Recovery Weight Gain: Stop Caring What Other People Think

I spoke about body image in my last post and dealing with weight gain. Today I want to address why you need to stop caring what other people think and how to deal with people that may make comments about you. I think this was one of my biggest concerns when I started gaining weight for Hypothalamic Amenorrhea recovery. I was concerned with what other people would think about me as my body and habits changed.

First off, I can tell you making the decision to recover is the best decision I could make and I am damn proud of it. It will also be the best decision that you can make. Here’s the thing at the end of the day it’s you that has to deal deal with the repercussions and other people are far more interested in themselves than you. Think about when you go to the gym. Look around. Everyone is looking in the mirror at themselves too worried about what others think of them.


I’m sure if you are in recovery you have had these concerns or are afraid to start recovery and change your habits because you are fearful of making changes because of what others will think. It seems to be a trend that those suffering from HA or eating disorders may be a bit of a perfectionist, an overachiever or set very high expectations for themselves. You may always beat yourself up or maybe you don’t feel good enough or thin enough or pretty enough as others. Maybe you hear the words self love and wonder what that means and how can anyone feel that way about themselves. I am here to tell you that the relationship with yourself is your most important relationship. If you have a poor relationship with yourself then you need to make it a priority to change it.

The Perfectionist and Overachiever


From my perspective, there seems to be this relationship with women that overexercise, are always on diets and restrict calories who develop disordered eating patterns all because we are trying to put ourselves in this box of what we think others want us to be or what is acceptable or what we think we should be.

This ties into being concerned with what other people think because if you are going through HA recovery you are most likely going to have people make comments at some point. It could be compliments, it could be insults or it could just be observations. It’s all in how you take it. I know for me there are certain people that can make comments that really trigger me. Mom, that’s you!

You Won’t Recover or Get What You Want in Life

One of the main reasons not to care what others think is you won’t get what you want in life and you will not recover. You will be too worried about pleasing others or what other people think of you so you won’t take action and won’t get to the place you need to be.

The number one reason to not worry what others think is that it will hold you back. You won’t get what you want in life and you won’t get to a place where you are recovered. You may not give in to what your body is asking for because you are scared that people may comment on your food choices and your body changes. Think about on your death bed are you going to be caring what that girl at work thinks about you or are you going to be content because you made decisions for yourself and not others. You are going to be happy you made the decision to recover for your health and didn’t stay in that place of disordered habits because you were concerned that other people think you let yourself go. At the end of the day, you are making this choice to recover. Own it. Be proud of it. This isn’t some sort of victim situation. You are choosing to recover.

You Will Never Get To Know Yourself

Another reason to stop caring is you will never get to know yourself and what you want. I am a recovering people pleaser so I fully know that I chose not to do things because I was worried about what other people think and it really held me back. In regards to your body you may abuse it and you won’t love yourself. It’s really hard to get to a place of self love if every time you look in the mirror you say nasty things because your body isn’t what you think the ideal body should look like.

You may feel that others look one way and it’s different than what you look like so you do things to put a lot of strain on your body because of the stress you cause it by under eating or overexercising. Your body will never be what you want it to be if you want it to be someone else ideal. You don’t want to punish yourself for not being the way you think other’s think you should look like. Remember you are only given one body. Take care of it. Be compassionate with it. It’s the one thing that is going to stand by you through all of this.

Stop Feeling Not Good Enough

What goes hand in hand with doing things other people want is never feeling good enough. What you need to learn is that you are good enough and being good enough has nothing to do with other people it has to do with being enough for you. I hear often Brooke Castillo on The Life Coach podcast say “you can be the sweetest peach but you will always have someone that doesn’t like peaches.” Another way you may not feel good enough is when people start making comments and I guarantee through recovery you will have at least one person say something to you. It could be compliments, it could be insults or it could just be observations. First off you are good enough and what you look like is no one else’s concern and what they think about you has nothing to do with you and all about them.

