYONE is exercising everyday and eating a perfectly balanced diet. And I feel inadequate. While I love learning about new workouts and recipes, sometimes I have to remind myself that I am enough. My decent diet and sweaty workouts are enough.

Reading everyone’s comments has helped me so much!

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41 Sarah R July 25, 2012 at 3:03 pm

I was diagnosed with HA in the spring of 2009 after my husband and I decided that we were ready to have a baby. It’s a long tough road, but ultimately I am better for it. I can’t say that I don’t still struggle, but I know that I am healthy now. There’s a great group of women on a message board and also on Facebook if you’re looking for some online support. Email me if you want and I can send you the links, or just be an ear to listen. I know what you are going through!

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42 Hayley @ Running Down the Runway July 25, 2012 at 3:03 pm

Courtney, this was such a great post. I think it is such an important post to write, given that the most common critique given to healthy living bloggers is that they “don’t eat enough, and exercise too much.” It is one of the hardest parts of having a blog- sharing enough to keep readers engaged, but not sharing every last detail, bite, and drop of sweat so that they feel like they are living your life with you! I love, love your honesty and discussing a topic that is definitely not easy to share- especially knowing thousands are reading along. It is such an important topic and something that so many women struggle with (myself included). I enjoy reading your blog every day, and usually more than once a day, and I truly do appreciate this post, and you are not alone!
Hayley @ Running Down the Runway recently posted..Thursday Things/Tangents/Thoughts

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43 Amanda @ Maggiano Takes Austin July 25, 2012 at 3:03 pm

I know this post has been trying on you, but I am so glad you posted it. Not only will it reach out to women all over, but your honesty and heart is admirable and this was beautifully written. I am sorry you’re going through these struggles, but it sounds like you are doing really great now which is awesome to hear :) Thanks for sharing this today. You’re an inspiration of all things, not just ‘healthy living’ to many, including me. :-) xoxo
Amanda @ Maggiano Takes Austin recently posted..Southwestern Egg Rolls with Spicy Avocado Ranch

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44 Alana July 25, 2012 at 3:05 pm

I don’t think you have any idea how beneficial it is to many of us that you posted this. You’re “real,” not some sort of celebrity figure. And to see what has happened to your body as a result of trying to maintain something that may not be right for your particular body, I think, speaks to a lot of us.

I got a bit choked up reading this, because God, I’ve been feeling this way for so long and it feels, in a really sick way, almost good that someone who I look up to and read every day can also realize they’re maybe going about it a little wrong. I’m, of course, not saying that I’m glad you have HA. That would be awful! But I’m saying that seeing someone as successful, pretty, fit, health-conscious…seemingly perfect through the lens of this blog…realize they have been imperfect, too, makes the rest of the imperfect people reading your blog breath a sigh of relief. You have shown us that WE ARE NOT ALONE. And for that, I don’t think I can thank you enough.

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45 Erin July 25, 2012 at 3:05 pm

Hi Courtney,

I haven’t ever commented before, but I wanted to on this post. I am going through the same thing right now, except for the fact that my period has been missing for years! I had anorexia as a teenager and gained some weight back, but not enough for my body to be healthy. I am working on gaining 10 to 15 more pounds, and it is super hard for me, especially when I feel like I am doing the opposite of what all the “healthy living experts” say to be doing. It is also so hard when you outgrow clothes ( I just took a huge pile to Plato’s Closet as well). So, please know that you are not alone. And remember that being emotionally and spiritually healthy is just as, if not more important than being physically healthy. I am sending you a big hug from KansasCity ((love))

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46 Courtney July 25, 2012 at 4:49 pm

I just made the trip to Plato’s Closet too! ;)

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47 Melissa July 25, 2012 at 3:05 pm

I am so glad to hear you are taking care of yourself and doing what’s right for your body. It seems that sometimes how we look takes a priority over our health, and it’s so backwards!! I’ve recently been struggling with similar issues, and I’ve found that I’ve had to take a step back from blog reading because the focus of so many blogs I love is on food and exercise–things I’m trying to not focus on so much for my health! It is hard, because I love the blogging community so much, but I realized that it was what I needed to do for myself, and I’m doing so much better for it. Hope everything works out for the best for you ASAP!
Melissa recently posted..Marathon Training: Week 1

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48 Courtney July 25, 2012 at 4:50 pm

I can totally relate, Melissa. I’ve had to scale back my blog reading quite a bit as well because I kept finding myself getting frustrated. Best of luck to you, too! xo

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49 Melanie July 25, 2012 at 3:06 pm

Thank you so much for sharing, Courtney. I had a similar problem a couple of years ago- I lost a lot of weight very rapidly due to IBS and lost my cycle along with it. After about six months with absolutely no signs of it returning, I went to the doctor and began birth control. Luckily, my cycle returned in a couple of months, but it was definitely scary. I worried that I would affect my fertility or put myself at risk for other health problems later on. I exercise a lot still, but I’ve finally begun to put back on the weight I so quickly lost. I’ve been feeling very self-conscious about it and hate the fact that my jeans aren’t so comfortable anymore, but hearing your similar struggles is extremely encouraging. Again, thank you for being so brave and willing to share. You are definitely making an impact!

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50 Courtney July 25, 2012 at 4:52 pm

Thank you Melanie. I just also wanted to let you know that I was on birth control and got my period every month while on it. It wasn’t until I went off of it 5 months ago that I discovered the pill was really only giving me a “fake” period, so to say. Just a heads up!

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51 Melanie July 25, 2012 at 5:51 pm

Oh wow, thank you for letting me know. I will definitely bring this up at my next doctor appointment. I appreciate it!

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52 Danica @ It's Progression July 25, 2012 at 7:31 pm

You just answered exactly what I was wondering…I recently had a wellness evaluation and had my body composition taken. Long story short, my body fat percentage was in the “risky” low category :( I talked to a specialist because while my husband and I aren’t trying for a baby yet, I want my body to be as capable for that once we decide we’re ready…and she said that as long as I’m getting periods I’m fine. BUT I’m on the pill and my periods are extremely light…is it real that the pill can “mask” a normal or regular cycle?? Can I email you about this?
Danica @ It’s Progression recently posted..WIAW #31: favorite evening snack?

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53 Lindsay July 26, 2012 at 2:11 pm

Danica, my doctor said a birth control cycle is not a real cycle. I was on BC for many years and you could set your calendar based on my regular cycle. I went off it in Feb 2009 and have not had a period since. This is what bothers me so much – all these doctors will put young girls/women on BC and not explain this to them. So when they get ready to conceive, they realize there is a problem they never knew existed.

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54 Kat July 25, 2012 at 3:07 pm

Thank you for this post. It was so honest and I’m sure a tough one to write, but even based on the comments so far you can see how many people you’ve touched with it already. I know myself and a lot of people can relate to it.

Know that you have a lot of people rooting for you to be your definition of healthy!

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55 Sylvia @ Frolic Through Life July 25, 2012 at 3:07 pm

Thank you for sharing this Courtney, I know it wasn’t easy. Being healthy is so much more important than a number on a scale or on the tag of your pants. You have to make sure that your body is healthy and everything else will fall into place. Thanks for being open and honest. I’m sure that this post will help many ladies who are going through the same! :)
Sylvia @ Frolic Through Life recently posted..WIAW Kool-Aid

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56 Ashley @ Sweat for Sweets July 25, 2012 at 3:07 pm

This is truly amazing. I really admire you being so honest with us. It takes a lot of guts to put yourself out there & truly express how you feel, even though it may not be the “picture perfect” life we want to have for ourselves. As bloggers, we often feel like we have to be cheery & upbeat all the time, but the truth is.. we are all human and things like this happen to everyone. All the very best with your “Haagen Daaz” diet! :)
Ashley @ Sweat for Sweets recently posted..Birthday Fun

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57 Amanda July 25, 2012 at 3:07 pm

Thank you so much for your openness and honesty. You did not need to share this information with your readers, but I’m very glad you did! As someone who exercises 6, sometimes 7, days a week and has had an eating disordered past, I can tell you that fertility is something that I worry about frequently. If it’s not too personal (please feel free to email me if you don’t want to reply to this comment), were you on the pill? I have been on the pill for a while and get my period, but I often worry that it’s a “fake”, induced period. I’d be interested to learn what led you to get this all checked out. Hang in there, girl! You’re beautiful no matter what!

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58 Courtney July 25, 2012 at 4:54 pm

Not too personal at all, Amanda! Yes, I was on birth control and got my period every month while on it. It wasn’t until I went off of it 5 months ago that I discovered the pill was really only giving me a “fake” period, so to say…

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59 Michelle@Peachy Palate July 25, 2012 at 3:08 pm

Thank you so much for sharing…I know I’m not the only one who appreciates your openness and real honesty. It’s the hardest thing for any woman to have to do and I hope you find that healthy happy balanced place…in the end it’s for the greater good..xxxxxx
Michelle@Peachy Palate recently posted..Missing

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60 Alysha @Shesontherun July 25, 2012 at 3:10 pm

What a great post. I do feel like being healthy is different for everyone. And thanks for being a topic like HA to light. I’ve never heard about it. Do you think something like this can affect fertility?
Alysha @Shesontherun recently posted..Canning Virgin No More + A Giveaway!

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61 Courtney July 25, 2012 at 4:55 pm

Yes, definitely. Which is why I looked into it in the first place.

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62 Min July 25, 2012 at 3:10 pm

Hi, Courtney. I don’t comment much on your blog, but I have been secretly following, stalking, and admiring you..I, too, was diagnosed with HA about 2 months ago. I didn’t have a period for over a year and a half. My ultrasound and all the tests came out normal..the only problem was my estradiol level which was ridiculously low! I’ve been on clomid and famara, and needless to say both of them didn’t work. Apparently they don’t work for HA. So why did I go for this long without seeking help? Honestly, I didn’t want to hear that I needed to gain weight and that I need to cut back on my strength training. However, as I’m turning 30 next year, we really want to start a family now.
That desire alone motivated me to make drastic changes. I suspended my gym membership, as I have a hard time taking it easy when I’m around others, increased my daily intake by 400 more calories/day, eating lots of fats (I feel like all I eat these days are almonds, avocado, EVOO, seeds, cheese, and of course ice cream). I’ve also been taking herbal medicine for about a month now. It was and still is an incredibly difficult change. I feel so uncomfortable in my body as I gained about 10 pounds in the last three months. However, God is good! I got my period just a couple of weeks ago!!! I couldn’t be more excited!!! I can’t give credit to any one particular area..But the combination of everything’s what really changed things around. Sounds like you’re on the right track! Just keep doing what you’re doing!! Have you considered herbal medicine? I’m also doing acupuncture as well. If you have any questions, just let me know! Hang in there! Everything’s going to work out in the end!!
Min recently posted..Food Truck Challenge and #WIAW 3

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63 Courtney July 25, 2012 at 4:57 pm

I have considered herbal medicine, as well as acupuncture. It’s actually the reason I decided to try acupuncture a couple of months ago! If it wasn’t so expensive, I’d still be going back.

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64 Kari July 25, 2012 at 3:12 pm

I am currently going through the same thing! I had absolutely NO idea what HA was until I started studying it at school. I have been on birth control for a while now, so I was having my period! I just went off of it 3 months ago and haven’t had my period since – it’s very scary. I’m so glad you wrote this post; you are NOT the only one. People like you inspire others, like myself! Always remember your body knows what it needs, sometimes we just need to take a break and listen to it!

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65 Linda July 25, 2012 at 3:17 pm

As if I couldn’t like you anymore…… *hug*
Linda recently posted..Think it can’t be done? Check her out…..

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66 Courtney July 25, 2012 at 4:57 pm

xoxo :)

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67 Lindsey July 25, 2012 at 3:20 pm

This is starting to be so much more common. I am going through the same thing. I have not had my period since going off the pill almost two years ago. But it was only 9 months ago I decided to look into it more. I have done almost all the tests as well, and it has come down to a hormone imbalance most likely caused my HA. Though my doctors have never diagnosed me with HA, yet… I have started to go the natural route, and am hoping it helps, but I also have been focused on eating more and less exercise and cardio. It is super frustrating at times and is a struggle for me. I am happy you shared this, just more support out there for us all!
Lindsey recently posted..Two Days Down…

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68 Cassie July 25, 2012 at 3:20 pm

This was a very moving post, I have dealt with a similar situation in the post, however I don’t think I am “better” now….I am just now taking birth control pills so I get my period regularly, but I wonder if I would get my period naturally on my own if I wasn’t on the pill. If you don’t mind me asking, are you taking a birth control pill? Did you stop getting your period? I hope everything works out for you!

