The only thing I can contribute my sudden change in heart and mindset the day after Memorial Day, is God. I had been so stubborn and refused to listen to anyone who told me I needed to just try and relax a little bit both in my workouts and my diet. My husband tried to tell me, my parents, and close friends, but I didn’t want to hear it. I didn’t want to face the fact that I would have to let go of the identity of the “fit girl” I had worked so hard to build up. That’s why I truly believe it was a work of the Holy Spirit humbling me and bringing me to a place of being willing to make some changes.
Like I stated before, the one thing in to get my period back I had never done was simply let go. The day after Memorial Day this year (2017), I woke up and just said I’m done. I decided to stop working out, and not think about my food anymore. This is when I started researching. The doctors had clearly not helped me and I needed to become my own health advocate. I also wanted affirmation that I was doing the right thing. This is when I found Jill. Not only were her videos affirming what I was doing, but I was also learning about WHY my period had disappeared. Everything she covered absolutely, 100% applies to me so I knew I could listen to her, follow her advice and see results.
While it was reassuring to know I was doing the right thing, it didn’t make the recovery easy. I still had to deal with gaining weight. I still had to deal with losing strength. There were SO many issues that needed to be dealt with, but the most difficult thing for me was coming to the realization that I had placed my identity in my body and my fitness for SO LONG. I had to come to terms with the fact that I didn’t really know who I was anymore. Again though, God did an amazing work in my heart and slowly started to uncover the joy-filled girl that had been absent for such a long time. A few weeks into the journey I was having an incredibly difficult day. I think it was the first day I noticed a difference in the way my clothes were fitting. I made an Instagram post that was by far the most vulnerable thing I have ever put out on the internet.
Not going to lie. Today has been rough. I’m having to face a lot of truths about myself that are not comfortable in the least. Namely, how much of my identity was found in being “fit.” This whole process is so humbling and my prayer and hope is that through it I will become small, and my identity will be found in Christ and nothing else. Gaining weight (on purpose), eating whatever I want (guilt-free) and not working out is hard, and it truly sucks. Like, bad. And that may sound silly to a lot of people, but for someone who has had “dieted” in one way or another since she was 13, this is mentally and emotionally difficult. However, because of all that dieting I have wreaked havoc on my body, and I am now having to face the music and deal with it. There are days when I feel AMAZING and light and free, but then there are days like today where I just want to get back to my program and back on the stick. That’s not going to help me in the long run though. However, I know that I have the strength from my Heavenly Father as well as a huge support system around me through my family, my friends, and others who have walked the same path I’m currently on.
The response to this post was unbelievable. My friends, my family, people I went to camp with years ago, my pastor...they all reached out to me in the most incredible way and reminded me of who I was. They told me about the Alaina they knew, and it’s crazy to me how different that girl was, than the girl I saw. That day went from being one of the hardest, to one of the best. I was reminded that day that there is so much more to life than having abs, lifting weights, and prepping meals. Life became so much bigger to me! I was happier, more relaxed, willing to go out with my husband and friends at night, amongst other things. I had no idea how rigid my life had become until I simply let go.
I ended up getting my period after about 2.5 months. I was SHOCKED. I thought because it had been such a long time since getting my period, that it would take months, if not years to get my cycle back. But I guess my body just needed rest. It needed rest, it needed more fuel, and it needed me to stop being anxious about EVERYTHING.
I am so, so, so grateful to Jill and the quality information she puts out on a regular basis. If it wasn’t for her, her videos, her quick response to any question or comment I may have had, or her personal experience with secondary amenorrhea, I’m not sure I would be here writing this. My hope is that I, like Jill, can help prevent others from experiencing what I have, as well as help those who are walking the same road of recovery that I have been on.
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