Worrying about others and comparing is only going to make you feel inadequate. I know it is difficult to let things roll off of you but find something that works for you. Have that one support person you can go and cry to or the person who can be that voice of reason. If not, you are going to get really resentful of others and yourself or you may start playing victim and start blaming someone else for things. Lastly, if you worry what others think you are going to feel unfulfilled in life in general. Are you living someone else’s dream and not living your own purpose because you are too worried about what other’s think? Are you too concerned about what your body looks like that you don’t have the energy to do what you want in life? You lose your chance to be self aware because you are suppressing your feelings. If you take anything away from this realize one of the main reasons not to care what others think is you won’t get what you want in life and you will not fully recover.

Remember you are one step close to getting the life you dreamed of. Take Care.

Weight Gain In HA Recovery

Don’t Have Recovery Weight Expectations

Recently I posted on my IG stories how I was having a such a tough time with weight gain. I went out to buy clothes and it was awful. Nothing fit. So why was it bothering me so much? I am not meeting expectations that I should have never set with myself. I keep setting myself up for failure because I was setting an expectation to be recovered at a certain weight. This weight was a number that I had gotten pregnant at a number I had cycled at with no issues. At first it was a certain number on the scale. Once I got there I got panicked and I then set another number to try to not bypass which was a BMI of 22 the fertile BMI which is recommended in recovery. I got there and then I kept gaining and I was like “No, I can’t gain anymore!” but I could still fit in a certain size jeans so I was OK with it. And then guess what? I gained even more weight and I no longer fit in that size and this is what really pushed me over the edge. I am now over the 22 BMI and I am no longer fitting in the size I wore after I had a damn baby.

Your Body Decides Your Recovery Weight

All this goes back to my body either doesn’t feel comfortable yet or still has more repairing to do. This takes time. The more days that pass the stronger I get. So I keep going. Even if you feel like giving up on where you are on your journey don’t give up. Weight gain is tough. This is all about perseverance. In a blink of an eye it will be another year and you will be restored and it will all be a distant memory. Think back to something you regret. You don’t want this to be that. Be strong and keep going.

The fact that I have gained this amount of weight and I still don’t have a period is telling me I am not recovered yet. I am close to the highest weight I have ever been at. I have probably overshot by now but that shouldn’t matter but let’s be honest it feels like it does. It doesn’t feel good to put on clothes and be spilling out of them but let’s talk about that.

What are You Making Weight Gain Mean?


Let’s talk really about what you are making it mean. What does it mean to you that you have gained weighted? Are you making it mean you let yourself go? Is the problem the weight or is it truly the thought around what you are making it mean? Are you making it mean you aren’t worthy anymore. That you aren’t beautiful? Are you worried about what others are thinking of you?

My guess there are two big things here. One you are worried about what others think which I will cover in a future blog post and the second thing is you are probably upset with what you are making this mean. So ask yourself what are you making it mean? Write down why it is bothering you and take a good look at these reasons.

You are Not the Number on the Scale

Remember you are not your weight. I guarantee if you were to describe yourself or someone else it would not be by what they looked like. You would say that they are a great friend and great listener. Or maybe you would mention their funny sense of humor. You would describe who they are as a person. Gaining weight does not change who you are. It only makes you better and stronger for wanting to better yourself. Even if you are not recovering and maybe you are just gaining weight who cares?

There is a saying that “What you resist persists.” What needs to happen is you need to let go of who you think you are supposed to be and look like. If you are resisting this weight gain it is going to resurface two fold. If you aren’t allowing your body to recover and you are still holding on to having that lean physique you won’t get out of this. These expectations will set you up for failure and disappointment. You yes you are all about what is on the inside not the outside.

During recovery, we have a distorted view of what we see as normal. I am not going to go into all the diet industry and that BS because I think we already know that. But normal is what is healthy for you and no one else. Others may be able to be at 15% body fat and cycle but that is not you or they may be able to be that low of body fat and feel good. It’s OK to gain weight. I am giving you approval to and it’s also OK not to feel great about it all of the time. This is about accepting your feelings about it and to try and make improvements. Body’s have seasons. You may have a fit season, you may have a postpartum season you may have a prenatal season. There are times in your life that you don’t have the time to exercise or worry about your weight and times you are super fit. This is your recovery body. Love it for all it does for you.