Cassie

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69 Courtney July 25, 2012 at 4:58 pm

I was taking birth control and got a period every single month. It wasn’t until I went off of it, about 5 months ago, when I realized that the period I was getting was really just induced by the pills.

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70 Ericka @ The Sweet Life July 25, 2012 at 3:21 pm

Glad you shared, Courtney. Actually, sometimes I miss the real substance of people’s lives int he happy little details we all share. I also hesitate to write about the hard stuff, fearing that people don’t want to hear about that. But I’m glad you did because I think you will gain so much support from it. I know ti’s got to be frustrating and I have my own issues in that department as well. Keep your head up and I’m sure your body is going to appreciate the yoga and different kind of exercise you are giving it now. I sure relate with how you feel about cutting back and gaining a few pounds. Best of luck with everything.
Ericka @ The Sweet Life recently posted..Let’s Take The Long Way Home

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71 Emily @ I'd Rather Walk July 25, 2012 at 3:21 pm

Sorry for this tough time you’re going through – it would be hard on anyone. Sounds like you’ve got the right attitude, though, and a good head on your shoulders. Keep going!
Emily @ I’d Rather Walk recently posted..A Moment to Rave: Storm King Art Center

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72 Sabrina @Work It Ms Jackson July 25, 2012 at 3:22 pm

I’m so sorry that you’re having to go through this. I can’t imagine how you feel. But please don’t for a second think you’re living a lie. Something I love about your blog is that you while you do post healthy and healthier recipes and workout, you also share some of the not-so-healthy foods too. For me, I love that. I love knowing that some of my favorite bloggers (you’re on that list btw) indulge sometimes too and show their readers that it’s ok to do so, but to show moderation and portion control. I love that!

And so you’ve had to indulge a little more than normal lately to gain a little bit of weight. You’re doing that to become healthier for you, so you are still living healthy. You’re living the healthiest for you and your body. And while you may not be able to exercise as much as you would like, you didn’t give up on exercise all together. You’re still remaining active, but it’s just lower key and lighter exercise, which I still think is great and showing you that you’re living your healthiest.

Thank you for sharing your story! And don’t you worry, I’m not going anywhere. ;)
Sabrina @Work It Ms Jackson recently posted..What I Ate {Last} Wednesday

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73 Courtney July 25, 2012 at 4:59 pm

Thank you, Sabrina! :)

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74 Lauren Rees July 25, 2012 at 3:23 pm

There are somethings that readers definitely don’t need to know and personal health falls into that category. I respect your decision to share as it shows the real you and lets readers that may have the same diagnosis relate. I am glad you are fine and doing well!

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75 Karina July 25, 2012 at 3:26 pm

Thank you for sharing this! I had never even heard of it before. So glad you are being healthy & taking care of yourself- your blogs is one of my favorites and you’re such an inspiration!!

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76 Laura July 25, 2012 at 3:26 pm

Im sorry that you are going through this. I have never had HA before but have struggled with my health over the years and know how daunting it can be. Keep up the good work and know that you are beautiful inside and out and are becoming healthier in this process.
Laura recently posted..Fish Eggs and Chicken

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77 Shana July 25, 2012 at 3:27 pm

Consider one person benefitting from the post…although I suspect many will benefit. Thank you for sharing this and being such an inspiration. It truly helps to know that other people struggle with this issue and are able to work through it. I really can’t thank you enough for having the strength to post this and look forward to reading about it in the future (if you feel comfortable sharing!). THANK YOU!!
Shana recently posted..All Dressed Up

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78 Elizabeth July 25, 2012 at 3:27 pm

I just want to say Thank you for sharing this and I am sorry for the tough time you are going through. What I love about your blog is you are very positive upbeat person. When I read your posts each day it puts me in a good mood instantly and makes me smile I only know you from you blog but I know you are going to fight your way through this. You are strong women and have a wonderful husband, family, and friends that support you.

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79 Claire July 25, 2012 at 3:30 pm

I admire you so, so much for putting this out here. Your honesty and bravery while going through something as scary as this is amazing, just like you are. You’ve been a role model of mine since I started reading your blog, and I have total and complete faith that you will get back to your normal periods and healthy living. Taking care of yourself and stepping back from your comfortable routine of heavy exercise must have been so difficult and i admire you so much for being able to do it. THAT is the true definition of healthy living-doing what you need to take care of your body despite what you are used to always doing. Hang in there and know how many people support you girl!
Claire recently posted..Happy Birthday Momma!

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80 Anne @ LoveMintChocolateChip July 25, 2012 at 3:31 pm

thank you so much for sharing this courtney! i am so inspired by you AND ashley for sharing your stories. as a young 21 year old, it has really encouraged me to take care of my body. i have to daily remind myself: who cares about an extra 5-7 pounds if it means your body is going to be working right?! i treated my body so wrong for so many years and i refuse to go back to that place.

while all of this is so much easier said than done… i can not thank you enough for being such a role model! and you are gorgeous too!! i will be thinking about you :)
Anne @ LoveMintChocolateChip recently posted..WIAW: {Summer Staples}

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81 Jill July 25, 2012 at 3:31 pm

Hi Courtney! Delurking to say that your honesty is truly appreciated! I’m sure you know that there are a lot of us out here with similar issues, obsessive thoughts & actions, etc. Your post is a wake up call and a model for us and hopefully we can be strong together!

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82 Courtney July 25, 2012 at 5:05 pm

Thanks, Jill! Best of luck to you too

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83 Carlyn July 25, 2012 at 3:33 pm

Sharing this takes guts, and I am happy you did. So many people (like myself) read your blog multiple times a day and I think you are going to raise awareness for this condition more than you had originally planned. Keep your chin up and enjoy those extra scoops of ice cream. While it can always be worse, I’m glad it isn’t for you :) xo
Carlyn recently posted..So you want to sweat like me?

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84 clare @ fittingitallin July 25, 2012 at 3:34 pm

You are amazing. You wrote that post perfectly – it draws attention to a serious issue, doesn’t seem “complainy” and is really informative and honest. I can only imagine how hard it is to have to put on a little bit of weight and stop exercising when that is YOUR LIFE (and mine and so many others that read) but you are truly and inspiration.
I’d encourage you to open up a bit more if you’re comfortable because this is an issue that many of us will relate to and perhaps have to deal with at some point!
prayers!
clare @ fittingitallin recently posted..WIAW – dream day

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85 Jennifer @ Healthy Wifestyles July 25, 2012 at 3:35 pm

Courtney – thank you for sharing such a personal post. I’m sorry for the struggles you are experiencing, but I am sure you’ve got a great support system!! It’s sometimes difficult to listen to the cues from our bodies and adapt to something that doesn’t fit within our own definition of what we find healthy (I am certainly guilty of this). I hope that things start to get easier for you, and know that you will be stronger after coming out on the other side of all of this.

Thank you for your honesty!!
Jennifer @ Healthy Wifestyles recently posted..Hakuna Frittata {Zucchini & Quinoa Frittata}

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86 Kelly July 25, 2012 at 3:39 pm

First I want to say that I am sorry you are going throughg this. Second I want to commend you for doing something about it!! I will be honest in that I stopped reading you blog. (Actually the only reason I popped over here today was because I saw a lot of Twitter praise about you being brave and owning up to something and it piqued my interest). I use to be a faithful blog reader of yours when I was in too deep with my food and exercise obsession. But for about the last year I haven’t been able to read yours because I suspected what was going on. I have seen so many “healthy” food bloggers posting all the exercise they do and the food they eat and it screams unhealthy to me. I finally had to just cut myself off from reading those blogs because it made me sad and (truthfully) a little angry. It made me angry because I felt like impressionable people were following their advice and doing all the unhealthy things they were doing.

So to know that you have finally STOPPED the pattern and are becoming healthy is music to my hears. It makes me want to hug you so tightly and tell you how happy I am for you. I know it is hard…believe me!! I went through it too but my body is so much happier, healthier and honestly prettier being 20 pounds heavier. Seriously. I own my 140 pound body. 120 just wasn’t a good look on my 5’6 frame. I am healthy and most of all I am happier than I have been in a very long time.

Love to you, sweet girl.
Kelly recently posted..happenings

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87 Courtney July 25, 2012 at 5:07 pm

Kelly,
I noticed that you stopped reading/commenting and then I read your post about a month or so ago about why you stopped reading blogs and I assumed that mine was lumped into there.
Thank you for reaching out today. I appreciate it :)

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88 Kelly July 25, 2012 at 7:38 pm

Well I am just so happy that you are making HEALTHY changes. I am always here if you need to talk. I have been through it too and made it to the other side. It will happen. I promise. I will start reading again knowing that you are no longer a UNhealthy living blogger.
Kelly recently posted..happenings

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89 Mary July 25, 2012 at 3:43 pm

Ive been an avid reader for quite awhile, though I’ve never commented. I love reading your blog because you do seem to have a balanced outlook on life, and you strive to be healthy, which means not being quote “perfect” in what you eat and how much you exercise.

I went through a time in my life where I wasn’t the healthiest and certainly didn’t treat my body correctly. I still struggle, but I’ve always assumed that if I am healthy NOW my past doesn’t matter. Do you think it’s more the intense exercise that you were doing recently, or the time-period years ago with less than adequate nutrition? Did your doctor say?

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90 Courtney July 25, 2012 at 5:08 pm

He said most likely a combination of both. I asked how it could be from my lack of eating 4-5 years ago, but he said sometimes, it takes a little bit longer for the brain to acknowledge that you’re okay again…

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91 Megan @ The I Do Diaries July 25, 2012 at 3:50 pm

While you certainly don’t owe your readers any of what you talked about in your post, I truly appreciate and respect you for sharing your story with us. I’ve gone through similar battles in the past and it’s one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to deal with. Sorry to hear you’re struggling but please know that you’re not alone. From all the comment above, know that you have our support!Sending you hugs!
Megan @ The I Do Diaries recently posted..The Dark Knight, Lots of Pizza and the Anniversary Countdown Begins!

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92 Krissie J @ A Philly Nerd Girl July 25, 2012 at 3:58 pm

Hugs to you, lady! I’ve been MIA from your blog for a while. I am sorry to hear you are dealing with major lady issues. It really sucks because I feel there is a TON of pressure to maintain a “healthy image” in the public eye and then the fallout can throw your entire body off-course. While you may feel like you “look” or “feel” bigger, I can assure you as a fellow tall person NO ONE can tell a difference. Lots of love and hope your body adjusts back to normal quickly! xoxo
Krissie J @ A Philly Nerd Girl recently posted..Nerdy in San Diego Day 1

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93 Courtney July 25, 2012 at 5:10 pm

Thanks Krissie! xo

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94 Kaitlin @4loveofcarrots July 25, 2012 at 4:00 pm

I admire you for posting this, it takes a lot of courage to share such personal information with a bunch of strangers! You should be proud of yourself for listening to what your doctors orders, not everyone would be able to do it and do it as gracefully as you have.

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95 Shannon July 25, 2012 at 4:00 pm

I always thought you were the healthiest person that I “know”. I never thought you had a serious illness like HA before. The truth is that I’ve never even heard of HA before. It sounds really scary.

I’m wishing you a speedy recovery and if you ever need someone to talk to during difficult times, send me a quick message via email.

Thank you for sharing. Sharing personal information can be difficult- I know it’s difficult based on telling a friend something that I always kept in.

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96 amy July 25, 2012 at 4:02 pm

Thanks for your honesty! I definitely do not think you have been deceiving in writing a healthy living blog, an individuals health has ups and downs and being perfect is not real life! You are taking the steps to get back to a healthy state and if anything I think this will make women who read this blog relate to you even more!!
amy recently posted..A lesson from the boys

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97 Brienne July 25, 2012 at 4:10 pm

Courtney, I love this post and your honesty. This is certainly something difficult to deal with in your lifestyle and redefining healthy is hard. But I think this just proves how important it is for each one of us to have our own version of healthy, since all of our bodies are so different. Not everything is going to work for every body and I think we really need to become a society that understands that. I wish you all the best and hope you continue this conversation in future blog posts :)

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98 Courtney July 25, 2012 at 5:11 pm

Thanks Brienne – I’m sure it’s bound to come up again :)

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99 Carrie@FamilyFitnessFood.com July 25, 2012 at 4:13 pm

{{hugs}} for what you are going through and congratulations on sharing your story. I was in almost the exact place about a year ago. I’ve since gained weight and I know my body is better off, but it’s still hard to struggle with the mental aspect of the clothes that no longer fit me.

