It’s been well over a year since I posted about my Intermittent Fasting (IF) Experience, and you may be wondering why I haven’t talked about it since.
Well, that’s because I stopped.
Why you ask?
It made me lose my period.
TMI? Sorry, not sorry. If you’re not into period talk, I give you permission to stop reading here.
It was the strangest thing! I’ve always been very regular. For the first time in my life I believed that maybe I was pregnant. A very unlikely circumstance considering I’m on birth control. But it just seemed so bizarre that ‘Aunt Judy’ didn’t make an appearance…AT ALL. And for the first time in my 29 years, I took a pregnancy test.
FUCK that was scary!
It ended up being negative. So I began to think about the possible reasons my hormones were messed up…
I wasn’t particularly stressed. Not more than usual, at least. I wasn’t over-exerciszing. I hadn’t lost a significant amount of weight. I thought maybe my body was beginning to reject my birth control, seeing as I’ve been on it for 13+ years. But then I realized there was one particular change in my lifestyle that month…
So needless to say, I stopped practicing IF immediately and the next month I was back to my regular bleeding schedule and all was fine and dandy again.
I was disappointed because IF was a ‘diet’ that I truly (thought I) believed in. I talked about how it wasn’t really a diet. It didn’t restrict the types of foods I could eat. I could indulge in all the carbs. Eat dessert. Drink wine. It sounded too good to be true…
Turns out it was.
And the truth is, IF was a fad that I dove into because everyone else was doing it. It’s meant to help cut down on calories by skipping breakfast. Most days I was really good. But there were definitely some days that I was still managing to fit in three meals and snacks within that 8-hour time frame. Which you can imagine would take me well over the recommended caloric intake for a woman my age. So realistically, I was starving myself for 16 hours (good…I guess) and then binging during my allotted eating period (bad).
As I mentioned before, a tremendous weight loss was not the reason behind my non-existent flow. I imagine it was the prolonged period I didn’t eat that fucked with my hormones, because…
Intermittent Fasting uses stored energy from carbs and begins burning stored fat. In some cases this can have a positive effect – the most sought-after being weight loss. But in other cases (like mine) it can have a negative effect. From some of the research I did, it’s my understanding that a certain level of energy and nutrients, obtained from food, and stored as fat are needed to support pregnancy. Our bodies can actually identify when these energy levels are too low and may (for lack of better words) ‘turn off’ our reproductive cycles (aka. stop the flow) so pregnancy does not occur. I believe this is what happened to me.
Now, I know most women would be quite happy to go without bleeding once a month. But hormones are extremely important. Especially for a woman my age, who may wish to bear a child in the future. Don’t get too excited…Dev and I are not expecting any time soon. But having a period is oh so important for the female body, and when it comes time to wanting to expand our family, I’m going to need mine.
Today I’m focusing more on feeding my body when I’m ACTUALLY hungry. Some mornings I wake up with the baby lion (figure of speech) growling in my belly, so I feed it right away. Other mornings, I’m not really hungry until noon, so I skip breakfast and eat lunch. This lifestyle has worked well and I have yet to experience any period loss since.
Have you tried IF? How was your experience?