Week 25–Wait, wait, wait…I see a chin

If you’re my Facebook friend, this is going to be a bit of a repeat.  It’s late.  I’m wide awake, thanks to a late nap, and I’m still cleaning house.  But here’s the thing I didn’t say on Facebook….three weeks ago I would totally trashed regardless of the nap.

If you’re my Facebook friend, you also know I have been doing the 100 Days of Selfie project.  Thanks to it I can see the progression of my face and how my thyroid levels affect my appearance.  Today I took a smiley selfie and just as I was about to post it I noticed my chin was even more defined than last week and the week before.  It’s been a while since I’ve had a non-scale victory.

Progress.

The scale, however, was trending up when I last looked on Friday morning.

Sigh.

I haven’t looked since them because honestly I needed to just not know.  I’m not being “bad” food wise I just needed to not have a stupid number ruin my weekend.  Now that I noticed my chin, I’m really glad I don’t know the number on the scale.  I know it’s partially lying to me anyway.  I know most, if not all, of the gain is water simply because my clothes still fit the same as they did a month ago even though the scale is up more than five pounds.

I’m also working a hunch.

Quite by accident I mentioned how us chronic babes need to keep an extra close eye on our hydration status during the heat–108+ in my world–and how water isn’t going to be enough so to use sports drinks to maintain electrolyte levels.

All the bells and whistles started chiming…I have been drinking plenty and still feeling parched and “off”–lethargic, weak, more tried–all signs of dehydration AND electrolyte imbalances.  Friday morning, I bought a Gatorade and felt better almost instantly.  Since then I have been working on building my electrolytes back up with homemade electrolyte solutions.

Today I wore my most restrictive socks just to see what would happen.  My neuropathy has been going nuts but the retention is not as bad as it has been.  Maybe I’m on to something.  I know I feel better.

Moving on to next week…

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Week 24–I Don’t Want To Be Here

I promised myself this morning that I would stay off the computer as much as possible today to spend time with my sweet man…then the little bugger went to bed at 7:30.  My keyboard-avoidance had a double meaning, however.  I do not want to write.  Not here.  Not today.

Nothing is wrong.

Nothing is right.

Yesterday I felt really strong and powerful so I made a list of some good things in the wake of finding out I’m actually HYPERthyroid according to the results of my blood work.

Whatever.

I’m the only idiot on the planet GAINING weight while being HYPERthyroid.  (Yes, I know that is not the truth but that is truly what it feels like.)

Sigh.

Honestly, it has really ended up feeding the negative, “My body can’t do anything right,” feelings.

That isn’t exactly life affirming or hope-filled.

So here’s the stupid list I wrote yesterday.  (Yes, I know the list isn’t stupid…but you have to understand how…sTuPiD….this all feels.)

  1. I also found out my cholesterol dropped 46 points since last year to 166.
  2. My hair is really thick.
  3. My nails are stronger.
  4. My skin doesn’t “snow” when I get undressed.  (Snow-tiny, dry, flakes in large quantities)
  5. Every time my temperature has been taken it is closer to normal than it has ever been.
  6. My acne is virtually non-existent.
  7. The oil slick on my forehead is almost non-existent.
  8. So all of these things made me wonder…Is it possible my guts have healed/are healed?  Is that why my blood is showing HYPER?

Ah-ha moments.

Yes, they’re good but frankly I just really want to be pissed.

But here I am being all accountable and stuff…

None of these things would be happening if I wasn’t healthy on the inside.

If my body was still “out-of-whack” I would have more signs that ‘just’ an ever-climbing scale.

Maybe the scale climbing is one of those, “Hey you!” signals my body was trying to send and I was to wrapped up with being furious…since October…for 16 pounds.

Shit.

Sigh.

The doctor lowered my thyroid dose and I programmed my phone to remind me to go back in three months for a retest.

In the meantime, all I really can do is exactly what I have been doing.

It’s maddening.

This is ‘just’ weight loss…it’s not supposed to be this hard.

Yet, this whole year…this whole journey…is about being accountable to my body for what I eat, how I move, whether I take my thyroid medication, and all the other good and lovely things any human should do to take care of their body so this year it is also going to be about slogging into the doctor’s office for a blood draw every three months because obviously yearly isn’t enough.

