Myth: “It’s ‘normal’ to lose your period if you are an athlete/very active.”
This one is close to my heart. When I was an active dancer/cheerleader/gymnast in high school, and was in the middle of a full blown eating disorder, I was told it was “normal” to lose your cycle when you are active. My body was clearly telling me I wasn’t getting enough fuel, and this should have alerted those around me that something was wrong, but it was normalized due to my active lifestyle.
Whether you are struggling with an eating disorder, or aren’t consuming enough fuel to cover your activity levels in the absence of an eating disorder (RED-S), losing your cycle is a clear sign your body needs more fuel. Just because this commonly happens with athletes does not mean it is “normal.” When you aren’t getting enough fuel to maintain normal body functions, your body starts prioritizing tasks. This usually means slowed metabolism, digestion, and for women—loss of menstrual cycle. (Disclaimer—If you have lost your cycle for any reason, it is important to seek medical attention to rule out any other causes.)
Loss of a menstrual cycle for a prolonged amount of time puts you at risk for bone loss. For this reason, loss of a menstrual cycle should be taken seriously, and action should be taken to restore normal function of the reproductive system.
If you are struggling with an eating disorder, or you are an active person/athlete wanting to ensure you are getting enough fuel, feel free to reach out to me! I would love to sit down with you and talk through your concerns, and make a plan together to ensure your body is getting what it needs.Follow me on social media: