I’ve been into sports my whole life. I was even a college athlete. So I know a thing or two about working out and nutrition (or so I thought). When I recently tried to lose a few pounds, I was pretty strict about it. I severely restricted my diet and worked out every day. Which for me, meant I had to find out the hard way how much damage I was doing to my body. I ended up losing a lot of things.
I wanted to get those toned abs. So I started to seriously restrict my caloric intake. Someone who is my size could be eating 1700 to 2000 calories. I was eating 1200…
I was also working out every day. Not just running. I was doing strength and cardio. So, to say the least, I was putting my body under a lot of stress, but I didn’t realize it at the time. I actually thought I was just being healthy.
It wasn’t long until I noticed some pretty bad side effects. I wasn’t getting my period anymore. Amenorrhea is pretty common in female athletes but this had never happened to me before. This can also happen from severe stress on your body. Basically, my body was under so much stress it just shut off my reproductive system.
I also was going to get my hair cut, but I noticed how significantly shorter it already looked. I went to my hair stylist and we tried to figure out what happened to all my hair. It was brittle, breaking, and I started losing it more than I was growing it. So while I was trying to grow out my long hair, I had to cut it all off instead.
I tried to research and consult doctors after I noticed the hair loss. It came down to one thing: it was because of my eating and working out that my hair started to fall out. I immediately started eating more that day and working out less.
I put my body under all this stress without knowing it, and now I have to suffer the consequences. The sad thing is if I would have talked to a nutritionist, a personal trainer, or a doctor about how to lose weight the healthy way, none of this would have happened. I wasn’t physically trying to harm my body, I’ve never had an eating or exercise disorder. I was just doing things wrong.
Since I have been talking to a personal trainer, my body is back where I want it. I’m at a healthy weight and I finally got my confidence back. I learned I only have to work out 3-4 times a week. I’m also eating a lot more, but with a balanced diet.
Please don’t be like me and think you know everything about fitness. I had to go through losing a lot of things I didn’t want to. I wasn’t listening to my body when it was telling me something is really wrong. You should set goals, but please talk to someone who has a degree or certification about them first. You’ll notice results faster, and you’ll feel good doing it. I wish I would have.
Featured image via Mariah Setta