I'm Happy When I Eat
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Pamela with Vegan Bodybuilder Robert Cheeke
Photo by W. Brian Duncan

I learned a lot of things at SXSW this year:

  • I need to step up my game to be part of the obesity epidemic solution.
  • Women are more likely to be addicted to the Internet and one of the signs is checking Facebook on the toilet.
  • I’m a much happier person when I eat.

Before SXSW I was trying to shed a little body fat by doing some calorie cycling. I would cut my calories for 3 days and then increase them 1 day to keep my body from thinking it was in starvation mode. I don’t go below my BMR when I do this, I only cut 300-500 calories out of my normal daily allotment of 1800 to 2000  per day. I’m always amazed at what a difference a mere 300 calories a day can make in how I feel.

On lower calorie days, when my blood sugar dips, I get very cranky. I grump around with very little patience, waiting for my next meal. I am not pleasant to be around. At least I am outside of client sessions; clients always lift me up so my disposition is pretty good during the training day. Unfortunately that means my poor husband gets the brunt of it.

At SXSW it was a different story. I was out of my element but I packed my snacks and ate small amounts as my body told me I needed it. As with any vacation, I didn’t count calories. I just ate the best foods I could find, did some focused and efficient workouts and moved as much as I could through out the day. I felt great!

The whole trip my blood sugar was relatively stable, I had plenty of energy (which I also chalk up to a lack of trying to hit every session and party) and I still fit perfectly in my jeans upon my return.

I do think you should keep track of your food on a regular basis. I still keep a food log and food accountability is one of the Keys to Real Fitness. I also believe you need to listen to your body and eat.  I have clients who come in eating 1000-1200 calories a day at twice my body weight.  They aren’t losing weight and, if they feel anything like I do when I reduce calories, they have to be just a little bit cranky. My first goal to get them to eat so they can feel good and have some energy again.

Food is nourishment and fuel. If we treat is a such, not as recreation or the enemy, our bodies will respond in kind. My body simply wasn’t happy to not have it’s normal supply of fuel. We’re both much happier when I eat.

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