The frustrating thing for me was the medical community that just kept saying, oh your period will come back when your body gets used to your new weight.

You’ve got to do what is right for you to stay healthy. Keep up the good work, I know it’s hard.
Carrie@FamilyFitnessFood.com recently posted..What I Ate Wednesday – WIAW #18

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100 Ashlee @ A Step in the Right Direction July 25, 2012 at 4:15 pm

Glad to hear everything you are doing well… It must feel great to have answers. I do not have medical problems right now, but I did have high blood pressure and lost 35 lbs last year. I got pregnant in November and it was very hard to limit exercise and such as the pregnancy went on. It was also hard to see my weight go up again. I am currently on bed rest for a few days or until baby comes so this is REALLY hard. I understand what you mean when you say that it is hard to change your mindset. I am glad you found yoga and enjoy it. Good luck!
Ashlee @ A Step in the Right Direction recently posted..Baby Z Update

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101 Courtney July 25, 2012 at 5:12 pm

Eeeeeek! It’s so close!! Best of luck to you on bed rest and well wishes for a happy delivery! :)

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102 Katherine July 25, 2012 at 4:22 pm

Courtney, I too had a battle with HA that lasted 4 years. I know crazy, but I realized that it was not only physical (over exercising, restricted diet) but mental. The week after I met my fiance, my period came back. I was finally health both physically and mentally. Don’t put too much blame on yourself. You will need patience, as I learned, and it takes time for your body to heal and re-balance. I have to say, it was the best feeling when it returned.
Katherine recently posted..Artist Spotlight

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103 Courtney July 25, 2012 at 5:13 pm

That’s amazing…and so inspiring! Thank you, Katherine :)

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104 Candice July 25, 2012 at 4:24 pm

great post court-
Your only as healthy as you continue to find a balance in all aspects of it.
A lot of women have been experiencing HA or something like it.
I have and I did cut back on exercise and have gained 16 yes… 16! pounds.. and its still not back.. Progestrone and estrogen have helped with that gain a bit..(my body hates hormones)… its a game for sure, its just finding that balance.
Candice recently posted..Runwich

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105 Erica @ For the Sake of Cake July 25, 2012 at 4:30 pm

So sorry to hear you’re going through this Courtney, but thank you for writing this post! You are by far one of the most truthful, real & down-to-earth healthy living bloggers… that’s why everyone loves you! :-) I’m so thankful to have blogs like yours, Chelsey’s, & Ashley’s to read — you’ve all communicated information about HA wonderfully, & it seems like something more women need to be aware of.
Erica @ For the Sake of Cake recently posted..GoodBelly/Whole Planet Foundation Partnership (Giveaway!)

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106 Purely Twins July 25, 2012 at 4:30 pm

Thank you for sharing this, as we have recently shared about our health issues regarding hormones and missing periods (as well as adult acne). not fun topics to talk about, but it is nice to know we are not alone. Although crazy to think how many girls are suffering from things like this. We have been doing the same thing as you…less exercise, eating more.
Wishing you all the best on your journey! We are here for you, and thinking of you!
xoxo
Lori and Michelle
Purely Twins recently posted..rehearsal dinner overview

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107 Karen July 25, 2012 at 4:31 pm

Honest post and truly appreciated.. As someone who had HA and didn’t get my period back for 5 years. I commend you on seeking medical advice and taking care of yourself.

You are a wonderful person and you need to be healthy for you and no one else

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108 Lauren B. July 25, 2012 at 4:34 pm

Oh, honey, I’ve been exactly where you are! Looooong story short, after 3 1/2 years of amenorhea (and praying and hoping to get pregnant) I am expecting my first baby in a month! I tried to do the “ice cream and burger” diet to gain weight, took it a little easier on exercise and it still didn’t bring my cycle back. And it didn’t make sense to me to feed my body crap food, take medicaitons, and stop exercising to get HEALTHY. So I overhauled my diet… got rid of artificial stuff, started buying organic, stopped medications, kept up a moderate exercise routine, and started acupuncture. Within 3 months of acupuncture, my body regulated itself and I got my cycle back. 2 months later, I was pregnant. So, I encourage you to look beyond the “Haagen Daas diet” and really see what may be throwing off your body. Jillian Michael’s book “Master Your Metabolism” is a great resource! Prayers with you!

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109 Calee July 25, 2012 at 4:34 pm

I am really happy that you wrote this post! I have been seeing HA all over the place.

Question — are you on birth control? Totally personal question. But I’ve often wondered if I would have had HA if I wasn’t constantly on BC. I know there was a time a few years back that I ran 8-10 miles daily and weighed next to nothing.

Just curious because I’m thinking of going off BC (it’s causing a lot of other issues) to see if I still need to be on it (to help endometriosis not develop) or if my endo symptoms have gone away. And it would be interesting if this started happening too.

Good luck. I hear you on weight gain. Even when it’s healthy it kind of sucks.
Calee recently posted..What I ate Wednesday: Mark’s Birthday Meals

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110 Jess July 25, 2012 at 4:34 pm

Courtney, you broke my heart when you said you feel like you’re living a lie by writing a healthy living blog while you’re “not healthy”. Healthy living is all about balance and trying to find ways to deal with different struggles that come along the way. I’m so sorry that you have to go through this, but I really hope that you change your view on the situation after reading through all these wonderful comments from your loyal blog readers.

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111 Christine July 26, 2012 at 12:24 am

Agreed. :) I don’t see you as living a lie through a healthy living blog even if you are going through medical struggles.

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112 Sam @ Better With Sprinkles July 25, 2012 at 4:36 pm

I know everyone who reads the blog (including myself) appreciate your honesty – this could not have been an easy post to write. I know everyone gets caught up with pursuing their vision of healthy that sometimes our health actually suffers.

I know this is going to be very eye-opening for a lot of people – myself included. I know I exercise a lot and don’t always fuel my body properly (combined with an eating disorder in the past and current body weight on the extreme low end of healthy), this may be what I need to convince me to make some changes.

I wish you all the best and a speedy recovery! Gaining weight and cutting back on exercise definitely sucks, but I know you’ll get through it. :-)
Sam @ Better With Sprinkles recently posted..Last Supper

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113 Lydia @HappyHealthyConfident July 25, 2012 at 4:38 pm

Good for you, taking the time to bravely open up. This will help so many women as it already has. You should be so proud :) Chin up, lady, you are an inspiration to so many!
Lydia @HappyHealthyConfident recently posted..3 New Things

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114 Meg July 25, 2012 at 4:42 pm

Hello Courtney, so proud of you for sharing this will all of us <3 you wrote your post beautifully like you always do. I know we don't "know" each other well, but I admire you and am here to offer my support in any way that may be xoxo

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115 Jo @ LivingMintGreen July 25, 2012 at 4:51 pm

Thank you for posting this! It makes me so happy to see other bloggers speaking openly about this. I’m struggling with the same issue & I’m waiting for a referral appt with an endocrinologist to discuss the ‘WHY’ & figure out how to take a holistic treatment approach! :)

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116 Heather @ For the Love of Kale July 25, 2012 at 4:52 pm

Hey lovely lady! I’m so freakin’ proud of you for writing this post. There are SO many girls out there going through similar situations and will absolutely be inspired by your words.

I wrote a post earlier this month about my troubles with my own period. In short, mine was never regular due to my ED (my period and ED began around the same time). Since it takes our bodies 3-4 years to recognize a cycle, I’ve never had a regular period. Now, in addition to taking progesterone, I’m lifting weights and including more fats (avocadoes, coconut oil, nuts) in my daily eats in hopes that it will return soon. I feel amazing, so I know my period will come naturally at some point! Keep up your amazing work, girl. I’m always here for you. :-)

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117 Suzanne @ Fit Minded Mom July 25, 2012 at 5:08 pm

The fact is, life isn’t always pretty so you being willing to open up and share with us just goes to show that you are human. You should offer no apologies for that!

I have seen AH several times in my circle of friends because many of them have become involved in competing in fitness bikini comps. The horrible thing is, not only does drastically cutting your diet and over-exercising mess with your body physically, it really does a number on you mentally. I just wish there was someway for girls to see that they are more than just a number on a scale or a clothing size or WHATEVER it is that pushes them to these extremes.

I recently wrote a blog post about “Finding The Pretty” which deals with self-confidence issues. While I know you are struggling with these extra pounds, it is totally worth it to find your healthy place. Besides, it is good practice at being kind to your body for if/when you decide to have a baby. See, there is always a bright side :-)!! ((HUGS))
Suzanne @ Fit Minded Mom recently posted..WIAW #6 + Jump Rope Fat Blaster

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118 Yaara July 25, 2012 at 5:11 pm

Courtney,
Thank you so much for sharing your story. I am sorry things are a bit of a struggle right now. I’ve always enjoyed reading your blog for your humane, sweet, and real personality that shines through. You are definitely still the definition of “healthy living!” You are taking care of your body. Things will work out, just trust your instincts. I’m also struggling a lot right now myself. Not with HA but with depression, obsession with exercise and body image–and it’s been really difficult. I’m always here if you ever want to chat. Stay strong. You’ll get through this!!

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119 laura July 25, 2012 at 5:11 pm

Hi courtney! Kudos to you for sharing this. I was too without a period for 2 years! It is sooo hard to wrap your head around gaining weight, but in my experience… Its something that has to be done. I stopped exercising for about a year and ate around 2500 calories a day to gain.. Mine didn’t come back until I gained 13 LBs… But everyone is different! Good luck to you!!! :)

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120 Katie @ Talk Less, Say More July 25, 2012 at 5:16 pm

Beautifully written. And I think the big take away from this though is that no one is perfect and we’re all fighting for our own versions of healthy. I had surgery in December, shut my body down completely from January-April and have been trying to bring it back to normal only to find out that for the foreseeable future, I probably won’t have a period. I put my healthy living life out there and I too am not a cookie cutter for health, but I do my best and you do your best and I think that’s what matters most.
Katie @ Talk Less, Say More recently posted..What I Ate Wednesday

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121 Yaara July 25, 2012 at 5:18 pm

Oh–and PS: you are still gorgeous!! From the recent pics you’ve posted of yourself–I can’t tell a damn difference!!

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122 Ruthie Hart (@ruthiehart1) July 25, 2012 at 5:22 pm

girl I am just glad you are okay! I almost over read t omake sure you were doing okay! Praying for you to get 100% healthy, and man oh man that Hagen Daz diet sounds good. I think you are bold for opening up. I am a small person (only 5 ft talll and 100lbs) and I love staying fit but my husband will let me know when I need to take a break or add more protein and fat to my diet. Sometimes its hard to talk about being too small, people can get the wrong idea about it. But thinking of you!

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123 Nicole N July 25, 2012 at 5:23 pm

Courtney you are awesome! I read this blog because I want to read about the REAL you and your REAL life- and thats exactly what you give your readers each and every day. It takes guts to share your stuggles, but we are here for you!

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124 Steph July 25, 2012 at 5:28 pm

Courtney, I am so very glad that you decided to write this post! A few weeks (months?) ago, you posted about your experience with acupuncture and I wondered if you were struggling with this type of issue. Truth be told, the reason that I wondered was because at that very time I was dealing with a similar situation.

After 10ish years on “the pill”, my husband and I decided we were ready to start a family. Excitedly, I tossed out my last pill pack and was convinced I’d be pregnant within a month. As I’m sure you can guess, this was not the case. I was several weeks late, and became increasingly worried that something else was going on. So, I did some research. I was shocked to read just how common pill-induced and lifestyle-induced amenorrhea really is. As an intelligent woman I was really disappointed with myself for not putting more thought into my choices. Why hadn’t I asked more questions of my doctor, or thought twice before training for a marathon during the time that I wanted to become pregnant? This topic is so, so important yet it still feels taboo. Had I known of the prevalence of these issue previously, I may have put more thought into my decisions.

Ultimately, things have begun to normalize for me – so, as you said, I’m quite thankful that my situation is not as severe as some other women’s. However, because this seems to be such a common issue I think it’s really wonderful for women to start talking. Kudos to you for having the courage to put it out there!

Much love, and feel well!
Steph recently posted..Fingers Crossed

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125 Kate July 25, 2012 at 9:05 pm

I’m only 20 but I’m always kind of “eh” about being on the pill because of its effects later in life. Did your doctor say it was because of the marathon training or from being on the pill? I just want to be proactive about something that seems so prevalent!

