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Starvation + overtraining
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Starvation + overtraining

Hi Doctor,

I'm a 25 year old Belgian man with, in my eyes, a decent metabolism. From the age 11 to 18 I've always performed sports (gymnastics, competitional squash and eventually powertraining/fitness) while eating a regular amount to more then a regular amount of food, even to the extent that I couldn't gain weight from eating more and more. Mainly because I was unaware of nutritional values. People always told me I looked good, not skinny, weighing around 79kg (and stuck at it). At that point in my life I determined that, to some extent, I was "gifted" with decent genes.

From the age 18 untill 3 months (+-7years) ago I haven't performed any exercise (college + girlfriend) because of lack of interest. At that point I was weighing around 90kg, without having a pear-formed body or without looking really fat. You would say I had a decent amount of fat but with a decent amount of muscle underneath (that's what the eye could tell myself and others). At that time I still considered myself to have potential because after all those years of no exercise and not always the best eating habits I didn't gain more weight then I did while even maintaining some muscle mass.

However! 3-4 months ago my (ex-)girlfriend and I broke up and in time I decided to take a radical change in my life. I wanted to go back in time and get back to my fit state and even try to go for bodybuilding. I browsed the internet, took up a whole lot of information, but ignored certain warnings, because I had the "I'm genetically gifted and I know it better"-attitude. One of the warnings I took with a grain of salt was the warning for "starvation mode" together with overtraining. I'm probably affected by a bit of both of the previously mentionedstates. How did I get there? Well...

Over the period of those 3-4 months. 1st month I had terrible eating habbits because I was staying at a friends place which didn't offer room to even cook food (an extremely cheap dorm). So I ate a lot of fast food, greassy take out meals and prepped dinners. I would assume that my calorie intake was fairly high, though I can't put a number on it. After that month I radically changed. I went to a local nutrition supplement store and bought a decent brand of whey powder (without the carbohydrates). I would go through the day drinking 3 shakes (30g prot each) and eating around, I would assume, 800-1000 calories worth of carbohydrates. In all my arrogance I thought I would be able to handle it. The first 2 weeks I was pumped while having started a 5-day/week training program (2-3 hours exercise each session), I loved to exercise because it gave me an energy boost, but then things gradually changed without myself actually reading the signs. My legs started to feel very heavy, my joints started to ake, some isolated muscle groups would give up for a week or so, concentration at work was detoriarating. With all my determination I thought it was a all a part of the process.

So here I am now, a bit more then 2 months of training and under-nutrition later, only surviving through my exercises purely on will force. I've quit exercising 2-3 weeks ago because I'm in the worst state I've ever been in in my entire life. Looking physically great with people complementing me on my "beach body" weighing at around 82kg. But I feel terrible, crashed, mentally dead. I've gained complete respect for people with insomnia, people with depression and especially men with low libido or erection problems. With the latter being my main reason to have given up I'm a wreck. I've lost life energy and feel apathic.

This is the reason I started reading through the internet and stumbled upon, and read about starvation responses and hormonal/thyroid reactions. I'm so so stupid. This is probably the most stupid thing I've ever done in my entire life.

Now I'm asking you. What is the next step? The way I currently feel I'm terrified to not completely return to my normal state. I've started to dramatically increase my carbohydrate intake through pastas, bread, rice and some mono/duo-sacharide sources (fruit, soda, some candy, ...) in order to get a response from my body together with regular amounts of proteines and fats. I don't even care if I have to go back to my 90kg state, I just want to get a normal metabolism again and start working on a regular healthy lifestyle. Will I completely recover? I'm terrified.

Thank you for your time.

Yours sincerely,

Ben
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WELCOME to our community but this is the patient community . .here ist he link for Dr. Lupo:

http://www.medhelp.org/forums/show/120

Cheryl
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Okay. Thank you!
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