The truth is testing more frequently might have ‘saved’ me from 16 pounds, a lot of swearing, and a few tears.

Sometimes the truth sucks….

Week 23–I Didn’t Gain Anything–Except Anxiety

Having the scale remain stable this week was surely a welcome sight.  I didn’t do, drink, eat, move, think, feel, or even say anything different so I have no ‘aha’ moment to latch on to and chase down.

What I do have is anxiety.

Maybe anxiety burns calories.

Here’s my issue…

It’s been a year since I went to the super spiffy endocrinologist and found the local doctor whose wife has Hashimoto’s which means my thyroid prescription cannot be renewed until I sit in some cold office waiting for my four and half minutes with the doctor (the local one, not the endo), whose going to notice I weigh MORE than I did last year, who’s going to want to blood work me to death, and who’s going to suggest if I need to try a little harder.

*FACEDESK*

What’s he going to say to me that I haven’t already heard, done, tried, or whatever?

When the endo says, “Wow…I have no idea why you’re not losing weight…I usually have to spend a lot of time counseling my patients about changes…I never get to say keep up the good work.”

When you’re doing the “good work” and you actually weigh MORE than you did on this date last year, what the hell is left?

All I can think about is how I’m going to break down in his office and maybe even yell and get hysterical.

I can’t even type it without crying.

He’s going to send me for tests I can’t afford and tell me to do things I’m already doing, have tried and I just can’t bear the thought of hearing how “fine” those tests will end up being—because they’re always fine–and how empty that is going to feel.

If you’ve been reading me at all, or have known me any length of time you know I don’t toss around that “can’t” word.

I can’t handle this.

C-A-N-‘-T!!!!!!!!!!

Not now.

Now, I need answers and hope.

Please, don’t sit there thinking, “Maybe this time he’ll have something new to try.”

Kiddos I’m on 180mgs of Armour Thyroid daily, I’ve also tried the levo/Cytomel cocktail, and straight levothyroxine.  When it comes to regulating whatever mechanism signals “burn fat,” I might as well be eating Tic Tacs.  I do, however, feel better with my current dose.

I am already gluten-free, and mostly dairy free (only cultured dairy).

I exercise daily.

I already take the thyroid-supporting supplements as well as focus on food sources of those nutrients.

I limit sugar and focus on whole, clean food–and actually prefer it to junk.

And I do know all of the above are helping because my hair is thick, my nails grow, my skin is not sloughing off at an extreme rate (just normal dry, desert skin) and my acne is virtually non-existent.

I also do not catch every germ that floats by so I am fairly confident my immune system is strong.

So what the holy hell is wrong?????????????????????????

Oh wait….I’ve been saying that for how long now…TWELVE YEARS!!!!!!!!!!!!

Week 22–In Flux

Well I think I purged all the profanity in my last post.  The next morning I had gained another 8/10 of a pound overnight.  Yeah, really.  Honestly, I spent the rest of the week not looking at the scale.  My body’s throwing a tantrum.  It’s not like this is anything new so I’m going to forgive myself for not only checking the scale at 5 a.m. but doing so on less than three hours of sleep.  Well-rested, I might not have come so easily unhinged.

While I was not bothering to look at the scale, I let myself think.

It is so easy, when my body is gaining weight I did not earn, to feel hopeless.  When the scale feels like a betrayal, it is so easy to miss the other signals my body is sending me.

While I was thinking, I noticed a couple of things.

36 days!!!

36 days!!!

See this re-growth?  This is 36 days worth.  Bodies that are not healthy do not grow hair this fast.  On one hand it’s annoying to have to color again.  My son, who is a cosmetologist said, “Mom, think about it…you must be doing really good things on the inside so stop being upset by it.  Besides, you are in your mid-40s and most women are experiencing thinning by now.”  He grabbed a healthy handful of my hair, “Look…look at this mom…I have clients who would kill for your hair.”  Out of the mouths of babes all grown up.

After he said that, I also looked at my nails.  With hypothyroidism andWP_20150606_003 Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, nails are a luxury.  It is ‘normal’ for us to have weak, thin, and/or brittle nails.  Right now, my nails are still thin but they are also strong and healthy.  They have been for months.

I also noticed my skin is not quite as dry or flaky, my acne is almost non-existent, and my lips are not cracked.  These are all good signs.

