Energy, why hast thou forsaken me?
“Low thyroid conditions do not cause people to die. Instead they cause people to feel half-dead, or sometimes to wish they were dead. The symptoms range from annoying to debilitating, with many people experiencing a severity somewhere in between” – Thyroid Power, 10 Steps to Total Health by: Richard L. Shames, M.D. and Karilee Halo Shames, R.N., Ph.D.
It wasn’t until early 2014 that I started recognizing symptoms uncharacteristic of myself over the past few years. Looking back on my life I’ve always struggled with weight, with huge fluctuations of being overweight, and then not so overweight. These fluctuations happened with little change in my dietary and fitness habits. There is a trend in my past that when I really start focusing on my health and fitness – I have pretty much always started to see a drop in weight and a gain in energy. I don’t know what the real cause was for the increase focus – perhaps my thyroid?
I can’t help but wonder if the Hashimoto’s roller coaster has been at play for much longer than I have known, or would think. It is common in with Hashi’s to experience both hypo and hyper symptoms. It could be that throughout life the phases where I was more aware of my fitness and body were times when I was more hyper thyroid, then the times where I accumulated weight, lost motivation and lost energy were times when I was more hypo thyroid.
I think a lot about my most recent efforts in fitness, and how successful I was. From Mar 2011 up until October 2013, my motivation was limitless. I was living with my mom and started working on my Associate in Science degree. My goal was to “feel more comfortable in my own skin”. Through the course of that phase, I was conscious of my diet, watching nutrients and macro nutrients, as well as counting calories. I worked out doing intense Cardio, Yoga, Pilates, Stretching, and mild weight training, for 45 minutes up to as much as 1.5 hours per day – at least 5-6 days per week. My heart and body felt so strong and I could maintain high intensity interval training for these long stretches.
I saved my heart-rate monitor readings for the workouts, and looking over them now I don’t even know how I managed – I just did it. If I tried that now… I’d pass out and be immobilized for days.
The weight started falling off. Over the course of that phase I lost about 80 pounds.
This was my Before (2011) & After (2013)
Then in October of 2013, I missed a step on a small tiny 3-step flight of stairs on the college campus walking back to my car, fell and royally screwed up my ankle. I sprained and fractured it. This is when things began to slow down for me, both physically and mentally. I was pretty pissed off at myself for messing up and tripping. I should’ve been paying attention – instead I was frustrated about school and texting on my phone, and then whoops. I know I had some resentment toward myself for that – I was not ready to slow down. My ankle took about 4-5 months to heal to the point I could start walking on it again without crutches or a cane. Ever since then it’s been downhill and shortly after the diagnosis of Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis.
So what gives – will I ever get my energy back? I want desperately to have the energy and motivation that I had when I was so active. Since that “Now” picture above – I’ve put on roughly 30 pounds with the Hashi’s, and I can’t let all of my hard work be in vain. I need to turn things around. I need my energy back.