Friday, September 26, 2008


I think I'm iron deficient. I am exhausted more than I can remember being in a long, long time & I haven't really done much today.

I got up this morning & felt a bit tireder than normal but I thought after the workouts that I had done yesterday, maybe I was just a little worn out. I ate breakfast, drank some water, & did start feeling a little more "awake." I went to the gym & started working out with my trainer & everything was fine until about the last 10 min or so. I was bench pressing (just the bar...I'm so weak, still that is 45 lbs) for the second time & my arms started giving away after only about 4 or 5 pushes. Even my trainer asked me what was going on (jokingly) & I joked back, "I don't know, I guess I'm loosing my mojo." I didn't really feel that bad, yet. After our workout, I just felt like I had really had a heck of an arm workout, which I had. I reached in my bag to get my keys & started heading for the car. I realized halfway to the car, though, that I didn't not have my keys, I had my mp3 player instead, so I had to refind my keys. (Forgetfulness & "mistakes" are a sign of anemia.) When I got in the car, I just sat there for a few min. I was so worn out/fatigued. I barely had the energy to put my seat belt on. That was when it dawned on me that I may be iron deficient. I started to go to the store to buy some iron supplements but I decided just to go on home (I probably couldn't have walked around the store anyway.) I had planed on doing my C25K program today but, when I got home, just walking up to my apartment was a workout in itself.

I called Dad & he asked, "You take a multivitamin, right?" Well, you see, that is part of the problem. Yes, I take one, but I take it so inconsistently that I'm sure it does not good. I may take it 2 days a week. I have got to work on that. Not just work on it, actually do it!

The other problem is that I don't eat that many foods with iron in them. I drink a lot of skim milk but that can't be my only resource of iron. I'm also premenstrual & that never helps the situation. I'm sure that is why I am feeling the way I do today. I feel like I do when I get the really bad cramps. The kind that I have come close to passing out from. But, just without the pain. Very shaky, weak, & my ears are hot. I don't know what that is all about but that tends to happen to me when I feel close to passing out.

I think this is just a culmination of not consuming enough iron, not taking my multivitamin consistently, possibly over doing the exercise over the past few days & not upping my calorie intake, & being premenstrual.

So, suffice it to say, I am not going to do any cardio today. Since iron is essential to oxygen transport to the cells, it may not be the safest thing in the world to do right now. Also, an iron deficiency can lower your immunity & I don't want to get sick. I don't like being sick.

In my research, I have found that calcium, tannins (found in teas), soy products (like the meatless corn dogs I'm so fond of), & phytates (found in whole grains) actually decrease the absorption of iron. And, of course, I've been intaking a lot of these lately. It is recommended that a woman, 19-50 yrs old should take 18 mg of iron a day. This is exactly how much my multi-vitamin provides. However, if my multivitamin also included calcium & I drink about 2 cups of milk a day, does that lower the amount I'm really getting? Should I take extra iron supplements on top of that? I really don't think I should take extra due to you can over dose on iron which can lead to death. I know these are questions I should ask my physician.

If I'm not feeling better next week then I will make an appointment. I'll probably feel better by tomorrow & if I don't, I'll probably feel better once my cycle is over.

I probably need to have my labs redrawn anyway, since it has been about 6 months of me dieting & exercising like a mad woman. I'd just like to see what my cholesterol is now (not to mention, show off my success to my PA & doctor...I'm sure they hear, "yeah, I'm going to loose weight & get healthy" & then never see any proof of it...heck, I've been one of those ones telling them that for years). It was border line in April. The recommended total cholesterol level is <200,>50-60, I can't remember what mine was but it was right on the borderline. I was pretty much on the right track for developing heart disease. My PA told me that losing weight & exercising should bring both of these into the "normal" range. Now, 6 months later, I have lost almost 50 lbs. So I'm anxious to see what the labs would say. I still have a long way to go to where I want to be but my blood pressure has dropped amazingly & my resting heart rate ususally ranges between 60-70 bpm (it has been as low as 45, 48, 50 but it is rare). "A range of 50-100 beats per minute for resting heart rate has been established as normal by the American Heart Association. However, research shows that adults with a resting heart rate over 70 have a greater risk of heart attack than those below 70." Mine use to be >80 (usually around 82-85 but occasionally getting into the 90's). That is scary. What is amazing it to see how much of an improvement I have made in just 6 months. I'm not trying to "ring my own bell," I'm just totally amazed by how quickly the body adapts to a new lifestyle & how it craves to be healthy.

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