Energy is something people, especially kids take for granted. Most people are blessed with an abundance of it, especially small children. They can run, jump, skip, hop and play, for hours and it seems like it never ends, until it does and then they crash, only to wake up and repeat. It is amazing to watch everyday.
I never realized how important energy was until mine went away and never came back. Even then, I didn’t realize what I was missing until I had kids. Now, I miss having energy everyday and I long for that feeling of freedom. I have heard people who are overweight or obese hope they have a thyroid problem. I think they are sure it is an easy fix and with a pill they can get their bodies on track, lose weight, and all of their problems disappear. I can tell you from my experience the past eleven years that it is false thinking and don’t ever hope for it. It is a life sentence and for me, it sucks. (Sorry, I can’t think of a nicer word, but I can think of many inappropriate words I would rather use.)
True, it is not life or death. True, it is not the worst dysfunction a body could have. I get to live, and the medication is not expensive. Even if I didn’t have insurance, I can afford the medicine and the blood tests are only a few times a year, most years. It is a very livable dysfunction. I have loads of perspective on this disorder, trust me. I try not to whine. I get it can be soooo much worse. I get it. However, I am allowed to be frustrated.
Every morning I wake up feeling like I didn’t sleep. It takes lots of self talk to get through my day. It takes lots of self talk to act like myself. I used to be such a naturally happy, peppy person and try to still be her. I don’t want to be Eeyore, but inside, that is how I feel. I exercise and eat right, and can still gain weight. If I don’t exercise and eat right, I gain MORE weight, and feel even more tired. It is an extremely frustrating cycle. Especially as I get older. I don’t want to gain any more weight. I don’t live like an overweight person, so I don’t want to LOOK like an overweight person. I don’t want to be tired any more.
Quick back-story: I admit, before the thyroid crashed and burned, I had a slow metabolism. Since I was about 9, I yo-yo-ed in weight. In high school, I was up and down and all around. College was where I found what worked. I started eating small amounts of food (I didn’t like spending my money on food) and exercising A LOT. I fell in love with biking and did loads of walking to save on gas and parking fees. Looking back and pictures in college, I felt great, looked great, and of course, I thought I was fat. After I met Scott, we got engaged, started planning our wedding, BAM! That is when it happened. It felt like almost overnight. My weight skyrocketed. My energy fell to the ground, I was suddenly cold all of the time, I mean, like really cold, my skin was really dry in patches. I couldn’t stop crying. My ring no longer fit. Everyone said it was stress from college, the wedding, the upcoming move, how we were eating (we weren’t eating differently), the fact we were comfortable in our relationship…. Nope. A quick blood test through a nutritionist, and many other tests later found the thyroid problem, plus, one other endocrinology problem and another suspected one. All three that affect the body’s metabolism.
The past eleven years have been extremely frustrating. I have been up and down on weight, but never looking how I want to look. We have gone through times of not eating well. My husband did put on 40 pounds that he couldn’t shed, until he became a mailman, so I know not every pound is because of my thyroid. I am not in denial. However, the past two years, we have been eating very well, and I have been working out more and more, and I still gained at least 15 pounds. Pregnancy was always hard, because I worried about gaining and losing, plus how much I energy I lost with each baby. (I always struggled with the guilt of worrying about that because the fact that a person with my reproductive system even got pregnant and stayed pregnant twice is pretty amazing, so I tried so hard to just enjoy it too.) I have experienced depression over the frustration of my body. I am terrified any time a doctor wants to put me on any medicine to help my other endocrinology problems because they can also make the body gain weight as well, but I can’t ignore those either they are not getting better with age.
With this disorder, I have also developed an unhealthy relationship with food. I know, I know, congratulations, I am like every other American woman. I have a really hard time looking at food as nourishment and energy when it does not seem to give me energy. When my body metabolizes so slowly, it feels like the enemy. I have tried so many eating plans, and for 10 years, I have tried not to diet, but just eat less. I know all about healthy eating, times of day, protein, blah, blah, blah….. I work everyday to learn to trust God-made food and to change my thinking.
It doesn’t help that every year, or 6 months I have gone to the doctor, begging for help. Telling them “I have no energy. I keep gaining weight. I eat right, work out. Please help.” They take my blood, look at my tests. Call me back in and inform me that I am extremely healthy. If my thyroid is off, which it normally is, they readjust, retest later. Once it is regulated, they look at me like a fat person who eats too much. The theory is once the thyroid medication is regulated, your body should act normal. However, it doesn’t for everyone. There are thyroid diets, but nothing scientifically has been proven to work. Eventually, I have to find a new doctor, who will try new things. But in time, new doctors become old and the cycle starts over. I have taken food journals to nutritionists and been called a liar. WHY would I LIE??? I don’t want to look like this????
You can imagine how AMAZING I must feel that the past few months I have found something that has worked. I decided to not just treat the thyroid like a disorder but a real illness. I stopped eating processed foods (mostly). Most days, the theory is, in our house, we eat God made food. I make sure I make green smoothies so I get all my fruits and veggies each day. I have cut my eating in half, which is less than an active person is supposed to, but remember, I am not a typical person. I eat lots of natural protein, no soy, which is bad for the thyroid. Plus, I drink tons of water and green tea, and I still have my morning coffee, but no more soda. I don’t even like it anymore! I am exercising my normal amount. I have lost 27 pounds, I have a little more energy, but not much more. I do feel better about myself. I feel like it is possible to lose to weight.
At least I felt like it was possible to lose weight. My doctor called yesterday. I had a thyroid test. My thyroid is out of whack. They want to cut my medicine in half. That means they want to REDUCE my dose. To lower to the lowest it has ever been. When I am finally losing weight. When I finally am feeling more normal. I said “no. I am not comfortable with that.” They said they know best. I said, “it is my body, my energy.” I am mad, I just saw them last week, and was told to keep doing what I have been doing, taking my medicine is what I have been doing. I KNEW last week, when I was talking she was not listening, I could tell. Yesterday, it was confirmed. They have given me one more month before they readjust my dose. I will not be treated like a person who cannot control themselves. I am not saying that I do everything right all of the time, but I work hard everyday. I will reach my goals, they are realistic and attainable. At the end of the day, I just want the norm. I want energy. I want to feel good in my body. I want my simple lifestyle to work. I can do this the rest of my life and am committed to doing so, but I need energy to do it.