One of the most common questions I get asked by other females is how I get normal periods as a long distance runner. I've met many women struggling with this, and I've lost mine in the past before too.
One of the first things people want to blame is exercise. But honestly, I rarely ever think the problem is exercise. Many women, including myself, have normal periods every month training at high levels, even while running 50-70 miles a week for months on end. The key is knowing what your body needs, and giving it those things without any restrictions.
Most women need to reach a BMI of 22-23 to get normal periods after experiencing a bout of amenorrhea, which is a much higher BMI than most females want. As a female, however, you need to realize that having body fat IS HEALTHY. Just because society thinks that being excessively lean is desirable DOES NOT mean it is healthy. Everyone's body is different, and everyone needs to accept that.
I saw a dr. who told me that in order to get my period back I had to stop running ultras and just do a "moderate" amount of exercise. He told me it was impossible to have normal periods running 70 miles a week, and that I should start taking hormones to balance out my body.
Obviously, I declined and decided I would simply gain some weight, and let my body heal itself. He thought I was crazy, but I was right. Even while training for an ultra marathon, I was still able to get my period back.
So, what did I do? Simple. I ate whatever my body asked for, from a wide variery of nutrient dense foods.
The best tips I can give to women struggling with amenorrhea are:
1. Make sure you're not restricting anything! That means calories, fats, proteins, carbs, etc. (I got about 25% of my total calories from healthy fats!)
2. Make sure you are getting essential nutrients like omega fatty acids, iron, zinc, etc. (again, why I encourage whole foods!)
3. ALLOW YOURSELF TO GAIN WEIGHT! Just because a BMI of 19 is technically considered "healthy" doesn't mean it's healthy for YOU. Everyone's body is different! Learn to love yours, and take good care of it.❤ (Please feel free to DM me with any questions!)