*Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional, nor am I in a position to give medical advice. This post is based solely on my experiences. Please consult with a doctor before embarking on a training or meal plan.
As you all know, I competed in my first triathlon in August. As you may also know, I gained a little bit of weight doing so. It was probably muscle, but still, my number on the scale went up. In fact, it went up so much that at my annual physical, my doctor sent me to a dietitian. My doctor concurred that it's probably muscle, but was alarmed nonetheless. She tested my thyroid, but alas, my thyroid is fine. So off to the dietitian I go.
This was all back in August. I couldn't get in to see the dietitian until the end of October. I joked that I was going to get as fat as I could in the meantime so that when I finally did get in to see her, she'd really have her work cut out for her. Yeah, I totally didn't do that. In fact, I lost all of my triathlon weight. Don't get me wrong, I was still fat, but normal fat.
My appointment with the dietitian was great. We went over my work-outs, what I eat, when I eat, when I work-out, how long I work-out -- everything. She pulled up my blood work & confirmed that I'm healthy as a horse & that my thyroid is fine. She even joked that she wished all of her clients had the problem of working out too much (*yes, my entire life is one big first world problem joke).
Turns out, I'm carbohydrate deficient. And yes, that's a thing. I work out so much & fuel so poorly, that my body is in starvation mode. Basically, my body is burning muscle & storing fat because I'm a) not eating enough & b) eating entirely the wrong things (see (*) above).
I know, you're all totally jealous, right? I've basically been put on a bread diet. Somewhere the 24 year old version of myself is crying & demanding a do-over.
Obviously, she did not just tell me to start eating a loaf of bread every day & send me on my merry way. I wish. No, she gave me a detailed meal plan full of healthy carbs, coupled with protein & eaten at specific times of day.
She said that I'm the first person she's prescribed this too, & if she's right (fingers crossed!), I'll start losing weight immediately. She said I'll lose a fair amount of weight virtually overnight & then it will slow down to 1-2 lbs a week. She recommended MyFitnessPal, but to track my carbs, not my calories.
Here is my meal plan:
Carbohydrate Meal Plan (1 carb = 15 grams)
Pre-workout: 1 carb
Breakfast: 2-3 carbs + 1 protein
Morning snack: 1 carb
Lunch: 2-3 carbs
Afternoon snack: 1 carb + 1 protein
Dinner: 2-3 carbs
Totals for the day: 9-12 carbs, or 135-180 grams/day
Y'all, you will not believe how hard this is for me. I'm having so much trouble getting enough carbs in. Now I totally see how I'm deficient. I don't eat carbs! Who knew?! Dinner is my biggest problem. At most, I get 1 carb at dinner & I'm supposed to get 2-3.
It's a work in progress, but she was right about the immediate weight loss. I lost about 5 lbs the first week. Then I went on vacation. Then my scale broke. Then it was Thanksgiving. So who the hell knows what I weigh now. I know, I know, I'll buy another scale.
I go back & forth on this, but I'm generally fine with my weight/size. I'm a comfortable size 12. Yeah, I'd love to be a 10 again. Shit, I'd cut off a leg to be an 8 or a 6. But I'm okay where I'm at. My clothes fit & sometimes I even look good in them. Also, I'm totes healthy. I work-out 6 days a week, & I mean work-out. I'm either running outside in the elements up & down the insane hills of East Nashville, or trying not to puke or dislocate an arm in Hell Class. All of this to be said, I'm doing things right. Maybe one day my body will reflect that, maybe not. In the meantime, I've got my health & I've got a shit-ton of friends who do all these crazy work-outs with me. It could be a lot worse.