Yes, my body is having a tantrum.

Yes, my ankles are swollen.

No, I am not trying to talk myself into thinking I am okay to just let things go as they are.

But, I am trying to be real.

I am not the number on the scale.  It does not measure all of my health.  It does indicate something is wrong however because it is not normal to gain nearly a pound a day.  I have also been through this enough times to know there’s no need for me to be in full-on freak out mode yet.

While I was thinking and noticing, I also did some remembering.

If I am going to be really, really, really, really honest I have stopped doing a few good things.  I always say I do not understand all the keys my body needs.  It is true.  It is also a little bit false too because I know these things help:

  • I know carb cycling works for me.  I also gradually stopped doing it as I noticed some alarming behaviors in the team of professionals I had been following.  I stopped following them and carb cycling went by the wayside in part because I just could not wrap my head around their irresponsible behaviors.  Since I am telling the truth, I also stopped because we hit a huge financial snag and I could not justify the expense.
  • It is also true that what I have been and am doing hasn’t unlocked my weight loss either.  I need to change.
  • My hubs has been cooking more and whether I taste it or not I know he’s using more salt than I ever would.  Tonight’s oven baked steak fries were really salty but tonight I did not finish them just to be nice.  He has no problem not eating something I make that doesn’t agree with him.  I need to be better about saying no.
  • I stopped using coconut oil daily.  I ran out a few months back and just kept forgetting to go to the right store to get it.  I bought some a couple of weeks ago and just barely broke the seal on it a few days ago.
  • I need to resume my focus on pre- and probiotics.  Gut health/not health and Hashimoto’s go hand in hand.  I could take a gallon of thyroid medication but if my guts aren’t healthy I won’t get the medication.
  • I keep letting myself run out of my supplements.  Again this one is tied to financial struggles.  But it’s not like these things are a surprise.  I can do better about making sure I buy them when I can instead of when I am already out.
  • I also stopped thinking any of this really matters.  Maybe individually they do not, maybe even together they do not but maybe believing I can get a handle on any of this does matter.

So here’s where I’m at…drawing a line in the sand again, stepping over it, moving forward accountable and feeling a bit empowered.

Richard Bach Quote

Week 21.5–A Raw Moment

Disclaimer:  This post is laced with profanity. If you find such words objectionable, please stand by for my sunny disposition to return.  One of the things I committed to on this journey was to be real.  These words are not inserted gratuitously or for shock value.  I am really swearing. Yeah, it’s not my finest moment but it is also my honest moment.  If my honest use of swear words bothers you, then this is not going to be something you are going to want to read so please don’t.  I don’t mind one bit.

I promised to explain my Hummmmmmm from last week…

But first,

It’s 5 a.m. on Wednesday 3 June.

I just stepped on the scale.

It says…

I’ve gained 4.5 pounds and 3/10 pound body fat since 18 May.

16 days.

Are you fucking kidding me with this shit??????

ARRRRRRRRRRRRRRRGGGGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!

Now the reason for this rant is incredibly important when you know what I was Hummmmmmmmm’ing about last week.

Some of you may know I have fibromyalgia and have written a book about it.  But what you won’t know is how much I talk about following our own intuition when it comes to matters of our health.  And you can’t know that because I haven’t published it yet.  Anyway.  Our bodies are so smart.  They talk to us all the time.  Little moments of wonder.  Those “gut” instincts that nag at us could lead us to moments of discovery if we just listen.  At this, I am a pro.

I few months ago my hubs and I caught Dr. Christiane Northrup’s “Ageless Goddess” on PBS.  If you haven’t seen it I highly recommend it.  One of the things she said which really resonated with me and my stance on our intuition.  She said something to the effect of, “Don’t be mad at your body when something goes wrong.  Thank your body for singling you something isn’t quite right.”  I am sure I murdered the quote but you get the gist.

How beautiful!

We should thank our bodies for talking to us.

I remember sitting there rather smugly thinking about my fibromyalgia journey and feeling rather proud of myself for taking that signal and changing the course of my life.  My body has responded in wonderful, surprising ways.  I haven’t cured my fibro.  Not a chance.  But, I do live better than I was and better than most of my peers.

Then last week, from the fringes of the internet, came similar messages about the mind-body connection and how important it is to successful weight loss.

In a word, “Fuck.”

