Cassey Ho Opened Up About Losing Her Period from Over-Exercising and Under-Eating

"I crossed the line, which is dangerous for my body."

Periods might not be anyone's idea of a good time, but they can tell you a lot about your health and what might be going on in your body — something that fitness influencer Cassey Ho knows all too well. The Blogilates founder just opened up about losing her period several times throughout her life, including as a young athlete and then again during a bikini competition in her 20s. Now, she's sharing what she's learned about how over-exercising and under-eating can impact your menstrual cycle (and your overall health), even if you "feel fine."

Cassey Ho amenorrhea
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In a new YouTube video, the 34-year-old revealed that she would routinely lose her period each year as a high school tennis player, something she now attributes to overtraining her body during her three to four hours of daily intense practice. On top of that, Ho said she "knew nothing about nutrition" at the time, so she wasn't properly refueling her body after those long days of training. "I pretty much wouldn't have my period for three or four months during the [tennis] season from August to November," she shared.

Continuing in her video, Ho said she lost her period again in her 20s while training for a bikini competition. "I was working out around four hours a day and eating around 1,000 calories a day," she shared. "I remember my [period] blood was either dark or spotty or not there at all."

Looking back at those times in her life, Ho said she knows now that she was "taking dieting and working out way too far."

"I crossed the line, which is dangerous for my body," she said, adding that she thought losing her period was a sign that she was "working really hard." She learned that it was, instead, "a sign of trouble — your body's trying to tell you something, and you have to listen."

ICYDK, amenorrhea is the clinical term for the absence of a menstrual period, serving as the umbrella term for all causes of missed cycles, including pregnancy, breastfeeding, or menopause. While it can be normal and even expected to lose your period during certain times (such as during pregnancy or menopause), missing more than three consecutive periods can be a sign that you're under severe emotional or physical stress or are losing too much weight as a result of extreme dieting or over-exercising, among other possible health issues, according to Harvard Health.

Exercise itself doesn't cause amenorrhea, but young female athletes can be particularly prone to experiencing irregular or missed periods. Dubbed the female athlete triad, the condition is caused by "a failure to consume enough calories to support exercise recovery and bodily functions," Mary Jane De Souza, Ph.D., director of the Women's Health and Exercise Lab at Pennsylvania State University and former president of the Female and Male Athlete Triad Coalition, previously told Shape. "Triad" refers to three characteristics associated with the condition: energy deficiency, menstrual cycle disturbances, and bone loss.

Essentially, when you don't eat enough to adequately fuel your body and you don't allow yourself enough time to rest and recover between workouts, you're at risk of losing your period — along with a host of other scary health concerns due to hormonal changes. Fatigue, difficulty focusing, and an increased risk of injury (due to bone loss) can all happen as a result of overtraining and extreme dieting, as your body is working too hard to keep you alive to function in a healthy way. Long-term, losing your period can potentially cause infertility, pelvic pain, and heart health issues, according to the Mayo Clinic. (

After coming to terms with her own experience with amenorrhea, Ho said she began working with a registered dietitian to come up with a more balanced nutrition plan that supports her training (which, these days, is a lot less intense, she said) and keeps her menstrual cycle — as well as her energy levels — healthy. While Ho described what works for her (including prioritizing three meals per day and refueling after each workout with balanced meals from all food groups), you'll want to check in with a nutritionist or dietitian to learn about what will work for your own body and activity levels.

Bottom line: Even though your period (and all the symptoms that can come with it) can be a bummer, Ho's story is a much-needed reminder that your menstrual cycle is a vital part of your health: "The next time you get your period, be grateful for it," she said in her video. "Because it means you are doing something right for your body."

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