Why A Marathoner Decided To Stop Running & Start Working On Gaining Weight

After an incredibly successful running career over the course of 14 years, professional marathoner Tina Muir announced that she is retiring at the age of 28. In the announcement, posted to her blog, Muir revealed that she had not gotten her period in nine years, and would be quitting in order to try to start a family.
Muir wrote that she had a condition known as amenorrhea, or having one or more missed periods, and wanted to take active steps to preserve her fertility.
"I am 28 years old, and although I have not yet reached the point of it being all I wanted, I knew the time was coming where I wanted to focus on starting a family," she wrote. She also wrote that she had been adding more fat and protein to her diet in an attempt to get her period back, but it didn't work. Since making her decision, Muir has chosen to allow her body to rest from over a decade of dedicated running, and has been documenting her journey on Instagram.
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CRAAAAZZZYYYY how things can change in a year!! I wasn't sure whether to post this, feeling self conscious, and thought people might react negatively, but oh well, here's to being brave.πŸ™Š This time a year ago, I was about to run the #londonmarathon, I ended up smashing my PB of 2:41 to run a 2:37 and finish 2nd in the championship section of the race. I don't know how much I weighed, but I was in the best shape I had been in, both physically and mentally. One year later, and quite a few pounds heavier, I have not run in almost 5 weeks. But I CHOSE this. Last year I achieved some big goals, but now I have an even more important one, recovering from amenorrhea and getting my body ready for a family. I'm not gonna lie and say it's not hard looking at that photo and seeing me right now, BUT I am learning to love my curves, and I am definitely enjoying the food I am eating πŸ˜‹πŸ°πŸŽ‚πŸ¦πŸͺ🍩, allowing myself to let loose, rest, and heal after 14 years of complete dedication.πŸƒβ€β™€οΈ There are many ups and downs in every stage of life, but even in that moment, like that one on the left, I still wanted to look better, I still wasn't totally happy. I don't think we ever will be, all we can do is love our bodies and respect them. I know I am not "big" by any means, but this comparison shows the difference. My body has a new journey to embark on, and I plan to embrace it as best I can. I'm still me, right? *hesitates to push publish*.....aaaand GO

A post shared by Tina Muir (@tinamuir88) on

Last month, Muir shared side-by-side photos of herself getting ready to run the London Marathon, and another after she decided to quit.
"One year later, and quite a few pounds heavier, I have not run in almost 5 weeks," she wrote. "But I CHOSE this. Last year I achieved some big goals, but now I have an even more important one, recovering from amenorrhea and getting my body ready for a family."
According to the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, amenorrhea can be caused for a number of reasons, including genetic abnormalities, eating disorders, stress, and, in Muir's case, perhaps excessive exercising.
"I have always had a fear that [running] would make me infertile, or that I would stop running at age 35, it would take me five years to get [my period] back, and by that time, [my husband] Steve and I are too late," she wrote in her blog post.
While Muir says that she was initially taken aback by the changes her body has gone through in the past year, she's embracing it.
"I'm not gonna lie and say it's not hard looking at that photo and seeing me right now, BUT I am learning to love my curves, and I am definitely enjoying the food I am eating πŸ˜‹πŸ°πŸŽ‚πŸ¦πŸͺ🍩, allowing myself to let loose, rest, and heal after 14 years of complete dedication," she wrote in her Instagram post.
While her amenorrhea could very well be from the amount of exercise she's been doing for years, experts told SELF that there are other issues that can come into play.
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"Usually if it is due to high levels of exercise, it will return once the weight is gained back or the extreme exercise is ceased," Jessica Shepherd, M.D., an assistant professor of clinical obstetrics and gynecology, told SELF. However, it can be more complicated than that.
Christine Greves, M.D., a board-certified OB/GYN at the Winnie Palmer Hospital for Women and Babies, told SELF that not getting a period for so long could also be a sign of underlying health conditions, such as premature ovarian failure. That's why anyone experiencing amenorrhea should check with their OB/GYN to determine all possible causes.
As for Muir, she's been seeing her doctors, and hopes that she'll eventually start running again someday.
"I do believe I will come back, in fact, I think that coming back will someday be my next big goal," she wrote in her blog post.
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