I don’t write blog posts very often - I’m more into keeping my blog filled with those motivational slogans and pictures that I love – but today there is something I need to tell you and also give you a heads up.
The reason for my post is something that all of you enthusiastic athletes – yes, even you who just found your passion for running a week ago – should be aware of. It’s something that has finally been increasingly brought up in the sports world, at least where I live, but still seems a little too unfamiliar possibility for many amateurs. Now that I finally got hit by it myself I know it is no joke at all.
I’m talking about overtraining syndrome.
The syndrome may be familiar to some of you. In simplicity it happens when an athlete trains too hard and doesn’t get enough rest. But in all honesty it’s not that simple. The physiological side of the syndrome is exactly caused by too hard training in relation to your actual condition. Also not eating enough and properly increases the risk of overtraining yourself. And of course lack of relaxation and sleep, the best form of rest, makes the outbreak of the syndrome even more likely. It isn’t however all about things you can affect. All the psychological stress from work, family issues and simply the hectic lifestyle of today may be the final straw that is needed for your body to go into an overtrained mode.
Now what are the symptoms? Following list was introduced in this article about sports medicine.
In addition to these, problems like cardiac arrhythmia are possible.
Now you may think that this has nothing to do with you. And so did I – I am no professional athlete. But I do love to exercise in every way possible. I love running, going to the gym, dancing, playing soccer and such. Throughout the summer I’ve pretty much gone with one day of rest per week. And what hectic days have those been. In order to make up for not doing sports I’ve done tons of other things. But that is not resting at all! If you don’t exercise but still run around like a madman your body will not comprehend it as “rest day”. Because it’s not.
Now for couple of weeks I haven’t been able to sleep well. I haven’t really eaten much. I’m in pain and I feel weak. But what do I do? More sports, of course. Finally last night, when I went to bed after cycling 6 miles home from the gym where I had two hours of aerobic classes in a row, I finally understood that I’ve hit the rock bottom. I laid on my bed trembling, lungs aching and heart pounding painfully in my chest. I felt the adrenaline everywhere in my body and only had one thought in my mind. “Run, run, run, run…”
Right now I’m exhausted. Needless to say, I didn’t sleep much for the rest of the night. I’m slightly lost – what am I supposed to do when what I love to do the most is currently only hurting me? But even the things you love may hurt when you give them too much. And now it’s time for me to face that and time for me to really rest. Take a deep breath, eat a filling meal and then when my body has finally calmed down enough – sleep.
Now, the reason I wanted to share this with you was that I know this may happen to anyone. And I wish no one has to experience these feelings I’m dealing with now. And that’s why I am telling you to listen to your body and listen to your mind before it’s too late.
And keep in mind the most important word for your health: moderation.
It goes for the exercising as well.
I am back - weighing the same I did when I was active last time but more willing to pick up where I left off and own this *. I started at my new school in the end of August and it’s been all crazy and hectic ever since. It’s all so much work and so stressful. At the beginning I just didn’t have the energy for anything. Not for exercising and not for eating. So I didn’t lose any more weight but also didn’t gain that much (got around a pound on and off but that’s how it goes anyway).
Now I have finally come back to my senses. I don’t do much besides study nowadays and since my days are filled with lectures and working on the projects the days just fly by. And I just realized that this is the best opportunity I’m going to get. I live by myself - I can control what I’ve got in my fridge and cupboard. Also the days are passing so fast that the impatient feeling of “I want to lose all the weight right now” can’t even come to me before I’ve lost the weight.
So now I’ve been sporting myself for another round - or just for finally crossing the finishing line. I’m back and this time I’m not gonna stop before I’m done.
I really hope you guys are still with me! I need you! :)
Also continuing with the weight loss challenge from where I left off
Day 19 - When was the last time you ate fast food?
On the 4th of October. It was a crazy student party night and somehow the fast food usually comes with those. That was the last time I was actually out and partying properly as well. Funny how it’s already over a month ago since there seems to be these big parties every other day.
Day 17 - Do you have an eating disorder?
No, not at the moment. I was bulimic years ago but got over it. Now I’ve been trying to use my common sense even if my ED-potential mind is trying to take me to the dark side. :P
Day 18 - What food is your weakness?
Probably just ordinary food, like bread. I love bread with just cheese on top and yeah, it’s fine when you have just one. But it’s sometimes really hard not to get carried away. :D And if I wouldn’t be on a diet I’d be eating loads of pastries. Those are heaven.
Day 14 - What’s your UGW? When do you expect to reach it?
My UGW is 110lbs (~50kg). I expect to reach it maybe during the next couple of months. Right now I’m focusing more in building up some muscles than losing weight. I’ll start with the fat burning next week so then we’ll be seeing more results on the scale.
Day 15 - Are you vegan or vegetarian? If so, has this helped you lose weight? If not, would you ever consider turning vegan or vegetarian?
I have been vegetarian for about 7-8 years. I also used to be vegan for a phase of two years but started eating eggs and dairy last spring. I don’t think being vegetarian has affected my weight but I noticed that taking dairy back to my diet did make me gain a bit weight. That was one of the reasons I got fed up with my weight gain and started this new lifestyle. I had to learn to eat moderately and well even when I was allowed to eat more stuff like pastries and cheese.
Day 16 - When did you first decide to lose weight?
Well weight loss is a topic that’s always been on my mind and probably always will be. But this time it was after my entrance examination when I decided that now I’m gonna do it for real. And then after I got accepted to the school I really wanted to get to I got really motivated that now was the right time to do this.
