I will admit it’s been tough for me to maintain a healthy weight. This isn’t a recent phenomenon, but rather something that has been ongoing since my thyroid issues were discovered a few years back.
I’m not one of those folks who blames her thyroid for being clinically obese. My thyroid has been growing a bunch of nodules on it for several years – some of them several centimeters big – and that has actually been making my thyroid hyperactive, not slow (which is what causes most folks to gain weight). For years, I have taken medication to slow my thyroid down, so I think my body has been accustomed at operating at a certain level of thyroid function.
And then, I got radioactive iodine (I-131) treatment in December. I decided to go that route after 10 years of taking medication to slow my thyroid down. The nodules kept growing, and I had to take more and more drugs to keep my thyroid operating at the correct level.
I didn’t have all the weird side effects reported by others post I-131 treatment. I had headaches for a couple of weeks, but other than that, things have been fine. No problems. No nausea. No weirdness. Nothing. I consider myself lucky.
I’ve also taken definitive steps to improve my health. On the advice of my trainer, I have cut out glutens and most grains. Apparently glutens aren’t great for thyroid patients, and grains are just carb heavy crap that does nothing but mess with my blood sugar and give me migraines. I have tested this theory several times, and I invariably get migraines every time I consume wheat products. I will eat grains on occasion – mostly brown rice or rye – but generally, I stay away. I also stay away from processed sugars and most nuts. I’m mildly allergic to walnuts and pecans, and processed sugar actually makes my tongue break out in painful sores.
I primarily eat proteins, vegetables and fruits. Mostly beef, but sometimes fish and pork. I HATE chicken. I don’t like the consistency, and I find it to be bland and yucky.
I will admit to being addicted to salt. I love, love, love salt! I can’t seem to get enough of it! The good news is that my sodium levels are pretty low, so I can indulge that vice with little consequence.
I took a break from the gym for several months, mostly because I’ve been too busy to get there, but I haven’t gained any weight, so I’m happy about that.
As a general rule, I do weights, and then at least 1/2 hour of treadmill. I don’t run. I have three screws in my right knee from my Army days, and the knee is beginning to bother me when I run long distances. I choose to do a very brisk incline walk – generally between 11 and 13 percent incline with a speed of at least 3.6 miles per hour. It burns a ton of calories – generally 1000 or more if I do it for an entire hour. And there’s no stress on the knees at all. I consider it a WIN!
I’m hardly someone who is a fitness expert, and I do understand that fitness is individual. Each person’s body is different, and you must do what works best for your body type.
The key is to be smart about your fitness.
Yes, calories make a difference, but that doesn’t mean you starve yourself. Calories are the fuel for your body. They are what is converted to energy that keeps your body going. If you don’t get enough, your body goes into starvation mode, thinking there’s not enough food around, and will slow your metabolism to conserve fat to keep you alive. You will not lose weight by starving yourself. You will slow your progress. I’ve been there, and done that. Trust me.
The key is to eat smart, and to keep your metabolism burning fat, calories and carbs. The key is to get enough rest and not stress. I noticed the more I allow myself to stress out, the more difficult it is to lose weight, so I’ve made a conscious decision not to allow things to bother me. It’s done wonders, both for my physical well-being, and my general emotional health. I just refuse to let things bother me!
Life is what it is, and I will deal with it.
The key is to allow yourself an indulgence once in a while. I’m not saying binge once every two weeks on pizza and cake. I’m saying have that chocolate truffle or a York peppermint patty once in a great while. It’ll make you happy, and it won’t hurt your health to have something small every once in a while. The key is not to shovel an entire box of Godiva chocolates down your throat when you’re feeling like you’ve been depriving yourself of pleasure. The key is to make healthy a lifestyle, so a) you don’t feel like you’re deprived and b) your little indulgence doesn’t harm your health in the long-term.
You don’t have to go gluten or carb-free. That approach doesn’t work well for everyone. You don’t have to cut out grains. That may not help you either, depending on your body type.
Consult with an expert, and be honest with yourself about setting realistic goals. Dedicate yourself to your health – go to the gym, take that long walk, go swimming, whatever… just keep yourself active.
That’s the best advice I can give.