In this episode of Holistic Health Radio, we delve into a mindset that can significantly impact the journey of recovery from hypothalamic amenorrhea (HA). “Unicorn Thinking” is the belief that you’re the exception to the rule when it comes to HA recovery. It’s a mindset that can delay crucial changes needed to restore your menstrual cycle, as you believe the standard guidelines don’t apply to you. We’ll explore the reasons behind this thinking, its consequences, and how to overcome it for a healthier recovery.
Episode Highlights include:
- Defining “Unicorn Thinking”
- Explore what “Unicorn Thinking” means in the context of HA recovery.
- Understand the belief that you’re the exception to the rule.
- The Pitfalls of Overconfidence
- Discover how overconfidence in your unique situation can hinder progress.
- Recognise the importance of following proven guidelines for recovery.
- Delayed Changes and Resistance
- Learn why “Unicorn Thinking” can lead to procrastination and resistance to change.
- Understand how postponing essential changes can impact recovery.
- Overcoming “Unicorn Thinking”
- Find out how to challenge the belief that you’re unique.
- Explore strategies to align with standard guidelines for a more successful recovery.
Hi everyone and welcome back to Holistic Health Radio. I’m your host, Sarah Liz King. I’m an exercise physiologist and health coach empowering you to find your healthy balance with food, fitness and your body. Through my one-to-one and group coaching programs, both myself and my team help women regain their periods, find food freedom and have a healthier relationship with exercise all while gaining body confidence.
This episode is proudly supported by my upcoming group program Healing Hypothalamic Amenorrhea. It’s an eight-week hybrid one-to-one and group coaching program with supportive materials, hormone nourishing recipes, recovery friendly workouts and workbooks designed to help you recover your period while improving your relationship with food, exercise and your body.
Enrollment is now open and the course commences on Monday October 16th and is available to participants worldwide. And maybe if you are listening after October 16th do not stress we run this course multiple times during the year so for all of the details and to enroll you can head to www.saralizzking.com forward slash Healy.
healing hyphen HA, and I will also put the link in the show notes or if you’re watching on YouTube in the comments below. Now today’s podcast is all about unicorn thinking. So what is unicorn thinking? Unicorn thinking is thinking that you are the exception to the rule. Now in HA and ED recovery, this can often appear as
thoughts that tend to reinforce your biased beliefs. That maybe that this will work for everyone else but me, that’s a really common one. Or other thoughts that might come across your mind are that my body can tolerate this level of exercise, that I won’t need to change it to recover my period because I’m the unicorn. It can often be around food as well.
So I’m definitely eating plenty. I don’t need to eat more to recover my period. That’s something that other people need to do, but not me, I’m not one of them. That’s a really, really common one. Or maybe you’re like, well, I don’t go to the gym, or maybe I feel like I’m a smaller person compared to everyone else. So I don’t need to eat the minimum 2,500 calories that’s usually recommended per day.
Another one that’s less common, but I still find I hear all of the time is, I don’t need to slow down. I don’t need to do less. I can keep up with my crazy busy lifestyle and still recover my period knowing full well it’s stressing you physically and mentally. By thinking that we are the exception to the rule, we inevitably become the rule.
Now, I’m gonna say that again. By thinking that we are the exception to the rule, we inevitably become the rule. We actually prove to ourselves that by not making these changes because we don’t think we need to, that we are the unicorn or the exception, but actually our habits is what is making our period stay missing. Your period’s missing not because you’re the unicorn.
but because you haven’t made those necessary changes that will actually help you recover. Essentially, your mindset is convincing you that, you know, these are, these lies, essentially what you’re telling yourself are true, and they’re keeping you really stuck. And it can delay period recovery for a variety of different reasons. It can prevent you from eating enough, like I said before, because
Maybe you think I’m having such a large volume of food, but maybe you’re not having enough energy overall. It can prevent you from modifying your exercise because you think to yourself, oh, well, I’ve already cut down intensity and volume, I don’t need to do any more to recover my period. It can keep you stuck in a really busy, stressed state, doing everything all the time, being hyperproductive. It can make you believe you’ve made significant changes or progress when you actually haven’t.
