Meet Joanne :)
On November 15, 2017, I received this email from a sweet girl named Joanne:
"Hi Audra, I am SO happy I found you on youtube and you are plant based!! Love it!! Ive not had my period in a year and I want nothing more then to be a mother one day. My arms have gotten scary thin and brittle and I want to change for good. I got off my birth control a year ago and have been wfpb for about 2 years.
I got addicted to working out and burning calories mostly cardio and am trying to get my period back by eating more calories and i've given up the cardio. I now workout 6 times a week I take a daily multivitamin, a probiotic, and iron. During the week my meals look like this: oatmeal with blueberries, 7 almonds, and almond milk. Lunch is a salad with green beans, kidney beans, carrots, salsa, and basmic vinegar. Dinner I have pb2 with pumpkin (weird I know) 2 apples, and a bowl of multi grain cheerios, and brocilli with hummus, and 4 almonds. I literally eat this everday during the week and then the weekend is when I would binge eating out (getting three entrees). I usually eat breakfast at 9 am lunch at 12:30 and then dinner at 8:30 pm. I am scared to snack too because I feel like ill over eat and get fat.
I am thinking it may be two few carbs and calories. When I workout now, now that I've stopped the cardio (this will only be week 2 of no cardio) I do a variety of strength training exercises (very bbg like..jump lunges, then weighted lunges etc). I am at my lowest weight I've ever been, 107, but I don't want to just start eating a bunch of fat and gain weight. i want to do this the right way. I know I've made working out and calorie counting my God and not God my God...and I want to surrender this and not keep hurting my body. Thank you so much for what you do and being plant based. I have been praying to God for answers and to get my period back and I am so happy he led me to your channel! Much love, Joanne"
No period, birth control, counting calories, over-exercising, etc. You probably know the drill.
The thing is, I didn't hear back from Joanne until June 2018 right after she had just got my "Get Your Period Handbook." After reading through some of it, though she was scared, she was still committed to moving forward, figuring all her health issues out, and doing a consultation with me.
So that's what we did. We went through EVERYTHING that she'd been through in her past, where she was at currently, and what her goals were for the future.
She was still tracking calories (specifically in her head), she was considering a low FODMAP diet (don't do this by the way!), she had zero estrogen & progesterone, it had been 3 1/2 years since her last REAL normal/natural period (not being on birth control), she had been working out 7 days per week doing high intensity training and tons of cardio, eating VERY low calorie, tons of Stevia and having no fat in her diet for about 2 years.
BUT, she was sick and tired of it all. The truth is, you can only keep this up for so long until your body fires back and says, "NOPE!"
Her main goal was to get her body & mind to a healthy state so she could stop thinking about herself all the time and rather focus on God and what He had for her life. She shared this following Bible verse with me on a number of occasions - it's crazy how fitting it was for her situation:
“That is why we never give up. Though our bodies are dying, our spirits are being renewed every day. For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever! So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever.”
2 Corinthians 4:16-18 NLT
So... we made some BIG changes to not only her lifestyle, but also her thought life.
Because remember, YOUR THOUGHTS ARE EVERYTHING! What you think about, tell yourself, tell others, etc. is going to be YOUR REALITY!
We finished up the consultation on July 2... on July 29 I opened my email inbox and got this message:
"Audra!!!! After years of no period, anxiety attacks over when to work out, becoming addicted to restricting calories, avoiding social events cause - what would I eat?, defining my days around ensuring I burned enough calories - God has freed me!!!! I got my period back last night!!!!! I knew I was not okay when after my first mission trip to Haiti, the first thing I did after I got off the plane was drive to a gym, because I hadn't worked out in a week - Instead of going home to share with family and friends all God had done - I went to a gym. I was so blind to what I was doing to myself and was convinced that "working out" is healthy. I was determined that yep this is just what I'll do the rest of my life - no big deal.
It took months to realize how much I needed to remove the pride of "I got this" to "God I need you". Here I was asking others to pray for me, but I for some reason I couldn't pray for myself, it almost hurt too. Like I had to pull the words out of my throat. That is when God led me to you. Your encouragement and support has been such a powerful gift. Being in denial for so so long and then watching your videos - made me realize wow I can't live like this anymore. Doing a consultation with you Audra, I have never felt so hopeful - truly empowered by your words - I was ready to fight, I was determined - no more!!!! Ecclesiastes 4:12 "A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer" Thank you for having my back Audra❤️ So much love, Joanne"
It literally took her LESS THAN ONE MONTH to get her period back after not having it for 3 1/2 years!!
And not only that, but like I always say, getting your period just the "icing on the cake." It's great, it's a big deal, and it's TOTALLY necessary to get it and have it naturally, BUT that's not the biggest thing going on here. As you read above, SHE GOT HER LIFE BACK. No more anxiety attacks over exercising, no more worrying about food/calories/dieting, no more trying to burn X amount of calories through crazy exercise.
Instead, she took the plunge, got a consultation, we created a plan that worked for HER particular situation, and less than a month later look what happened. I can't tell you how proud of I am this girl and what a joy it's been for me to work with her - her story and her enthusiasm for life have inspired me in more ways than one and I hope that it does the same for you.
The thing is, there's nothing to be scared of... there's EVERYTHING to be excited about.
Just like in Joanne's story, the one thing I want you to understand is that your life is worth actually LIVING - it's not worth being stuck in a prison of your own mind, crippled by tons of rules, restrictions, anxieties, and worries all the time. THAT'S NOT LIVING! So, don't be scared, be excited, be thrilled, be READY for your whole life to change and for the NEW YOU to step into the world and actually start living.
And lastly, as I always say, everyone is different. What Joanne went through, the plan we created for her, and her results in less than a month might be a little different than yours. And that's ok! Maybe your story is a little less extreme (or more!) and maybe it will take your longer than her (or less!), but don't worry about that.
All you have to do is just decide to START and take it one day at a time... trusting & knowing that it's all going to be ok - which is what I'd love to help you do, too.
Special thanks to Joanne for letting me share her story! You can find her, follow her, and show her some love on Instagram at @joanneweber. She's such a special, sweet soul - I hope her story inspires you as much as it did me :)