The Absence Of Illness Does Not Equal Health

Well, hello there and thank you for visiting my blog. I have to admit, this is my first one and you are reading my very first ever blog post. In fact, the very first thing I have ever written of my own volition – apart from the diary I wrote when I was a teenager.

Woah, show us that diary! I can hear you think. Trust me, it is a funny read. The things that went through my mind back then and seemed ever so important. It did make me giggle when I recently came across it again during a declutter-a-thon.

While this blog won’t have the same hilarity, I sincerely do hope that you will find it entertaining and informative and that I can make a positive contribution to every reader’s life in some way.

As mentioned in my About page, I became very interested in nutrition a few years ago. This was when I was working out like mad in the gym for 8-10 hours a week whilst starving myself trying to lose a few pounds.

I went to see my GP because I was constantly so desperately tired, it was seriously impacting on my life. I will admit, the constant fatigue, even after 16 hours of sleep (oh yes, I pulled a couple of those nights…), did get me somewhat down. I suppose if you feel like sleeping all day and not feeling like being up to anything, it does not exactly give you cause to scream “hip hip hooray, life is so good!” However, after having suffered from depression while graduating from school, I knew that I was a little down about it, but not depressed. My GP would not have any of it. His verdict: Take anti-depressants and if you are struggling to lose weight, exercise more and eat less.

A brave verdict considering that he did not ask what diet or exercise regime I had in place.

It was around that time that a trainer at my gym approached me because I was there so much and worked so hard, he expected I must have lost lots of weight. Au contraire mon fraire, I had to tell him. So he had me fill in a diet and exercise diary. For one week I wrote down every move I made and every little thing I ate or drank. It turned out that I consumed around 2000 kcals LESS than what I burned. Now, calories are not an exact science, we don’t exactly know how much we burn doing anything. So the estimated calories you find for let’s say 10 minutes of running, are more like guesses. However, they give you a rough idea, at least, of where you might be going wrong. And that picture for me was very obvious: I was starving my body.

Of course you are tired when your body does not have the energy or nutrition to function and of course you will not lose weight when your body has actually started to run on reduced functionality because it received the wrong signs. And I had given my body a very clear sign: CRISIS! REASON TO PANIC – We are starving!

I was putting my body through a prolonged time of stress and triggering it’s response. Chatting to a work colleague at the time, she recommended a nutrition book that has become a steady companion and got me started in my interest and education in nutrition. I stopped taking anti-depressants (which had a side effect of causing tiredness and depression… *raise an eyebrow to create that cynical look*) and focussed on improving my diet. And I went to town on it. At work I became known as the “Nutrition Nazi” (not really that funny when you are German – and that is due to history, not our inherent lack of humour). But I did not mind them mocking me. Because it worked! I became more alert, more energetic, suffered less headaches and was a whole lot more cheerful. Of course initially I gained some weight while my body was adjusting to the fact that we were not, in fact starving and she did not have to store every morsel in fat, just in case we went back to the scarce times. However, that soon reversed and within a year, I was healthier, fitter and more energetic than I had ever been. I had reached a state of optimum health. It lasted for about a year and a half and I am planning to get it back!

Follow this blog to see how I achieve it and hopefully learn a few things with me on the way.

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