We are all guilty of it. When it’s a ‘rest day’ and you still go to the gym and absolutely smash it because to you resting is boring, not needed and you end up sitting on the sofa all day miserable wanting to train.
But what about the times that your body seriously needs it.
Depletion diets, training everyday sometimes twice and perhaps with some of us working full time or studying, can seriously take its toll on the body. Not only can you reach physical and mental burn out which is an illness in itself, but your immune system can take a battering. When you start to get to the point of illness; you have rest and have a day to recuperate so that you can smash it again.
To highlight this point, I thought I would let you know about the time I didn’t rest a few years back! I didn’t listen to my body or immune system; and despite knowing that I was going to go down-hill all I kept saying was “I have fat to burn and a bikini competition to do”. It started with little coughs and colds that would last a few days but by that point I would have a small re-feed and be better. Then it got to the point where I would walk into the gym looking like a zombie from a movie, and having zero energy to lift. Some would say that was just my depletion diet. And they would be right. But I took triple scoops of Pre workout and off I went, pretending to myself that I was having a strong session. This would be fine if it was only the tired, low energy I was feeling all the way up to show date. I’d smash it. But it then got worse, and I became very unwell. I couldn’t get out of bed for a few days and my whole body was in pain. I couldn’t hold a proper conversation at all, was unable to hold my neck up properly and there was a point where family were worried about all sorts of problems – meningitis being one of them! It was time for a re-feed although I had no energy to eat. I ate bread, I ate noodles, and I ate a pack of oreos. I started to perk-up and managed to get myself to the doctors a few days after this started. I had blood tests, checking for immune diseases, glandular fever, thyroid and glucose alongside a ton of other things. At this point they said they did however feel it was down to depletion and my body not being able to cope. I didn’t agree.
Three days on, with me still feeling rubbish I found myself back in the medical centre. The results were back in; no health problems and all was clear! Such good news. But I wasn’t there for the results; I was there because I had a massive lump in my pelvis area of my groin and a larger flatter one developing next to it. She had a feel and a look, and told me that I had an infection in my lymph gland. Antibiotics should sort it. She informed me that all of this was because I started a depletion diet and my body type simply can’t deal with it. It needs calories, it needs carbs and my body’s immune system was week. I finished the course of antibiotics and by this point I had an oozing, pus filled area that even when dressed with multiple gauzes would leak through and stick to my clothing. It took another course of antibiotics and a lot of rest until it was out of my system and the wound healed. It did scar for quite a while also!
It took me to that point to truly learn the value of rest; and even still; I push my boundaries. I think a small stubbornness is good, it means you don’t become lazy. But you also have to be smart. Maybe something’s are not made for our bodies, and we have to realise that some body types simply can’t deal with the stress that competition dieting has on the body.
I was born with the luck of a crazy fast metabolism and dietician’s and nutritionists have never truly been able to work it out since childhood… yet at 21 years old I thought I would be able to control and manipulate it into depletion.
Train safe, and train smart!
Lift Heavy but LIVE HEALTHY!!
Read about Instagram Vs Reality here: Blog