It had been eight years since I had a period, and my gynecologist was only a little bit concerned. She asked me if anything had changed diet or exercise-wise. At the time, I had just finished my first half-marathon, but I’d been an athlete my entire life and got my period every 30 days for five to seven days. Why now? It didn’t make sense that I would lose it just from running distance, but my doctor was convinced that this had to be the case. She told me that as soon as I stopped, it would come back.
I never really got it back. I went through phases of running between 2009 and 2017, and I probably had three or four periods, max. Every year I would have my annual checkup, and my doctor still didn't seem too concerned. But I started to question the normalcy of not having a period for so long. I was engaged, and kids were on my mind. It was at that time that I really sat down with my gynecologist and said, “OK how do I reverse this, and how long will it take?”
She told me that ultimately I needed to dial back the intensity of my workouts because my adrenals were pretty shot. She took a lot of blood work, which proved it: My body fat was lower than that of an elite athlete. She explained that it may be uncomfortable at first, and that I needed to incorporate yoga, long walks, and other low-intensity workouts.
I hated hearing this, because I’m a HIIT lover. I love to get my heart rate up to the MAX during all my workouts, and I found yoga and walking to be pretty boring. However, I knew if I continued going down the path of not having a menstrual cycle, there was definitely going to be a zero percent chance that I would get pregnant.