Thursday, November 18, 2010

Morning Sickness


But I got your attention, didn't I? 

I didn't title this "Morning Sickness" just for that reason though. I am honestly struggling with feeling ill in the morning.  This isn't caused by pregnancy, however, but by my diet and exercise. Go figure.  

Most people have experienced that feeling like you're going to throw up when you work out extremely hard or run super fast or whatever it is you choose to do for exercise.  So you'd think that after working out with Hyam for 6 months I'd be past that, right? Wrong.  Well, kind of wrong.  I was doing great until recently when changes in my appetite have thrown everything off.  I suddenly cannot eat in the mornings.  

We've all heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day.  This goes double for those trying to lose weight that food gets your metabolism going.  When you sleep (and therefore fast) your metabolism slows down. If it goes too long without food your body starts to think it's in starvation mode and slows down even more - NOT what a dieter wants.  So, eating is essential to losing weight.  Counterintuitive, but true.  

When I was overweight (or more overweight than I am now) I had a horrible habit of eating in the middle of the night.  I've never been a good sleeper so waking up 3-4 times a night was pretty normal for me and  I'd eventually find my way to the kitchen (sound familiar, dad?).  So instead of being in fasting mode my metabolism was kicking in in the middle of the night.  By the time I got up for breakfast I was ravenous. Needless to say, I've always been a good breakfast eater. Until now.  

For the past few weeks my usual routine - make coffee, start a load of laundry, get the kids out of bed, fix breakfast and send kids off to school - has been thrown off.  Usually once the kids are out the door I sit down with a Greek yogurt or scrambled egg whites. Lately, however, even the thought of repulses me.  So I grab a piece of toast, an extra cup 'o joe and "go" to work (in the next room).  

Before I know it's 9:10. I need to be out the door in 4 minutes to get to Clay on time and I still have an empty stomach.  My body has now been fasting for 12-15 hours and though it is trying to tell me that it's not happy about it, I can neither find anything that appeals to me nor that I have time to digest before the workout.  

On average I expend about 500 calories per one hour workout at Clay.  It doesn't take a genius to figure that attempting to do a workout like this on a 15 hour fast is NOT a good idea. Even if I don't puke (which I haven't yet) I won't have a good workout, so I throw a banana down while driving and hope for the best.

I'm not stupid.  I know I need to eat.  But the balance of eating enough to sustain your body while trying to lose weight isn't as easy as it sounds.  This time I'm not actually trying to starve myself - I'm just not hungry the way I used to be.  But the fact remains that food is fuel for the body and if you are going to expect it to perform at a certain level you have to fuel it to do so.

So what do you eat to fuel your body before workouts?

1 comment:

  1. I have this problem if I have to eat before an early morning race. I prefer to be awake an hour or two before I eat, but that doesn't work on race day.

    Instead, the first thing I do when I wake up is drink water, at least 8 oz. That helps get my metabolism moving. When I get to the kitchen, I nibble on some fruit, usually something light like grapes or applesauce. After about 30 minutes, I make myself eat something, even if it's only quarter cup of yogurt or oatmeal. That usually gets it done for me.

    If it's just a normal morning and I'm not in a hurry, then I eat around 8:00 and it's not a problem.

    My favorite breakfast this time of year is oatmeal with something added, like chopped apples and walnuts and a drizzle of maple syrup.

    I really like toast, but it doesn't stick with me, even if I have yogurt or an egg. And, in general, eggs and I do not face each other in the morning.