Sick And Tired Of Feeling Sick And Tired

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Can I be honest with you? I’m feeling kind of sorry for myself. Yes, I admit it. I’m having a “why me” pity party today. Maybe I’ll feel better if I tell my story. It has been a long time coming…….

I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, also known as, autoimmune thyroid disease and chronic lymphocytic thyroiditis, decades ago….as a young teenager. The doctor put me on meds and told me I’d be taking them for the rest of my life, because my body was pretty much destroying my thyroid. (my paraphrase, but that was the gist) At fourteen, what did I know about the thyroid or what it did?  I can honestly say, not much. I was obedient and took my medicine every day, but was completely clueless about all the other symptoms I suffered from, and all the ways the thyroid hormone (or lack thereof) can effect a person.

Over the years, I suffered from heat intolerance (when I get too hot, I truly get physically sick), bouts of hypoglycemia, weight issues (even with proper diet and exercise), dry skin, dry eyes (I had to quit wearing contacts), bloating, body aches (especially my shoulders and neck), fatigue, food intolerances (that I discovered later in life because I was just so used to feeling lousy that it was my “normal”), low progesterone, gut issues, and gluten sensitivity.

There are much worse things in life than having an autoimmune disease, this is true…..but, having health issues that no one can actually see can sometimes be disheartening. Being the one that can’t eat this or that is hard when friends and family want to go out to a restaurant. I love the more laid back schedules of summer, but literally can’t deal with the heat and humidity, going to the pool does nothing for me. I live most of my days with not enough sleep, because I have stuff to do, so feeling tired is a common thing.

About five years ago, at age 41, I suddenly had cramps in my stomach so bad, that I can only describe it as similar to labor contractions. You ladies that have had children, you know what i mean. I was doubled over. My husband wanted to take me to the emergency room. I wouldn’t let him. I was miserable for a couple of days…..and stubborn…..and probably a bit stupid for not going. I figured out that it was milk that was doing me in. I had drank milk my whole life. I loved it, but got to a point where it no longer loved me. I quit drinking my beloved milk. A few months later I wasn’t thinking and had a custard dessert that didn’t have milk, but heavy cream. Bam. Back to being doubled over. Then came the ice cream. It didn’t cramp me up, but did give me stomach aches. Blast! I cried over the ice cream. Seriously, people. Dairy was no longer my friend, we had become arch enemies.

Time passed and about year ago, I said to God (and yes, I talk to Him about it), “I’m tired of feeling sick and tired”. I started researching, and feel that He led me to some really good information on Hashimoto’s, gluten sensitivity especially in Hashi’s patients, dairy and soy triggers that also effect Hashi’s patients, and various groups of women (and a few men) that are living this autoimmune life. I have probably learned more in the past year about autoimmunity than I did in all the other years combined. I wish I had realized all the pieces to this puzzle sooner, but am grateful that I finally decided to take control of my own health. As much as I have liked my doctors over the years, they couldn’t know everything. Honestly, it has only been in about the last fifteen years that more and more research has come out about the relationship between autoimmune diseases and the gut. If the gut ain’t happy, ain’t no one gonna be healthy. Bad grammar in that sentence, I know, but I’m keeping it real. (interesting article about Hashi’s and the immune system)

So, anyway…..I have tried Trim Healthy Mama this whole year. I lost thirty pounds and quit sugar because of their approach and think it is a great lifestyle. With that said, I still have the gluten sensitivity, and dairy/soy issues that I need to address so I am on my first day of the Autoimmune Paleo diet. The first thirty days are the hardest. It is very restrictive because it is an elimination diet. All the things that could possibly be triggers for someone with autoimmune disease are out! I’m basically eating meat, lots of veggies and fruit, certain herbs and spices, you get the gist. I’m doing this because my goal is to feel better.

It is hard. I’m not going to lie.

But, I’m so very tired of not feeling as well as I know I could.

Getting Real With The Girl In The Mirror

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I’m getting real…and it’s scary. I’m not “frightened” scared, more of a “can I do this?” kind of scared.

Stress over eating weighs heavy. That would be funny, if it wasn’t so serious. It’s an issue. From what I read, and hear, and see, weight and eating issues are killing many of us. Sure, there are health issues that accompany weight loss or gain (depending on what you are dealing with and both can be dangerous) but, I’m talking about these issues killing us–on the inside.

When I was in high school and college, I was slender. I look back at pictures from my past and see how skinny my arms were. Seriously. I didn’t struggle to zip my jeans, and everything was in it’s natural place (unlike now….did I mention I hate gravity more and more?).

But, even then, I would look at others that I went to school with, and I’d feel fat.

When I was in high school I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism. Now, that particular diagnosis won’t make one GAIN weight, but it sure does make it VERY DIFFICULT to lose once it’s there. Anyone who has this disease knows that her metabolism is slow. It has betrayed her. I know from personal experience that I’ve always had to do two to three times as much exercise as the average gal, to see the same results. In college I danced for hours on end, took an aerobics class, and did weight training.

As an adult I did circuit training five to six days a week and power walked 16-20 miles a week. I felt like I couldn’t quit. If I did, I’d gain the weight. Who can keep up with that kind of schedule for forever? Life happens. Babies are birthed. How does one fit in the needed exercise when everyone else NEEDS you and your time?

The weight came…and the older I get, the more difficult it is to lose. I look at myself in the mirror and wonder what happened?

Weight watchers and Nutri System, T-Tapp, and weighted hoola hoops, and walking with a friend in the early morning hours. And yet still, the image in the mirror is not what I long to see.

I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately.

And just so you know….for the most part, I have a healthy self-esteem. I know I am much more than the girl in the mirror. I get that. I really do. But, still……

As, I have been considering all this, something happened. I know it is a “God thing”. I was reading my Bloom book club site, and there was Lysa TerKeurst talking about her new book, Made to Crave. I read the excerpt. I listened to her video clip. It was if this woman was talking directly to me, and my ponderings about what I was going to do about my struggles with exercise and eating.

I ordered the book. I should get it by early next week. I am ready to begin looking at things differently…not my perspective, but God’s. Now, some of you might be thinking, “God, is too big to care about my weight issues.” That is not true. If it bothers you, than it concerns Him. I believe He wants me healthy. Am I willing to lay my burden of this roller coaster ride of health and weight at His feet.? Can I admit, that I cannot do this in my own power? I need Him? I cannot do it alone–I’ve tried, but it doesn’t last.

Listen to Lysa as she talks about her book. I’m sure she will inspire you, as she did, me.

Has anyone else read her book? What are some things you are doing to lose weight? Move more? Grow closer in your walk with the Lord?

Will you share?