I’m new to T-Nation and I found my way here via reading up on John Berardi and his ideas on nutrition and fitness.
Why I’m here is because I am very interested and serious about whipping myself into the best shape I can be.
Or rather, into the best shape a certain chronic health condition will let me be.
I’ll say up front that I’m not looking to use my medical issues to excuse myself into being a pansy. Rather, I am looking for solid advice on working WITH what I have to be the healthiest I can be without overdoing it.
So without further ado, here’s what’s going on:
The short story is that I have chronic anemia that is NOT caused by iron deficiency which puts my hemoglobin count at 7-8 vs the normal person’s 14ish.
The longer story is that I have a genetic blood disorder called Hemoglobin H Disease, which is a chronic and intermediate form of a type of anemia called thalassemia of the ‘alpha’ sort.
Instead of a regular person’s 14ish hemoglobin count, mine is at a constant 7 to 8.
How this affects exercise and physical fitness is that I have a much harder time getting enough oxygen because of this and for this reason, I fatigue more easily than other people do.
My body has to work at least twice as hard to get the same amount of work done even if I myself don’t feel it as such. As a result, I have a tendency to overdo things without me even realizing it until it’s too late.
This also affects my metabolism in that I have an increased metabolism to keep up with the energy levels that my body needs to function.
I know that of course, there are basic guidelines for nutrition and workout that everyone can follow, but I know that with this condition, there are probably a few more specifics I should/could follow.
The problem is in defining these specifics; I personally have no idea what they might be and quite frankly, the nutrition specialist and doctors I have seen have been little help aside from telling me to “not overdo it” and “watch the iron intake”.
Hell, I even got one doctor who told me to stop taking Taekwondo because I was “overdoing” it and could overtire myself.
But surely, there’s a way to work with this?
I can still do workouts while not overdoing it, right?
When I was in university, I loved hitting the gym and while I DID overtire myself a few times, I loved the feeling I got from each workout and I was probably in my best shape.
It’s been a few years and I miss that feeling and miss that body I had and this time, I really am serious about getting back into shape and staying there.
But I want to do it right this time.
I’d love to be able to have a more tailored nutrition and exercise regime that takes into account my health issue, but I don’t know where to begin since my own doctors can’t give any particular specifics.
Maybe experienced people out here might have more ideas?
Thanks for reading and I thank everyone in advance for any and all advice that might be given!