The Real Me

March 13, 2015 / Featured Posts / Source: Health & Fitness

Selfie - 3/13/15My story…sometimes I don’t even know where to begin!!!  If you had any idea of how I began you would be shocked to learn that I am now an ACE Certified Group Fitness Instructor, P90X Certified Trainer, and certified in both TurboKick and PiYo!  So, let me begin with a little history.  I was shy and insecure as a youth and struggled with my eating and my weight.  I was never obese, but I honestly didn’t know how to eat properly…or how to control my eating…and I constantly struggled with my weight and feeling fat.  With my family history, I worried that I would become really large and frankly was obsessed about it.  I had wide hips just like many of my family members and I always felt that it made me look even bigger.  So, needless to say, I was VERY insecure about all of that.

Well, after I graduated high school I decided to attend Beauty School (Cosmetology) and during that time I tried to cut back on my sweets and start exercising more.  I ran track in high school…and was actually pretty fast at sprints, but I never worked out hard enough to build up my cardio endurance for longer races.  So, now that I had more time I decided to try and start running and biking…and even worked myself up to biking 30 miles on some days…AND I enjoyed it!  So, even though I wasn’t eating like an athlete I was losing weight and I was starting to feel more comfortable being in my own skin.

Next came college, after Beauty School and working in a hair salon for a year I decided that doing hair really wasn’t what I wanted to do.  So, I went off to college.  Well, I continued with my running and some biking…and for a while I was doing okay with my eating until my roommate started making fun of me for eating like a bird.  Then, I felt self-conscious and started eating more because I didn’t want to be made fun of…but, you guessed it, I put on a little weight and no longer felt as confident in how I felt.  So, my college years were kind of an up-and-down cycle for me.  I went home during the summer and took off the weight again, but then came back and due to more peer pressure I ended up putting some weight back on.  However, one positive note is that I was on a more positive road with my exercising…just needed to get my eating under control.

Okay, so after college graduation…and being in a very unhealthy relationship, I ended up putting on more weight because my consistent workouts had stopped and I still wasn’t on a healthy eating plan.  Plus, I often felt tired and lethargic…which I now wonder if I had suffered from hypothyroidism long before my thyroid cancer was discovered.  Well, after my unhealthy relationship ended in 1994-95 I started to get back into running and eating healthier…and really felt like I was taking control of my life again.

So, the next stage of my life involves getting married to my awesome husband, Greg.  We both loved being active and we agreed that we would always stay active together…which is the best kind of relationship to be in.  At this point, I was eating largely organic and pretty healthy, but I stilled loved my food and didn’t have everything totally under control…but I often would up my workouts when I was eating more foods.  Well, about a year before I was diagnosed with Thyroid cancer I read a book that really helped me to understand my desire to want to eat foods…and it helped me to get that all under control.  Then, that dreaded word came, “cancer.”

My world totally changed after having my thyroid removed…because your thyroid controls SO much (more than I realized at the time).  At first they had to keep my thyroid levels very suppressed so my body was in a state of “hyper” thyroidism.  I put hyper is quotes because when you don’t have a thyroid you cannot technically be hyperthyroid.  Anyway, other than being out-of-whack with my hormones I was doing okay for a while, but then they had to start lowering my dosage and my body started to slow down and even though they were testing my TSH levels and telling me they were within normal limits I was still having hypothyroid symptoms.  Greg even went with me to the Endocrinologist to explain that my body was slowing down and that I could barely eat anything or I would put on weight…and I was exercising all the time because I struggled to keep weight off.  Unfortunately, it even got so bad that I started to have numbness and tingling in my hands and feet…and then it started to spread throughout my body.  At the time I didn’t know it was due to my thyroid levels…and that wasn’t determined for a few months after I started to have symptoms, but here is where everything started to change for me…

In March of 2012, I decided to participate in a Beachbody Challenge and drink Shakeology®.  My first workout was Brazil Butt Lift followed by P90X.  Well, within the first month I lost 6 or 7 pounds and I had SO much energy despite later finding out that I was very hypothyroid!!!  Oh, and I was only doing the scheduled workouts and not trying to get extra steps, etc.  Prior to the challenge I was riding the recumbent bike for 45 minutes/ day, doing another workout like Jillian Michael’s, and making sure I got 10,000 steps/day…so I was wasting my day away with working out!  So, needless to say, not only did I love how Shakeology made me feel, but I loved that I got my life back…and so did Greg and the boys!

Lastly, I just have to say that if you struggle with hypothyroidism it is important to be your own advocate.  When I was having the nerve symptoms no one even thought to check my thyroid levels, but once they discovered that I was hypothyroid and put me on a better dosage my numbness and tingling went away.  I still have some residual peripheral neuropathy in my feet, but that seems to be improving since they are working to get all of my thyroid levels within the optimal zone.  So, if you are suffering from hypothyroid symptoms but you do not feel you are receiving the proper care, I encourage you to find someone who will give you the care that you need.  If I can save anyone from experiencing what I experienced several years ago then I am thankful.  I honestly could go on and on about thyroid issues, but I’ll leave that for another day.  However, please feel free to contact me if you want to know more…or are struggling with something similar.