Fitness

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.

 

14 responses

  1. Nicki,

    It’s amazing how very different each human body is, even in siblings. My brother could eat a raw onion like an apple, while raw onions are so toxic to me it’s like eating fire ant juice. Yet I can and do eat big bowls of French onion soup — when it’s cooked down enough.

    My mom would maw down on shrimp until she was about to explode, but shrimp makes me pray for death for about 16 hours of intestinal hell on earth.

    I love fish. But my sister avoids it like the plague and says it causes her problems I’ve never once experienced.

    We each have to figure out the needs of our own bodies. Some things are universally true, I think, for most or all bodies. Don’t drink Liquid Drano, for example. But some things are very personal and require honest pursuit of understanding like you clearly do.

    I need you around for 60 more years so we can be fellow liberty-advocating smart asses. So selfishly, I want you to be as healthy as possible. I want you to heal, be full of vitality and most importantly ultra happy.

    But my love has nothing to do with your physical body. It has to do with your mind, passions, heart, integrity, wisdom and so-called (and wonderful) insanity.🙂

    Just keep being you. Me loves you.

    Like

    1. It is pretty amazing how different each person is! That’s why I get concerned when I see people “try” various things based on what their friends are doing.

      There are things that are absolutely universally needed. Proteins. Fiber. Fresh air. Physical activity. But what you eat and how much of it you eat, as well as what foods you avoid, really depends on your body type. That’s why I think it’s absolutely critical for someone who is trying to lose weight to see a doctor, make sure that their blood work is normal and their hormones are not out of whack. THEN develop your eating habits.

      I can’t tell you how many people I know who try every fad diet out there because of something they saw on TV or something that has worked for their friends. We’re so accustomed to junk food and TV, that being healthy seems like a lot of work. It’s a lifestyle change, and it’s not easy, but it’s important.

      I want you around for a long time too, brother. So you’d better take care of yourself as well. You’ve been there for me for years and years. You published my first attempt at writing. You gave support and love when it was vitally needed.

      Loves ya too! Lots!

      Like

    2. One of the hardest things to overcome is our evolutionary hard wiring to seek salt and rich foods like sugar and fats. Our species has about 180,000 years of those three essentials being in short supply so the evolutionary impetus to load up on them when available is still there. The fly in the ointment is we now have scads of foods filled with way more of those essentials than we need.

      Like

  2. Just a few changes can make a difference. Since my stroke last July, I knew I had to do something to get healthier, but lacked the energy to really do anything significant. By May I was finally feeling well enough to get serious. June 1st I started exercising every morning. I also do oil pulling, and using coconut oil, honey and cinnamon on a daily basis and that has helped alot. Drinking alot of green tea is what my neurologist suggested also. I feel sooo much better. I have alot more energy and my daily headaches have just about stopped completely. My left eye that was damaged by the stroke (paralyzed) has completely healed, but that took place back last fall when I first started doing the oil pulling. My doctors all said that more than likely my eye would never be normal again. 6 months later and it and my vision were back to what they were before the stroke. There are so many holistic and natural options to allowing our bodies to heal themselves without all the drugs the doctors and Big Pharma push on us. I intend to do all I can to not be dependent on drugs any more than I have to be. I’m not saying that all drugs are bad, and I know you have a good reason to have to take them, but there are certainly alot of ailments that can be treated naturally that work just as well, and alot better for us in long run. As for the diet…M has decided we’re jumping on the low carb bandwagon. Not sure I’m looking forward to it. I do love my cornbread and biscuits. Not to mention a sweet tooth the size of Texas. lol

    Like

    1. Natural remedies are just fine, but they’re NOT a substitute for medicine when it’s needed. Many folks I know absolutely refuse to take medications, choosing instead to suffer for weeks or months, by drinking some natural crap or other. Natural is smart, but science has its place, and has saved us a lot of pain, as well as extended our lives. It’s smart to know when to take them.

      I’m not one to condemn doctors for doing their jobs or pharmaceutical companies for researching ways to cure deadly diseases. I refuse to vilify “Big Pharma.” Drugs developed by dedicated doctors, who have spent decades studying and working, have saved countless lives.

      Like

  3. All points spot on. The only additions I would make are drink plenty of water and many find several smaller meals throughout the day help keep the metabolism going.

    And there are a myriad of reasons why weight training is good for weight loss. I personally find it much more effective than long runs or other non-anaerobic cardio sessions.

    Like

    1. Patrick, absolutely!

      I’m guilty of not drinking enough myself, so Rob is really pushing me on that front.

      And that’s why I do weights, and not just cardio alone. The more lean muscle mass you have, the more efficiently you burn fat.

      And by the way, I invite everyone to post their own experiences. It does help!

      Like

  4. Yenta of Sipsey Street.

    Nikki:

    I realized in Oct12 that I was getting sloppy and made the decision to lie to myself no longer. Borrowed a TREK mountain bike from a friend and rode it thru the winter. Decided to buy a Hybrid bike this spring. Bought a TREK 7.2
    and have put 185 miles on it in 6 weeks. It is making a difference. I understand about the time constraints, but you will never have enough time if you work full-time as you and I do. I also travel 2 weeks out of the month.

    ANY exercise is better than none. Period. I could run 5 miles in 1967 as an E-5 in ROK. 21 years old and 198 #. I’m now 67 and 264#. Gonna fix the problem in case SHTF. Spoke with my DR’s PA and she said she couldn’t ride a bike if her life depended on it. Told her mine does!

    ANY exercise is better than none and it will help you regardless. We may all be pedestrian pretty soon.

    Yenta

    Like

    1. Absolutely agreed. I got so busy running the kids around after work and working two jobs, I kept making excuses about not having time. No more. I’m taking care of myself!

      Glad you are as well!

      Like

    2. If you cycle in a hilly area, learn the proper technique for hill climbs. I used to cover a fair amount of mileage (110 miles a week, roughly) cycling in my 20’s, but now both knees are fragile as a result. Anterior cruciate ligament damage caused by muscling my way uphill in a high gear, when I should have been working my heart and lungs harder and using a lower gear that was easier on my joints.

      You live and learn I suppose and they’ve healed pretty well, but those joints will never be quite the same again and still play up if I make too many twisting motions with them.

      Don’t let me put you off cycling (especially as it’s one more bug-out option), but do take care of your knees!

      ~R~

      Like

  5. Granny Grunch

    My dear…you must try North Dakota canned weasel…thats that “other yellow meat”…and its good and good for you….sort of……

    Like

    1. Canned weasel? Seriously? I may have just lost my appetite… for a decade!

      Like

  6. Cycling and weight lifting are great, but if you want to get some walking, and a little running in, try two dogs. First one, 2 years ago. Last one, 3 months ago. Minimum of 5 miles a day for ‘business purposes’. Then more miles at the dog park (daily)…..rain or shine. Down 40 lbs. Just had my yearly physical … doc is happy.

    Like

    1. My dog weighs 175 lbs. he’s not a very good PT partner. Pretty sedentary.

      Like

%d bloggers like this: