Fat is something in a healthy diet that many people have a really hard time accepting as good. But without fat, our bodies are unable to perform to their best abilities. I’m sure you’ve been told the benefit of a certain amount of fat in our diet, but did you really know how important it is? Today I want to share with you why you can call Fat your friend, focusing on the role that it plays in keeping you, as a woman, healthy.
So fat really is a good thing. It’s so hard to wrap our minds around that concept…What with all the negative media previously that made us think that fat would make us fat, to all the low fat and fat-free options on the shelves at the grocery store. We’re left under the impression that more is bad and less is good when it comes to fat.
But what if they’re all wrong? “They” as in the twig-sized woman on the television ad for fat free cereal, or the marketers who design much more attractive labels highlighting that something is low fat.
Let me tell you girl, they are wrong.
Fat is not to be feared, it should be your friend! Did you know that your body can not function without fat. You need fat in order to move, and breathe, and maintain good thyroid health, a healthy body weight, and…oh, yeah, a healthy menstrual cycle.
I’m gonna get a little personal with you guys for a sec. I went almost 8 years without a period. Well, I had a period for most of that time, but it had to be supported by medication. I remember when I lost my period and at first, like any young girl who despises that time of the month, I was excited! But when another two months went by and I still wasn’t able to have a period on my own, I knew that something was wrong.
I wish that I’d realized all of the red flags that popped up, all the signs screaming at me that the way I was eating and trying to be “healthy” was actually causing major problems in my body. I wish that I’d listened and quit restricting and obsessing over nutrition right then and there. But I didn’t.
I went to the GYN who put me on birth control, brushing it off that I was probably just stressed out with school (being that I was a pretty high-strung teen always finding something to stress out about). Thankfully, the birth control started me back at having a regular period, and I thought I was in the clear.
Now that I was able to have a period, I thought little about why I’d stopped having it in the first place. I didn’t think anything of the fact that my body COULD NOT CARRY OUT IT’S NORMAL, HEALTHY FUNCTIONS. How could I ever have thought that I was living a healthy life at that time!? So, I continued to obsess over nutrition, over-exercise, and delve deeper and deeper into a disordered relationship with food and myself.
I wish it had been a quick fix, but no…like I said, I was on birth control for almost 8 years in order to maintain my normal womenly functions. But thankfully, I finally realized the damage I was causing my body. I began to relax, both around food and around others. I learned how to better manage my stress, and FINALLY came to the realization…
I do NOT want a pill to carry me. I want to have a body that is strong and capable! I want to be healthy again…
And that, my friends, is one of the days that I began the uphill climb out of disordered eating and into a more balanced approach to health and nutrition. No, it wasn’t the only time I had the light bulb click in this way, nor was it a steady forward movement. I had many times of taking two steps forward and one step back. And, I didn’t realize that was the start of my recovery until much later down the path.
Why do I share this with you? And how does fat play a roll in all this again?
Well, for one, I know that a lot of women struggle with either amenorrhea (the complete loss of a period) or irregular periods. And, I know that one of the major reasons for this is an insufficient amount of dietary fat. When our bodies don’t have enough fat to burn for it’s essential functions, it keeps to the bare minimum and that means cutting out anything that takes up unnecessary energy…aka in this case, your cycle.
So…how can we make sure we’re getting enough fat in our diet, still feeling healthy, and still lovin life as a woman with a menstrual cycle? (yeah, went a little crazy about lovin your menstrual cycle, but you get the pic)
- Well, first off, if you find yourself having a hard time getting a good amount of dietary fat, or if you’re currently struggling with amenorrhea and want to jump start your body back towards having a healthy cycle, I recommend starting your day with a supplement of healthy fats. There’s a ton of options out there, but I use this one (and you can shop it here, too).
- Don’t skimp on healthy fats…those include all of your oils. Oils are going to be a better option than solid forms of fat because they’re mostly made up of unsaturated fat. Some examples can be olive oil, avocado oil, sunflower seed oil, etc.
- Eat some form of fat at every meal…this can be in the form of a delicious nut butter with breakfast, salad dressing with lunch, and olive oil sautéed with veggies for dinner.
- Lastly, basically just be free to add fat. Enjoy the added flavor that it brings, knowing that you’re being healthy while enjoying it! Healthy food isn’t meant to taste bland, so drizzle up girl!
If you are having a difficult time with your period, whether it be having it regularly or not having it at all, be sure to talk to your doctor, but adding healthy fat to your diet is a great place to start.
If you’re interested in learning more about the role fat has with a healthy cycle, check out this article!
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