Fixing past mistakes….knowledge is power
I accomplished something I never thought I would be able to three years ago. I lost 75 pounds. It took me a total eight months but I did it. I thought I could not be happier I was losing weight and looking good. Then reality hits me in the face. Over the next month I lost nothing…not one single pound. I did not understand I was only eating 1400 calories a day how could this be. Another month goes by and the same thing I am completely stuck at 240 pounds. I was hungry all the time I had little to no energy and I was not reaching any of my goals. Once more month passes and nothing happens. I do not lose one more pound. By this point I am exhausted I did not know what to do. I had tried working out but was too tired to get through one thirty minute routine. Turns out that if I had done a little bit of research I would have found out about metabolic damage.
My knowledge of exercise science was pretty much nil. I knew nothing except their was a food pyramid and that to lose weight you had to eat fewer calories. I knew very little about metabolism. It would drive me up a wall when I would see one of my skinny friends downing pieces of cake and eating like crap while I saw in the corner nibbling on a carrot. They would still be the same skinny person and I would be heavier than before.
So naturally what happens when you are stuck like I was and feeling like crap…you fall off the wagon. I figured if I was not going to be able to lose any weight I might as well eat some really tasty food. For two years I went like this every few months eating healthier for a week or so and then right back to fast food and high calorie meals. Over the next two years I ended up at 316.
Again I was miserable just on the other end of the spectrum. So at my wife’s suggestion I go get a personal training (I will talk more about choosing a personal trainer in another post). I am introduced to “D”. I will refer to him as “D” until I get his permission to use his name. So “D” is a very highly intelligent individual who is working his way through his undergrad and already looking toward his PhD in exercise science. Think of a shorter Layne Norton and you have a good idea what “D” is like. During our first meeting “D” sets up my fitness pal with how he wants me to ear. I thought for sure I would be back at 1500 calories a day but instead he tells me to eat 2500 calories and explains the percentage breakdown between proteins, carbs, and fats I should eat. I was in shock 2500 calories that could not be right. There is no way I am going to lose any weight eating that much. At the time “D” gave me a brief explanation of metabolism and how it works. Little did I know that this would be the beginning of my love for exercise science.
I very quickly learned that the past mistake I had made was the damage I caused to my metabolism. I made my body think that it was in survival mode and starving. This caused my metabolism to slow way down which prevented me from losing any more weight. There was an article written about “Biggest Loser” contestants that experience this very same phenomenon. While this is more of an observational study it still has a lot of merit. I posted the link below.
After talking with “D” I came across the “Biggest Loser Study” and could not believe what I was reading. That happened to me! I now understood that it was not weakness on my part. It was not that I just couldn’t do it. There was an actual reason I failed. I then started doing even more research and learned from “D” about a person named Layne Norton. Dr. Norton has a Youtube channel where he discusses many issues from coaching to nutrition. Dr. Norton has five great videos that deal with metabolic damage and ways to fix it. You can check out all five video of his metabolic damage series by clicking the link.
I finally understood what I had done wrong. I was gaining more and more knowledge as fast as I could. I did not want to fail this time. I do not know if I could come back from another failure. I have been struggling with this my whole life and it is time for it to end. I want to be healthier and live a stronger life. It does not matter if you are new to working out, starting again, or already in fantastic shape do yourself a huge favor and do not forget that knowledge is power. The more you know and the more you understand about how your body works the better results you will see I can promise you that.