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!

My Hypothalamic Amenorrhea Symptoms (Can You Relate?)

I have had a number of symptoms when I was at the peak of Hypothalamic Amenorrhea (HA) before I started recovery. At the time, I thought there was just something wrong with me. I thought that my body changed after kids and this was the new normal. Month after month I started to think maybe this isn’t normal.

Now everyone is different so don’t judge whether or not you have HA, by my symptoms but what I do think it is good to hear someone else’s symptoms to know that this isn’t normal and that maybe you do have HA..

The first big flag for me was how cold I was. I have always been cold but not to the extend that I was experiencing. Another big symptom I had was Digestive issues Issues and elevated Liver Enzymes. This goes without saying but libido seriously takes a hit when hormones are off. Sleep and Insomnia was another issue that would not go away. I was exhausted both mentally and physically because of the insomnia and because my body was crying out. I had body pains and recurring injuries that wouldn’t heal.
My brain was so foggy that some days I could’t think of words.

Do any of these symptoms sound familiar? Watch the video I made where I go into detail on each one of my physical symptoms.

Leave a comment if you shared some of these same symptoms and if and when they started to go away.