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.

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.