A Female Athlete Triad Podcast

I watch the news while I’m getting ready in the morning but this morning, after about 10 minutes, I decided if I heard “Trump”, “Conway”, “travel ban” or “ethics” one more time I was gonna LOSE IT! So, I headed to YouTube, typed in “education Ted Talks”, clicked on one that sounded interesting and proceeded to lose it anyway. This gave me the idea to try listening to podcasts while I’m running. Not exactly a novel idea, but a first for me.

So today as I ran I listened to a podcast on the Female Athlete Triad that I found to be informational, easy to understand. and pretty insightful in many ways. (There was also a lot of chat about the paleo diet, which isn’t my jam, but the overarching messages are applicable to a wide range women.) Here are my thoughts and major takeaways.

You need your period. Is it nice to go 4months without breakouts, cramps, cravings, and tampons? Yes. But unfortunately, that isn’t good for you. Many women believe amenorrhea (not getting your period) is fine, but the longer you go without your period the greater damage you are doing to your body. Some consequences of amenorrhea are infertility, hormonal imbalance, and bone loss. Bone loss is a biggie, especially in your peak years of bone growth, and leads to osteoporosis. If you’re not getting your period, seek help to get it back. If you’re still not convinced it’s an actual problem, listen to the podcast for a brief science behind your period.

You need to sleep and eat. If you plan to eat, workout, and sleep, but you only have time for two of three you should prioritize eating and sleeping most of the time. This does not make you lazy, it makes you smart. In order to be at your physical and mental best you must be nourished and well-rested. Exercise is important, but if you’re not eating or sleeping exercise may be doing more harm than good. Train smarter not harder. 

Be willing to face your issues with food and exercise. If all you ever think about is food, exercise, and your body you’re probably not at your healthiest physically or mentally. Accept that those things may be an issue for you and work to challenge them head on.

If you have a problem, talk about it. Don’t have your period? Tell someone. Struggling with overexercising, undereating, or body image? Tell someone. Having people to support you lifts a huge weight off your shoulders. And chances are someone close to you is struggling with the same thing. Working out with a community is awesome, but it can also be problematic if you struggle to take time off and take care of yourself. If people in your fitness community catch you miss a day it’s commonplace for them to nag. This can be counterproductive for someone dealing with disordered eating or exercise patterns. But if people know what you are going through they will support you and encourage those days off rather than getting on your case for missing a workout.

Your people love you for you. They don’t love you because of your defined abs or your 5k time. They love you because you’re a good person with talents, ideas, and interests. Their love isn’t dependent on your current level of fitness. If your worried about what those around will think if you begin to exercise less, eat more, or simply use your time in other ways, go back to my last point and talk to them. Your friends and loved ones want you to be happy and healthy. They don’t care how thin you are or how fast you run, they will support you. You are enough. 

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