Posted by runningawaywithme
I cannot believe I have made it this long. Well, yes I can, but I have done it with very little effort and have learned so many things along the way. The biggest piece I have learned is that life is about balance. Balancing the good and the bad and to just keep moving forward through all your ups and downs.
I want to talk a little about metabolic issues today. There is much controversy regarding metabolic damage (Metabolic Damage:”This is a condition where the nervous, endocrine, and immunological systems lose their ability to function properly due to extreme weight loss measures or repeated dieting. In functional medicine we call it neuroedocrineimmune dysfunction because these systems are not separate at all, but have overlapping communication and integrated function” -Jade Teta ND, CSCS). Some gurus simply believe it just does not exist, and then there are those that believe it truly does exist, because they are living examples of it.
The people I have read first accounts and stories of as well as people I know in real life are what I like to call “Perpetual Dieters”, they spend more time dieting than not dieting, and because they are constantly suppressing their system, losing weight becomes next to impossible for them. “I’m only eating 1000 calories a day and I’m not losing, I just don’t understand it” I see this ALL the time. Which is most often followed up with, “Please tell me what to do, BUT, note, that I cannot eat carbs due to the intolerance I have” Let me let you in on a little secret- you are NOT carb intolerant. NOT. (again, I must put in my little disclaimer of- I am NOT speaking of anyone with a true documented medical condition- celiacs et al..and when I mean documented, I mean not SELF dx’d, I mean you went to the Dr. and were officially tested for said conditions). What I like to tell these perpetual dieters is that first and foremost you really need to work on re-setting your *system*. What does this mean? This means that you must spend some time slowly upping your caloric intake to where it really should be. Which will vary according to a few different variables such as, your age, your weight, your height and your activity level. Then I tell them, if your not moving, you NEED to get moving, be active, exercise!! Which is followed by “Well I do cardio every single day, I am moving”, which leads me to say the unthinkable..ready for this? Hold on to your hats……”STOP DOING THAT MUCH CARDIO!!!” just stop. What I would really prefer is for you to stop cardio all together for a period of time. NO cardio is NOT evil or bad and I know that some will argue with me until they are blue in the face. However, combining excessive amounts of cardio on top of EXTREMELY low calories is NOT beneficial to you. Sure, it may work at first, why? Because you are shocking your system and it’s something new. Trust me on this, you WILL eventually hit that stall. The point where you stop losing weight and you may even start gaining- which makes people assume they must need to lower their calories even more and do yet even more cardio. NO. Just stop.
My advice is to cut back your cardio to maybe a few leisurely walks a week, some stretching and start picking up some weights. What I will warn you though is that stopping cardio cold turkey and eating more right away will make you retain water like nobody’s business and therefore you will see the scale numbers go up. Take it slow, I would first start dropping the cardio little by little (keep your calories the same right now), I would focus on eating more protein and fiber for awhile to keep you feeling satiated. Did you know that you should be eating at least 1g of protein per your bodyweight? Some may argue it should be lean body mass vs total body weight..I say 1lb per your bodyweight. So if you weigh 125, it would be 125 grams of protein a day, 140 would be 140 grams per day and so on. I would also strive to be sure you are getting at least 25-35 grams of fiber in your diet daily as well. Most people really struggle with this, I highly encourage logging all your food to get a grasp on your macronutrients.
THEN start upping your calories little by little and at the same time, start incorporating those weights. Do not be afraid of lifting weights. I cannot stress this enough. If you are a woman NO, it will NOT make you look bulky and ugly. Put that thought right out of your pretty little head right now. Lifting weights will make you a little fat burning furnace, long after you have stopped your workout. Lift heavy. Period. There is no such thing as *toning* it is a myth people. Nobody spot *tones* anything. ANYTHING!!! You want to look leaner and stronger, pick up the weights and get to it. I cannot stress this enough. “Well I have back issues, I have shoulder issues, I can’t lift weights” YES you can. You may have to do a little more research to be able to sub out exercises, but you can do it. STOP MAKING excuses. JUST STOP. I have seen many people face many adversities and still keep going. They don’t give up. They continually strive to be the best them they can be. I have friends that have back problems, that have had back surgeries, you know what? They are still out there everyday fighting the fight and doing what they need to do. You have to first figure out why you keep making up excuses to why you can’t do what you know you really need to do. The only one stopping you is YOU.
My goal is to try and continue to get the message out that low calorie/extreme cardio diets are NOT the way to go. They are ruining your body. Get off the cardio machines and move some iron. I have come from a background of distance running as most of you know that have been following me. I have spent years running and years of depriving my system of the food and calories it needed thinking that is what I was supposed to do. I eventually burned out, hard. I was starving, my body was starving and my running began to become something I no longer loved. I hated it. I no longer wanted to associate with other runners that I knew, it made me sad and it made me jealous. I felt like a failure and without my running, I felt like they had no need to be my friend anymore, because the one thing we had in common, I put on the wayside for awhile. They stopped talking to me and I them. I spend a great deal of time physically and emotionally repairing myself. Emotionally because I felt like a huge failure. I felt like a fake. I used to say how much I loved running and it was who I was. The truth is, I ran myself into the ground. Do I miss it? I miss it a lot some days. Maybe I will go back some time, but right now, it isn’t my focus, and truth be told, I do very little cardio right now. Maybe 2/20 minute sessions a week at the most. My body has thanked me for it and you know what? My body is in the best shape it has ever been in. NOT because I run, but because I stopped and I started seriously weight training. Is running bad? NO! Of course not! What I will say, is if you are a runner, please be sure you are EATING enough to sustain your body and your runs. This was my biggest problem. I simply was not eating to fuel my runs. It took me a few months to really be okay with not running. I was very much like “Well, if I’m not running, then who am I?”.. I’m a wife, mother, friend and most of all an individual person that is separate from the rest. I have dreams and desires and things I want to do.
As you know, I personally follow a macro nutrient based lifestyle. This is what I like and what I prefer, so I will often refer to this lifestyle throughout my posts. I have had people ask me how it works and can I teach them. It’s very easy and very freeing. Step one is figuring out your macro breakdown do this by going to: www.iifym.com once you go there go to tools and figure out your numbers. Then it will then break down what your macros should be based on your daily caloric intake. Once you have that all figured out you are set to go. Like I have said in previous posts, you will need to log your daily intake- I highly suggest you get yourself a food scale so that you can be precise in your calculations and logging your food. If you find that your calories are MUCH higher than what you are used to (which I suspect it will be), my suggestion would be to start out slow until you work your way up to where you should be. You may have some initial weight gain, but that will even out and stop AND some may even find that they lose right off the bat. Either way, stick the course, do not give up. Stick with it day in and day out. Give it 10 days, once you make it 10 days, give yourself another 10 days..it will become a habit, I promise. Diet followed with a good strong exercise/weight training regime will give you results. I promise.
If you have any questions, please post them and I will be sure to get back to you.