I know, right? It was too good to not share! Thanks Mother & Baby Magazine (Australia)!
One of the good things about having hypothyroidism and crashed adrenals as a result of autoimmune disorder is I have learned the importance of rest. Before now, rest meant nothing to me. Naps were for toddlers, the elderly and losers. I would push myself to the absolute limit and beyond, and quip that “I’ll rest when I’m dead!”. Busy-ness was my badge of honor. I prided myself on how little sleep I needed, how fast, strong, smart and capable I was. Regardless the circumstances, I would always manage to land on my feet.
This time, life had it in for me. I landed on my back, in bed, unable to get up. For two months with limited mobility, I lay there, crying, anxious, berating myself for my inability to be (what I considered ) “normal”. Why didn’t I feel well? Why as I so weak? Why was I so useless? The rent was paid and there was food in the cupboards, but I chose instead to focus on the sink filled with dishes and the piles of laundry on the floor. My children were both well cared for despite my illness, and in turn were very loving and forgiving toward me when I could not get up and cook their favorite meals, or go outside like they wanted me to, but I chose to be unforgiving toward myself. It took four agonizing months for me to realize all I needed to do to heal myself was to let it all go and rest.
Old English, from Latin sabbatum, via Greek from Hebrew šabbāṯ, from šāḇaṯ ‘to rest.’
Everyone’s read the humble-brag facebook posts about how busy everyone is and how many hours of work they’ve put in and how little they’ve slept and how much coffee they’ve drank and just how successful they feel they are going to be.
We are told that rest is for the weak; sleep is for the lazy. We are taught to keep late nights and force early mornings, encouraged to endure long work days fueled by carbohydrates and caffeine, in the promise that success as defined by the masses will be waiting for us.
As a result, we often neglect our health, relationships, families, and live at such a pace that by the time we have amassed the wealth and lifestyles we have spent our entire lives chasing, we lack the vitality to enjoy it. Being ill this time around really was an eye opener for me. I could no longer live a life fueled by unhealthy stress. I would no longer drive the struggle bus. For all my hard work, I was no longer strong. I could feel myself losing muscle tone. Even though I slept 12 hours everyday, I would wake up exhausted and weak. Everything had to change.
The thing about illness and dis-ease is that it is most usually cured by rest.
I hired a Life Coach, because I knew I could no longer afford to struggle alone. After consulting with my doctors and joining a few support groups, I changed my diet- no more caffeine, no more gluten. Most importantly, I changed the course of my life, the direction of my thoughts, desires and outcomes. In time, I learned to let go of the ideas of things like “fear”, “struggle” and “failure”, and began to trust that the universe was, at all times, collaborating with me to create the reality I believe I will have. Finally realizing that I have the permission of the universe to succeed, I decided to rest. I released my worries and fears and decided that I was going to believe that I was taken care of. Slowly, I began to see a change in my physical and mental health.
Today, I am a much more relaxed, happier version of myself. My confidence is growing and I am able to get out and exercise- not a whole lot, but enough to keep me moving and pain free. I pay attention to my nutrition, and listen to my body. I take naps, happily! I make sure to get enough sleep- 12 hours a night most nights, but never fewer than five hours. I respect my body and its limits, and understand that quality sleep is an important part of self-love and self-care.
I have let go of fear. Today, Love is my source. I try my best to be aware of when I am making decisions out of fear, and choose instead to make decisions out of gratitude and love. The sum total of these actions help me to remain in a calm, joyful, worry-free, drama-free state where “rest” is my main goal. I still have a ways to go to get back to baseline where my physical health is concerned, but for now, I am grateful for the lessons learned.
One of my favorite things to eat for breakfast, snack and dinner- dhal. It’s yellow (or green) split peas.
Natasha, one of my long-time school friends, blogged the recipe here. It’s delicious, gluten-free, dairy free and very nutritious and filling- an excellent source of protein, iron, fiber, antioxidants and vitamin E; say goodbye to brain fog! Plus it’s pretty cheap and easy to make!
