image credit: the amazingly talented Lucie from Collecting Light
Well it has been a while since my last wordy post and I do have quite a lot to share so grab a cup of something warm and get comfortable! I am going to swear and talk weight numbers here, so if you don’t wish to read that kind of stuff then click away now ;-)
If you are a new reader and have no idea what I’m going on about, you can read my other wordy posts here, but the very short and blunt version is that I was overweight, lost weight, lost more weight, my periods stopped, I gained weight to try and get them to start again and nothing happened. That was the situation as of a few months ago.
Well a few things have changed. I’ve had a period, in fact I’ve had two!
Halle-fucking-lujah. There were tears of joy and a big thank you to the universe, but it’s only half as awesome as it sounds as those periods have been as a result of some medication. Since June I’ve been going to the hospital for a lot of tests including ultrasounds and some more invasive and unpleasant stuff. The good thing is that those tests have ruled a lot of things out, although at one point they did think I had an under sized uterus, something which was doubled checked but isn’t an issue. Once I had all those tests there were no other options going forward but to wait and see what happens, or try medication. After a long discussion with the consultant and taking into account my medical history and age I decided to go down that route. It wasn’t an easy decision but I felt it was right for me.
As taking the medication is still no guarantee of a period, to have had them is a really positive sign and I do feel like I’m half way there now. I still haven’t ovulated, which I have to admit has really upset me as I felt like I was making such good progress, but after 2 years I am finally getting somewhere with this.
After talking to the consultant they don’t believe that my weight changes are the only thing that has caused this problem, and my official diagnosis is post pill amenorrhea rather than hypothalamic amenorrhea. However, we have discussed my current weight, which as I have said a few times is in the ‘overweight’ BMI category at 11st 7lbs (yep!) and she has encouraged me to stay around this weight while I try this medication. I’ve also been supporting my body with lots of nourishing whole foods, some specific supplementation and trying to be as relaxed as I can about the whole thing, but it is tough! I guess I’m taking a fully holistic approach with nutrition and lifestyle choices alongside medication. I’m also considering going back for acupuncture next year.
I’ve had some nasty side effects, but they are manageable and exercise has been really helpful with them. As I said, I’m trying this two pronged approach with nutrition and medication, and I’m hoping that within the next 6 months I might have this sorted finally!
Other than that continuing bloody saga, things are pretty good with me right now. Despite being at my heaviest weight in a few years I’m really happy. I was looking back at some very old blog posts and realised that when I first set out to lose weight, the goal weight I had in mind is what I am right now which gives me some perspective. I need to remember that I am still a lot less than I once was! What I’ve found is that I just ‘stick’ at this weight – I might gain a couple of pounds on holiday, but then lose them again afterwards and I just naturally settle between 11 and 11.5 stone. I know that if I wanted to I could lose weight, but there’s several reasons I don’t want to do that.
Firstly, I LOVE food. Like, really love it, and I may sometimes be greedy, but I really don’t care. Food brings me a lot of pleasure – cooking, baking, sharing and eating it. For me, I’d rather be 10 lbs heavier and have that enjoyment. It’s not that I’m eating crap of course, as I’ve said before I do best at a 90/10 kind of mix of heathy / less healthy foods, I just eat a lot of the healthy ones sometimes!
Secondly, I hand on heart, genuinely, prefer my body at this weight to what it would be if I was a stone lighter. Ok, maybe just a couple of pounds off would be an improvement, but as I said above, I’d rather be eating the food than worrying about my size right now. I think because I was bigger pretty much my whole life up until 4 years ago, my body just needs that extra fat so that I don’t get saggy skin!
Also, it’s clearly not going to help my hormones if I stress my body out and try and get to a much lower, and for me, unhealthy body weight.
Lastly, this weight is sustainable for me. I can’t see how I would be able to keep up the changes I would need to make to maintain a lower weight at the moment – i.e more exercise and less food. For one I just don’t have the time I used to for exercise, but that’s ok.
