Shhhh, confession time: I am TIRED. Actually I’ve been exhausted for a couple of weeks now. As I’m sure you can already guess, tiredness does NOT mix well when you have goals!!!
It may sound silly/ridiculous/nonsensical, but fatigue is one of a few select things about myself that I equivalate to defeat or weakness. I am proud that I finally reached a point where I can accept taking time off to injuries, although I am quick to learn from it and create a prevention plan. I can also say that I really enjoy my two complete rest days of the week; it’s a lot to me, but I love it and so does my body! My latest achievement is being able to cancel certain workouts here and there when I am fatigued, but canceling a string of workouts on my heavy load day because I’m TIRED?! This is a first, and it hurts!
I knew there was something wrong that had to be addressed while driving to the gym for my afternoon workout. There was a general, overwhelming feeling of tiredness, even though I already had an hour nap under my belt. Something felt … off… but I needed to verify it with someone who was more clearheaded than I was. Quickly, I dialed HB (I used the phone while driving-horrible, I know!), described to him what I was feeling and asked him if I really was tired or sounded like I wanted to get out of my workout. I was a bit surprised when he agreed that something was off and suggested that I go home, and so (siiiigh) here I am.
Possibilities for the fatigue:
- Overtraining? This was my first thought. The symptoms – fatigue, crankiness, impatience – seem to point towards overtraining, except for that these days I’m working out less and voluntarily resting a lot more than I ever have.
- Baby? Omigosh PLEASE no! I am not ready!
- Water? Good guess, but I drink a ton and do not drink any caffeinated drinks (except for green tea). If it were only this easy.
- Nutrition? A possible bingo!
According to the book “Vegetarian Sports Nutrition” by D. Enette Larson-Meyer, low carbohydrate intake on a particular day can result in “feeling tired, fatigued, or dead-legged… poor running, lightheadedness, or excessive moodiness during a training session.” ALL ME!
Accounting for my lean body mass and level of activity, the book recommends that my carb intake be in the ranges of 302g-358; however, silly me was still eating according to SP’s recommendation that was much, MUCH lower… Furthermore, I never adjusted my fitness goals in SP to reflect my current activity level! (oops)
In addition, I can now recall that I started feeling tired when I started tracking my food. During my SP break, I was eating whatever I wanted, including dessert almost every night. (Actually it was dessert EVERY night… But who’s counting?) Back then, I was working out even more than I do right now, yet I felt completely energized; every workout was met with renewed vigor. Unfortunately, even working out at that level couldn’t burn all that bread pudding I ate, so when I grew out of my “skinny” jeans, I came back to SP and started tracking my food. I lost weight immediately, but in the process I also cut out vital calories and carbs that I needed to get me to the gym. Doh!
SIDENOTE: I am a self-professed carboholic, so this is a mixed blessing. It’s like telling an alcoholic that he/she needs two glasses of wine a day to be healthy!
So starting tomorrow, these will be my new nutritional goals that I will work towards. Hopefully the results will be immediate! crossing fingers
- I am very petite, but I know I can’t live on 1200 calories a day. Maybe more like 1500 should be the bare minimum, or even 1800? I might try to increase it 100 calories at a time and see how I feel. I’m sad that it will take longer to reach my weight goal, but slow and steady wins the race, right? (Fake it til you make it, ha!)
- UP THE CARBS! This is a tricky process. Too much = weight gain, not enough = misery. With my current fitness load, SP recommends carb levels 197g-284g, which is lower than the book. I’ll start by including 2-3 fruits a day to boost my current levels up and go from there.
- EAT WHEN I’M HUNGRY! Or rather, eat snacks so that I won’t get hungry. So elementary, but I still don’t get it. Grrr.
Okay, that’s it for now on the home front. Will update on this!