Ask the FBGs: Help! I Have No Energy!

Today we’re featuring an Ask the FBGs post. This feature allows readers like you to ask the FBGs for advice. Nothing is off limits, although we do prefer that it’s fitness or nutrition related, so send your undying health questions to AsktheFBGs@fitbottomedgirls.comYou just might see them posted on the site in the future! (Note: We got quite a bit more info here from Michelle, including her current diet, height, weight, mood, restrictions and goals to help target our response.)



My name is Michelle and I’m 34 years old. I was disabled for four years and in a wheelchair for two. I am now trying to get back into things and get fit again! For the most part, I do eat healthy and buy organic foods. I am having some issues though because when I do work out (for instance, I’ll walk my dog in the mornings for 20 minutes about half a mile each morning, then I will come home and get on the elliptical for 20 minutes, and then some days I will do the walk and then do hand weights or swim in the afternoon) it wears me out. Every day I am very exhausted and my body doesn’t want to go anymore, and I have a hard time doing much of anything because of no energy and my body says to stop. I am not sure if my body needs more specific foods or what the issue is? I am working really hard to get myself in shape and just not sure what the correct thing is I need to do to. Can you help?



Hi Michelle,

Wow. First, kudos to you for being active, even if you don’t always feel like it! What you’re doing is great.

Energy—and from your question it seems like it’s more true energy than just motivation—can be tricky. It sounds like you’ll need to meet with a doctor to see what’s up. Anything from poor sleep to stress to low iron to thyroid issues to depression to gluten intolerance to a number of other things can cause your energy to be low, so it’s important to meet with a doc to figure it out. It might also be a good idea to consult with a registered dietitian to see if you could tweak your diet for better energy, too.

In the meantime though, I’d keep up with what you’re doing as best you can. On low-energy days, walking like you’re doing is great (and great for your dog!), and maybe you could try some yoga or Pilates as well (some good workout DVD suggestions are here). You swimming is great, and while you’re working out a way to get the energy going, I’d keep up with the strength training and try to do two to three short sessions a week. Even if it’s a few push-ups, sit-ups and lunges, it’ll help to keep your muscles strong, which will go a long way in helping you to get in shape and stay there.

And definitely, definitely don’t beat yourself up. Your overall health is the No. 1 priority—not just getting all of your workouts in. So listen to your body, respect it and feel good in knowing that you’re doing what you can!

Best of luck and let us know how it goes!


Any other advice for Michelle? Or do you have a similar experience that you overcame? Share it in the comments!

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  1. Hi, I a 64yo female and since 1996 I have been in and out of chemotherapy for Multiple Myeloma (put simply: bone marrow cancer). Part of the chemo is taking steroids hence a 20+kg weight gain over the years. I used to walk 5kms every morning but have been totaly inactive for at least 3 years due to operations on my feet for bunions and hammer toes. I am just recovering from the last op (5 months ago) so walking is still a tad painful. I can’t ever see me getting back to walking 5kms a day but feel the need to get active again. My husband has heart problems so we both need to walk. I was thinking of getting a treadmill. Is this a good idea do you think? I plan to start looking around to hire one for a few months to see if my feet can cope with it and also if we will stay motivated. Any useful thoughts? Going to a gym does not appeal and if I started I know I would not keep it up, fitness for me really needs to be walking based. Thanks Susan.