It’s actually pretty funny that I have to bundle these questions up cause I haven’t had time to write every day due to all the working out I do whenever I have time and don’t have to be at work. But I guess it’s better to actually be training rather than just here online talking about it? I’ll try to do a few other posts about my progress and what’s going on besides these 30 Day Challenge posts when I get some time. I’d love to tell you some more about my diet and my all time favorite sport! So look forward to that!
Day 12 - What do you normally eat?
I’m a vegetarian so mostly vegetables, fruits and soya products. I love tofu and eat it in every way possible. After starting to work out properly I have increased the amount of dairy in my diet so nowadays I eat quite a lot cottage cheese and curd cheese. Besides tasting good they contain loads of protein so they’re perfect for my diet.
Day 13 - Are you losing weight in healthy or unhealthy way?
I started in an unhealthy way but after really getting into the whole fitness scene it turned to more of a healthy diet. Now I consider my lifestyle super healthy :) And I feel really good.
Day 11 - Your favorite thinspo blog and why!
I’m sorry but I don’t exactly have a favorite one. I haven’t gotten too much into any blog probably because of the lack of time I have to really focus on the blogging world of tumblr.
Maybe you guys could show me some awesome blogs worth going through on regular basis?
Day 10 - What was the hardest thing you gave up during this “weight loss”?
Actually having been on this diet for so long already I can’t remember what the hardest thing was when I first started. But nowadays I sometimes feel a bit yearning when I watch my brother eating whatever he likes, whenever he likes and as much as he feels like. So being able to just take something and eat it without a second thought is a luxury I can’t imagine myself having anymore - maybe ever. And on the other hand this feeling makes me so proud of myself - I’ve actually managed to change the way I think for the better, to turn planning and evaluating my nutrition into a habit.
Day 9 - Did people ever make comments about your weight in a negative way?
Yes, well my brother’s a pro in this area. Though I guess it’s his job as a sibling, right? One that really stung was when I really had gained too much weight for my own liking and was feeling down about it. We had his girlfriend-of-the-day over and were having some coffee with them, my mum and grandparents.
I know he meant it as a joke, as he always does, but saying "So when are you due, you’ve gained a bit weight, haven’t you?" in front of everyone for a troubled girl isn’t the smartest thing.
Besides my brother my on-off-unofficial-boyfriend likes to joke about my size every now and then aswell. Well he jokes about everything. I don’t remember him saying a nice word to me except for the “nice ass” when we first met.
So mainly it’s been all jokes but it still feels awful especially when I don’t feel comfortable about my weight myself.
Day 8 - Your workout routine
My workout routine is build around the two days I have scheduled for a proper gym workout - Wednesday and Sunday. On those days I spend a few hours there doing a thorough workout for my whole body. Usually I’m so sore the next day that I have a rest day except for a few walks.
If I’m not too sore on Mondays and Thursdays I have the same routine as on Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays. I try to do both morning and evening workout where I focus on one part of my body at a time. Arms in the morning, tights in the evening, abs in the morning, back in the evening etc.
Somewhere in between I also try to go for a run or a nordic walk whenever I have time. If I have an evening shift at work I may go for a run in the morning and then do my arm workout or if I have a morning shift or a day off I leave the run for the evening before the later workout.
The routine I’ve established the best is my morning walks. I go for a about a half a mile walk every morning when I wake up. It’s a lot more relaxing to enjoy my breakfast after I’ve properly woken up during the walk.
I don’t have a strict schedule so I try to go for what feels good. Right now my biggest problem seems to be that I have gotten so into the whole workout thing that I don’t dare to do anything else on my free time such as hang out with friends or go shopping. :D But it’s fine. When my studies start this fall I’ll be so preoccupied with them and the whole new life that I’ll have to tone it down with all the training. So let’s enjoy as long as we can.
1. Favorite time to workout?
-Any time is fine. I try to do both morning and evening workout on the days I have work and otherwise move throughout the day aswell.
2. Favorite place to workout?
-Gym, you can really get in the right mood there.
3. Favorite workout shirt.
-Pink Adidas t-shirt I took from my mum. Cause it was just plain wrong of her to buy herself a pink top considering how much I love pink. And she already has more sports clothes than I do anyway.
4. Favorite workout shorts.
-Nike running pants, goes well for both aerobic training and weight training.
5. Favorite song to listen to while working out.
-Anything with a nice beat to it. I love metal music but when I’m working out I need something lighter like rap or pop. Or k-pop which is my weakness.
6. Weights exercise you like best.
Bench press, makes me feel strong.
7. Favorite post workout snack.
-Banana, protein yogurt or curd cheese.
8. How do you get to your place of working out?
-Usually I go by bike.
9. Would you workout if you didn’t have to in order to stay fit and healthy?
-Yes, I love the feeling it gives me.
10. Favorite thing to do to pass time during cardio.
-Planning the workout schedule for the next week.
11. How many times per week do you exercise?
-On my ideal day I work out twice and try to have one day a week completely for rest except for a relaxed walk.
12. What gets you most motivated to workout?
-Meeting toned people, seeing the progress I’m making and just simply seeing the weights I have in my room.
13. Do you work alone or with a partner?
-Alone or with my mum.
14. Any embarrassing moments while running or at the gym?
-No not really, I usually have privacy when exercising.
15. Water or sports drink?
16. Favorite thing about working out?
-The feeling of strength. And the aftermath.