I was diagnosed in 2007 with Hashimoto's Thyroiditis after being sick for months and not knowing what was wrong with me. I had the left lobe of my thyroid and a large goiter removed at that time. I was not well. It was a long road to recovery that affected every aspect of my life - my career, my marriage, friendships, etc. Eventually I started feeling like I could function but I still didn't feel great, just better than when I was sick.
Unfortunately in about 2011 my sister found out that she had thyroid cancer. So she had to undergo numerous surgeries because after tests and more tests her labs were still not coming back the way the surgeons wanted. This was all really stressful for my sister who worked full time and is the mother to 4 kids.
Last year - 6 years after being diagnosed with Hashimoto's and still not feeling the best I had a sudden overwhelming feeling like I wanted the rest of my thyroid out so I made an appointment with my surgeon. I pleaded my case that I was still waffling between hyper and hypo symptoms, my sister had cancer, I just didn't feel well. He typed on his laptop as I was talking. I stopped talking but still he kept typing and said nothing for what seemed ages. I wanted his opinion and didn't feel that I wanted to wait another second to hear it. Eventually he stopped typing and looked at me and said that he agreed that I would be a good candidate for the surgery so they would submit it to the insurance. I inquired about what would happen if the insurance company refused and he said that they would plead their case if that happened. The insurance company didn't refuse, thankfully. So on an icy Friday, December 13 I went to the hospital to have my surgery. Surgery went well, my hospital stay went well. I had to wait a week to get the stitches out. I went to my surgeon's office a week later expecting to only see the physician assistant that works in that office to take my stitches out, answer any questions and send me on my way. The PA did take my stitches out and then he told me to wait to see the doctor. A feeling of doom filled me. The doctor came in and told me - they had found cancer. Boom. There it was - cancer. A few days before Christmas and this was the gift that I got. He said that the cancer was so small that they were pretty much guaranteed to have gotten all of it so I would just have to be monitored via lab work for several years. No treatments would be needed. At least there was some good news within the bad.
The recovery following that was rough however. Now I was without a thyroid. That little butterfly-shaped gland makes a lot of things work RIGHT in the body. I had already been on medication since being diagnosed with Hashimoto's so I wasn't new to the lab tests, medication change, wait 6-12 weeks, more lab tests pattern of treatment. That's difficult to go through though when you are living your life by forcing yourself to get out of bed because you hurt all over constantly, you're cold, you're exhausted, your hair is falling out, your skin is dry, your thinking is cloudy. After my second surgery, unfortunately I slipped back into that as my reality.
During this time I kept taking notice of posts on Facebook from a girl that I had graduated from high school with, Karen. She was the mother of 4 and had gradually gained weight over the years and felt horrible about herself. She was posting about her workouts and posting pictures of her weight progress and the results were amazing to me. At first I ignored all of it but the continued progress reports eventually won me over and I had to send her a message. She told me that she was using a super food meal replacement drink called Shakeology and she was working out. Hold the phone - meal replacement shake?? Been there, done that. She assured me that this one was different. I wasn't sure I believed her. I asked if there were samples that I could try. They did sell a sampler pack so I could try the 4 flavors that they have. Ok, I thought - it's worth a shot.
I had read that it was important to drink Shakeology daily for best results so I decided when I got my sampler that I was going to make sure to drink them 4 days in a row and I was going to be sure to finish everything. I was determined to give it a good shot with an open mind. The first day, I tried strawberry. I didn't care for it as it was so I added some frozen fruit (blueberries, strawberries, etc). After that addition, it wasn't bad! Yay, day 1 - done!
Day 2 I tried the greenberry. I really wasn't loving the flavor of that. So, again I added some frozen fruit and a fresh orange. That did it, now it tasted great!
Day 3 - chocolate! That had to be good. It wasn't bad actually but I still wasn't buying that people were telling me that they thought it tasted like a milkshake. Obviously they haven't had any good milkshakes, I thought. So, again I added some fruit - frozen raspberries. Chocolate and raspberry. Now that was good! Wow, I'm a genius - these shakes were really starting to taste good and I was starting to feel myself have more energy and feel happier. Was this my imagination??
Day 4 - vanilla. I really liked this! I thought I'd try it as my coach said she has hers - with banana and peanut butter. Oh my gosh, I loved it!! It actually did taste like a milkshake to me! And I was feeling awesome. Where has this stuff been all of my life?
Day 5 - crap, I'm out of Shakeology. In the coming days I felt myself get more tired and less happy. Maybe it wasn't my imagination?!
So, I took a risk and ordered a months supply along with a workout plan that was on sale that month - Les Mills Pump. Now I am drinking Shakeology every day and working out 5 days a week and loving it. I did't get to my size and fitness level by loving exercise. I got this way by loving sitting and eating donuts, cheesecake and chocolate which incidentally I wasn't craving as much since I started drinking the Shakeology. Seriously, Shakeology, my friend - where have you been my whole life?? I feel like I have a really great shot at making it this time. I have never felt this hopeful about my weight loss journey. The best part is since I signed up with my coach, Karen, she has introduced me to a lot of other people that use the same or similar fitness programs and I have so much support now. Thank you, Karen and Shakeology - I think you may have saved me.