Thanks for reading and let me know you deal with weight gain in recovery.

What to Expect In HA Recovery

I shared my HA symptoms in a past blog and video and now that I am almost 7 months into recovery I am sharing what to expect in the recovery process. First off, recovery is uncomfortable. When you first begin recovery every symptom can be seen as normal with a caveat. If there is anything life threatening then obviously you should seek help. There are so many things that happen in recovery we feel like we need some validation or reassurance that we are on the right path. I am going to cover possible things that can happen. Whether or not you get them doesn’t make your recovery any more or less normal. You may experience additional symptoms or have a different experience and that is OK. Every day can be different too. There were days I was starving and there were days I was felt so full. There were days I had insomnia and days I slept really good.

Recovery time can be dependent on your genetic and how suppressed your body is and how quickly you can bounce back. How long you have restricted or overexercised may influence your recovery because your body may have a lot of healing to do. If you are still under a lot of stress this can also affect symptoms and of course recovery time. If you are in what they call Quasi-Recovery (Half In), this could also impact your recovery.

Recovery is TOUGH and everyone’s journey is different. Since everyone’s recovery length varies you may see the symptoms when you first start, when you are all in for a month or scattered throughout recovery. Remember just because you get your period back doesn’t make you 100% recovered. Your body OR mind may still have some other healing to do so don’t you get all crazy and go run 10 miles!

Symptoms and Experiences in Recovery

1. Obsessiveness about food

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If you didn’t have this before you will most likely have it now. If you have restricted in the past you may start to see what they call extreme hunger. What you think you are doing in regards to binging may likely just be your body asking for the calories it needs. Don’t go into panic mode that you now have a binge eating disorder. I would see this as a good sign that your body is waking up. You may start allowing yourself certain foods and it will turn into eating a ton of that food or you may give yourself a little bit and it may feel like you just can’t stop. Don’t freak out! This can be normal! For me I kept craving a Dunkin Donuts blueberry muffin. I hadn’t had one in years and every time I had one I would need another one. I was scared because every time I thought about one I had to stop and get on. Every time I would see the sign I would panic and it felt uncontrollable. This will go away. It won’t last forever. It could last days, weeks or months. Once your body is nourished and comfortable you won’t be obsessed.

2. Weight Gain

As with eating a lot you can imagine weight gain will come. Weight gain looks different for everyone. You may gain rapidly then stop gaining, you may lose and then gain or you may have slow gradual weight gain. At times you may feel like if you keep eating the way you do that you will become huge or balloon up. Don’t worry your body will regulate even if you overshoot your weight set point.

3. GI Problems

Many people experience GI Issues. This can include nausea, extreme fullness, constipation and bloating. You GI tract is just waking up and adjusting to the increased amount of food, calories and carbs.

4. Bloating and Swelling

Along with bloating you may have swelling. This will look different for everyone. It could be your face, hand legs or stomach or anywhere else. It is your body retaining water and adjusting to the increase in calories and carbs. My face swelled for a few weeks and so did my stomach.

5. Aches and Pains

Aches and pains is another symptom in recovery. Your body may ache like DOMs or delayed onset muscle It may feel like you just ran a marathon or were working out like crazy. You may feel old injuries resurface.

6. Sleep Changes

Sleep is can go to getting really good to being horrible. You may be awakened throughout the night due to hunger. You may have insomnia or you may sleep like a log. I personally have always had sleep problems so I am jealous of all of you that get a restful nights sleep!

7. Emotional

Emotions are another part of recovery that can be affected. You may become more depressed or anxious and this could be the fluctuating hormones, lack of control, You may cry about everything or you may be feeling anger. These feelings hit me pretty hard as I felt numb for quite some time prior to recovery.

