Thursday, February 18, 2010

Hitting the Wall

So back in December I was ranting about, well, lots of things, but all related to this random loss of appetite I'd been experiencing. It's still going on. I went back to see the doctor in January and had lost another 15 pounds since my appointment in December, so she did a bunch of blood work that all came back totally normalsauce, so no idea what's going on yet.

Here's how my day goes with eating: I wake up in the morning, I'm not hungry but want to force myself to eat something, anything. We're out of fruit that I normally can force down a few bites of, so I look at cereal. I pour myself about a third of a cup, look in the fridge for milk, and notice there's not much left, so decide to skip the cereal since I will probably only eat two bites and Brad will make better use of the milk. I look around the kitchen for anything slightly appealing, even considering snacky foods like chips and chocolate, but they all seem gross. So, breakfast is coffee, a gummy vitamin, and some omega-3 capsules.

I go to work and see bananas in the microkitchen. I grab one and make it my goal for the day--to eat this damn banana. Around noon everyone else is grabbing lunch but I'm so not hungry. Eventually I realize that I won't be and the cafeteria closes at 2 so if I wait much longer, I won't have anything to choose from but snacks. I make myself a spinach salad with cucumbers, olive oil, and balsamic vinegar and eat that. I decide I want to make it to a dance class at 5:30 so I get started on the banana around 4:30. I eat half of it, and getting that much was incredibly difficult.

Go to dance class. I've been active my entire life starting with dance lessons at age 3. I enjoy exercise and do it for regularly for stress-relief/health reasons if not just for fun. Given how much trouble I have eating now, I'm petrified of losing lean mass and getting terribly out of shape, so I'm looking for ways to get exercise in that are fun and not terribly strenuous. Just get the blood flowing for a bit, have some fun. They've started offering dance lessons in a new space at work, so I'm exploring those. The one I went to last night was probably the most elementary class available, an hour of light movement with a lot of breaks and explanations, so perfect or so I thought.

After the class ended, I knew that I had hit the wall. Since I am not a marathoner or triathelete, this is a new experience for me that only has been an issue in the past couple of months. Basically you hit the wall when your body's glycogen stores are completed. Usually it takes several hours of pretty intense exercise to get to this point (marathoners tend to hit the wall at around the 20-mile point), but I guess my glycogen stores are now super-low because of what I'm eating.

I was so confused the first time this happened to me! It was after the first hour-long dance class I tried in the new space. I made it through the class which was more intense cardio than I'd bargained for, but afterwards I had to sit down in the hallway for about fifteen minutes before I could even move to back to the locker room and change. I'd planned to go back to work after the class which I did for a couple of hours but my brain was definitely slow--I remember staring at some code I was working on and being like, "Whaaaaaaaat?" so I eventually went home and laid down on the couch. I felt terrible--I was tired, naseous, dizzy, had a terrible headache, and was just completely out of it. About four or five hours later the food I ate post-workout started to kick in and I started to feel human again.

I learned my lesson from that episode, so ever since I've been trying to make sure that I eat something substantial (banana, pack of almonds) before I try a workout. Since doing that I haven't had issues as severe as the first time, but this is still an issue. From some experimenting I've determined that I'm fine as long as I limit my workouts to around 40 minutes. Last week I was on the elliptical machine and lost track of time from being distracted by a conversation with my trainer who was waiting for his next client. I was fine one second, then got hit with a wave of chills and nausea and immediately stopped--it was almost exactly at the 50 minute mark. It took me a couple of hours after returning to my desk and eating something to be back to 100% mentally.

I guess I just have to watch it from now on--take the classes I want to take but peace out after about 40 minutes. I'm going to hate doing this though, it feels soooo awkward. Will the teacher be offended, thinking I don't like her class? Will everyone be staring at me thinking I'm this awful out-of-shape chubby person who can't even finish? (Not to mention that sometimes I'm having fun and don't WANT to have to stop.)

Most of the time I appreciate how physically demanding workout classes offered are, but right now intense calorie burning is pretty much the last thing I want from a class. I wonder if there's a local senior center that'll let me drop in on their aqua-aerobics classes? (Joking. Kinda.)

1 comment:

Body Building said...

Nice blog..Diet and exercise can both help create an energy deficit and lose weight.