Meet Kate Callaghan, founder of The Holistic Nutritionist with one incredibly inspiring story about her own battle with a missing menstruation. You may have heard the term hypothalamic amenorrhea before or may even be diagnosed with it, but if you haven’t, it’s essentially a part of the brain that controls your hormones via the pituitary gland. Sometimes for whatever reason, the hypothalamus decides it’s not going to send the right messages anymore, which can result in no ovulation which means no period. Kate shares with us not only how she lost her period, but how she got it back…
Hi Kate, thank you for joining us on Move Nourish Believe. Amenorrhea is a serious subject in women’s health right now and more real than many people know. Tell us about your experience…
I had amenorrhea (no period) for almost 3 years due to years of over-exercising, over-stressing and not feeding myself appropriately. As a result of this, my hormone levels were pretty much non-existent, which meant I was infertile. Worse yet, due to my low estrogen levels, I had poor bone density – and I was still in my 20’s! This was a huge wake up call – my husband and I wanted a baby, and I did not want to be in a wheelchair from crumbling bones… ever!
The fix was harder than it sounds – eat more, exercise less, put on some body fat. This was a lot to get my head around – I had to give up the 6-pack abs and ripped body that I had had for as long as I could remember. I had to embrace a more womanly figure – boobs, bum, and the whole deal! I also had to eliminate stress from my life – not so easy for a type A personality. However I made the changes, and reclaimed my health in a relatively short time, completely naturally.
I decided to share my situation on my blog, The Holistic Nutritionist, and soon realized that I was far from alone. Sadly, many females are in the same boat. It became clear to me that I had to use this experience as not only a way to heal myself, but also to heal others, and I can honestly say it is the best thing I have ever done. I love helping other females restore their fertility, femininity and connection to their bodies.
Was this your inspiration behind The Holistic Nutritionist?
I have always been interested in health and fitness (I became a fitness instructor at age 17), but it wasn’t until my own health started to fail that I really delved into the nutrition side of things. Mainstream medicine and nutrition advice was unable to help me, so I dove head first into the research to dig my own way out. Along the way, I discovered the incredible healing capacity that food can have on our body, but this was not the whole picture. Something was missing. I was a huge stress head and no matter how well I ate, my health was still going to be sub-optimal unless I did something about it. This led me to discover that health must be looked at holistically – we need to take into account not just the food that we are eating, but how we move our body and more importantly, how we nourish ourselves mentally and spiritually. It was through my own healing journey that I became incredibly passionate and I embraced it as something that needed to be shared with others, so they too could find optimal health and happiness.
How has the experienced shaped you?
I am a lot more grounded. I am a lot kinder to myself and to others. I am much more grateful – for the big things and the little things. I treat my body with the respect it deserves rather than trying to shape it into something it is not. I am completely different to how I was a few years ago – physically, mentally and emotionally. You could say I have become quite the hippy, and proud of it!
If you could share some insights or words of wisdom with the Sisterhood from your experiences, what would they be?
You are SO much more than what you look like! It breaks my heart to know how many females base their happiness on how they look, or what size they are. You are who you are, not what you look like. No one is judging you for how you look (except you). You are beautiful inside and out. Appreciate yourself and respect yourself. Otherwise, one day you will wake up regretting spending every day wishing you were something different.
What is your hope for the future of women’s health?
My dream is for all females, young and old, to develop a deep respect for themselves – for their bodies, their hormones, their minds, their fertility, and also for each other. We are so disconnected from ourselves – my specialty is female hormonal health, and it shocks me how many females do not even know what a normal, ovulatory cycle looks like. What’s worse, many think (and are told) that they require medication in order for everything to run “smoothly”. It is my goal to help educate females about how to get in touch with, and care for, their hormonal health naturally, and empower them to take control into their own hands.
I would love to present to school-aged females about understanding their body’s natural, healthy processes, as well as talking to them about the importance of positive body image and self-love. On top of all this, it is my mission to end female-female competition and comparison. We should be supporting each other, lifting each other up, rather than bitching and trying to one-up each other in everything we do.
First, my plan is to write a book, and then who knows… perhaps leading global, fertile, sisterhood domination?!