8. Brain Fog

My mind became more fogged before it became clearer. I was drained mentally when I first started recovery. Not only was my body tired but so was my mind.


9. Comparison Thoughts and Comments from Others

You may find yourself comparing yourself to others. No longer feeling like the smallest person in the room. You may begin to hear comments from others about your weight, food choices, amount your eating or how you are different. I had some people as me why I wasn’t exercising, people talk about the size of my arms, people that tried to figure out what was going on with me or if I was possibly pregnant.

10. Full On Identity Crisis

Recovery takes you out of your norm. It changes you and leaves you without your stress reduction or old habits. I personally felt like I had an identity crisis. I was no longer the fit girl. I didn’t have exercise in my life. The weight gain made me not recognize myself. I was wondering who I was without out these things. I wanted to be at the gym and I became obsessed with other things including podcasts, researching and needed to put my energy into new hobbies like blogging, creating YouTube and going back to school. I wasn’t exercising so I felt I needed to do something to fill the emptiness.

Let me know if your relate at all to any of these and check out the video if you want to hear me speak about each one of these symptoms.

What is Hypothalamic Amenorrhea and why you NEED your period back

If you’re reading this post you most likely are experiencing a loss of period or you want to understand what Hypothalamic Amenorrhea is and why it is important to get your period back. You can check out my video below or read on to hear about HA.

What is Hypothalamic Amenorrhea?

Hypothalamic Amenorrhea or HA for short is a type of secondary amenorrhea. The definition of HA is 3 months absence of menstruation. This means at some point you had your period and have lost it. This looks different for everyone. You may have been on birth control pills and tried coming off and never got your period back or you may have just started having really light periods or maybe the duration between periods started to increase more and more until you no longer have a mentrual cycle. In actuality the absence of periods is merely the absence of ovulation in most situations although you can have annovulatory cycles. The bleeding is shedding your lining because pregnancy didn’t occur. I have a lot of experience with this and the science behind it because I went through multiple IVFs ( 5 for my son and 1 for my daughter).

Either way you are probably starting to get concerned with what is going on. Where the hell is my period? What’s going on? One month passes and it seems like no big deal, one less thing to worry about and then more and more time passes and you begin to get nervous. Or maybe your are thinking no big deal it’s so much easier not having a period. For some, it could be a few months, a few years or even for some decades. The good thing is you are looking into trying to recover and that is the first step.

How is it diagnosed and reasons you may have it.


From all the research I have done and the doctors that I spoke to, HA is diagnosed by way of elimination. What this means is that they need to rule out any other cause of hypothalamic amenorrhea. They need to rule out a pituitary tumor, thyroid issues, any scarring or obstruction or some other ailment that is stopping menstruation.

The typical protocol for doctors is they will do some blood work, they may do an ultrasound and some may do an MRI if you have higher Prolactin levels to rule out a tumor. I would recommend getting a full blood panel from your Dr. That would include a full thyroid panel, Estrogen, Progesterone, Lutenizing Hormone(LH) and Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH ). A lot of times they may only check Estrogen and FSH and without the key indicator of LH you may lose the opportunity to see improvements.

The doctor will probably try around of Provera. Provera will induce a period in woman that have a lining and some women may get a bleed which usually indicates a less severe case of HA. If you don’t get a bleed don’t stress yourself out. I didn’t either when I was first put on it. If you don’t get a bleed it’s also a good indication you have HA which if your blood work aligns with it and if you can relate to some of the trends below. This is a great thing because it means it is most likely reversible

If you have gone to the Dr, you may have suppressed LH, low estrogen but for some these are on the low to borderline normal..


