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Tuesday, 23 June 2009

Time for a Break

There are a few snippets of information that you probably should know before you form an opinion on my latest decision.

I am experiencing the following physical symptoms:
- disturbed sleep only 5-6 hours a night
- low body temperature
- low heart rate and difficulty getting it high when I train
- digestive issues
- no period
- ferocious appetite
- aching joints
- cough
- cold sores
- cold all the time
- exhaustion

This could mean a bazillion things but I have settled on a degree of metabolic damage from training too much. Most standard training programs advise a 6-8 week work pattern followed by a week of rest to repair and recover. If I add up all the weeks I've missed, I'm due over 6 months off!!

So this week I am going to stay away from the gym for 7 days on purpose. This is an extremely difficult thing for me to do because I've never done it before and I am shit scared.

I am scared that training is all that keeps me thin and I am scared that once I stop I'll never start again. I know that am addicted to exercise endorphins and I am going to miss that high. It also feels like I am quitting or being lazy, but I know that is not true.

For the next 7 days I am going to be doing my training between 5am and 7am by staying in bed - hopefully sleeping. I am not saying I won't do anything - a walk or yoga might be on the cards - but there will be no HRM and no sweating.

I am most worried that I am going to get fatter and fatter by the day, and as soon as the scales betray me, I expect I'll be back moving my body weight in iron around the weights room and smashing out intervals on the treadmill.

I am hoping that by resting, I might get a handle on my constant hunger. There are studies that show that sleep deprivation causes hormonal changes that increase appetite and cravings and reduce satiety. I feel like I am tired all the time, which may be the main cause of my constant foraging for food.

Whatever happens, it is an experiment and an adventure. I am stepping out of my comfort zone into a scary world that I have never experienced before. I need to get better, and this seems like a sensible place to start. FF---UUUU---CCCC--KKKKKK !!!!



  1. Katie, you are my are always taking care of yourself so you do what you need to do ,you know yourself best!

  2. Hey Katie,
    I am with you on this - sounds like you definitely need a week off (at least!!)
    I always give myself a week (or 2 sometimes) off the weights about a month or two after comps are done and dusted...specifically time off weights and anything high intensity. It's bloody hard to stay out of the gym but it's necessary too...I usually combat the desire to train by going for a really long walk so I feel I am doing *something*.
    Anyway enjoy your rest, you'll be hanging to get back into the gym come the end of your break.

    Vicki xx

  3. Enjoy the break, girlie - rest can be fun too!

    Overtraining syndrome is all about lack of rest and recovery, so I'd say you've self-prescribed exactly the right medicine.

    How about organising some relaxing activities for yourself, to take the place of training? Schedule in a massage, a long walk, a date with the couch and a DVD...whatever works for you. Just fill up your time so you're not constantly thinking about what you're NOT doing.

  4. Wish I could come join you! Imagine how many episodes we could watch and other things we could do.

  5. i feel that exact way and have contemplated that several times. i feel like after my competition...i should probably do the same. i dont sleep well, crazy appetite, no period etc. I believe i have overtrained myself and that my body just needs a solid week off...but the mental aspect of that is almost harder than dealing with the ongoing symptoms. good luck you are doing the right thing!

  6. @Cathy - thanks

    @Vicki - keeping up my normal routine straight after comp kept me on track so I agree it is better to rest a bit later rather than immediately afterward.

    @Kek - yep, I have spent all morning thinking about what I am not doing! At least I have time to read other people's blogs properly this week.

    @Shelley - you are always welcome although I love training when you are around to inspire and motivate me.

    @Nerd Girl - it is tough mentally but if resting feels harder than training then we probably should be doing it.

  7. Hey Raechelle would say...KUDOS TO YOU! for coming to the realisation that you need to REST AND RECOVER! That's a big step in itself. Be kind to yourself, and get some well deserved rest and maybe do some things you don't normally do, as part of the reward (and I don't necessarily mean eating junk), like a facial, massage, maybe catch a movie. However you intend to spend the week - listen to your body and give it what it needs.

    Have a great week!

  8. I think that this is more common than we realise. I know I for one am guilt of not taking rest periods too. Hell I find it hard to even do my 1 min rest in between sets!

    I hope that this week is lovely and restful for you katie. enjoy :o)

  9. @Kerry - a massage sounds like a great idea

    @Tara - you do work awfully hard - I marvel at your twice a day training!