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126 Steph July 25, 2012 at 9:55 pm

When I called my doctor, her response was that she wasn’t surprised, and she wouldn’t expect me to ovulate and/or get my period within a month of stopping the pill. She said that, if it was still going on 3-4 months later, then I should worry. So, it sounded like it was something that was to be expected – which really didn’t sit well with me! I had obviously heard that it could take a few months to “get back to normal”, but didn’t realize that this could mean the complete absence of periods. I think it’s good to start asking/doing some research when you’re younger!

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127 Lisa July 25, 2012 at 11:06 pm

I hope you don’t mind, I just wanted to pipe in about the pill.
Initially after suffering from my eating disorder, I went on it to try and get my periods back to a normal level. What we didn’t realize at this point was that birth control pills and the hormones and side effects they produce can also cause an increased risk of osteopenia/osteoporosis. Unfortunately, about 2 years after taking birth control and getting “periods”, I was informed I had osteopenia, so I always caution people about birth control. Its best to get a natural period, from either gaining weight for your body or decreasing exercise, or even finding if there is a problem and why your body is not producing one. Just wanted to throw out some knowledge that was relevant to me! Sorry this was super long!

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128 Kate July 25, 2012 at 11:46 pm

no no i like hearing any information! thank you steph and lisa for responding! my mom always warned me about the side effects because as a nurse, she is always thinking about long term side effects and other options. the pill helps the typical symptoms of a regular period which i had off the pill, but i just like hearing about people’s experiences with it because it reminds me that it is hormones and not something to mess around with for too long. thanks again for your help!

129 Mo July 25, 2012 at 5:28 pm

First time commenter here :-).
I applaud you for not only for writing this, but for taking on the uncomfortable ness of doing what is best for your body. I struggled with this for several years not accepting what I needed to change. At first, Drs really didn’t know how to diagnose me, but I had a sneaking suspicion I knew.

I didn’t trust my body. I thought I’d get out of control with eating and weight gain. But, you know what? My weight leveled off after an initial gain and I got my cycles back. Right now, as I sit here four weeks post partum with my precious baby girl, I see how wonderful my body is and what it’s done. Not only that, I’m 3 lb from my pre pregnancy weight with doing nothing but eat and sit on the couch (slow healing due to some delivery complications.). Once again, my body has shown me that I just need to trust it, feed it, and love it and it will know what to do.

You are showing yourself to be much healthier now, than portraying over exercise and perfect eating. Kudos!

Good luck to you and keep us updated.

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130 Leah July 25, 2012 at 5:37 pm

I Really appreciate this post! I was not diagnosed with HA but I stopped having a period for about four months and my doctor said that what I needed was a break and perhaps a cookie or two. This was HARD for me. At that point I was without a job an my daughter was at school all day so it was very likely I would workout 2+ hrs a day. I had lost all the weight I thought I needed to and was eating below my bmr which at the time I thought was ok. After a week of the prescribed no more than 30-45 min mixed cardio and weights a day I had a period and gained back some weight which at first made me feel like a failure because I had a very distinct number I wanted to be at. Obviously that number wasn’t what my body needed and I so happy I went to the doctor. Thanks for being brave enough to share

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131 Lauren @ Sassy Molassy July 25, 2012 at 5:43 pm

Props to you, Courtney. It takes a lot to put yourself out there like this to the world. Also, it makes me wonder about my own journey. About two years ago, I went to see a doc about a period that had disappeared for almost a year after one of my marathons had completed. The doc had me take a number of blood/thyroid/etc tests to see where my levels were and everything was normal, thank goodness. She chalked it up to be exercise induced and prescribed either a) less exercise or b) birth control to force my body to do what it needed. In hindsight, I wonder if I should have searched further to talk to someone who is well versed on the subject or a specialist. Anywho, what I’m nervous about now is what this means for the future and when we’re ready to start a family in a year or two.

Thanks again for sharing your story!
Lauren @ Sassy Molassy recently posted..Surprise!

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132 Julie July 25, 2012 at 5:50 pm

Thanks, as always, for the refreshing and honest post. I’m so sorry for what you’re going through, but you will make it through, and it will make you stronger. We’re all behind you as you get through it! Big hugs as you get healthy!
Julie recently posted..Back to Boot Camp

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133 Elizabeth July 25, 2012 at 5:50 pm

I hope you feel better after sharing that. I too went through a time of no periods at all, from an ED and while they are still a little irregular, some weight gain and proper eating (consistantly, for a while!) got them back, and it will happen for you as well. I still struggle with how I look, but honestly it’s better to feel healthy than to look perfect (you look great anyways, I haven’t noticed any difference!).
Trust your body, it knows you best and it’s good that you got this warning sign before things slipped even further! That’s one way to look at it, anyways.
And lastly, enjoy your ice cream! I wish I had enjoyed the period of gaining weight (for most people, it would be a dream) but I rushed through it, so my advice is really to allow yourself the indulgences … turn it into something more fun than just ‘I have to gain weight’.
Thanks for sharing, I’m sure things will get back to normal for you soon :)

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134 Shayla July 25, 2012 at 5:54 pm

Hey beautiful!! I just emailed you but wanted to comment here that I commend you so very much for posting about this….I know exactly where you’re coming from being diagnosed w/ HA and if you ever need anyone to talk to, I’m here for you :) I too was so so mad at myself for the damage I had done to my body in the past and was jealous of all the skinny, overexercising women I saw at my gym get pregnant in a heartbeat…some women, ones with HA, are just genetically predisposed to being sensitive to that. I meant to write in my email that I HIGHLY recommend getting bigger clothes!! It’s truly a saving grace and am now a happy size 8 :) I also recommend getting Not Your Daughter’s Jeans…they’re truly godsend jeans and so comfy!! Anyway, I know you can get through this lovely and remember that you are absolutely gorgeous no matter what weight you are…all that matters is being healthy (getting a period!) and having a beautiful family for you and Jay…it would be a shame to not pass on those stunningly gorgeous genes of yours ;) xoxo

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135 Rachel July 25, 2012 at 6:04 pm

Thank you so much for this, because I have been having problems with not having my period for months, and my family and friends have always said I exercise too much and eat too little. But it seems nearly impossible for me to break out of that track, feeling guilty if I do. This really opened my eyes.

You are in my prayers,

Rachel

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136 dee July 25, 2012 at 6:08 pm

I am so glad you wrote this post and introduced me to HA. This is really helping to slap me back to reality and remember that increasing my exercise and cutting back on my food intake really is not the best thing to do. I also read up on a bunch of Ashley’s posts (from your link) that it is reversible, so I am happy to hear that you are making the changes to bring yourself back to what you’re comfortable with! Good luck and thank you so much for sharing!

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137 Kristen @ notsodomesticated July 25, 2012 at 6:10 pm

Courtney, thank you so much for your honesty. I think I’ve always felt drawn to your blog more than others because while you always maintain a positive attitude, you also try to be as honest as possible. And this is no exception. Ashley is one of my dearest blogger friends, and it has pained me to see what she’s been going through. And I feel the same for you. I’m not saying I “pity” you, I just empathize because I think SO many women deal with this same painful reality.

Since reading Chelsey and Ashley’s stories, I’ve definitely be more aware of my own body and how I’m taking care of it. I think I eat “enough,” but I also know that I’ve probably been a few pounds underweight in the past few years. I thought it was fine because I really do eat plenty (like, 2000 cals a day), but the fact is, I was still underweight. Just within the last 3-4 months, I’ve noticed that I’ve put on about 5 lbs. And although part of my brain wants to scream and hurry up and try to lose it, the other part says “Maybe this is God’s plan for you!” Maybe this is what I need to have happen to prepare my body to eventually have babies! So I’m trying to embrace it.

So thank you thank you for your honesty. I’m sending lots of hugs your way, and I’ll be praying for you, just as I’ve been doing for Ash! :)
Kristen @ notsodomesticated recently posted..Eating our way around Europe.

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138 Olivia July 25, 2012 at 6:11 pm

Thank you so much for sharing this post. It really is awful when your body doesn’t cooperate with you – and when you can’t exercise but want to so badly! I’m so glad you’re doing the right thing for YOU, though. I don’t think I’m assuming too much in saying that we’re all here for you! Get better soon!
Olivia recently posted..5 Minute Microwave Brownie

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139 Mireya July 25, 2012 at 6:13 pm

I admire you SO much for being so open with your readers. I can only imagine how difficult it must have been for you to write this, but this is exactly what makes you and your blog so special and enjoyable to read: You are genuine :) I pray for your recovery and strength through this difficult time.

Hugs from Texas!

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140 Amy July 25, 2012 at 6:21 pm

I think this may be the first time I’ve commented on your blog, but I read every single post and enjoy your blog so much :) I think it is very brave of you to post this in hopes of helping others. I’m sure you already have ;)

What does this mean for your teaching classes/clients? I’ve noticed lately you haven’t been mentioning going to the gym for client training or group classes lately.

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141 Kelly July 25, 2012 at 6:22 pm

Courtney,
I really admire you for writing this post and I know you’ve already touched many people. Over the past couple of years, I’ve noticed that my once extremely thick hair has gotten much thinner — after doing some research, I learned it could be due to the birth control pill, so I stopped taking it. Unfortunately I then learned one of the side effects to stopping the pill can be major hair shedding, and my hair is now falling out at an alarming rate (along with some other issues, but that’s the worst one). I’m hoping this is just a temporary hormone imbalance that will fix itself in time (I’m in the process of trying to figure that out), but it is very upsetting. I feel mad at myself too — after doing more research I realized I’m not at all comfortable with what the birth control pill can do to one’s body, and I wish I had come to that realization before being on it for so many years. I am not AT ALL comparing my relatively minor situation to what you’re dealing with, but it was funny timing — I was obsessively researching my issue as I often do and decided to head over to your blog to give myself a mental “break.” Seeing this post made me realize that even people whose lives seem so perfect (as I’ve often thought yours does from reading your blog) are struggling with things that one would never guess. Your attitude about your situation definitely inspired me to hang in there while my body is acting wacky and have hope it will go back to normal. I am sorry for what you’re going through and I wish you (and believe you will have) a full and speedy recovery.

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142 Bianca July 25, 2012 at 6:44 pm

Hi Courtney. Thank you for sharing this very personal story. Just know that you are not alone. I’m only 20 and I’ve missed my period for the past 3 years, and for 3 years earlier during high school. So while I should’ve been menstruating for roughly 9 years at this point, it has only been 3. This is all do to deprivation on my part. Needless to say, I’ve been enjoying a “DQ Blizzard at least once a week” diet, so I’m right there with ya! :)

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143 Jessamy @ The Rambling Asian July 25, 2012 at 6:53 pm

Wow, thank you for being able to be honest with us. I truly understand the stress and concern about posting something like this.

I will be praying for you.
Jessamy @ The Rambling Asian recently posted..Red Robin & Kohl’s

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144 Lisa July 25, 2012 at 6:56 pm

Thank so much for this Courtney! I’ve been following up with Ashley and Chelsey and told them both about my issues with HA and hearing their stories has helped me so much, so I really appreciate you opening up about this issue. You are definitely not alone in this, I know lots of people can relate. I am glad you are seeking out help in this area because so many people have this problem and they don’t know how dangerous a missing period can actually be. Its very important to get it taken care of as soon as possible. I think it would help you and a lot of readers, since you have a huge following if you are able to open up even more (if you’d like) about this issue, since it is such an important issue.
Wishing you the best with this process!
Lisa recently posted..What I Ate

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145 Amanda July 25, 2012 at 7:36 pm

Bravo for being Brave and sharing your journey with this! I applaud your honesty, and am glad you’re on the right track to being and staying healthy! And look at the plus side, all that extra ice cream can’t be too bad, right?? :)
Amanda recently posted..Jello Legs

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146 Courtney July 26, 2012 at 3:56 pm

Oh, it’s definitely not bad at all ;)

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147 Paige @ Running Around Normal July 25, 2012 at 7:46 pm

Courtney <3 I know you don't want sympathy, but my heart goes out to you. I've dealt with a similar problem in the past, and it's very scary. *bighugeinterwebzhug*
Also, I think it's very big of you as a person to have written this post :)
Paige @ Running Around Normal recently posted..What I Ate Wednesday–Surrounded by Fitness

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148 Courtney July 26, 2012 at 3:56 pm

Love your *bighugeinterwebzhug*
Thanks, Paige :)

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149 Lindsey July 25, 2012 at 8:00 pm

Courtney,

What an amazing post…please know that many people have gone through this very same thing and understand where you’re coming from. I, too, had to gain weight and cut back DRASTICALLY on exercise to get pregnant. With the help of treatment, I am not pregnant with twins! Even so, during my pregnancy I’ve not been able to be as active as I once was and it can be a blow to anyone’s self-confidence. You are strong and brave for posting something so powerful and are helping so many others. Bravo…

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150 meghan July 25, 2012 at 8:21 pm

Courtney,
You are so brave to write about this on the internet. My heart goes out to you and I wish you nothing but recovery, health and happiness! Currently, one of my best friends has an eating disorder. She won’t admit it, but the signs are there and very obvious. She actually stopped getting her period a few months ago and now I’m thinking I better tell her about HA, just in case. I never would have known HA existed had it not been for this post. I hope you know how many people will benefit from you sharing your struggles! I’ve been reading your blog for a while, and it sounds like you have an amazing support system surrounding you. You’re tough and you’ll get through this! :)

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151 Courtney July 26, 2012 at 3:55 pm

Yes, Meghan, please share this with her! Hopefully it will be encouraging for her :)

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152 Faith@The Stirring Place July 25, 2012 at 8:23 pm

Thank you for your honesty and transparency. Real life has real challenges and obstacles for us to overcome and work through. Your giving voice to something that we all need to consider more, I know I do.
Hugs.

