Thursday, February 11, 2010
So. Hi. I think I need to do another brain dump and get some feedback. (I know, how do I possibly have any brains left?!)
I've been low. Tired. Exhausted. Cranky. Irritable. Less-than-optimal. For a while now.
Specifically, since October 31, 2008, when I first noticed that I was feeling a little bit tired and run-down. At the time I chalked it up to losing the new-job sheen and settling back into a routine. I felt good, just tired. I kept on track with my new routine of running 3 miles everyday at lunchtime (or, in the winter taking a 45-minute spinning class) and my recent decision to cut my caloric intake by 10%, or just above my BMR.
I lost 30 pounds in 3.5 months. That was great, and I felt determined to take off the last 25 pounds my doctor kept chirping about. I got another ten off through sheer grit and determination, but I felt even more worn out and went through a bout of overtraining. Those ten pounds came back, but my body looked more sculpted, so I was (and am) okay with that. The exhaustion, however, has never gone away - not when I sleep well, not when I nap, not when I take a rest day, not when I don't.
A bone-numbing cold settled on me that fall, and I still can't get warm - I was only able to go out to ride my bicycle twice last summer because if it wasn't 90*, I was unable to stand the chill of the air on my arms & legs. After an evening workout, I have to change and shower, and I have trouble getting warm enough to go to sleep even with a heated waterbed, heating pad, flannel pyjamas and thick socks.
My weight has been fairly steady since June 2009. I am on SP's plan calling for 1550-1900 calories/day and I keep that fairly steady on the higher side, since my BMR is ~1850 and I burn ~500 cals/day in workouts per my HRM.
Right now, I am in a quandry. At the edge of the running season, I am faced with the real possibility that I will be physically unable to meet my training goals because of fatigue.
Journaling has helped me find a solution. Over the holidays, I allowed myself some liberties that I haven't enjoyed for a couple of years - fudge when I really wanted it, cookies if I made them - and I found something interesting happened. I would eat, gain and lose over the span of about a week. While there is nothing too unusual about that, what was unusual is how little extra I ate and how big the numbers were both going up and coming down. It was...cycling.
Cycling...with carbs...something...something...temporary starvation with carb-load...temporary....temporary only...
I read up on some different methodologies and outcomes, thought it through, crunched the numbers, gave myself a good shake, a mental talking-to and decided....to up my calorie intake.
Yep. That's what all this angst, bitter exhaustion, overtraining and freezing has come down to - I've been in starvation mode. What I've been doing has not been working and I need to suck it up, look at what all those numbers add up to - I have to eat more. Eat. more. carbs. *meeble*
I'm a bit flung on the floor over this. You'd think I'd be thrilled at the prospect of EATING MORE, but I have some trouble getting in all of the food I need each day, especially if I eat something like a sweet potato dinner is going to be rough to get down no matter how hard I workout.
I reset my weight loss goal and reset my calorie counter. Last night I had my first bowl of cereal in...3 years? And laid very, very still for a hour, hoping that it wouldn't come back up, and succeeded. And I had half a banana for topping.
Today I had honey with my English muffin, a no-bake cookie, black beans in my salad and I'm going to add a granola bar to my pre-workout lunch routine.
Right now my short-term goals are to find more good, low-fiber carbs to fill in my calories and to have enough energy to get back to my Thursday night kickboxing class (I've been so exhausted after spinning that I literally have jelly legs...not so good for kicking...).
I feel trapped either way - if I don't do something differently, I'm doomed for this season and if this isn't the right thing I'm going to gain weight back and that is a much scarier prospect.
Anyone? Thoughts? Advice?