Hi There! My name is Tessa and I write a blog called Amazing Asset, where I talk about my passion for nutrition, running, and fitness, but also my recovery from years of disordered eating. I have come such a long way from the darkest years of my life, but it has not been an easy journey. Taking each day one at a time, and listening and accepting support from my family, friends, the blogging community, and my own will to get better, has made my recovery possible.
When Mackenzie asked me to write a guest post for her while she was having a rather busy work, I happily agreed and was rather honored :) Today's chat, the importance of refueling!
It was actually last week, when I wrote my first 'What I Ate Wednesday' post, that I realized how far I have come with proper refueling and being more comfortable eating what my body NEEDS. That morning, as with most recently, I had oatmeal and a fat in the form of almond butter. There was also fruit present, but it was not the entire meal and I was representing all of the essential food groups.
Prior to realizing how much I needed to let my food obsession go, I would never anything substantial after a workout. My “meal” would usually consist of an apple, a crap load of carrots (to feel full), grapes, berries, pineapple and several other kinds of fresh fruit that is in season during the summer. It was never a problem eating this type of food because everything tasted so fresh. However, you can’t live off fruit, especially when exercising and when protein is essential for your health.
From the Livestrong website, during intense exercise, such as heavy strength training, a process called catabolism occurs, in which muscle tissue breaks down. Before your body can adapt to the stresses of a workout, it first has to repair the damage to your muscles. Once the catabolic damage has been repaired, super-compensation occurs, and your body improves its condition in readiness for another workout by making your muscle fibers bigger and stronger. This process requires dietary protein. After strength training, your muscles are in need of protein or, more specifically, the amino acids found within protein foods. Consuming protein rich foods with a versatile list of amino acids is the most beneficial for your body when you eat immediately after.
Last summer when I would complete workouts similar to the one above with the addition of a 4 or 5 mile run BEFORE and minimal stretching after, I never refueled properly. I was trying to lose weight, which I did, but couldn’t understand why I was not building more muscle.
Essentially I was deteriorating my muscles which no amount of extra weight training could fix. I needed FOOD to rejuvenate and repair my body after a strenuous ordeal I had put it through.
Since becoming more rational, I have properly refueled after every workout and am noticing such a difference! I have building muscles once again, especially in my legs, shoulders and arms, and it’s honestly exciting and rewarding to see.
If you are trying to lose weight, whether you need to or not, please don't do what I did. If I continued exercising and eating the way I was, I would have steadily continued to waste my muscles away, those precious tissues that cannot be replaced. Do you really want to be thin, at the cost of becoming a withered, feeble, fragile person? I sure don't!
Thanks so much for sharing you experiences with us Tessa! If you have any questions about Tessa's guest post on refueling feel free to contact her here!