Speaking of exercise, it’s kind of been on the back burner for a while. With my hormonal issues I’ve been scared to push myself, but I know I’ll never go back to the days of working out 6+ times a week, so I feel that as long as I keep a balance I can be more settled with my workouts and the form of exercise I do. I’m super excited about the New Year as I’d really like to make some changes to the gym workouts’ve been doing recently. It would be nice to build some more muscle and strength and dare I say some short, slow runs. We will see!
With all of this stuff a very positive thought for me is that I have a choice. I’m choosing to be at this weight – I could lose weight if I wanted to, I know how to do that, I’ve done it, I help clients every week do it, and that thought is very empowering.
So yes, right now I’m probably in the best place I’ve been since I started blogging almost 4 years ago. That’s not to say I don’t get my wobbles – believe me I still do every now and again, an unflattering photograph, slightly too tight jeans etc can set me off, but I’m able to handle them better than ever before. I still have to keep an eye on my weight too. As much as I am happy where I am, I would not be comfortable or feel at my healthiest much bigger than this. That is where my dialling it up approach works well for me – I can still enjoy my food without swinging from the ‘binge’ to the ‘restrict’ ends of the spectrum when I feel I need to get back to a healthier place.
I do use the scales, but I think my relationship with them is very healthy, they certainly don’t run my life like they used to. I’m saying here I’m 11 st 7 lbs but really that number is meaningless. That’s what I am on my scales. On my aunts scales in Brighton I was 11 st 3 lbs! So I only use my weight as a way of ensuring that I’m maintaining – alongside other much better ways of doing it like the fit of my clothes and er, looking in the mirror!
So to sum up, I almost feel like I’ve come full circle. I’m back at the weight I was when I started blogging, eating without any restrictions and feeling very happy. Once my hormones are sorted, watch out world!
Thanks for reading yet another one of my rambles! If you are in the process of losing / gaining weight do you have a goal in mind? If you’ve reached your goal, how did you know it was right for you?
p.s. I already had some of this post drafted before you all said you liked these wordy posts in the comments on my giveaway, but it’s lovely to know you enjoy reading them! Also there is a post on hormone balancing and finding your ’set point’ weight in the pipeline for January!
I really do love these wordy posts of yours, Laura, and I couldn’t be happier for you and the positive place that you’re in. I wish that more women could do what you did — embrace their body’s natural comfy spot — instead of constantly fight against it and make themselves miserable. You really do look fantastic, and I’ve noticed a huge [positive] change in your attitude/confidence/outlook over the past little while. Again… super happy for you :)
Thanks Amanda! It is hard, I was talking to friends yesterday and while so many external factors make us think we have to fit a certain mould to be desirable or healthy more of us are going to run into the problems I had.
Maybe I am just really emotional, but I teared up reading this post… I can’t even imagine the struggle you’ve been through trying to sort this all out and I’m so happy to hear things are looking up. I love your wordy posts because your personality really shines through. You’ve honestly been a huge inspiration for me!
Wishing you and yours a lovely holiday season, Laura!
Oh thank you so much Anna, when I read your comment I started to tear yo! It has been hard, but I have to say it’s comments like yours that show me that sometimes things happen for a reason :-)
It’s so good that you’re finding out what’s going on. And amazing about getting two periods! Woohoo! Even if that is with medication, it might just be what your body needs in order to ‘remember’ what t’s like, to then naturally happen for itself. I have no idea really as I’m not a doctor, but I’m sure things will work out eventually for you!
I agree with what you said about scales, whatever the number it’s more about watching where from that number you go, if you go up or down it’s a good way to keep your eye on it.
I think that is exactly it Anna, I feel like my body has just needed that push to remember what it should be doing. Fingers crossed it’s on its way to being resolved!
