I Think I Have Metabolic Damage (WARNING, It’s a Long One!)

Hello everyone,

You have probably noticed there has been a lack of posts lately. Although I could apologize for this, I often find it depressing when bloggers apologize for not being as prompt or active on their blog. When I read these blogs, I feel sorry for the blogger that they feel as if their blog is something that MUST be tended to every day or even every other day. I started this blog as a way to share my health and fitness goals and enthusiasm with other like-minded individuals. But another reason I started this blog was for my own creative outlet. I have spent many days and nights stressing about what needs to be done for work, our home, classes, etc. Now that I have part of my life back because I graduated, I definitely don’t want this blog to become something I stress out over. I hope you can understand and relate. (Stepping off the soapbox now.)

In a Rut

Anyway, that being said, I’m actually here for another reason today (this one’s a long one, so hang in there). The fact that I have not been posting as much is a direct reflection of how I have been feeling lately. Less motivated. Frustrated. Anxious. Tired…

I have struggled with my weight in the past and one day I intend to share my story to all of you but that’s another post,. Thankfully, I was able to overcome several of my issues related to weight and food throughout the years by gaining a knowledge and understanding of basic fitness and nutrition principles. A couple of years ago, I wanted to lose about 7 lbs. I had gained after graduating with my Bachelors. I used the MyFitnessPal app to track my progress and count calories. It worked perfectly! I lost those few extra pounds and felt great!

However, I continued to stay at that calorie count, perhaps hoping I might lose more or out of fear that I would gain the weight back. This low calorie count has been something I have maintained over the course of the past two years, and my weight has slowly crept back up to those 7lbs. Of course, there are several other factors to consider here, as well. Due to school and stress, I have been unable to exercise as often as I would like, let alone have enough willpower to eat as “clean” as I could.

Metabolic Damage

I fear now, as a result of the low calorie intake, I have damaged my metabolism. I have been reading some very informative articles from Bodybuilding.com about slow metabolism. The basic idea is that our bodies are continually adapting and adjusting to what we do on a daily basis, and as a result what once was different and worked (reducing calories) has now become the new “normal” for my body. In turn, this means that my body is expecting this low calorie count everyday, and is no longer losing fat.

In addition, a prolonged restricted calorie count can have a reverse effect. When your body begins to expect that it’s only going to get very few calories everyday, then it begins to actually hold onto fat, making it more difficult to lose fat through exercise and diet.

So of course, I already knew a lot of this before, but maybe I was in denial in thinking that my problem was just that I wasn’t being disciplined enough or strict enough in my diet. However, I do feel tired often and I believe I eat “clean” at least 80% of the time.  So now the question is, how does one correct a slowed/stalled metabolism?

Jump-Start a Slowed Metabolism

After more research, it seems as if a combination of clean eating, slowly adding calories back, and maintaining a balanced fitness routine is the answer. I have to be honest, ADDING calories into my diet sounds a little scary to me. As someone who was once overweight, a gigantic fear I have is becoming overweight again. But as much as I fear this, I also know that I NEED to be healthy. I need energy to fuel my workouts, and I need to shake things up with my diet and fitness routine in order to jumpstart my metabolism once again.

Back to the Basics

When I think back to a time when I felt like I was in the best shape I have ever been in, I was in college for my Bachelors degree. I was just as busy then, but still had plenty of energy. Enough energy to get me through hours of class every week, a 2 mile run a day, and 8 hours of marching band practice a week (more intensive than you would think!), let alone walking to all of my classes. Also at this time, I ate clean all the time. My rule of thumb was that I could eat whatever I wanted as long as it was clean and appropriate portions, one “cheat meal” a week, and one “treat” a week.  This approached worked really well for me. And the one thing I didn’t do during this time was count calories.

So now the question is, how do I move forward? How do I jump-start my metabolism, while also finding a balance to gain muscle and lose fat?

(To be continued…)

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