Women with HA seem to have some of the following trends:

  • Disordered eating patterns
  • Have lost a significant amount of weight or been on diets
  • Have history of restriction
  • May be binge eating
  • May have cut out certain food groups or macro nutrients-
  • Fatigued
  • Showing signs of overexercising or working out too much
  • May be an athlete or dancer but not required
  • May extremely active
  • Low body fat
  • High Stress Levels

If any of these sound like you and you haven’t gone to the Dr, I would go to get some blood work done but hear this you need to make sure you are your own advocate. Most likely the Dr. is going to put you on birth control which will actually suppress your hormones. If you go in there and you have done your research prior to the appointment you will feel equipped to ask for what you need.

Why should you recover?

OK so now you may know that you have HA. You’re thinking why do I need to recover? Periods are a pain. Maybe you aren’t trying to get pregnant right now so it’s not a big deal but HA can cause:

  • Osteoporosis
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • No sex drive
  • Infertility
  • Mental Health Issues (anxiety/depression)
  • Perception of poor quality of life-
  • Exhaustion
  • Skin or hair problems

Please feel free to reach out with any questions or concerns! Proud of you for taking the leap to start recovery!

How to Deal with Weight Gain in Recovery

Have you been gaining weight for recovery? Are you lost and need tips on how to deal with the weight gain?

These tips can be helpful for any weight gain like including HA and ED recovery, when bulking for adding muscle or if you have just been indulging in more food than normal and your pants are getting tight.


I am going to tell you a little bit of my backstory before going into the tips.
When I first found out that I may have to gain weight to get my period back it felt like I lost of piece of myself. I would read blog after blog of recovery stories and I would think “no way.” This is not me. I don’t have to do this.

I was so resistant at first I tried decreasing exercise and when that didn’t work I stopped resisting and made the decision I would gain and be confident in my decision. This part of recovery is by far the most difficult especially since my entire life I had tried to be a certain size and I was finally there. I went into panic mode. I am sure many of you can relate. You may have grown up and always struggled with your weight, have a history of always dieting or overexercising and may have never been satisfied with your body.

There were many many years I didn’t treat my body well. Not only through diet but the words I would use to talk about it. I always thought I could hate myself thin. I felt I wasn’t enough. I wanted to look in the mirror and be comfortable. I wanted to be able to buy any clothes and not worry that maybe they were too tight around my stomach or that my arms looked big in it.

It was ironic that when I was finally at a comfortable place that I needed to gain in order to improve my health. Once I decided to gain I made the decision to love and accept myself at all sizes. I am now bigger than I have ever been and I am a little uncomfortable because I have had to overshoot to get my body to a place that it is happy but make sure I am compassionate with myself. So now to provide you some tips and some actionable things you can do to deal with weight gain

Tip 1#: Commit to Loving Yourself No Matter What

My biggest tip is make the decision to commit to loving yourself no matter what happens. No matter what size you get to, if you get more cellulite or if you no longer fit in your favorite dress make sure that you are kind and caring to yourself. Negative self talk will get you nowhere and only increase your stress.

Tip #2: Create a Compelling Reason

I started recovery knowing I needed to get my period back for my health. It was not because I wanted to have kids. Initially my reason was that the sooner I start the sooner I can get back to lifting and my normal life again. Then I found out I had osteoporosis and that was the fire that really pushed me. Remind yourself that everything is temporary. This angst and stress and is not going to last forever.

Tip #3: Change Your Mindset

The key to dealing with weight gain is to change your mindset. Do this by changing your thoughts about it and your body. If you like mantras try creating some post its and leave them on the mirror and your fridge and start using these to change them. I would say you must look at these post daily if not a couple times a day in order to start changing those negative thoughts. I use “this is my recovering body” a lot and while you may not think that is very positive I personally couldn’t jump to I love my body and went with a more neutral thought. I have also been using thoughts like “I love this choice I made to improve my health” which is a true statement and I can feel good about it. I can use that thought because it truly makes me proud of myself and I do love that I am doing this for myself.

