Sunday, August 14, 2011

This is my typical breakfast. 1/2 cup veggies, 1/4 cup of whole oats with 1/4 cup of strawberries on top, and a protein shake.

I find the first three meals the most satisfying, as they allow me to have a serving of carbohydrate, albeit a small one.

This morning I woke up and took my front, back, and side photos for my online coach. I check-in with her each week, and give her feedback about my energy levels, my workouts, and ask her any questions I may have.

This week was the first week since I started 7 weeks ago, that I really struggled with low energy. Last Sunday, I cancelled my day plans because I simply had no energy to be productive. It was a feeling I have never experienced before. I was a zombie, and it wasn't because I felt hungry. I expect it's due to the long-term carbohydrate deficit, which I have been expecting. I make sure to always have my Nalgene bottle with me so that I drink at least a gallon of water throughout the day.

It's no fun being tired. It's an uncomfortable feeling. The occasional fatigue I feel with my show-prep nutrition plan is a different feeling than the usual feelings of tiredness I might feel after laying around on the sofa all day. This fatigue is less mental, and more physical.

We all experience times of fatigue, especially after sitting at a desk at work all day for 9 hours, then having to head to the gym. For me, that feeling of being tired is more of the true desire to go home and relax after working, to obtain a "reward" for being at work and wanting to mentally check-out.

This feeling is different. It's like a battery running low. It's like one of those kids' toys that still makes sounds, but the sound is all distorted and muffled; it is working, but not effectively. That is how I feel some days.

But simply eating more is not a solution to this. I have experienced, in times of fatigue, having an extra serving of veggies, or having a very small serving of fruit or oats. It doesn't help. I know energy production has a lag, and the fatigue one moment is from the 24 hour period, and maybe even the 1 week period, leading up to that moment. Simply putting more calories in my stomach does not create energy.

Though I am tired, this nutrition plan makes me full. I can honestly say that I am less hungry following this plan, than ever before. And that is because carbohydrates have always made me into a bottomless pit.

30 years of using starches for energy may have avoided this occasional fatigue, but I was constantly hungry. There was never a time where I could go out and run errands for a few hours, without absolutely needing to stop at a store for a granola bar or crackers to quell my hungry, screaming stomach. I don't like that feeling either. The feeling of never ever being able to be satiated is scary. Why would I want to need to have 2 granola bars between breakfast and lunch, and lunch and dinner? It's madness.

I don't struggle with hunger. I do struggle with all the outside stimuli out there: walking by the roasted nuts stand downtown, watching TV and seeing a pizza commercial, or catching a whiff of the bread outside a Subway. Those are the moments that are tough. But, then I look around at the general public and realize I don't want to join this country in our obesity epidemic, and that brings me back to focus.

So I guess the choices are this:
1. Be hungry all the time, carry extra weight, eat carbohydrates as usual. Not suffer from low energy
2. Never be hungry, not carry extra weight, watch carbs closely, suffer from occasional low energy

Tough call. But I choose 2.

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