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153 Connie July 25, 2012 at 8:33 pm

I’m so sorry to hear what you are going through! You have amazing support around you though, from family, friends, and all your readers..you are also a trooper, so I believe you will come out of this situation even stronger. I really respect you for being so honest because I don’t know if I would ever have the courage to do that. Just continue focusing on your health, and I am confident you will be better in no time :) Everyone is thinking about you!

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154 katie Carso July 25, 2012 at 8:38 pm

YOU know I send lots of love and period vibes to you, hehe! Seriously, I know how you feel as I have been going through this too! I know that it will all work out and come back! Never compare yourself to anyone else in regards to exercise, eating, and more! I used to do that SO bad and when I let that go long ago, I felt so much better! Just being me and doing what is best for me <3
katie Carso recently posted..Things of the {day}

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155 Courtney July 26, 2012 at 3:54 pm

Thinking of you too, girl. xoxo

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156 Antonia July 25, 2012 at 8:43 pm

Like many of your other readers have said, I admire your honesty and openness. I’m a fairly new reader to your blog, but I can tell that you have such a love of life and I enjoy reading your blog every day. Even though your definition of healthy may change, I know your spirit, personality and all the many other great things about you won’t. Here’s to you!

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157 Lindsay @ In Sweetness and In Health July 25, 2012 at 8:51 pm

Courtney thank you SO SO much for opening up about this! I really admire your and Ash and Chelsey’s courage to be so open with all of us and to share more intimate things about yourselves. I’ve told this to the other girls, but I sometimes wonder if HA is something that I could potentially have and I don’t know it because I’m on the pill. Up until a few months ago I was working out wayyyy too hard and too much for me. I got hip bursitis and just felt so fatigued and blahh with every single workout. I’ve gotten my act together and greatly reduced things and shortened the amount of time my workouts take and thankfully I feel much better! My period though has been really whacky while on my pill and I don’t know why. And now I just totally opened up to you about basically nothing haha…sorry! Anyway, thank YOU for being so open. I know how hard it can be to adjust your thinking about your body, but just know that you are absolutely gorgeous! I have always thought that :). And from what I can tell through blogging, you have a shining personality to go along with your pretty self <3. Love you!
Lindsay @ In Sweetness and In Health recently posted..Bridesmaid Dresses

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158 Courtney July 26, 2012 at 3:53 pm

Haha, no worries Linds! Thanks for sharing :)

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159 Stephanie @ StephSnacks July 25, 2012 at 8:57 pm

Courtney you aren’t alone! When I suffered with an eating disorder, I lost my period for about two-three years. While it took a while to gain the weight–and it wasn’t always comfortable–it was something I had to do and now I am thankful that I did. You’ll get through the uncomfortable parts in order to get to the good! Keep it going, you’ll absolutely be okay :-)
Stephanie @ StephSnacks recently posted..The Future Hasn’t Happened Yet

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160 Mary Beth July 25, 2012 at 9:28 pm

Thank you for opening up to all of us Courtney! I echo what a lot of the posters here have said- it is so nice to see you be real and honest with us. With my wedding right around the corner I’ve been struggling with a balance between eating healthy and enjoying everything that is going on. I finally realized that I need to sit back and enjoy the journey, my weight may go up or down a bit but that should be the last thing I’m worried about on our big day. I hope that you are able to find a healthy balance for you and continue to share you journey with us. Best of luck!
Mary Beth recently posted..Sally Hansen Salon Effects

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161 Courtney July 26, 2012 at 3:52 pm

Thank you, Mary Beth, and congrats to you for your upcoming big day!!

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162 Alina @ Keep Smiling and Love Life July 25, 2012 at 9:29 pm

Thank you so much for taking the time to tell your readers about this. I know how you feel, about pushing yourself to uncomfortable places to get healthy. During my ED, I cried a lot after eating because I never used to eat that much! But now, I’m so blessed to be able to have the body I have now. I pray that everything comes together and you get healthy again :) You deserve it girl!
Alina @ Keep Smiling and Love Life recently posted..No Guilt, No More

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163 alycia July 25, 2012 at 9:30 pm

I think it is great that you love your blog so much as to share this with us all. You are a huge inspiration for continuing to do all that you do during this time. Wishing you the best! You are strong, you’ll be through this in no time!

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164 Lori July 25, 2012 at 9:35 pm

Thanks for sharing Courtney! I can’t believe how common this is, I have the same problem and have not had my period since going off the pill in November. It seems like our bodies forget how to produce the hormones on their own after being on the pill. Emotionally it has been hard as well, I was feeling anxious and emotional like I never have before. I just started seeing a naturopath and have started taking herbs, next I will start acupuncture.

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165 Lauren July 25, 2012 at 9:39 pm

Thank you for this comment. I have been struggling with this for 3 years and despite every doctor’s comments, I got pregnant this Spring a month after finishing a marathon with only getting 2 periods this whole year. I’m sure this is not the norm and it’s still concerning that I haven’t gotten my period back consistently despite gaining but I was so blessed not to have fertility issues like I thought I would. Also I feel your pain about not being able to exercise. I went from running 5 days to having such bad morning sickness I can barely exercise at all! Good luck to you, I’m thinking of you and love your blog!

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166 Courtney July 26, 2012 at 3:47 pm

Wow, that’s amazing, Lauren! Congrats to you! (and good luck with that morning sickness!)

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167 Jaclyn July 25, 2012 at 9:46 pm

i think it’s really quite admirable and honorable for you to share, “confess” this. to write this post.. so many bloggers i think are suffering from this yet are afraid to admit it. you could gain even much more weight and still look great .
Jaclyn recently posted..Notes from the desert

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168 Megan S. July 25, 2012 at 9:46 pm

Thank you for this Courtney. Reading it on other’s blogs the past few months has made me realize that losing 5 lbs, exercising hard multiple times a week to be fit, or anything else is worth risking our bodies of being healthy and able to function properly.

Sometimes in all the mess we forget that what we need to focus on most isn’t the vanity weight to lose, how fast we can run, or how much we can lift but how our body feels during all of this.

I’m having some trouble like this and wish you the best!

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169 Brittany @ Delights and Delectables July 25, 2012 at 9:49 pm

There are so many of us going through this girl! I’m so glad that I got to know you a little bit at Blend, and know what a sweet girl you are. You will be an amazing mother one day! ;) Aren’t we so blessed to have amazing friends like Ashley and Chelsea??
Brittany @ Delights and Delectables recently posted..WIAW #10 Something Old, Something New

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170 Courtney July 26, 2012 at 3:46 pm

ABSOLUTELY!

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171 Alexandra C July 25, 2012 at 9:55 pm

You are amazing and beautiful and strong and I just know by your attitude that you WILL get through this!! Keep up what you’re doing – this too shall pass! Thank you so much for sharing your story And for your realistic approach to being healthy – you totally rock girl!!

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172 Chrissy July 25, 2012 at 10:04 pm

Thank you so much for sharing your story with us all. I have been being brushed off by Doctors for months now after loosing weight (which was much needed- I was morbidly obese and now am in a healthy weight range) and loosing my period along with it. I had never heard of HA but it’s deffinitely something I want to look more into and talk to my doctor about. Your story absolutely helped me today. I struggle a lot with food now, yes I struggled with food before as a 250 pounds 18 year old but now that I am 23 and finally a healthy weight allowing myself treats and days off from the gym is so hard and such a mind game. I think its so important to enjoy life and I love reading your blog every day and seeing that you do just that. I admire you for posting this today and sharing it with the world.

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173 Whitney July 25, 2012 at 10:04 pm

Courtney- thank you so much for shedding light on this issue. It makes me so sad to see young women damaging their bodies to ” look skinny” and don’t realize the effects it may cause down the road when trying to get pregnant, etc. Life is too short to analyze everything we eat and how we exercise. I will pray that your cycle returns soon! God bless! :)

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174 Jenny July 25, 2012 at 10:18 pm

I just want to emphasize what alot of other readers have said and that is that you are NOT being a hypocrite by posting daily musings about leading a “healthy” lifestyle. While you may not feel all that healthy in mind right now, or in body, you are working to make it better and doing as much as you can. That is what being “healthy” is really all about. Working to make changes for things that matter, to you. Wishing all the best for you!!
Jenny recently posted..Iconic Dishes Challenge: Crab Fries

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175 Courtney July 26, 2012 at 3:44 pm

Thank you, Jenny! :)

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176 Anna July 25, 2012 at 10:22 pm

All I can say is thank you. I’m literally almost in tears. You have no idea how much you have brought peace, strength and inspiration to others. I’ve struggled with a lack of period for a few years and have failed to find out why. I have gained 20 lbs but STILL haven’t gotten it back :( I am meeting with a doc soon to get tested for PCOS (as my hormones do have a play in it as well). If it’s not that, I will check in to HA.

Seriously….this gives me strength to continue on the journey, fuel my body properly, chill out on the workouts a bit and stand strong so I can encourage others as well. I wish we were friends in real life. LOL! I don’t know anyone else who has struggled with this kind of stuff…… Instead, we live thousands of miles apart…….. hahaha

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177 Courtney July 26, 2012 at 3:42 pm

Anna, I’m so glad that this post was able to help you! It really is comforting to know that you aren’t alone…which you aren’t :)

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178 Sarah B. July 25, 2012 at 10:26 pm

Courtney,
Thank you so, so much for sharing! It’s incredibly brave to divulge such personal information, but clearly, it has been beneficial to so many people who can relate — myself included! It breaks my heart to hear how much you are blaming yourself, or to think you are living a lie as a healthy living blogger. I always look to your blog as a healthy balance of food (plant based and sweets!), fun and fitness. I’m working on finding my own personal balance as well. I absolutely love the feeling of a hearty cardio sweat session because it allows me to push or challenge myself every day. There’s no feeling like it!

Anywho, sending lots and lots of positive thoughts your way!

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179 Jaren@Kiwi Fit Blog July 25, 2012 at 11:39 pm

Courtney,
It must have taken a lot of bravery to type this post, and I commend you for it. My mother had the same problems back in the day from running too much and she always gets onto me when I am too strict on myself. Please don’t think that you have been lying to us or anything along those lines… Cause that isn’t true. Prayers and good wishes for you as you adjust!
Much love!
-Jaren
Jaren@Kiwi Fit Blog recently posted..What I Ate Wednesday #11

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180 Kellie July 26, 2012 at 12:06 am

I suffered from amenorrhea for two years. Mine was a combo of over-exercising and an ED. I of course gained weight and cut my exercise way back, but after about a year of doing this, my period returned. I am know training for a marathon and have managed to keep my cycle. I do have to eat A LOT! I see a nutritionist and get weighed (backwards) and I am on a strict food plan to make sure that I am eating enough. I am healthy again and am so thankful that I can exercise again. Just remember when you start exercising again you really need to feed your body. I eat healthy food, but a lot of them. A whole avocado with lunch, tons of nut butters, and full fat dairy. I still miss my “old” sizes, but I actually prefer my body and curves now.

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181 Courtney July 26, 2012 at 3:41 pm

You have such a refreshing outlook – thank you so much for sharing!