A few to try:

  • This is my recovering body
  • This is my body (more neutral)
  • I love my new curves
  • I love that I made this choice to improve my health
  • This is exactly what my body needs
  • I am doing this because….(fill in reason here)

Tip #4 Buy New Clothes and Stop Weighing Yourself

Buy New Clothes. Stop trying to squeeze into those old clothes. Donate your old ones and purchase new ones. Find clothes that make you feel confident and comfortable. Don’t weigh yourself it if it’s going to make you feel worse about yourself. The number on the scale does not matter!

Tip 5# Create a List of Reasons

Create a list of reasons why you are doing this. These are your reasons for recovery or weight gain. Do you want to have children, do you want your health back, do you want to live long and strong for your children, do you want to gain muscle? Do you want to get back to working out? Record all of these down and look at them on a daily basis.

Remember Weight Gain is NOT easy so don’t be hard on yourself!

You check out my YouTube Video on Dealing with Weight Gain which covers the tips above:

5 Tips to Start Hypothalamic Amenorrhea Recovery

Hi Everyone!  It’s been a long time I have posted and 3 .5 years after my last baby was born I am dealing with a new type of infertility.  Hypothalamic Amenorrhea!  The irony of never wanting my period to arrive and now I am praying to get it back.

I am currently working on recovering from HA (4 months all in) and I wanted to provide some tips if you are just starting your recovery journey from HA or your periods are starting to get sporadic.

I created a YouTube video on this topic if you would prefer to watch it here!

The first tip I have for your is to do your research:

I highly recommend Nicola Rinaldi’s book No Period Now what. The link to her site is here.  This book is the HA bible. There is no one more passionate with helping women get their cycles back than Nikola. She has a YouTube channel where she has a few videos and she has been on multiple podcasts. She has dedicated her life’s work to assisting and supporting women to get the periods back. I would be cautious with information overload when first diagnosed. It’s important to know that there is a lot of information out there that can be misleading or even damaging if you aren’t careful. Pay attention to the source of this information and make sure they are qualified to speak to it. I know that I turn to Dr. Google often but it can be slippery slope and you can end up spending hours obsessively looking for an answer or a quick fix.
Tip #2 Understand the Cause(s)
The second tip to start with recovery is to understand why you lost your period and when it happened. If you don’t know why you lost your period then it’s going to be really difficult to change the lifestyle behaviors to get it back or to understand the areas you need to work on. As I mentioned I don’t want to go into super detail in this video but the underlying cause will be some type of stress on your body. This stress is most likely related to an energy deficit caused by restriction on purpose or accidentally, it could be overexercise where your not fueling body and/or extreme stress added to the mix.
Tip #3  Don’t Compare
The third tip I have for you to start your recovery is DO NOT compare! This one is a non negotiable. I do think it is helpful to read stories about others that have gone through the same thing and got to the other side but I would be cautious because you can begin to hyper focus on how long it took others to recover, weight they put on to recover, how much they had to eat or if they could exercise to get it back. If you compare you are going to set yourself up for failure. You will look at those woman that only took 3 weeks to get it back that didn’t have to cut out exercise and only had to put on 2 lbs and you are going to beat yourself up when it takes you a lot longer or when you have to put on more weight and have to cut out all forms of exercise.
Tip #4 Find Support
The fourth tip I have for you is to find support. Support can look different for many people depending on your personality and where you are in life but I would recommend starting out with the HA support group that Nicola created.  If groups are triggering for you then drop out of it and consider some one on one support. If you need more you help on an individual basis you can sign up for coaching through Nicola and others like Kersten Kimura who I worked with.  There are also dietitians and counselors that can help you.
Tip #5 Create a Timeline for Going All In
I want you to create mini goals for yourself if you aren’t ready for the all at once approach. It may not be for everyone but I do think it can be helpful if you aren’t ready to jump all in or you are like most of us where the unknown of when you will get your period back will drive you crazy. What this is is if you aren’t ready to cut out exercise then give yourself a date when you will try to recover or slowly drop out days until your are “all in.
If you like these tips and would like more on HA or anything related make sure to sign up for updates.   What steps are you taking to recover?  Are there any other tips you have for newbies in this journey?  Good Luck.