I often hear the phases, “I have a slow metabolism” or “My metabolism is damaged” thrown around quite a bit amongst women these days.
But, is your metabolism really damaged?
Using the term “damaged” is a harsh word for your metabolism if you ask me (and other professionals for that matter.)
Let’s use the term metabolic compensation to sound a bit more fancy, shall we?
I want to talk about a client of mine named Jenny. (This isn’t her real name)
Jenny is in her mid-thirties and has gained about 30 pounds in the last 7 months.
Prior to her weight gain, her body fat was very low (a competitors fitness physique level) and she was training 2x a day, everyday for over a year.
Most of her workouts were very intense, ranging from an 7-10 out of a 1-10 scale of intensity. She’d cut carbs most days of the week, have a cheat meal once a week and desperately tried to control her daily binge eating tendencies.
Her eating was rigid, mostly consisting of egg whites, low carb, low fat and lots of veggies.
SHE FELT STUCK.
Jenny reached out about a year ago after her significant weight gain asking for my guidance and expertise.
I knew what had happened. She had overreached and her metabolism was trying to compensate from years of dieting and overexercising.
Let me be clear here, this isn’t all doom and gloom so if you were in this pickle at one point or another, just know you can get through this. I’m about to explain below.
I also have a ton of fitness competitors reach out to me post-show after a major weight gain. Listen, their adrenals, thyroid, hormones, sex hormones, menstrual cycle, etc. are TIRED.
You have to look at your body as a pendulum. If you swing too hard one way, you better believe your body is going to swing hard the other way. Same thing happened to me, yes it was an extreme situation, but nonetheless, my body still compensated to a whole new level.
I’m often amazed at how freakin’ resilient the body truly is. It’s incredible really.
Anyways, back to Jenny.
We ran labs and come to find out her thyroid was low (which was never addressed by her endocrinologist), her adrenals were tanked and her magnesium and B12 were baseline as well.
We had some work to do.
This is exactly WHY I find it to be imperative for coaches to have their clients get labs drawn. Had I not known what Jenny was going through, it would have been easy to put her on a heavy strength training protocol and had done things a little bit differently.
But now we had the goods. Clearly her body was stressed and was in no shape or form to take on additional exercise and undereating, she needed a break.
Which leads me to this…..
How often do we really take a break?
Like, really take a break?
Do you allow yourself to sit at any point during the day if you don’t work a desk job?
Do you allow yourself to take a day off from training without worrying that you’ll gain weight overnight?
Do you allow yourself to be kind, empathic and understanding to yourself when you make mistakes?
Do you bulldoze over yourself all day, everyday?
Trying to get the job done, taking on more than you can chew and feeling the need to do “all the things” or else you feel unproductive?
Here’s what I encourage my clients to try:
#1: Take some deep breaths throughout the day. Your nervous system needs it. Let your body know it’s okay and it’s not in fight or flight mode.
#2: Get your labs drawn. Go to a functional medicine doc or naturopath and get the real labs drawn. Not the surface ones. As a female you need the whole shebang. Full thyroid panel, DHEA, Estrogen, Progesterone, Pregnenolone, Testosterone, B12, Folate, Ferritin, Vitamin D, etc. Once you do this, you can really get to the bottom of some of your symptoms.
#3: Be nice. This is the biggest one. Be nice to yourself. Too often we’re looking in all the wrong places for validation and compassion. This has to come from within, if we don’t heal our minds, nothing will ever work, period.
#4: Find someone who gets it. Whether this be your friend, family member, mentor or coach, make sure you find someone who can be your go-to and outlet when things feel hard and you’re struggling. You’re so not alone in this, that I can promise.
#5: Educate yourself. You have to be the CEO of your own health, no one else is going to do it for you. Now, I’m not telling you to take yourself down a rabbit hole of Google where you type in an earache and it says you’re dying. What I am saying is reach out to people that know more than you do and be willing to do some digging. Whether you want to believe it or not, your doctor is busy and has a million other people to look out after. Take note and be mindful of what YOU need. To me, nothing can take place of your own intuition and health.
Questions? Reach out!
Also, I’m starting a 4-Week Metabolic Reset Challenge next Monday!
We will be covering all of this and LOTS more. If you’re someone who’s looking to restructure their nutrition, exercise, hormones and metabolism, this is for you! You can grab your spot here.
I’m only taking a small number of people so if you want exclusive access come join us!