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182 Kristi @lifesprinkles.com July 26, 2012 at 1:51 am

Great post Courtney! I know it takes courage to share something so personal especially when you feel it ‘contradicts’ with your healthy living lifestyle. The truth is we all have ups and downs and no one is perfect. Recognizing when something needs to change and taking the steps to get there, however difficult, is the epitome of healthy living so you should be proud of yourself for doing what you need to do to take care of your body. Your courage to speak out about a difficult topic is inspiring. Sending lots of good thoughts your way!
Kristi @lifesprinkles.com recently posted..Official

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183 Hillary {Nutrition Nut on the Run} July 26, 2012 at 2:27 am

this came at the perfect time. thank you for your honesty and sharing. it hit home.
Hillary {Nutrition Nut on the Run} recently posted..Summer ’12 Tunes

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184 Courtney July 26, 2012 at 3:40 pm

xoxoxo Hill :)

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185 christine July 26, 2012 at 2:32 am

I am really understand your situation, everything will be fine. the most important thing for you is to increase your BMI and stop exercises.here is two websites that might help you.
1. HA forum:
http://www.fertilethoughts.com/forums/lifes-journey/343535-hypothalamic-amenorrhea-5755.html

2.how to get your period back
http://www.gwynetholwyn.com/blog/2011/9/13/phases-of-recovery-from-restricted-eating.html

eat 2000 calories until you get your period back, and the link above(#2)will explain the detail.

Sending you big hugs! :)

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186 krystal@coffeecardiogoddess July 26, 2012 at 2:35 am

I have read others similar stories as yoirs and I know that I probably have the exact disorder as you. I have not had my menstrual for over a year and a moron doctor I saw about it said it wasn’t a big deal unless I wanted to get pregnant. My husband and I still aren’t planning to try for atleast another year so unfortunately in my mind I don’t have the motivation to gain the amount I would need to get my period back. I have gained seven pounds, but its just not nearly enough. I’m getting better everyday, but it is a hard journey to endure. Good luck and thank you sooooo much for sharing!! I love your blog sooo much and still plan to read it daily. :)
krystal@coffeecardiogoddess recently posted..WIAW: Foodie

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187 Courtney July 26, 2012 at 3:38 pm

Best of luck to you, Krystal. Keep taking care of that body of yours!!

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188 Brittany @ Itty Bits of Balance July 26, 2012 at 6:03 am

AMEN GIRL!

I went through the same thing a few months back and I know how demanding it can be on someone who loves exercise & healthy eating. Ashley was a HUGE help for me during my journey too! It’s insane that SO many women are struggling with this throughout the healthy living blogosphere– thank goodness we have each other!

And I don’t mean to advertise in your comment section haha, but here is the post I wrote about my struggle with HA: http://ittybitsofbalance.com/2012/04/24/curves-and-all/
Just in case you want some more support! Also if you ever want someone else to talk to! <3 You've got this!
Brittany @ Itty Bits of Balance recently posted..Burnt & Crunchy

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189 Nikki July 26, 2012 at 7:49 am

I was never too thin but at 5’8″ I weighed about 125 a few years ago. I used to exercise almost 3 hours a day. I had no periods for years. What helped was a full time job. if you keep yourself busy, you won’t have as much time to workout. I am now almost 140 and got my period back in December. It took 6 months though so don’t give up!

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190 Courtney July 26, 2012 at 3:37 pm

Thanks Nikki! It’s stories like yours that are super encouraging! :)

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191 Savannah July 26, 2012 at 8:34 am

I’m honestly so thankful for you posting this. I stopped my period after my freshman year in high school at a perfectly normal weight for my 5’3 body, but following an excessive amount of exercise from sports. I ignored it for some time as my doctor simply blamed it on the sports, but when a year passed and I still hadn’t gotten my period back, I went to several different doctors in hopes of finding out why my body was still not happy with me. After being prescribed pill after pill, my periods were still not regular. When my senior year in high school rolled around, I became overly obsessed with what I put into my body and as a result, lost a significant amount of weight. I’m also a vegetarian and was without a doubt depriving myself of necessary nutrients. This on top of already not having regular periods did not help at all. So, here I am, over 5 years later, still without my regular cycle…I’ve never heard of HA before and am going to my doctor next week, so I will be sure to bring it up as. I’m beyond worried that the effect that this, whatever it may be in my case, has had on my body over the past years will negatively effect other normal functions within me. It hasn’t helped either that I’m one of those people who tends to put things off. I do try and go to my doctor regularly, but as far as my OB-GYN, I’ve been slacking since starting school. It’s just always nice to know that your not alone, and I really appreciate you sharing this. I truly hope the best for you and am so happy to hear that you’re doing better!

Savannah

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192 Courtney July 26, 2012 at 3:35 pm

I’m so glad that you’re going to bring this up to your doc, Savannah, and I wish you the absolute BEST!

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193 Maggie July 26, 2012 at 8:36 am

hey Courtney:) Thanks so much for sharing this. I entered the blogging world about 7 months ago, and you’re one of the first I found that I LOVED and have been following consistently. You totally ROCK. I love the way you write, your outlook, and you’re totally inspiring (which is what I’m super-passionate about)! Thank you again for sharing yesterday- your outlook and supporters will keep you positive and strong. As you’re well-aware:) I just wanted to drop a note and tell you I think you’re awesome! :) -Maggie

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194 Heather July 26, 2012 at 8:54 am

I’ve been reading your blog for a while now, but have never loved it more than now. I’ve also been dealing with HA since coming off of birth control with the hopes of getting pregnant in the near future. I have gained so much comfort and amazing advice from Chelsey and Ashley’s blogs. There are so many of us (especially in the “healthy” living blog community) that suffer from this and the more open and honest you are about living a life of moderation will only help others. I’ve started to avoid a lot of blogs that are super heavy on exercise b/c it’s hard for me to read. I miss it, but know that what I’m doing is best for me.

And after 6 weeks of decreasing my exercise to just walking and yoga, as well as visiting an acupuncturist regularly, I got my period back! My thoughts are with you!!!

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195 Courtney July 26, 2012 at 3:34 pm

Congratulations, Heather!! That’s great news! :)

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196 Emily July 26, 2012 at 9:00 am

Thank you for being so open and honest about everything. It must have been very hard to write and share this story. I hope you are feeling better. We all go through hard times and sometimes its nice to not feel like we’re the only one going through something.
Emily recently posted..Running, Music and Roads

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197 Lindsey July 26, 2012 at 9:04 am

Hi Courtney. I follow your blog daily and I just wanted to share with you that I too went through the same thing. I’m currently 18 years old and I battled HA when I was 16-17. I did many hours of dance (ballet), did not keep up with a healthy diet (anorexia), and did pageants. I did not start having normal menstrual cycles until after I quit dance, pageants, and gained 10 pounds. Today I am so thankful to say that my body is back to normal.
I Just wanted to give you some form of hope by telling you my story. Although I don’t know you and have never spoken to you, I feel so close to you because of following your blog daily for months. I (in a non-creepy way ;)) care about you and hate to see that you’re struggling. I know your intentions are to live a healthy life and I admire that.

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198 Courtney July 26, 2012 at 3:33 pm

Thanks Lindsey…and totally not creepy at ALL ;)

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199 Darcy July 26, 2012 at 9:15 am

Hey Courtney,
Once again, your courage has come forward with your ability to share this. You are brave to share and battle this. You are a great model for everyone who’s ever had ANY eating/food issue. I know that you will continue to be on your way to a healthy you! Good luck and thanks for sharing.
Darcy

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200 Courtney July 26, 2012 at 3:31 pm

Thanks, Darcy. :)
I really appreciate your support!

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201 Samantha July 26, 2012 at 9:26 am

What a healthy outlook you have on tackling this hurtle in your life! I love the title of this post – various versions of health. What a simple concept that is so easy to overlook in today’s society. :)

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202 Lilly July 26, 2012 at 9:31 am

I didn’t comment yesterday b/c I’m just not one to regularly comment… but I kept thinking about your post last night… So many of us struggle with the various issues we all have. Personally, I have had 2 major hip surgeries and back/leg problems that have made it very difficult for me to exercise for the past 5 years – (or really 10 years if you go back to my first onset of pain). It sucks. I have had some def low times. BUT, I am doing great now! I have just had to get creative adapt my workouts to what my body can handle. What I have learned through all of my experiences boils down to a few main points:

1. Everyone has problems! You are never alone! But you do need to seek help; it won’t necessarily just come and find you.
2. You can only do the best you can do within your body’s limits. Sure, running 5 miles a day was fantastic when I didn’t have hip problems – but I can’t do that anymore, so there is NO reason to beat myself up for not running 5 miles a day, so long as I’m doing the best I can do for my body – which includes break times as well!
3. Time will heal – it may be a long time (for me, years!), but you WILL feel better. You just have to keep doing the best you can do for yourself, and you will reach the light at the end of the tunnel.

Now – with all that said, practicing those mantras is much harder than just saying them. But, just keep reminding yourself that things will get better, your health is the most important thing, and in the words of Pauly-D “You do You”!

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203 Courtney July 26, 2012 at 3:29 pm

You’re so right with everything you’ve said, Lilly! Love your inclusion of Pauly D in there…one of my favorite quotes! :)

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204 Jenn July 26, 2012 at 10:49 am

My definition of “healthy” is feeling comfortable in my own skin. My blog has not been accepted by all healthy living blogs, because I my definition differs. It has been hard to have haters reject my writer and leave mean comments. But I know staying healthy is staying true to myself. Thank you so much for sharing. Let me know if I can support you on your journey to what ‘healthy’ means for YOU.

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205 Courtney July 26, 2012 at 3:27 pm

Thanks so much for your support, Jenn!

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206 Jillian @ Sprinkle Massacre July 26, 2012 at 11:15 am

Courtney – huge props for putting this out there! I’m so sorry you are struggling with this. I’m sure it was hard to publish, but just think about how you are helping a lot of other girls who are dealing with the same thing. You and a few other bloggers who have spoken about this issue have actually made me think about my situation. I haven’t even tried coming off the pill in YEARS and it’s scary to think that my body may not be working properly once I go off the pill. As far as I’m concerned (at Blend), you were at a healthy weight so it makes me wonder if the same thing could possibly happen to me.

You are always a healthy inspiration and this little piece of information doesn’t change my thoughts of you one bit! You are doing what is right for you and that’s all that matters!
Jillian @ Sprinkle Massacre recently posted..Two Whole Months

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207 Courtney July 26, 2012 at 3:26 pm

Thanks Jill. I hear ya…it makes me wonder just how long this was going on without me even knowing!

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208 Talia @ Bite Size Wellness July 26, 2012 at 11:27 am

You are amazing. It is crazy to me that some people complain about their weight and lifestyle and stay glued to the couch while you are in love with your healthy lifestyle and have to pull back. If this doesn’t get some people to think twice about their bodies and activity level, I don’t know what will. Thank you for sharing Courtney! I am glad you are putting your health first…even if it means you have to redefine what that means.
Talia @ Bite Size Wellness recently posted..Total Body Olympic Workouts

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209 Courtney July 26, 2012 at 3:22 pm

Thanks, Talia! I’ve definitely had that thought run through my mind more than once but thankfully, I’m getting better at controlling my anger at it, haha. :)

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210 Nicole July 26, 2012 at 11:45 am

Thank you for just being you. It must be hard to share so much of yourself in a public forum – thank you for taking us through your ups & downs and sharing with us! :)

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211 Jen July 26, 2012 at 11:52 am

Thank you so much for sharing this. This makes me feel better about issues I have been having with both not being as healthy as I should and putting on extra poumds to be healthier. I have struggled with body image issues and eating issues in my past and they haunt me everyday, but reading blogs like yours helps me to see there is a light at the end of the tunnel and I can fight these and become more balanced. Thank you for openly sharing your story and I wish you the best of luck in getting better. It will happen, you are treating your body right and it will thank you for it.
Jen recently posted..Total Meltdown…Aisle One

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212 Deanna July 26, 2012 at 11:59 am

Thank you for sharing your story. When I started eating healthier and exercising a lot, I experienced this. I’m very tall (5’11″) and only weighed 118 pounds at my lowest (at my highest, I was 190 in Nov. ’08). I wasn’t eating a whole lot and walked close to 3 hours a day. In April 2010, I got my last period until just this past March – almost 2 years! It’s still not quite regular, but it’s getting back on track.

I would say I’ve put on 15-20 pounds since last winter. I didn’t gain the weight on purpose; I just got to the point where I couldn’t keep up the constant exercise and food restrictions. I realize now that I was severely underweight. So many of my friends and family kept telling me to eat more and stop walking so much (some people even thought I was sick, I looked so bad), but I thought their concerns were silly.

