I can’t let this week pass without addressing the fact that it’s National Eating Disorders Awareness week.
Bringing awareness to eating disorders and disordered eating is so important. Even though I feel like we address certain aspects often (hello amenorrhea and female athlete triad), the questions I keep receiving via email on this subject combined with continuing to read about runners who are literally running their bodies into the ground, drive me to further rehash the importance of eating enough and taking care of ourselves.
The theme for NEDA week this year is 3 Minutes Can Save A Life. The focus is on the importance of early intervention so maybe, in the time it takes for someone to read today’s post, I will be able to help someone.
What is the female athlete triad?
- Energy Deficiency with or without disordered eating
- Menstrual Disturbances/Amenorrhea
- Bone Loss/Osteoporosis
Without enough food (energy), your body shuts down your menstrual cycle because it just doesn’t have enough to work with to keep all systems going — Almost as a way to say, no way can you grow a baby, not enough energy here. Over time, amenorrhea can lead to bone loss (since no period can mean low estrogen), osteoporosis, stress fractures, injuries, infertility, slowed metabolism, and so many other problems. Even if you are on the birth control pill to regulate your estrogen levels, you are still at risk for the female athlete triad if you are restricting your calories. The pill does not solve things – it is masking the problem.
I don’t really know how else to continue to point out that not getting your period, 9 times out of 10, is likely due to the imbalance between calories in and energy out. Each month that passes without your period is another month closer to the negative health effects listed above as well as random symptoms like insomnia. Did you know that?
I don’t know how to continue to say that even if you think you are eating enough that it may not be enough for you.
That’s the thing that is really worth pointing out this week – You don’t have to fall into the framework of the traditional eating disorders of anorexia or bulimia to suffer the ill effects of both.
You may eat and eat often but not enough for your body. Not eating enough can still cause damage.
It’s true. When I dealt with amenorrhea, I weighed enough for my height but it was not enough for ME.
The doctor said I am eating right because my weight is within range. No, it’s very possible that it is not enough for you if you are not getting your period.
And you know it! Only you know what you are eating and how much you are running. The doctor only knows what you share, only knows the height to weight chart and very often, does not know to look for signs and symptoms of female athlete triad.
So many females remain in denial, which I do understand since I was there once too but gosh, it’s so frustrating to watch. Not just for me but for your family and loved ones.
In fact, so many female bloggers fall into this category that I am struggling to watch and to read. I am unfollowing Instagram accounts quite often lately and I am ready to unfollow blogs too, not because I don’t care about these people but because I just can’t watch. It’s not healthy for me to see. Sometimes if you are reading and seeing things over and over, you can start to think something is normal (when it isn’t) and question your own sanity.
I did catch a terrific quote on Instagram over the weekend though; my thoughts EXACTLY.
I need to follow more accounts that say things like this rather than see images of women with scary bones showing in their pictures.
So anyway, I am not a doctor but from my experiences, I have written a ton of posts on the topics of disordered eating, amenorrhea and finding balance which are here for you to read, reread and hopefully feel inspired by, if needed, to make the changes you need to live the healthiest and happiest life possible.
A Life Without The Scale – One of the very first posts I wrote about giving up the scale and my experience with amenorrhea.
Finding Balance Between Clean Eating & Living – I forgot I wrote this post last year! I was just thinking to write something similar until I saw it pop up in my stats last week! It says everything I still feel about eating a healthy diet yet not so ridiculously healthy and restrictive that you can’t go out with friends to restaurants and enjoy yourself. There’s very little point to being so crazy healthy, organic, sugar-free, paleo, meatless, vegan or clean if all you do is sit in your house making your own meals for the rest of your life. It limits your being and that, well at least in my opinion, is not living. And not healthy.
Do you really need to lose 5 Pounds? – So many times we struggle with those 5 pounds when really, we don’t actually need to lose them.
Amenorrhea talk – A no-nonsense approach to the subject.
Jeans Can Lie – Last year’s NEDA week post, love this one.
Let’s Talk About My Black Pants – I hate pants
Laura is also talking about the Female Athlete Triad so click here to see her informative post.
For more information on NEDA week and eating disorder help, click here.NEDA Awareness Week #NEDA #NEDAwareness #eatingdisorders #amenorrhea #runner #fitfluential Click To Tweet
No direct questions today but feel free to share your thoughts 🙂