Thursday, August 5, 2010

A New Battle

I have Hypothyroidism  -  a medical condition in which the thyroid gland doesn't produce enough thyroid hormone to regulate the body. The function of the thyroid is to regulate the body's metabolism to help us stay in great shape.  So, when the thyroid doesn't work, the metabolism isn't regulated.  No matter how much I was exercising or watching what I was eating, my metabolism was out of whack and I wasn't going to be able to be in shape. 

In other words, this measly little gland, 
controls everything in my world. 
I am currently the size I was in 2000, when I started Weight Watchers for the first time. I can remember January 1, 2000, when I made the conscious decision to take control. I lost the weight, felt great, and maintained that weight loss for seven years.  And then...pregnancy.

Pregnancy reeked havoc on my control and my body.  I foolishly gave myself permission to eat whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted.  Fortunately, I didn't balloon too badly and it didn't take long for most of the weight to disappear - all but ten pounds.  It was during this time that I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism. I have been on medication since 2007 and haven't had to do more than a yearly exam to make sure the medication was still working.

Let's fast forward...

In March, I had my thyroid readjusted for the first time in three years.  In May/June, I found myself needing it adjusted again.  I admit, this was rather confusing to me - to go from not requiring any adjustment in three years, to needing it done twice in less than six months?  I was following WW and running 15-20 miles a week so shouldn't my metabolism have leveled out?  Turns out the answer is a solid NO and I put on weight during that time. And there really is nothing more frustrating than working hard, having total focus on being healthy, and your body rejects the act and actually adds pounds to your frame!  And when the thyroid doesn't work, I end up depressed and fatigued, which doesn't help with my mental psyche.  To be honest, it is a pretty bitter cycle.  And really, all I want is to drop 10 lbs!

I had my thyroid reassessed in June (right around the RNR) and started new medication the first of July.  My doctor told me that the running is having a direct effect on the thyroid function due to the increase in my metabolism and as long as I run, I will have to keep a closer eye on my thyroid function.  I tell ya, that little gland really has too much power in my body!  

I happened to be talking about it at camp and someone asked if I had embraced this thyroid of mine.  If I was ready to accept that I can still have control but with new parameters.  The question made me think.  When it comes down to it, am I ready to let go of this last excuse and face the hard work of becoming healthy?

Answer:  YES.
I've decided it is time to embrace my little gland, rather than fight it.  Since starting the medication, one month later, I've dropped 5 lbs, without thinking about it.  I'm running again and dusted off the WW books.  I've marked November 1 to remind myself to have another blood draw done so I can stay ahead of the battle. 

I'm going to eat healthy, even if the thyroid battle continues.  I'm going to continue running, even if the thyroid battle continues.  I'm going to make healthy choices and have control over my body image issues, even if the thyroid battle continues.  The thyroid battle is NO LONGER AN EXCUSE. 

I am going to lose these 10 lbs. How can I lose the battle, now that I have let go of all the excuses?

1 comment:

  1. I have been battling with my thyroid for five years. I'm interested in the information on how running is affecting the thyroid? I often times do research on the issue but I'm not sure what to believe and what not to. I've seen a few different doctors and have finally found someone who is an internal medicine doctor and I really feel like she will be helpful. However, it has mostly stabilized on my meds @ 137mcg of levothyroxine and I know that I cannot use it as a crutch anymore. I have to get over the mental block that I cannot drop weight. I really feel it affects my ability to even after being on medication.

    Also, I've recently found several articles about foods to avoid for the hypothyroidism... a few are nuts and soy in general.

    I also fear that it will be an issue for infertility for me... UGH! I was nineteen when I was diagnosed and I remember being so bummed.

    Oh well.


What say ye?