Coffee AND Steak. Who Knew?

I am SO tired all of the time.  I have attributed it to the two a day work outs with the low carb and low calorie diet.  Makes sense, don’t you think?

For the previous month, my weight loss stalled and no matter how hard I worked and how little I ate I couldn’t lose a pound.  Arriving at the gym and looking at the treadmill took all of my energy.  Some evenings 10 minutes seemed like a lifetime.  It took all my mental energy to finish the work out and then go home and measure out my food for the next day.

My husband finally convinced me to go to the doctor to make sure I still had a functioning thyroid and that nothing was going too wonky with my body.

I hate going to the doctor.  Perhaps I hate it so much because of the time I was traumatized by having the announcement that I was in Obese Class 1 and asked if I have considered Weight Watchers in front of a whole waiting room full of sick people. No wonder I avoid going!  What woman would choose to put herself through such torture?

This morning when talking about the upcoming day, my kind-hearted husband commented, “Today is your doctor’s appointment.  I hope there is something wrong with you.

I promptly bit his head off.

You WANT something to be wrong with me?  You WANT me to be sick?!

His heart was in the right place.  He was hoping beyond all hope that there was an answer to my extreme tiredness and irritability.

His wish came true.  I am extremely anemic.

The signs of anemia?

Fatigue.  Check.
Headaches.  Check.
Cold hands and feet.  Check.
Pale skin.  Check.
Irritability.  Check.
Brittle nails.  Check.

I am so frustrated with myself! I have probably been anemic for 2 years now, but I have just suffered in silence.

It takes up to 2 months to get my levels back up to where they should be, which is the EXACT date of my first Figure Competition.  Living in the land of ‘if only‘ is not helpful at all, BUT can you imagine if only I went to the doctor 2 years ago?

Imagine how much farther along I would be with my training!

But then I wouldn’t have experienced what it feels like to have 8-10 cups of coffee a day to keep you running.  Iron or caffeine?  Apparently I need both!

If you’re feeling tired, go eat a big steak with a side of broccoli and spinach. QUICK!

I suppose there is good reason to consult your doctor before you start on these kinds of adventures in life.  Well, now I know for next time!

Now I have a lovely green iron pill to add to my collection of omega 3, creatine, BCAA, multi-vitamin, and calcium pills every morning.

Anyone else out there struggle with anemia while training for a competition?

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Comments

  1. Hey!
    I have never been a bodybuilder, but I used to run competitively in D1 cross country and track and I became severely anemic during my first year of college. I remember staring at the pavement, wanting, begging to sleep 5 minutes into an easy run, and I knew something was wrong, and when I saw the doctor, sure enough I was so anemic they were surprised I could make it alive to class and run at all. The biggest thing is cutting out the caffeine. Caffeine directly inhibits iron absorption. And if you are having more than 1 cup per day, the half life of caffeine is about 4 hrs, meaning a full cup of coffee takes awhile to get through the system and multiple cups=overlap=no iron absorption. So Although it will be terribly hard at first, it will make you recover from anemia MUCH MUCH faster if you take this drastic step. Also keep up with the iron supplementation but also make sure you combine it with vitamin C and do not take it the same time as calcium, for maximum absorption. Lastly, the best sources of iron are through foods, so seek those out as you mentioned. Good luck, and if you want more specifics, shoot me an email!

    • Awesome information! I am officially off the caffeine as of reading this. I am so worn down that I can’t even think straight. I just thought it was normal from training so hard. So now it’s recovery time. Thank you so much for the information, I will do ANYTHING to feel better! 🙂

  2. …what if you’re a vegetarian..? 😉

  3. I have just discovered your amazing website and i thought i would read it right from the start.. when i got to this post i had to make a comment! i am anemic, iron deficient, B12 deficient and have IBS, but! im just wondering if you enjoy taking your iron tablet as much as i do? because i love pooing little lumps of coal everyday…HaH!!

    i just want to thank you for such an amazing blog (and ive only just reached september!!!) i am so looking forward to reading all the rest of your posts! i love the way you write it makes me laugh! love it!

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  1. […] realize it is a bit anemic looking, but I’m anemic and you like me.  So I say give it a try!  If you want more color, add in some red peppers or […]

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