Did I like having to buy a pair of pants 2 sizes bigger? No! But I realize now that I didn’t look good during that time and that I wasn’t healthy. I still go for walks (not for 3 hours a day, though) & use my elliptical and eat healthy, nutritious food that I enjoy. But I allow myself some “bad” food once or twice a week – it’s all about portion control and moderation. I don’t count calories like a mad woman and watch every single bite of food I put in my mouth, like I did before. I was driving myself crazy.

Best wishes and good health to you, Courtney!

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213 Courtney July 26, 2012 at 3:19 pm

It sounds like you’re in a really good place right now, Deanna. Thank you so much for sharing your story :)

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214 Lara July 26, 2012 at 1:01 pm

I recently started reading your blogs and this one really hit differently then your other posts. your a great writer, i came across a blog on your “blog love” section, its called can you stay for dinner, if you havent been on there in a while you should read her story one more time it might help you through this. have faith

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215 chelsey @ clean eating chelsey July 26, 2012 at 1:14 pm

I’m so glad you decided to write about this and that you confided in me about it as well. I KNEW that you would have an outpouring positive response from this community. You are a rockstar, and you are healthy – if you weren’t, you would ignore this and continue with what you had been doing in the past. You are awesome. Love you!
chelsey @ clean eating chelsey recently posted..birthdays and burpees

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216 Courtney July 26, 2012 at 3:04 pm

You’ve been such an incredible support system, Chels. I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to thank you enough. xoxo

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217 Barbara July 26, 2012 at 2:04 pm

Courtney, I just want to give you a big hug. It was so courageous of you to open up about something so personal to your readers.

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218 Mariska July 26, 2012 at 2:27 pm

I have never before posted a comment on your blog, although I’ve been reading it for quite a while. But now I thought I needed to write a comment, because I think it’s very brave that you are writing about this on your blog. I know what you’re going through since I had the same thing. I also had to put on some weight and since then everything is more or less back to normal, but I’ll admit that it was tough. I wish you all the best and will continue to follow your blog, because I simply love it! I’ll send you my happy thoughts!

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219 Courtney July 26, 2012 at 3:01 pm

Thank you so much for commenting to send me happy thoughts, Mariska. I really appreciate it :)

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220 meredith July 26, 2012 at 4:02 pm

i rarely post on blogs, but there is a special place in my heart for anyone struggling with this issue. i too had similar issues which caused us years and years of emotional and financial strain as we tried desparately the get pregnant. i can now say from the “other side” as a mother of a 6 week old baby boy, DO WHAT THEY SAY. You can always, always get your body “back”, but you will regret it forever if you don’t do what is recommended to get healthy to have a baby. we had to do years of fertility treatments (in addition to cutting exercise and gaining weight — which I finally did toward the end and that’s when the treatment worked — who knows if that was the magic reason). I wonder if I had just sucked it up years ago and put on 10lbs and cut out running if it would have changed our long journey. Regardless, hind sight is 20/20 and we now have a beautiful baby boy. I had a hard time gaining weight and cutting exercise back (after suffering years of an eating disorder in high school), and there were many nights when we were in the “thick” of it that i was ready to say “fu*k it”, but we didn’t. And, our baby eli is truly worth every negative thought i had/have about my body. I wish someone had told me in high school many years ago that what i was doing to my body would damage it for a long time (almost to a point of no return). I think it may have snapped me out of that horrible phase a lot faster. Many thoughts and prayers headed your direction. Hang in there.

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221 Kristin July 26, 2012 at 4:14 pm

I also have been diagnosed with HA and appreciate hearing about your similar situation. I have enjoyed several years of intense exercise, distance running, and made a focus on being petite, boarderline underweight. I have been off birth control for nearly a year with no or sporatic cycles even after taking 6 months of fertility drugs. At my doctor’s recommendation, I’ve cut down my exercise to 3-4 mile runs (from 7-10) or run/walks and added 1-2 snacks per day. I’m now in the stage of being too chunky for my smallest pants and that’s hard after spending so many years trying to be as skinny as possible! Thanks again for being real and I wish you success in your attempts to be healthier…even if it’s healthier in a way we never expected!

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222 Debbie (Accidently Delish) July 26, 2012 at 6:26 pm

what i’ve learned is you need to be in the mind frame of you are not “chunky” you are “healthy”
Debbie (Accidently Delish) recently posted..By: Debbie (Accidently Delish)

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223 Debbie (Accidently Delish) July 26, 2012 at 6:25 pm

i know you have a ton of responses and i’m sure tons of people who can relate, but after reading this i just had to say something. i’m in a weight gain process as well, for a different reason, and people think gaining weight is so easy. it’s so mentally frustrating though. you KNOW you’re doing it to get healthy, but it’s still hard sometimes to justify. we are seriously brain washed in this society to think we have to be stick thin, work out everyday and look a special way to be “healthy” but healthy is different for all of us. i hope everything works out for you and i trust you’ll know the difference between perceived healthy-ness and true healthy-ness.

much love all your way girlie!!<3
Debbie (Accidently Delish) recently posted..By: Debbie (Accidently Delish)

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224 Amanda @ Let Me Be What's Underneath July 26, 2012 at 8:22 pm

I appreciate your honesty–thanks for this post and sharing all of this with us.

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225 Melanie July 26, 2012 at 9:58 pm

Courtney thank you so much for sharing that piece of your life with all of us. It takes a lot of courage. Know that we are all here for you and support you 100%. Let me know if there is anything I can do to help.
Melanie recently posted..Turning Into a Carrot

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226 Bek @ Crave July 27, 2012 at 3:47 am

Thank you for sharing! Firstly, I am truly sorry that this has happened to you. I think by sharing this and showing people the effects that over-exercise and under-eating can have is a great thing. Some people live like that to get skinny and it’s good for them to see the consequences aren’t always great or positive. I hope that you recover pronto and I am truly sorry that you are having to put on the weight. No female wants too! But I am also SO proud that you’re doing it for your health. You are an absolute inspiration and it shows you have real strength. I could not imagine having to stop exercise, and although I too easily could eat more yummies and put on some kgs (all too quickly), there’s no way I’d want to. Basically, you are amazing and I feel privileged that you shared it with us :)
Bek @ Crave recently posted..Trekking to truth + One Lovely Blog Award

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227 karla July 27, 2012 at 7:55 am

Wow! this post is so inspiring Courtney! Thank you for sharing. It is so refreshing to hear a healthy living blogger admit that there ‘healthy’ habits may not have been so healthy. While I have a regular period, I recently found out my cycles are anovulatory (i don’t ovulate) so…while I may appear ‘healthy’ to people (and myself) this was a wake up call that my body needs to be taken care of in better ways. And to be honest, in ways the world seems to tell us are wrong. I need to eat more, eat more fats and workout less. I am excited to continue to reading your blog as I feel its going to be a great opportunity to read about real health for once! you are an inspiration!

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228 Emily @ Perfection Isn't Happy July 27, 2012 at 7:00 pm

Thank you for sharing! I’m glad that you are taking care of yourself and starting to feel better!
Emily @ Perfection Isn’t Happy recently posted..Jet Lagged

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229 Lauren July 28, 2012 at 8:48 am

Thank you so, so much for writing this post.

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230 Lauren July 28, 2012 at 8:51 am

I did not get my period for 6 years (!!) while in the throws of my ED. I am no in recovery and have gained 15 pounds since October and probably need to gain 5-ish more. It has been SO hard for me having all my clothes become too small…This post helped me so much. I think that this post gave me the courage to actually go out and buy myself some new clothes :) Thanks for being brave and sharing your story <3

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231 Living, Learning, Eating July 28, 2012 at 3:49 pm

I’m glad you’re working on getting healthier and I’m glad you came out about this – I feel like it’s an elephant-in-the-room issue that a lot of bloggers deal with but don’t talk about and having a role-model blogger, like you, come out about is awesome! You go girl :)

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232 Kari @ bite-sized thoughts July 29, 2012 at 2:32 am

I just navigated to this post via someone else’s link to it – so you don’t know me and I’m a first time visitor, but I just wanted to add my thanks and congratulations to the above, for sharing and for making the changes to get healthier despite how hard they would have been.
Kari @ bite-sized thoughts recently posted..Fortnightly Fitness Fridays – A jumbo bike ride

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233 Sabine July 29, 2012 at 4:49 am

My heart goes out to you and I wish you all the best!

You are doing a wonderful job taking care of yourself and you have the strength to go through this. :)

Thanks for your honesty – it takes courage to share stuff like that!

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234 Deb July 29, 2012 at 11:31 pm

OMG, i’m going thru the exact same thing right now! it’s stressful as i’m in my final year at uni too.. keep us updated! hugs

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235 Ellie@Fit for the Soul July 30, 2012 at 5:46 pm

Wow, I am so proud of you for being SO SO BRAVE to talk about this! It can be such a sensitive and humbling subject in my opinion…and I really give you props for doing all of that. And for being so strong to show others where true health begins. :) Thank you for sharing, and hang in there Courtney!
Ellie@Fit for the Soul recently posted..Gluten Free Crepes for the Win

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236 Eva August 1, 2012 at 5:27 pm

I’ve been reading your blog for a while now and I’ve never commented before (and clearly I’m a little behind on my Google Reader!), but I wanted to say thank you for writing such an honest post. One of the reasons I like your blog so much is that you seem to have such a balanced approach to healthy living and I know I can count on you to be real about your diet and exercise and the day-to-day stuff we all face!

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237 Nikki A. August 2, 2012 at 3:28 pm

Thank you SO much for writing this. I am only 20 years old but have not had my period for over a year now. Went through the whole thing with the tests and doctors and turns out everything appeared “healthy” but my period is still absent. I was worried about if i’d be able to have kids down the line, but i’m not really in a rush to get Aunt Flo back in town. I hope everything works out for you because i feel like i may be in the same spot one day. :/ i don’t want to put weight on because i’m so happy with my body! i just wish it was happy with me.

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238 Jenny August 3, 2012 at 12:43 am

Don’t worry you will get through it! I had the same condition due to the same reasons. Although the journey was hard and emotionally exhausting at times, it was all worth it because I finally got to see that red dot on my underwear again. I gained 15-20 pounds but each body is different and I am sure that with persistence and determination you can get through it!

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239 sarah (the SHU box) August 3, 2012 at 7:45 pm

very late on this but with my 4 month old i’m a little distracted from the blogworld these days :) anyway, i wanted to say a couple things — first, what an honest post – i really applaud you for that! second, as jen (runners trials) mentioned above, i would call myself an HA success story and COMPLETELY understand how hard it can be. i never had an underweight BMI and loved running/racing/working out, so it seemed so unfair that i had to give some of that up to ovulate and become pregnant. 2.5 years into TTC, i was successful some oral meds, but i was only able to ovulate AFTER getting to a BMI of 21 and cutting my running to 3x/week. (i really did go on the haagen daz diet pretty much!). fast forward to now, and i have an amazing baby, i’m running again (and breastfeeding) and a million times happier than i was when my jeans were a size smaller. it’s SO worth it!
sarah (the SHU box) recently posted..the other side

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240 sarah (the SHU box) August 3, 2012 at 7:46 pm

(one more thing — like you, i embraced yoga — it was an AWESOME sub in those days! and if you have any questions please don’t hesitate to email me!)
sarah (the SHU box) recently posted..the other side

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241 Emily August 10, 2012 at 10:19 am

I have HA too and have had it for about 6 years. I was also told to cut way back on exercise and gain weight. I gained about 10 pounds and could only exercise for 25 minutes a day. I did all this for an entire year and I have to say that it did not help me. NOT to say that it won’t work for you. I ended up doing fertility treatments and became pregnant with triplets! I now have 4 year old triplet boys who are amazing! I still do not have my period and while I would love to have it back, I’m not stressed about it now.

So I guess what I’m trying to say is that while gaining weight and cutting back on exercise is a great first step, I wouldn’t wait a really long time before pursuing fertility. It is a hard road but so worth it in the end. Keep your spirits up and be confident that everything will somehow work out.

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242 Claire August 20, 2012 at 8:46 pm

Hi Courtney. You are very brave to share your story with “HA” and how it has affected your life. I hope that things smooth out for you in this department, and that you are able to have as many children as your heart desires.

I’m sure comments, writing about it, and even talking about doesn’t always help; there are always times when we are alone with our thoughts…sometimes those are the saddest times. Being a counselor, I want you to know that I think writing about it, getting support, and being open are truly the best steps you could be taking at this point in time.

