A lot has changed over the life of this little blog. I started it in San Diego, California, transitioned to Charleston, South Carolina with a new career, and ended up back east in Norfolk, Virginia back in school. Every time life gets too busy and I think about leaving it all behind and closing it down, something brings me back to my little space on the internet.
Recently things have changed more than usual! After years of feeling tired and foggy, I’ve found out that I have hypothyroidism. It was something I had suspected for a long time but never had the courage to advocate for myself to get tested. I always just figured that if it was a possibility that my doctor would put the pieces together and suggest that I get tested. I guess there was always this niggling doubt in the back of my mind, an insecurity really, that made me think that if I did get tested and it came back negative that it would mean I was just whiney. I mean everyone is tired!
This past January, like millions of others, I decided that it was finally time to take back my health, get in shape, and lose weight. I figured that I was probably tired because I wasn’t working out consistently, and being nearly 30 lbs overweight probably wasn’t helping either. I got a friend to commit with me and for months we met at the gym bright and early, 3-5 days a week. I was trying to do everything and anything I could to focus on eating healthy and reasonably without driving myself crazy counting calories. Not only did I want to lose weight, but I really wanted to figure out how to live the rest of my life healthy, I wanted to develop life-long habits (and I don’t think counting calories should be one of those!).
After about 6 months I had lost around 8-12lbs, depending on the day and how much my weight was fluctuating. I was feeling better and I was actually fitting into clothes that previously only fit when I weighed much less (yay muscle!). But I was still frustrated. I was still tired. Every day felt like a fight. A fight to wake up in the morning. A fight against falling asleep and bingeing on sugar in the afternoon. A fight against bingeing after dinner. A fight to get enough sleep. A fight to lose weight.
After a few months of no progress at all, I finally mustered up the courage to ask for a thyroid test. When I received the phone call a few days later that I needed to come in for a follow-up due to my thyroid results I almost cried. I can’t explain what a relief it was to finally hear that it wasn’t my fault. That I wasn’t just being lazy or that I just wasn’t discipline enough, wasn’t trying hard enough. I slept for close to 12 hours a day in the days between that phone call and my follow-up appointment. I finally had the permission to stop fighting my body. I finally had the permission to stop doubting myself and my abilities. It was such a relief!
Today it has been exactly one week since my follow-up appointment & first dose of Synthroid. It hasn’t been long enough to make any sweeping conclusions, but I do feel better. Actually, I think I just feel more… normal.
I think the best changes have been complete mental. It’s like this burden has been lifted from my shoulders and I’ve been able to forgive myself and cut myself some slack in a few areas of my life. That little voice inside my head that was constantly shouting “WHY CAN’T YOU JUST XYZ!?!?!” has become much smaller. It’s not quite a whisper yet, but it’s getting there.
In other random news: I’ve broken up with running. I still run for fun when I feel like it, but I’ve stepped away from races and training. It just wasn’t working for me. Running had started to represent everything I felt I couldn’t accomplish and every run was a mental onslaught of “why can’t you go faster?” “why are you so tired?” “why is this easy pace so hard?” “why can’t you go longer” “you’ll never be as fast as xyz..” And in an effort to capitalize on my new self-loving and supporting feelings, I figured I’d cut out my biggest source of self doubt, at least for now. I still have a few races on the calendar, but I’m doing everything I can to be as casual and relaxed about them.
I’m looking forward to seeing how the next few months unfold and the changes (if any) that come with treatment.
Let me know if you have any suggestions or experiences with hypothyroidism! I’m trying to learn everything I can!