You can eat it by itself like a soup, with gluten-free naan/puri or even with green veggies (I like to eat it with sauteed kale. Because what *doesn’t* go with kale?) Try it- you’ll love it! ❤
Photo credit: Natasha Fredrickson
Dhal, a staple in Trinidadian cooking. We make this dish alongside curries or to be eaten alone like a soup or with roti *flat bread*. It’s healthy, flavorful and filling.
So funny story, when I was a teenager I was a bit rebellious *What? Really?! No way!*… I know, hard to believe right!? Anyway, my mom was forcing me to learn how to cook and I wanted no part of it, so I was throwing a hissy fit about cooking dhal and deliberately doing it wrong so she would just get mad at me and shoo me away. Well….she didn’t and I got a pot spoon thrown at me and she made me count each grain of dhal *split peas* in the package! Ever since then I’ve hated dhal and refused to make it! *Yeah! I’ll show her!!*
Years later, I’m pregnant and craving dhal and I didn’t know how…
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I recently found out I have been experiencing adrenal fatigue and have Hashimoto’s and honestly, it’s a relief to finally know what’s been happening to my body for the past three years. Over this time, I’ve been struggling with hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism, not knowing for sure what was happening, only knowing something wasn’t right.
Right now I’m hypo, which means my body is pretty bloated, most days it’s difficult to get out of bed, I’m experiencing extreme fatigue and joint and muscle pain, not to mention a dense brain fog. What I have learned is that everything is very manageable if I eat right and treat my body and my mind with care.
That starts with what I eat.
Before my diagnosis, I realized I had what appeared to be a gluten allergy. I love carbs and starch-filled foods- pizza, pasta, potatoes, bread, rice, pastries- omg…nom nom nom! I can eat, and have eaten, an entire large pizza by myself in one sitting. It’s what I do! The thing about my “allergy” is, if I do that now, I feel like I’m dying- literally, I’m dying. I can’t breathe, my stomach is on fire, I bloat, my bowels feel like they’re going to erupt (and sometimes they do, and it can last for hours), my legs and fingers swell, my face is swollen, my hips are in pain…it is not pretty. It took months of going through this for me to notice what I was doing to my own body and acknowledge the misery I was putting myself through by way of my poor eating habits. Once I realized I could change, I did. I’m glad I did. It turns out that I have autoimmune antibodies which attack my thyroid glands. When I eat foods containing gluten, my immune system goes into war mode and attacks my body.
Now I eat mostly gluten-free, and I feel worlds better. I still sneak in a few potato chips and a mouth full of pasta here and there, but I know my limits. Veggies and lean proteins are my go-to’s for every meal. I use dairy porducts very sparingly. I drink Shakeology daily and when I don’t, I make sure to take my supplements.
It’s going to be different this time around losing the excess weight. I’m 40lbs heavier than I was six months ago, and I’m determined to lose it and get my body back into functioning shape. My muscle tone is much weaker than it has ever been, and I am fatigued much more easily now, but I will not let that stop me. Even if it means just walking, I will purpose myself to walk.
I will walk every day until I can run.
As I’ve mentioned, I also must be careful of my thoughts. It’s very easy when I’m tired and in pain to give up on life in general. For about three months when I was at my worst I absolutely gave up on the idea of getting better. My thoughts toward myself were thoughts of pity and anger. I hated my body- I hated the way I looked, I hated how I felt, I hated that I’d worked so hard in the past and now it felt like everything I’d struggled to build was crashing in around me. I binged, refused to exercise, and I would criticize myself for looking and feeling like crap. In short, I bullied myself mercilessly over something I did not understand. When it comes to Hashimoto’s, self-care and self-love are not optional.
If I want to be healthy, I must be kind, loving and gentle with myself. I must speak loving words to myself about myself. I cannot hate myself for being overweight- my body is experiencing something that, if it could, it would change. I cannot be mean to myself when I’m tired or in pain. I will not use my fatigue or joint and muscle pain as an excuse to be lazy either. When I’m tired, I will admit it. When I can exercise, I will. I will not push myself so hard that I will break. I will feed myself with good foods. I will love my body, even if it is 40 lbs over.
