Prolonged Calorie Deficit?

Yesterday I had a great workout! I ran sprints for 20 minutes before a spin class, then did the spin class, then ran for another 20 minutes, then swam a bit (not long cuz I started shivering so bad, I had to get out) I probably burned at least 1200 calories based on this handy calculator my friend gave me. Even with the calculator it is still a rough estimate. While I was on the treadmill for 40 minutes total…I was only actually RUNNING for 20 minutes of that time because of how I do the sprints. However, it could still be more because my heart rate was still up even during my rest periods.

I came home really hungry and at my planned dinner. An hour later I was hungry as though I had not eaten yet. This was interesting to me as I am a girl who got to where I am today because I would eat regardless of hunger and most of the time, never let myself get to a point of actually feeling hungry. I ate because food was there, because it was “time to eat”, to avoid emotions, as a distraction, to celebrate something good…and even now when I am focusing on weight loss…for fuel, eating every couple hours because I know it is good to do that. Feeling this hungry is somewhat new and puzzling.

All of this prompted a conversation I was having with a friend about how many calories I am eating a day. I have to say that this friend of mine is no dummy. And when he speaks, I generally listen. When he gives his advise or opinion I can rest assured that if I asked he could probably give me at least 3 valid sources for why he thinks the way he does as he has researched whatever “it” is to the nth degree. And while he is no Dr. or nutritionist or personal trainer of any kind, I know he has done lots of research on fitness and health as he reaches for his own goals. All this to say, I trust him when he says, “Kim, I think you are in a prolonged calorie deficit and may be causing more harm than good.”

We did some calculations with some online calculators. We talked at length about my exercise levels and food intake levels, even gave him my food log. Talked about body temperature and my ability to maintain a good temperature. All sorts of things were discussed for several hours. And after all of it, we came to the conclusion that despite all my hard work, I probably have not been eating enough to maintain regular body functions and support my exercise levels without my body feeling like it is going into a starvation mode. I should be more at like 1700-1800 calories a day.

While this is good to learn and know as I learn about my body and nutrition and exercise and the whole shabang, it is quite discouraging. It also explains why the results don’t seem to be showing on the scale. So I have asked a friend who is a nutritionist to meet with me, to see if she would be willing to help me figure this piece out.

The fear in all of this for me is this. I have spent my whole life focused on food. Finally I have come to a point where food is not my primary focus or my source of comfort. Instead exercise and health is. And at least for now, I have to put the focus back on the food to make sure that I do not do more harm than good and so that I can reach my ultimate goal. I just want balance and I want to be healthy.


5 thoughts on “Prolonged Calorie Deficit?

  1. Good morning! Checking in. How are you? Are you getting your calories where they should be? How are the sprints going? It still amazes me that you are doing this! Hope you have a wonderful day!! Blessings…Jen

  2. Hey Jen, Thanks for checking in. I am doing well. I am slowly getting my calories where they should be…although even with eating at Panera last night I had to do some finagling to get it up to 1200 then tried to bump it to 1400…ultimately I did, but I don’t want to suddenly jump to 1800 either…so it is a process… SPrints are going fine. I get bored so easily and want to mve on to something else already but I am sticking with it. It is getting easier cardiovascularly to run them but my legs still burn like crazy. TOday I did 2 classes at the gym one was a 20/20/20 class followed by Pilates. I am done! Hope your day is going great!

  3. Very interesting that you aren’t ingesting enough calories. It totally makes sense though. I’m glad you have a friend who is a nutritionist. Woohoo!

    You’re doing great my dear Kim and you are a very good writer. I enjoy your blogs very much. (And, I’m going to bookmark it finally!)

    Love you!

  4. Kim, I have been tracking you through Jennileigh’s blog. I am so impressed with what you are doing. Keep up the good work and keep those blogs coming so that we who are also struggling can gain inspiration from you. Thank you for your witness. DW

  5. DW, Thanks for stopping in and visiting my blog. I am so incredibly encouraged that random people are finding my story encouraging. Feel free to stop in anytime and leave comments. –Kim

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