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** First, let me say that I am not a doctor. These are my opinions and what works for ME. Please consult your physician **
Hypothyroidism. This is such a difficult thing to write about. Not because it’s hard to (there’s so much to say on this topic), but because every person living with hypothyroid symptoms, specifically Hashimotos Thyroiditis, has different degrees of symptoms.
Hashimotos Thyroiditis is an autoimmune disease where your body attacks your own thyroid causing a underactive thyroid or hypothyroidism. It is the main cause of hypothyroidism and it affects mostly women.
I developed Hashimotos Thyroiditis after having my first child. I had no idea what was wrong with me. I suffered from hair loss, lactating after I had given up breast-feeding for months, severe weight gain, inability to lose weight, depression and FATIGUE. Goodness gracious was I tired!
I finally sensed that something wasn’t right so I went in to see my doctor and through blood tests it was confirmed that I was considered hypothyroid. I was relieved to hear that I wasn’t crazy! There was ACTUALLY something wrong with me! I was able to get on medication which started to help my symptoms greatly. Soon after I had my second child, I was very overweight. I never really was able to lose the weight from my first pregnancy and after having my second child, I was around 180 pounds on my 5’2 frame and felt terrible. I didn’t know how I was going to lose weight with being hypothyroid as it seemed impossible, but I knew that I needed too. It started as a slow process but eventually I found what was right for me.
Here are some Tips that helped me lose weight with Hypothyroidism:
1. Go to the Doctor
Find a good one. One that will take the time to listen to you. There are some doctors out there that really don’t take a person seriously when they “feel” a certain way but just can’t explain it. Even after doing blood work, you might still be considered in the “normal” range of numbers so you will not get prescribed any medication to help. Don’t give up. Keep searching for a doctor who cares to hear what you have to say and how you’re feeling. I’ve experienced both. You will not lose weight and more importantly, feel better until your body is working optimally.
2. Educate Yourself
I looked on online forums and found out that other people felt the same way I did too! I started to pick up any literature I could find about it and educate myself. These books here and here helped me TREMENDOUSLY.
3. Start Eating Healthy
I know you’re saying , “Emily, duh…” but you won’t get anywhere if your diet isn’t there. Trust me, I’ve probably tried almost every single diet out there (including the lemon juice, cayenne pepper and maple syrup diet…You can imagine how long that lasted. To this day, I still can’t eat true maple syrup on pancakes! HA!) but what really helped ME is a lower carbohydrate diet. My body responds very well to it. I eat around 6 smaller meals a day which is probably around 80% clean foods and 20% non clean foods. This means 80% is minimally processed and as close to nature as possible and the other 20% isn’t (I don’t go crazy though). I feel less sluggish and more alert. I also eat intuitively (meaning I only eat when I’m hungry and stop when I’m full). I don’t force myself to eat just because I “should”. I do like to meal prep which helps me stay on track.
I try to avoid starchy carbs and most dairy (except for gloriously delicious cheese and some lower carb yogurt) as well as soy and gluten as much as possible. That can be very difficult because it is in A LOT of things. Soy and Gluten are not very good for you if you do have hypothyroidism, specifically Hashimotos Thyroiditis.
Other than taking my thyroid medication daily, I also take a good multivitamin as well a little extra Vitamin B12 for energy and Vitamin D because of a deficiency. Do not try to take these the same time you take your thyroid medication though as they could interact and prevent absorption. I usually take mine in the afternoon.
There was a point where the only thing I had enough energy for was walking on the treadmill for a mile or taking my kids for a short walk. As I felt better, I started doing workout dvd’s in my living room. Soon after that, I started going to a gym and lifting heavy weights. Don’t be afraid to do this ladies! It will define your body in a way that you never thought it could!
At first I had no idea what I was doing. It can even be a little intimidating stepping into that part of the gym but this was reeeeeeaaaallllllyyyy helpful in looking up exercises and even playing the videos on my phone with my headphones on so I could learn what the particular movement was! Nobody knows that’s what you’re doing. Everybody just thinks you’re listening to music or playing around on your phone! Every person has to start somewhere in their fitness journey so don’t be nervous or embarrassed! It’s been about 4 or so years and I’m still learning new things all the time! I currently do cardio and weight training 5 times a week. I find that the combination of the two work the best for me.
6.Trial and Error
Unfortunately these things take time. I wish I could snap my fingers and my body and health would be where I want it to be but it doesn’t happen like that. I don’t really weigh myself much anymore but I went from 180 pounds to 130 pounds! I measure my progress by how I look and feel then by the scale now though. If I feel good and am happy, that’s all that matters! There’s been a lot of trial and error and up’s and down’s to find what worked for ME. Everyone’s body is unique, and you have to find what works for you!
Through proper medication, diet, exercise and supplementation, I was able to feel better and find what works for me to lose weight and feel great with hypothyroidism. Doctor’s have told me that I might not ever feel 100% better but I’m going to try to fight my hardest to! If your struggle is similar to mine, know that you’re not alone and to keep going! Have you lost weight with hypothyroidism? Are you struggling with symptoms?