More than that, I have added to my daily mantras-
I have a healthy thyroid
I have a beautiful body
I have good energy and I am full of energy
I am 152 lbs*
I love my body; my spouse loves my body
I am healthy, fit, sexy and whole
I am happy and healthy and confident
I truly believe that health and fitness includes our state of mental health and awareness. I am a more than just a body; I am a soul inhabiting a body. That there needs to be repair done in my temple is a good thing. I will repair it, and live a happy, long, successful life because I did.
Who’s ready to make miracles?
I will post pictures and recipes and menus. For anyone out there who is also dealing with this, please reach out! We can do this together. 🙂 ❤
*152lbs is my goal weight. I am currently 198lbs.
If you’d like to join in on my weight loss journey, get nutrition tips and recipes, or learn more about Shakeology, find me at my BeachBody Coach page. If you’re on Beachbody, add me as a buddy- Thundercat79. I’d be happy to workout or chat with you!
Ohmygosh it all looks soooooooo goooooood!
I’m sharing this with you all from the Team Beachbody Blog- 30 Healthy Chicken Recipes. These are very simple, quick to prepare recipes that are as healthy and nutritious as they are delicious!
Yum yum…April sure is looking good- 30 ways to eat chicken in thirty days- sounds like a challenge to me! Find all thirty recipes here. You can pin them for later and add them to your fabulous repertoire. I know I will!
Do you have any favorite chicken recipes you’d like to add to this dirty thirty? Share them in the comments and I’ll feature them on my Beachbody Coaching blog!
Healthy, Easy, Delicious- hooray! I have definitely got to get myself a spiralizer. Do you have one? Try this out!
I’ve been trying to eat a little healthier, and lose a little weight, shooting for 25 lbs. So far I’ve lost 15lbs *yay me* but now the weight loss has slowed… or maybe it was that burger and animal fries and milkshake that I had at In n Out 😀 *shhhhh*
My friend and I are trying to cut out carbs, flour and rice, which makes meals a little difficult, since I am a bread fiend *sigh*. But I pulled out my trusty spiralizer and I was determined to make something healthy and delicious. I came up with Roasted lemon, garlic and herb chicken and a mushroom and veggie noodle stir fry.
It’s so much easier to eat veggies when they’re so bright and colorful and it feels like you’re eating pasta 😀 *and who doesn’t love guilt free veggie ‘pasta’*
What are you having for lunch today?
I don’t have celiac disease but gluten-sensitivity is real.
For the past few months I’ve been dealing with hypothroidism and gluten sensitivity which has literally forced me to pay attention to the food I’ve been eating and switch to a high protein, gluten-free diet.
For anyone who is rolling their eyes, I’m telling you this gluten sensitivity thing is real. No one naturally gains five or more pounds overnight. The bloating, joint pain, swollen face and legs, muscle aches, and aggravated respiratory distress is not imaginary. I’d like to be able to breathe when I eat! While I don’t carry the genetic marker for celiac disease, the stress on my body when I eat certain foods is very real. What causes it is a mystery to many- I grew up eating a carb-heavy diet- rice, bread, pasta, flour tortillas are among my favorite foods- but I’ve never experienced anything like I have in the past seven months.
Since eliminating wheat products from my diet, I’ve seen a turnaround. I am breathing easier and rely on steroids less frequently on a daily basis; my body feels lighter even without having lost the extra weight. Drinking green smoothies and including anti-inflammatory aids such as pineapple, ginger, turmeric and carrots has reduced my daily need for NSAID pain relievers. I feel stronger. My mind is clearer. Most recently, I added Shakeology (a Beachbody product) to my diet as well, and haven’t had to consume the seven-plus vitamin and mineral supplements I had been taking (each of which cost over $15.00 per bottle) to maintain my health for the day.
All things considered, I feel great! Now to lose these pounds and snap my body back into shape!
If you want to join me on this journey, you can check out my progress on the beachbody website- http://beachbodycoach.com/thundercat79.
Workout buddies of all fitness levels are most welcome- we’re all champions here!
Interested in Shakeology (what is it made of? what does it taste like? where can I get some?)? Leave me a note in the comment section-let’s chat! ❤
(Photos used do not belong to the author)