Maintaining Muscle Mass while Malnourished
I'm working on a character who is homeless and relies on stealing and cheating just to get by. Obviously, not having a steady/reliable source of food or income (in a small village nonetheless) means they're probably pretty malnourished (at least to the point where their ribs are somewhat visible). The problem comes with the fact that their weapon of choice is a bow and arrow, which I know requires a lot of upper-arm strength. My question is this: would it be possible for them to maintain enough muscle/strength to feasibly use a bow while malnourished?
I tried several searches related to this topic, and read articles on WebMD and Mayo Clinic relating to malnutrition, but I couldn't find a single line anywhere specifically talking about whether or not one can maintain muscle mass while malnourished.
Also, the story is set in a fantasy world not our own, so there's not really a real-world time period with which to compare. Though- if this helps- there's not a lot of technology beyond simple things like watches, for example.