In three words, “Oh hell no.”

In one more word, “Dammit.”

I would dearly love to reference the articles that brought about this great slew of profanity but I succumbed to the greatest lie I tell myself, “I don’t need to save that…I’ll remember.”

Whatever.

Anyway.

The little hamster wheel in my brain has been running at lightening speed trying to find out what my missing link is and why the things I’m doing now are not producing the same results as they used to when here comes these articles about believing in my body.

About weight loss…the only things I truly believe are:

My body hates me.

I am destined to be fat for the rest of my life.

My thyroid is an asshole.

After over TWELVE YEARS of trying to make any sort of sense about my body and what I need to do to lose weight, I STILL do not know what the fuck I’m doing.

What choice has my body given me?

Here I sit on this now 22-week-old journey to accountability, on the 12+ year road to a healthy weight and I am trying to wrap my head around the dual truths of a 4.5 pound weight gain in SIXTEEN days and cultivating an appreciation for this message my body is trying to send me while stirring that around with these “true” beliefs.

I know the mind-body connection matters.  I know I don’t understand what’s happening to my body.

In the last two days alone, according to my BodyBugg, I have racked up a 1,760 calorie DEFICIT…in case you do not know you need a 3,500 calorie deficit to lose one pound.  By the numbers, I should have LOST one half pound.  The “truth” my body is telling me as represented by the scale is I’ve GAINED a pound and 2/10 pound of body fat in a matter of days.

Go on…live with that without swearing.  I dare you.

It isn’t just the scale.  My clothes fit differently.  I feel bigger.  I can almost see my body “growing” before my eyes.

And yet…

Before my encounter with the scale, I was really working on shifting my thoughts.  I am well-schooled in the power of the mind-body connection thanks to fibromyalgia.  I did good things.  Good things happened.  I can even say it was easy…once I wrapped my head around it.  When I started working on believing in my body after my fibromyalgia diagnosis, she responded rather quickly.  Surprisingly quickly.

I looked back and found a year ago I was more believing….partly because my body was responding quasi-normally to my efforts…but I did have a real sense of FINALLY figuring a few things out.  I even decided I was grateful the Extreme Weight Loss production team did not send my audition video to the next level.  Things had clicked.  I made some tweaks.  My body responded rather quickly.  I didn’t need Chris Powell’s help.  I remember feeling really proud about it too.

I went from 249 to 239.2 from May to October.  For me that’s super fast weight loss.  I was thrilled to finally be getting it right.

Then…

Whatever switch I turned on, turned off.

I’ve been doing good things for my body and I’m sitting here confused, swearing, and in tears.

The 16.3 pounds I have gained since 20 October doesn’t exactly inspires that sort of behavior, ya know.

I am trying to make sense of all this but when it comes to weight loss what other conclusion is there for me to draw than my body is just a bitch.

Only when I am feeling this….betrayed…

Yesterday, I was thinking, “C’mon girl you can do this.”

I do believe Dr. Northrup is right. Something IS still broken in my body.  She’s sending me loud, clear signals.  What I am experiencing is not normal.

Then I think back to the visit with the triple board certified endocrinologist last year who looked so clueless when I brought him my pages and pages of data and when he had me repeat my lifelong history for the third time because he wanted to make sure he wasn’t missing anything and how he lost his professional filter for a few moments and said, “No…no…no….this is not normal…How did so many doctors miss this,” He said, “I don’t know why but let’s run some more tests.”  All those tests came back “normal” so I soldiered on and took his advice to keep on, keepin’ on.

Today, the truth that has me swearing like a sailor, is I weigh more than I did at that appointment 12 months ago.

MORE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

So now what?

I.

Don’t.

Fucking.

Know.

I don’t even know where to turn for help either.

When a triple board certified, $250 a visit endocrinologist says “IDK, but I think you’re doing great.”  Then great stops working and you don’t know why and you’ve gained yet another pound you didn’t earn by indulging in bad habits….

Where do you go from there?

In all fairness to my body, I am retaining water as evidenced by my puffy ankles.  However, it has gone down, at least visually, from where it was last week.

Dear Body,
I do not want to weigh 255.5 pounds.  I’m doing the best I can to do right by you and I just don’t understand why you’re not cooperating with me.  Can we talk it out and be friends?
Love, Me