My Thyroid Journey: Losing Weight and Getting Fit
After my diagnosis of hypothyroidism I had to get my medication adjusted to the proper dosage before I could concentrate on and get serious about losing some weight and getting fit. Having always been a fitness nut, the symptoms of this condition (before treated) left me tired and with no desire to even get up off of the couch most days. Once I was put on Synthroid and my dosage was adjusted properly, I began to get some of my former energy back...I was ready to tackle getting fit, which included losing 20 pounds!
Losing weight for anyone is not an easy task. OK...I'll take that back. Men do tend to lose weight much easier and more quickly than women. That is just an observation of mine and yes, it stinks but since there is nothing that can be done about that fact, we women must just get up and get going to do what works best for us. With hypothyroidism, I find that diet, exercise and discipline all go hand in hand. The first thing I did to help achieve my goals was to get back into a fitness routine that worked for me.
When looking for a good fitness routine, it is very important to find something that you actually enjoy doing. I knew that daily cardio was necessary not only to help me lose those extra pounds but also for my general, overall health, so I decided to ride the stationary bike for 30 minutes a day, 5-6 days a week. After riding the bike, I began attending yoga classes again 4-5 days a week. I had always loved yoga but before I was on medication for my hypothyroidism I didn't feel well enough to go any more. One of the things that it affected was my balance, and for me this was a very frustrating aspect of the condition. Once on my medication, this symptom went away and I was able to go back to yoga classes. Now, for those of you who think yoga is easy, let me assure you that it is a very good work-out. As I became physically stronger and my body once again became accustomed to working out, I also added a weekly Pilates class. With all of this activity under my belt, it was time to start on the diet part of this regiment.
Even though I was working out diligently and eating fairly well, I found that I was not losing any weight. I needed to commit to this diet thing. And so, the week before Christmas I decided to go on a sugar detox. My husband asked, "What kind of person does that to themselves at Christmastime?!" Well, it would be a test of my willpower, for sure. But I was ready to jump to the next level and what better time to do that than the present? For many reasons, I think that overindulgence in sugar can be toxic to our bodies and very addictive as well. Now, let me interject here that I do not push my beliefs regarding this on others, including my own family members. I am merely stating what I believe, my experiences and what has worked for me. The best way for me to get the sugar out of my body would be to do what I like to call a "Sugar Detox". To do this, I chose the "South Beach Diet" as my guide...
This little book is a wonderful guide that explains the glycemic index and how fluctuations in sugar levels effect one's body. I needed to get off of the sugar roller coaster for many reasons, personally. Getting down to my proper weight and BMI, I felt would do several things for me:
1. Help to stabilize my hormone levels
2. Keep muscle pain and head aches away
3. Give me more energy
Now, giving up sugar takes a real effort; there is sugar in so many products! The first thing one needs to do when getting sugar out of their system is to eliminate all processed foods. I began to eat fresh produce and lean cuts of meats. I only eat fish, turkey and chicken, but you can also have other lean cuts of meat too. For the first two week, all fruit must be eliminated as well. Although fruit has natural sugars in them, it is important to detox from ALL sugars at first and then add the good carbs back into your diet SLOWLY. During this two week detox period, you might have some withdrawal symptoms since sugar is a very addictive substance. Having some headaches and shakiness are not uncommon, but should pass within a few days; THEN, you begin to feel better and have more energy.
Well, I survived the first two weeks, including Christmas! And once I began to feel the effects of a sugarless body, I was addicted to something new... staying off of sugar! It has been about a month and I am half way to my weight loss goal, having dropped a little over 10 pounds. I feel more energetic and am able to work out more intensely and the amazing thing is that I am not having all of the muscle soreness that I once had. YES, I had some withdrawal symptoms for about the first three days, but instead of reaching for a piece of candy like I once would have done, I reached for a handful of nuts or cheese and guess what...it worked! It stabilized my symptoms.
I am not saying that eliminating sugar from one's diet is an easy task, in fact it can be difficult at first. However, if you are serious about not only dropping weight, but more importantly getting healthy from the inside out then give this a try. Make it a life style change for the better!