Remember to be patient with yourself, SMILE, and exude happiness because happiness and BELIEF are truly more powerful and potent that many other things with regards to curing illness/sicknesses. I always think that we are put into certain situations for a very specific reason.

Maybe this was your wake-up call to focus more on other aspects of your life? To achieve something you never dreamed possible? The possibilities are really ENDLESS. When I find myself down about something, I often turn to volunteering or outdoor hikes. These both help “ground” me and bring me back to the heart of the matter. Just an idea for those times when you think working out is the ONLY thing that will fulfill you.

Just remember, you are MORE than your workouts, six pounds, etc. You are truly a spiritual being, with many creative talents, who inspires girls each and every day. Just keep being YOU and don’t think twice about “not being healthy”. You are trying your best, and that, at the end of the day, is all we can do.

Love ya girl!
Claire recently posted..high of 90

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243 Courtney August 21, 2012 at 10:23 am

Thank you so much, Claire. :)
That was such a sweet, heartfelt response for you to leave. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate it! There are definitely days where I’ll need to come back and read this as a reminder :)

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244 Kaila August 27, 2012 at 5:19 pm

I had this also and I am right there with you! It was last summer. My passion is eating healthy and working out and I had to gain 10 lbs and cut back my exercise. I have gained the weight and I am proud to say that I am back to normal with my cycle coming natural. Yay! It’s tough to have to gain when you’re so used to staying small and in shape! But then you realize the weight isn’t a bad thing and may even help your looks “lady lumps” haha!! I’m happy to hear you’re okay and I hope everything goes well!

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245 Hali D September 8, 2012 at 1:02 am

I know this is an older post, but you linked to it today and I’m so grateful I came back to read it. At the time you posted it, I read it, and was sad for you, but honestly didn’t really think of it much. Two weeks ago though I was diagnosed with PCOS based on my hormone imbalance and amenorrhoea/oligomenorrhoea. Hearing someone else speak so openly about their first months after diagnosis gives me hope that I can figure out this awful, chronic illness that will always play underlier to all decisions…. Please continue to be honest about your struggles, it really does help.

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246 Lindsey September 10, 2012 at 12:30 pm

Hali – what is your blog? I have also been dx with PCOS from my hormone imbalance.
Lindsey recently posted..The First Of Many

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247 Tabs October 24, 2012 at 12:49 pm

Courtney, thanks for sharing this part of your story. Having been through exactly what you went/are going through (minus all the medical testing) I know that it isn’t fun to face right off the bat or even to admit right away. Bravo to you girlfriend!

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248 Amy Risner October 25, 2012 at 11:33 am

Hi, my name is Amy and I am going through the (almost) the exact same thing! It makes me so happy that you were strong enough to share your story. Sometimes I find that just talking about something that you’re struggling with helps…so I would like to share my story with you and let you know that things do get better.

I am 25 years old and grew up in a tincy, tiny town in Wisconsin. When I was younger I never had any issues with my body. I ate what I wanted and was a really happy girl!!

Well, fast forward to 2009 when I got home from Iraq. I’m not sure what triggered me, but I became obsessed with working out. Two hours before work and two hours after work. I saw results, but the big change came when I started calorie counting and restricting. I started out with 4-digits worth of calories, but quickly dropped into 3-digit numbers. …I dropped weight FAST. I was finally skinny: no more “saddle-bags”, “tree trunk” legs, “muffin top…”all the things that I HATED about myself. People told me “You look great,” “Wow you lost a lot of weight.” I was on top of the world! My menstruation cycle went away (2009) and I thought nothing of it. I would tell myself, “Oh I am just really active. I am NOT too skinny.”

I was through putting my husband and loved ones though hell…constantly worrying about me. They told me so many times, “Amy, please stop. You are way too skinny.” The amazing relationship between my husband and I was suffering. That went on until April 2011 when I was driving to work and I gave myself two options: Ask for help or (worse case) die from anorexia/obsessive working out. I chose the 1st (at this point I was 115 pounds. I am 5’9″). I went to concealing, etc. but they put NO rules on me so I continued doing what I was doing and dropped more weight. I went to a doctor appointment one day and they gave me a bunch of paperwork: I was involuntary admitted into an out-patient eating disorder program (June 2011). I was in the program for 90 days (food logs with everything that I ate, NO exercise (not even walks), etc.) and graduated October 2011.

Two days ago was my year graduation from treatment. I am now 160 pounds (which I think it BIG. Still 5’9″) and am VERY self-conscious. I had to buy all new clothes and going from a tiny size to a much, MUCH larger size is something I don’t think anyone likes doing. I did exactly what you did with gaining weight: ice cream, candy, etc., and now I am un-happy and very resentful towards myself. I am still struggling with eating (certain things) and when I don’t work out I get really down on myself. If I eat “bad” food I get really upset (I still will not put butter on anything, won’t eat pasta, etc.).

Wellll….the problems don’t just end with the eating and the working out. My problem is a bit different from yours though, but I still feel your pain. Even though I have put on A LOT of weight I still don’t menstruate. I do if I am taking medicine (TONS of hormones), but not meds=no menstruation. Well, that puts a HUGE damper on trying to start a family with my husband. We have done two rounds of Clomid in conjunction with the hormones and nothing, so I am now off to an infertility specialist. I have NEVER been so angry at myself for doing what I did to my body…especially because not only did I mess up my dreams of becoming a mom (naturally), I also messed up my husbands–and that hurts. But it is just like you said, you can’ t change the past, only move forward…so get rid of the “what-ifs.”

Courtney, you are a beautiful woman and from your blogs I can tell your husband feels the same way and loves you just the way you are…And you may not see what he sees (I am that way…”Yuck, how can you love this–while grabbing my legs”). It does get better over time. I (try) to tell myself everyday…one day at a time. Thank you for listening to me and I hope you’re not like, “Wow, creeper…TMI.” I will pray your HA gets better. StAy StRoNg and NEVER give up. And thank you again for sharing your strong. You are stronger than you think!

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249 Courtney October 25, 2012 at 12:52 pm

Wow, thank you SO MUCH for taking the time to share your story, Amy. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate it :)
Wishing you ALL the best!! xoxo

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250 Sarah November 15, 2012 at 12:08 pm

Holy cow, this post is like reading my life story.

I just got diagnosed with HA with just about the exact same situation. I try to live a very healthy and balanced life and like you say – here I am – not healthy. Why did I train so hard back then and for what…infertility? You’re right, you can’t change the past, you can only go forward. What a great post. Thanks.

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251 Becca January 11, 2013 at 9:49 pm

For me, it was no period for two years. I finally decided to ‘bite the bullet’ and gain 10 lbs. It took me about four months to get the weight on and be comfortable in my new skin. But, once the weight was back on my body (which was previously lost due to an ED), my period came back! There is light at the end of this dark tunnel!

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252 KatyBug January 29, 2013 at 12:56 pm

Not sure how I missed this the first time, but you’re essentially describing my experience. Now that Baby Tooth is on the way, I am SO glad you made the choices you did.
KatyBug recently posted..Dear Audrey (Week 15)

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253 Ele February 6, 2013 at 1:25 pm

Tkanks for sharing your story! It is comforting to se that I am not alone in this situation! I also have HA and gains weight in order to get my menstruation back. I am at BMI 19,3 now and I am not sure if I should put on some more weight or not. Do you think is enough? What do you think about eating late in the evening? I used not to eat after 6 pm.
I am worried because I got my menstruation back but in the last two months it famed very light, spots and only one day, famed also earlier than supposed. Is it normal you think? I am thinking that either is it because the body needs time to adjust or because I still don,t have the weight…

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254 Sarah February 6, 2013 at 1:43 pm

There is no set BMI cutoff – every woman’s body is completely different. Gaining more weight or not isn’t necessarily the whole issue. I’ve been gaining weight constantly and up to a BMI of 21, and i STILL do not get periods. Infact, if I want to have children, I have had many tests done and I need to get some pretty intense treatment. That being said, work on life balance, stress balance, and energy balance. The key to HA isn’t your weight, it’s your energy and your body and we all have different requriements and different bodies.

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255 Courtney February 6, 2013 at 1:51 pm

I would definitely have to agree with Sarah. Everyone is so, so different so what may be “enough” for one person, may not be for another.

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256 Dharshi June 5, 2013 at 11:36 am

I have not commented before but would really like to say how much I appreciate this post and knowing others went through or are going through the same thing as me. I have gained weight but I’m finding it so difficult to keep going with it, thanks again so much for this.

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257 Erika September 19, 2013 at 9:48 pm

I was diagnosed with HA. I am 22, I am married…and someday want to have kids. Havent had a period for soooo long. I am a fitness and exercise go getter. I help people everyday to reach their goals.. but here I am over doing it..at least I think. My reproductive Doc didnt actually say mine was from undereating or over exercising…however, I dont think she actually got my full history. After studying this for a long time, i think i may partially fall into both categories. I am intense, my heavy lifting and intensity level during my work outs demand a lot of recovery that I am not getting from food obviously. Up until last week, for the past few years I have lifted heavy weights 45mins-60 mins 5days a week and I have done at least 30 minutes of cardio (sometimes intense and sometimes not) at least 4-5 days a week. My diet was basically lots of protein and veggies, some healthy fats, very little fruit and carbs. ( I realize this is not very healthy.) I am on my road to recovery… I am 5’3 120 pounds. I competed in a natural body building show in april 2013 at 111 pounds very lean!. I carry a lot of muscle, and probably will struggle with this journey as I have worked so hard for what I have now! :( Any advice would be greatly appreciated.. Do you think I fall into the over exercising/ under eating ?

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258 Sarah September 20, 2013 at 8:08 am

yes! eat more! do less!
go to fertilethoughts and find the HA board, you will find many just like you struggling with this very thing.

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259 Diane @ Life of Di. January 31, 2014 at 11:54 am

Hi Courtney! I know you posted this quite some time ago but I just stumbled upon it and wanted to say thank you for sharing your story. I can completely relate to this and am just starting to get regular periods again. I use an app on my phone called ‘Period Tracker’ and the days have gone from 120 to 83 to 74 to 55 to 41 to 30. Last month was the first ‘normal’ cycle but I’m hopeful that my body is finally starting to get back to it’s homeostasis. It was hard because doctors couldn’t tell me what was wrong. They didn’t tell me to stop working out. They didn’t tell me to start eating more. They didn’t tell me to gain weight. But I did a combination of these three things and, of course, the period started coming back. It is really difficult to see my body change from what it looked like but, like you said, it was easy to put on the 8 pounds. My body needed it. I may not like it and it is still a daily struggle but I’m trying to accept that this is healthy. My mindset wasn’t healthy when I was at a lower weight and exercising all of the time. One day at a time… :)

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260 Courtney January 31, 2014 at 11:56 am

Diane, I am SO happy to hear the progress that you’ve made. That is absolutely amazing! My hopes in writing this post was that I’d be able to help at least one person, so hearing your story really, really makes me so glad I made that decision. It’s not always the easiest thing, but it is the healthiest thing, and your body is already showing you that. PROPS to you!! Keep it up…like you said, one day at a time. :) xoxo

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261 Kristina February 22, 2014 at 10:26 pm

I’m SO GLAD I found this. I’m on day 130 since my last cycle. I was referred to a specialist after progesterone didn’t force my period to start. I was referred to a specialist who hasn’t confirmed/denied my suspicions about “athletic amennorhea” yet, but my hubby & I will know for sure once all the test results are in in a few weeks.

I KNOW this is what is, though. I’ve been trying to pack on the pounds via ice cream & fast food but it’s been tough. The scale isn’t moving much (1 lb in 3 weeks), and it feels so wrong eating this way. My husband & I had just started trying for a baby the month my cycle first stopped- we were so excited- thought we were pregnant! :( He goes on his 2nd deployment in 8 months, and all I want in life is to get pregnant before he leaves. I feel guilty & blame myself. Every time I eat fatty foods it feels so wrong, though- after going from overweight to fit, it’s just tough.

Has anyone had success getting back on track? Any tips? Or advice on feeling better?

I’m just trying to focus on what I want most- a baby with the love of my life. If I have to go from abs to a little flab for now- it’s worth it.

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262 Courtney February 24, 2014 at 1:00 pm

Stick with it, Kristina!! I know how hard it is, and I know how crappy it can make you feel. Just know that making steps towards getting your body to function properly is most definitely the best thing to do! Like you said, it’s SO worth it for now. There’ll be time to get back on track…I’m getting there!. :)
Best of luck to you!!

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