“I see my body as another person that I’ve put in the corner and have thrown all this stuff at.”
My friend Kate captured the perfect picture of what I’ve been feeling for weeks. Except I wasn’t just throwing things. I was declaring war on my body, a single woman army with her battering ram, breaking down the wall of defense I had built up against foods that harmed me. I catapulted breaded goods, cookies, egg soufflés loaded with cheese and processed bread at myself without hesitation. I haven’t been very kind to my body lately, especially my thyroid and have seen the delayed repercussions of my choices over the holidays. The amount of gluten, dairy, and sugar I armed myself with was slowly breaking my body down. My defense stance grew tired and weak. Even though I knew it was harmful to me, I allowed myself to go into the season with the mindset of “Oh well, I already had some gluten yesterday, what’s one more meal.” One more meal turned into several weeks. As a result I nave noticed that some of my Hashimoto’s symptoms have reared their ugly heads.
I allowed my “Oh well” attitude to drive my mindset and actions over the holiday season. An “Oh well” attitude can be a dangerous trap, causing you to spiral farther into that corner, tearing you down, making you incapable of standing back up. An “Oh well” attitude makes room for you to let damage take the lead. I let that attitude in and the damage to begin. I lost sight of my potential and strength. I grew angry and frustrated with myself that all the hard work I had invested in myself over the past few months could potentially go down the drain. Not only was I throwing harmful foods at myself, but I had started to throw harmful words and thoughts at myself as well. I started to regress back, all because “oh well” was tearing me down.
Our bodies are capable of so much more than we give it credit, but when we attack ourselves, we can only hold out for so long. Your grasp of control slowly gets lost and you end up flat on your face wondering how you got there. I fell, but I didn’t want to stay there. Living medication free for the past 8 months after being confined to it for 13 years has given me the opportunity to listen to my body and discover when something is wrong. We so easily shrug off a headache or toothache or fatigue, finding excuses for why we feel the way we do, when we should be listening to what they have to say. Living medication free has forced me to listen to my gut (literally and figuratively) and choose to adjust my lifestyle to ease my symptoms when something is wrong. So when I chose to allow damage back in, I also had to be willing to listen to how my body was reacting.
- Brain fog–It’s real, friends. And when your thyroid hormones aren’t in balance, it can be noticed and frustrating.
- Cold intolerance–I used to never be cold. I’d be the one sleeping in shorts and a sports bra and still be hot…in winter. Lately, I’ve been in long pants and a heated blanket, still cold. These past few weeks, I have noticed my cold intolerance more and more. It isn’t pleasant.
- Muscle weakness–I like intense workouts, but sometimes muscle weakness makes recovery hard. Muscle weakness, although one of my subtler symptoms has still been noticed.
- Weight gain–when I know I put food into my body that attacks my thyroid, this is inevitable.
- Fatigue–fatigue tends to hit me like a wall. I haven’t wanted to take naps in over 5 months, these past few weeks, I’ll I’ve wanted to do is sleep.
- Depression –when you try and live a life with a healthy mindset, depression can be the worst adversary. It makes you question your worth, your accomplishments, your potential. With hormonal imbalances in my system, the depression tries to take control.
I could choose to continue down the path of feeling miserable or I could choose to balance my life again. Because for me, nutrition matters. Nutrition is what makes me thrive. So instead of taking hold of those things that harm my body and continuing to pelt myself with negative factors, I cut them all out. I reminded myself of why I am choosing to navigate life medication free and with a lifestyle change.
The 1st of this year started my immunity reboot that I did in July in order to give my system a jump start. Within a week, I can already feel my fatigue and muscle weakness fading and my energy levels rising. My weight is already lower than it was prior to the holidays, and my mood is beginning to elevate. Getting balanced reminded me of how important it is to do the things in life that make you thrive. Sometimes when we take a step back, we forget how great moving forward can actually be. I lost sight of that for a moment. I forgot how great I could feel when I actually took care of myself.
Getting balanced is more than just figuring out my proper nutrition. Getting balanced is being aware of the damage I was causing myself, whether that is physical or emotional. Balance is essential to living a fit, healthy, and happy life. Balance is what will help me thrive.
You can only keep your arms up in defense, blocking the damage for so long, but eventually you become that shadow cowering in the corner of the room as you continue to pelt yourself with things that harm you. Instead choose to balance. Choose to move forward. Choose to surround yourself with the people and situations that make your day better, make you better. Choose what helps you thrive.