Saturday, May 25, 2013

Metabolic Damage- My Story

So here I am another week or 2 since my last update and this time I am going to be even more brutally honest with what’s been going on with me and how I feel. I have been telling you bits and pieces along the way but maybe not the whole story.

It’s no secret that I am struggling and also that I am beating myself up about it. Today I am 15lbs heavier than I was when I stepped on stage in November and I am discouraged, disappointed and frankly more than a little embarrassed. I know I said it many times during the prep that the stage ready body is not something anyone can maintain all year round so I was prepared for that and I know that I have likely increased my muscle mass since then but that is not all of it; this I know.

Immediately some of you are probably thinking change your diet, work harder, that’s the key; there has to be something I am doing wrong, right? Well that is the part that disappoints and discourages me. If I were doing something wrong; it would be an easy fix but I eat as clean or cleaner than ever, I work harder at the gym and I am getting stronger and fitter with each day (one positive at least) but I just don’t reap the lean looking benefits any longer.

So why not?
Well I have been reading a lot, talking to doctors, naturopaths and others in the fitness industry and it seems that my body has decided to be rebellious and hold on to everything that I feed it. Metabolic Damage; isn’t that just wonderful. Doctors’ appointments have determined that I have high cortisol levels, adrenal fatigue, an acidic body and very low iron levels.

My story and struggles however don’t just begin with the training for the fitness competition; I do believe that I had issues before I started training. It’s just now they seem to be much worse.

When I first began this journey it literally took me forever to lose 1 pound of fat and to notice any really difference at all even in inches lost. That’s more than a little strange! I mean I was throwing around heavy weights at the gym which was a change from my normal regimen so I should have been seeing results. I talked to my doctor but he didn’t seem to think it was a big deal and then suddenly one day it started to happen. My body reacted; Phew!

I put so much of myself into preparing for the stage; so much time and energy and I felt on top of the world honestly until it all came crashing down post competition and now my body just feels drained and fat. Despite how hard I work, despite how much I rest and what I eat there seems to be nothing I can do to change it. Add that to everything else and here comes the stress factor which increases my cortisol and fatigue and so the cycle continues.

As you all know I love fitness, I love being healthy and I love lifting weights. I am all about challenges, setting new goals and seeing what I can do and what my body can accomplish naturally. So I work to get this lean looking body, step on stage, love, love , love it and bam returning to normal is harder than getting stage ready in the first place…wtf!

I don’t blame anybody; it is just my bodies’ reaction. I didn’t go all out and binge for days after the competition, I didn’t lose my period for months like a lot of women, and my calorie intake was low but high in fat and protein. I had little to no carb intake however which I may want to do differently next time around because I WILL do another show someday! My training was intense but I had loads of energy for it. I was getting up at 4:30am to do a 20 minute interval workout, an hour of weights at night coupled with another 30-40 minutes of cardio and I honestly felt better than ever.

So the last several months have been a major struggle for me. I had intended to compete on May 19, 2013 in the NPAA show in Calgary but I had to change plans and work on body recovery first. A huge blow but one that I am coming to terms with gradually; I picked up training for FemSport instead. A goal and one that keeps me determined and focused on getting stronger and better; no dieting required.

I still haven’t found a solution or a balance and I am still not recovered but I am working on it. I have been told it takes time so I am learning to accept it and be patient with myself. I rest when I need to, I eat when I need to, I have a cheat meal every once in a while and I know I’m healthy. In fact my lifestyle hasn’t changed much from where I was pre-competition; it’s my body that has. I want to feel normal, to feel lean, to look at myself and be happy with where I am; knowing that my hard work is paying off. Unfortunately I can’t diet or train out of where I am so right now I have to accept my heavier self and not stress over it but be patient.

It’s embarrassing some days to go to the gym and have to face so many people who know where I was yet who don’t know what I have been going through. Little do they know. It’s a tough road but I am working through with determination and I am NOT giving up. I want to continue to inspire and motivate people to live the healthy, fit lifestyle.

Fitness is my passion and will continue to be. Clean eating and training are the key but right now my body needs time to respond as it once did. I currently work out 5 days a week for approximately 1 hour each day of entire body workouts and I eat clean which is normal for me. I rarely feel hungry which is bothersome because it makes me concerned that I am not eating enough. I have to make a conscious effort to eat every 2-3 hours and to incorporate healthy carbs, proteins and fats into my daily regimen. I am also always tired.

It is so easy to get discouraged and the mental spiral just stresses me out which makes everything much worse. I am concentrating on my improvements in strength and endurance and on training for FemSport which I am enjoying and doing great with.

My current motto: Stay strong, focused and determined; continue with the healthy, fit lifestyle and the rest will eventually work itself out.

*me now*

Until next time;

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