Wow that is definitely progress, I’m really happy for you that things have finally turned around. Your positivity shines in abundance in this post, love it! You have been on such a journey these past 2 years. It’s so lovely to read a story with a happy ending :-) x
Thanks Jemma, sometimes it feels like I’ve been all over the place these last two years!
Glad that you are in a good place right now, and that definitely sounds like progress for you. Fingers crossed everything works out for you!
Thanks for sharing Laura. I do admire your honesty and openness with all that you’re going through. This really does sound like a big step in the right direction so fingers crossed for you!
I absolutely love your realistic attitude to your body- acknowledging that it’s not always a relationship of complete love but that you have your wobbles just like anyone.
Thanks Emma :-) Yep, I think it’s important to be honest that even as a health coach I do have my wobbles sometimes!
Now THIS is progress! And it’s wonderful to read about. :)
I have been going through something very similar. I lost weight, lost too much weight, lost my period. I went through 8 months of acupuncture weekly and taking herbal supplements. While my digestive problems improved and my mood and health were so much better it just didn’t work to bring back my period! I recently went on medication and it has worked. I am hoping it will stay this way! I certainly know how it feels, like holistic treatment aren’t working!, and gaining weight. Hope you continue on a path to healing! :)
Glad I’m not the only one Danielle! Sometimes I just think our bodies need more of a push than alternative therapies can offer – especially when you are impatient like I am ;-)
That’s great Laura!!
I know what you mean about trying to find the right weight for you. I started at 15 stone 2years ago and am now at 11.5 stone which is in the middle of healthy bmi for me. I have been maintaining this weight for about 6months and although I am not “thin”, no flat stomach, toned thighs like you think your healthy weight will look like, I feel like I am at a healthy weight. I am also very conscious of where I have come from and the desire to not go back there is much greater than that to lose more weight so I don’t set targets just try and eat the foods my body wants and do a good level of exercise.
Congrats on the periods, fingers crossed it will all be sorted in the next 6 months.
Thanks Vicky, congrats on your loss that’s amazing. I think you have the exact right attitude, it’s that unrealistic goal ‘body’ that we set ourselves that is the problem I think. Even at 9stone I was never the body I thought it would be so it just goes to show!
I could say a lot on this post, since my relationship with weight and numbers goes WAY back into my childhood, but I think you said it perfectly in this post. There is a fine line between healthy LIVING and healthy BEING while letting your body settle at a healthy weight, as opposed to forcing your body into something its not supposed to be….generally, the only thing that causes any one of us to want to weigh less than we are SUPPOSED t be is discontentment with ourselves or an area of our lives. Happiness is where its at, and it sounds like you’ve reached that point – of happiness, and thats a beautiful things (and one we all want to achieve, much more than weightless of the perfect number ((of which there isn’t one))
Ps, thank you for sharing my work!
Have an awesome rest of the week!
Boo to the typo’s – sorry!
Thanks for this Lucie – you are so right, I think if you just work on being happy you find your way :-)
‘With all of this stuff a very positive thought for me is that I have a choice. I’m choosing to be at this weight – I could lose weight if I wanted to, I know how to do that, I’ve done it, I help clients every week do it, and that thought is very empowering. ‘
This is at the heart of all my beliefs about weight/size. Whatever a person’s weight, I think that if it is truly their choice, then there is a chance of a grain of genuine happiness, not false self-acceptance. Gaining weight by choice is VERY different from having it forced up on you, and the same goes for losing weight IMO. The moment that weight loss or gain feels out of control; that your health (mental and/or physical) is being affected by the lack of choice, the inability to stop…well, that is the point at which food. exercise etc. have become a real problem. My choice might be different to yours, but I absolutely agree that when our goals align with the feeling of being in control of our decision-making, it is a highly empowering feeling.
It’s good to hear that hopefully you’re finally on the road to sorting out your hormonal issues. Having been through the mill with PCOS and having more cysts than ovaries for most of my life, I really empathise with how frustrating the journey can be. I think you’ve handled this all with a lot of maturity and grace, and I am sure you’ve helped numerous readers with similar problems along the way.