And it can also make you believe that there is something wrong with your body and that you can’t trust the process. The truth is I see so many people stuck in this unicorn thinking, especially when I take discovery calls or the first few sessions of people in the Healing HA program. And I actually say this unicorn thinking it’s actually not your fault. Diet culture and low calorie diets make us convinced that we’re eating enough.
but our perception of enough is actually incredibly warped because we’re so used to being fed the lie that 1,200 calories is enough for our bodies when really that’s enough for a toddler. Layer that on, fitness culture makes us think that our workouts aren’t really super intense because we see people doing so much more, but the right kinds of workouts for hypothalamic amenorrhea recovery are incredibly specific. The modifications that you need to make are incredibly specific.
because we don’t want your body to sense even an ounce of stress. So it’s usually a lot less than probably you think. Then we have hustle culture, which makes us think that being busy and productive all of the time is normal and healthy, when in reality it’s making us mentally and physically stressed. So how do you overcome this kind of thinking and actually know you’re making the right decisions?
to get your period back? Well, I’m gonna give you three, not two, three steps to identify unicorn thinking so that you can overcome it and recover your period for good. Now, the first one is to ask yourself, what am I currently doing that I know is actively getting in the way of me having a healthy relationship with food, having a healthy relationship with my body, and recovering my period? What is actively getting in the way?
And you’re gonna write that whole list down. Once you have that list of all of your habits and behaviors, then ask yourself this, this is step two. Why do I keep doing all of these things, even though I know they are working against my goals? From there, you’re probably going to get a list of things like fears, worries, unhelpful beliefs. All of those things will come up and I want you to write them.
down and that is step number three. Because the truth is to overcome this unicorn thinking you need to equip yourself with the tools, the strategies and the coping mechanisms to work through those fears, those worries, those unhelpful beliefs because failing to do so means that you’ll likely be motivated to make some changes for a few weeks and then things will get hard and you’ll retreat back to safety and you’re old.
behaviors. That’s why I created my coaching programs and specifically the Healing HA program because having someone who can teach you those skills, help you challenge your unicorn thinking, the exception to the rule, and provide you with a specific plan or both the behavior changes that you need to make around nutrition, exercise, and your lifestyle combined with the psychological skills that you actually need to overcome these fears and worries.
makes it nearly impossible to retreat back to your comfort zone. And that’s why I find people often get stuck in this stage of quasi-recovery, is because they do a little bit and then they go back to what they were doing before. Getting that daily nudge to keep moving forward, to stay consistent, is exactly what keeps people moving towards recovery. It makes them realise that they were not, in fact, the exception to the rule, but that they simply hadn’t made…
enough changes and that’s why they were stuck for so long. So if you’re someone that’s like, okay, maybe I have convinced myself that I’ve done all of this work but my period’s still been missing for quite some time, that is much more likely that you’ve done some really good ground work but you haven’t made the specific changes that you need to actually push things over the line and get your menstrual cycle restarted.
So if you’re someone that’s needing support and guidance to do that, if you’re feeling motivated in some moments and then you know you kind of retreat back at other moments, I highly recommend the next round of Healing HA. Definitely do the exercise that I recommended in this podcast. It is eye-opening to figure out what are your fears, what are your worries, what are your unhelpful beliefs? Because then you actually know what you need to tackle because those will come up in your difficult moments on your recovery journey. So I hope you found this podcast
helpful. I’m going to leave it there for today. Again, if you’re curious about joining the next round of Healing HA, you can click the link and definitely read through all of the options that we have available. Otherwise, happy to chat in my DMs. You know where to get me. I am at Sarah Liz King on all your platforms. And again, if you loved this episode, be sure to give it a five star rating and review wherever you’re listening, whether that be on Apple podcasts or Spotify.
or if you’re watching this on YouTube, be sure to give it a thumbs up and subscribe so you never miss an episode. But I will leave it there for today and I will be back next week with a fresh new episode that you can wrap your ears around.
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Ready To Improve Your Relationship with Food and Get Your Period Back?
The Healing HA program gives you the exact steps to getting your hormones, period and fertility back WITHOUT the overwhelm or loneliness of trying to do it on your own.
In just 8-weeks, you’ll learn absolutely EVERYTHING you need to know about Hypothalamic Amenorrhea Recovery, so you can get your period back AND make sure it sticks around forever while improving your relationship with food.