Thursday, March 27, 2014
In high school, I was a twig. I could eat whatever I wanted, and it never seemed to make a difference. I weighed between 110-115 pounds, and I thought I was FAT! When I graduated from high school and went to college (I still lived at home during college), my weight just started ballooning, even though my eating habits didn't change, and I had 3 or more dance classes every day. I actually kind of miss those days, but I have learned so much since then!
My weight just went up and up. It didn't matter how much I exercised or how obsessively I counted my calories. I just gained weight. At one point, I did lose 25 pounds...this was in my early 20's and I achieved that by eating nothing all day, and only having a very small dinner at night. I honestly don't know how I was able to work more than 8 hours a day without eating. It was really, really stupid, and really, really bad.
After meeting my husband, and getting married in 2006, I started eating 3 meals a day (probably for the first time since I was a kid). In the first 7 years of our marriage, I gained 67 pounds! Eek! At my highest, last year, I weighed in at 197.7 pounds. And it's not like I wasn't making an effort to lose weight. I worked out almost everyday. I alternated strength and cardio workouts. I even ran trained for and ran two 5k races last year. But my weight wouldn't go down no matter how hard I tried. It was frustrating to say the least. I had bouts of depression and I had tantrums, but nothing changed it.
At 32 years old, I had long suspected that I had a thyroid problem, so I went to the doctor, finally. And sure enough, I found out that I have Hashimoto's disease (autoimmune hypothyroidism). Basically, my body was attacking my thyroid. Most of the time I would be hypothyroid, but occasionally, it would cause me to go hyperthyroid. I also found out that I have gluten intolerance and I was insulin resistant. Now, years ago, this diagnosis probably would have gotten me down. But, I was so excited to finally have an answer, and a starting point. I finally knew what I was dealing with, and could start dealing with it.
Since my diagnosis last September, I went on Nature-throid, changed a lot of eating habits (I'm 100% gluten free and try to limit the processed foods I eat), and I have lost over 8 pounds (12 pounds from my heaviest). I know it's not a lot in 6 months, but it feels so good to someone who only knows how to gain weight. I initially went on a medication for the insulin resistance, but have recently gotten off that. I currently am only on medication for my thyroid. And, for the first time in a long time, I actually feel healthy.
I just wanted to share my experience, and say that if you're in the same boat I was in, don't give up! There is hope out there for you! Find a good doctor. Have your thyroid levels tested, and have them test for antibodies against your thyroid. Hashimoto's thyroiditis is the most common cause for hypothyroidism. Doctors will treat it the same as hypothyroidism, so they often won't test for Hashimoto's disease.
Lastly, I wanted to stress the importance of not eating processed foods and sugars. White sugar, like white flour, has basically been processed to death and has had any nutrition taken out of it. Brown sugar isn't any better. It's basically white sugar with a little molasses added to it. If you have an autoimmune disease, your body is dealing with inflammation, and sugars cause inflammation. If you can't eliminate sugar completely, at least don't use the processed stuff.
One of my favorite bloggers has a blog called Deliciously Organic. She had Hashimoto's disease and a host of other health problems, which she has been able to manage with a proper diet. She has an article about inflammation and how to reduce it naturally on her blog, here: deliciouslyorganic.net/inflammation-
And if you need a buddy, add me as a friend! I'll help you however I can!