Thanks for this Jessica, it means a lot that you feel I’ve handled this well. I agree that choice is the big one – and as you say, control or lack there of. If you’ve had any of the procedures I’ve had over the last few months I certainly sympathise as well!
wonderful wonderful new Laura!!!! so unbelievably happy for you from the bottom of my heart :) i am so glad that you have found a healthy balance and you continue to inspire us all with your perservance and honesty not to mention ability to deal with stress and dial it up/down/side to side! As you know I’m in a major weight loss transformation movement!!! after a good year of weight gain (unintentional i may add!!) im seeing some brilliant results and I’ve lost a good 10lb since August! its been slow but steady and I’m finding what is working for me. I do believe however that the universe lines it up – sometimes there is only so much we can take and Im certainly a focus on one thing at a time girl. Anyway I am rambling – but my goals it to ultimately get to a “healthy bmi” weight but the number is ridiculously low/scary as i’m only 5″3 ! i plan to take it one pound at a time, and try and get to a size 12/14 would make me a happy bunny…. but its all a work in progress – onwards we go!!! xxx
Congrats on the weight loss so far Grace :) !
Well done Chrissie, that is a brilliant weight loss. I think that sometimes with weight loss it’s waiting to have that moment when everything ‘clicks’ and it sounds like you are there!
Really great and a privilege to hear about your progress Laura – it sounds like you’ve found a good spot where you can feel comfortable in and, as a woman, that it is a precious place to be!I find your “dialling it up” ethos really helpful as have previously swung from one extreme to another which just reeked havoc on my body (and my mind!). Now, I’m a lot more gentle and kind to myself, and oh-so-thankful for it! So thanks again :)
Thanks Lucy, so lovely to hear that the dialling it up idea has been helpful for you!
Big big hugs lovie. I LOVE your wordy posts and this one made me smile so much. To see how much you’ve changed in your time of blogging is truly amazing and inspirational, which is why you’re one of my fave bloggers <3 I am SO SO pleased that you're seeing progress with your hormones. I can't imagine how much you've been through but my heart goes out to you and I wish it will all continue for you.
I wish every woman could read this post and be inspired because we're all so harsh on ourselves! We can't help being the way we are 'supposed' to be…it's taken me a long long time to realise this. Yes we can lose weight but if it's a battle to stay at that weight whether it's through exercise or eating less, it is not a healthy way of life. Being at a natural weight makes life easier and it's also noticeably more happier..and life is too short to not enjoy food right? :)
Oh thanks so much Nicky! You are just so lovely :-) Life is most certainly too short not to enjoy food! Bring on Christmas haha ;-)
Having read (and loved) all your wordy posts – I can’t tell you how pleased I am to read this. One step closer, such fantastic news. I’m so happy for you!
I aspire to the balanced approach that you have to your body and food and enjoyment, it’s so refreshing :-)
Thanks so much Pauline!
Oh I am so pleased that you’re making progress! That is really good news. You certainly sound in a much happier place right now – it’s brilliant that you are taking it all in your stride and working with your body in this, your example is very inspiring. I have a goal in mind for weight loss, but it’s quite vague as I’ve been overweight so long I have no idea what I will look like at lower weights! So although I am aiming for somewhere long-term, that absolute point is pretty vague and open. For these reasons I’ll be really looking forward to reading your post about finding your ’set point’ weight and to starting your e-coaching course in January! :)
Thanks so much! Oh and so lovely to hear you are doing the e course, I’m really excited about it :-)
That is such wonderful news Laura. Also I have to agree that the scales are only a minor indication of overall health- so if you are healthy (and I have no doubt that you are) at your current weight then stick with it.
Thanks Maria, I think that is the key, just focusing on health as much as possible and you find you way :-)