Today I ran across an article a facebook friend of mine wrote that really disturbed me. She spoke of how she developed her drive for life through being ridiculed as a child for being overweight. This lady is a fitness model today and on top of this is an ironman. It has always bothered me so much to hear of anyone going through this especially us women. It is hard enough in my opinion being a woman in this world because we are expected to be perfect and when those perfections aren’t met we become very self conscience. It took me reaching rock bottom in life to realize that I’d never be perfect and honestly I cannot say I want to be.
I speak with women and men almost daily who ask me questions or ask me for some type of training advice to lose weight or get fit fast. I do not train people anymore and I am certainly not a qualified dietician or nutritionist so I do not give out much advice on eating. I do however, tell people what I prefer and what works and has worked for me. I have always had trainers and coaches who have assisted me with my diet and training most all of my running career. I can usually tell right away which people who ask me are truly serious about losing weight. A lot of them will just say I will take this pill or that pill that will help me get rid of it. When I hear people say this I automatically think they have no self respect at all.
I spend most of my life in a gym or on a road running. I do not do this to lose weight or even to get big and buff. I do enjoy the way it makes me look but it is a therapy for me which has lead to my happiness. I do not believe that there is a quick fix to fast energy or weight loss. I take this subject serious because I have had loved ones get addicted to pills such as this and it is devastating. One of my best friends is a nutritionist and I remember many years ago running with her and talking over this subject. We always spoke of how against taking a stimulant we were and the side effects they had. But what really upsets me most of taking anything for a quick fix is the pressure some women feel to do this to be perfect. Like the article I read of my friends this morning. Its crazy how another persons opinion will make you do something stupid. Perfection, I have learned is finding a peace inside yourself. I can’t say I have always been this way I mentioned it took me years to find this inner peace about myself. Now that I have found my peace I love myself and I could care less the thoughts of others and I recommend every women to find this peace about herself!
Below is an interesting article I asked my friend to write on some stimulants and the different effects they have on your body.
Throughout the years, Athletes and fitness enthusiasts have tried to find that one formula to give them an edge against their competitor’s. A runner’s world is no different than any other athlete’s arena. Many competitors strive for perfection in their sport but fail to attain that goal they have set for their self. Day after day they rise early in the morning, put on their shoes and meet daybreak with the sound of their feet kissing the asphalt. They often, run on their lunch break to get in extra miles, instead of having lunch with their friends. They continue in an ongoing training regimen day after day in an effort to become the best in their sport. Unfortunately many athletes do not have the passion, persistent, and determination that is needed to see that success is about overcoming defeat and getting back up after you have been knocked down. As a result many athletes look for outside external means to create an edge for them in their sport. Many runners and athletes have tried a wide variety of stimulants in hopes of giving them that edge to help improve physical function and their mental state. Today I would like to address one commonly used stimulant for weight loss (Phentermine, adipex) that many runners and athletes use to gain an edge. Many athletes often feel they have hit a brick wall and unfortunately instead of redesigning their routine they take a stimulant to lose more weight so they will perform better. However this drug (adipex, phentermine), does not come without its risks and side effects.
* Shortness of breath, even with mild exertion
* Chest pain that can lead to syncope in some individuals
* Swelling in your feet and ankles
* Pounding of the heart or fluttering in your chest
* Confusion, irritability, unusual thoughts or behavior
* Sense of euphoria-which does not allow the athlete to train safely.
* Dangerously high blood pressure (severe headache, blurred vision, buzzing in your ears, anxiety, chest pain, shortness of breath, uneven heartbeats, seizure). These are some of the more severe side effects that one may experience while on these stimulants, (diet pills, adipex or phentermine). Some of the less serious side effects of phentermine are as follows:
* Feeling restless of hyperactive(active people often over train while they are using this stimulant)
* Headache, dizziness, tremors
* Sleep problems (insomnia)
* Dry mouth or an unpleasant taste in your mouth
* Diarrhea or upset stomach or gastrointestinal problems
* Increase or decrease interests in sex or even impotence with prolong use in some individuals.
There have been several documented cases of cardiovascular problems with individuals on diet stimulants. I would like to mention a few of these cases that were documented in a study on this type of stimulants.
* A young 37 year old woman admitted to the hospital after an episode of ventricular fibrillation. The patient was on being treated for mild weight issues and was taking phentermine. Her past medical history was flawless and it was suspected that her nearly fatal arrhythmia was attributed to the phentermine that she was taking.
* A 29 year old woman whom had only been taking the phentermine for 23 days developed fatal pulmonary hypertension. She did not smoke and no other health issues were listed.
In conclusion, I would like to state that there is no substitution for appropriate training and proper nutrition. However some athletes fail to acknowledge this and may turn to stimulants in search of the edge. Perhaps they feel they have obtained all they can from proper food intake, proper training and look for some help in dropping a few pounds to help them cut a few seconds off their mile. I would ask this athlete or fitness enthusiast to ask to ask their self-three questions:
* Is it safe
* Do the benefits outweigh the risks
* What are the long term Side effects
I am an avid runner and fitness enthusiast and wellness coach. I personally, have hit the brick wall on more than one occasion. Consequently, I reevaluated more diet, my training regime and my lifestyle stressors. I came to the conclusion that I could change and play around with these factors a lot safer than any drug or stimulant that was out there.
In the event that you hit a brick wall, or do not win the race that you train so hard to win. Remember we, become stronger from picking ourselves up when we fall down and sometimes we just have to climb over these walls with different techniques! God Speed to all the athletes and runners and when you hit the wall – try changing up your diet, your training technique, or training intensity- this trio will give you a much safer edge and a much greater reward.
Cyndee C. Smallwood
Valdosta B.S. Exercise Physiology
Certified Wellness Coach and owner 3-DBody-WorksFitnessTrainingLLC firstname.lastname@example.org 229-3255655
NASM: Fourth Edition (Editors, Michael A. Clark, Scott C. Lucett, Brian G. Sutton) “ Wolters Kluwer “ Lippincott Williams & Wilkins
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ESPN.com Special-“Drugs and Sports”
Drugs.com-“Phentermine Side Effects”