My 15 Year Health and Thyroid Journey
My thyroid and hormonal struggle began in my early thirties.
I thought that as I was getting closer to 30, that I’d “get ahead of the game” and started doing tons of cardio and eating healthy. HA! My idea of eating healthy and exercising then, was what most women STILL do.
I was eating tuna fish sandwiches on “light” bread, with “light mayo” and drinking diet lemonade. I was doing 2 aerobic classes back to back, and on some days did another session of cardio on my step-mill that was in my living room. I counted calories in, and calories out.
That is exactly what started to sabotage my metabolism…my moods…and my hormones. Little did I know I was in for a long 20 year battle.
With all of that exercise, it was shocking to see that I started to gain weight. How could this be that I was not even 40, and this was happening when I was so on top of things?
I had worked in a salon for years and it seemed that most of the women in their 30’s were starting to see a shift in their bodies like I was. We all had a lot of questions and seemed to have a lot of the same problems that came with aging, trying to “do it all”, and our hormones.
I didn’t get any blood work done at that time because I was in my early 30’ss, and my doctor didn’t see it necessary. Even though my mother took medication for thyroid issues…neither of us knew what that meant back then. She just did what her doctor told her despite many odd symptoms that plagued her for years.
As time went on…I realized that something had to change. I own a gym now, and only coach women, so it’s amazing when I look back at what I was doing wrong.
Thankfully, I met a fit, lean, strong and energized woman one day that changed my life.
When I asked her how she looked so great “at her age”, she told me to start eating real food, and stop doing only cardio. Of course I thought she was crazy and that she just had “good genes.”
Then I decided to change the way I thought. I started to eat more real foods, and added in weight lifting.
That’s when I had my first a-ha moment!
As my body started changing rapidly and I started losing weight and developing firm curves…I had a new sense of control. Also…with less hours of exercise and more of the right foods, I was starting to feel better.
I tell the women that I coach, that you have to shift your old ways of thinking, and change your mind before you can see changes in your body, or your life.
I also coach them to know that what works for a week, might not keep on working…and you have to be aware of your body’s needs that are always shifting.
Then life went on into my 30’s…my weight fluctuated again wildly despite my super healthy efforts… and I got married… and then I got pregnant… and at 36 had my son. He was actually born at 32 weeks, premature. However, he did very well, and he is now 22 years old!
I tried to keep the weight off eating a lot of healthy foods, and lifting weights. However with even a few workouts a week, It took me so long to recover and was so taxing on my body, that I wondered if I was working out too hard. So, I took breaks, and days off..and still felt like one day there was a fog over me…and the next I was great.
You know when you KNOW something is wrong and no-one believes you? Ladies…you are right…listen to your instincts.
I WANTED to work out. I LIKED feeling my body move and sweat. Why was my body not co-operating again?
Even though I was petite and not overweight by most people’s standards…my body, and moods were changing. After a divorce, and vowing to take care of me and my child first, I decided to dive in 100% into living a strong and healthy life. Little did I know…
That’s when I was about to get knocked down with all of my efforts. Ending up with a back injury, chronic weak muscles and odd pains…and was tired even when I had a great night’s sleep.
Again I asked….What was going on with me!?
Hashimoto’s, adrenal fatigue, hormone imbalances
I never felt depressed and felt that I was doing everything right. I had a great family and support system so I kind of “pretended” to always feel good.
My male doctor said “well…you’re almost 40…it’s going to be hard from here on out”. WHAT?! I refused to believe that, so kept at the exercise program despite taking days to recover from the easiest of workouts…and kept on my healthy food regimen.
A client of mine told me about an integrative practice that she loved…one that listened and one that worked with her to help “solve” her health issues.
I went there for 2 years. Actually every 8 weeks to be precise.
They drew every blood test and panel imaginable in the first 3 months, and I paid $450 out of pocket for every appointment because of course, they didn’t accept insurance.
I was diagnosed with Hypothyroidism….low end adrenal fatigue, Hashimoto’s autoimmune thyroiditis, low vitamin D…low estrogen, almost zero testosterone, and the list went on.
I left there vowing to research every possible angle of my condition and figure it out on my own or with someone that would listen to me.
That was 15 years ago.
I stopped going to that practice after 2 years when I became the person with the questions they couldn’t answer, AND the knowledge that THEY wanted to share with patients!
I started documenting questions. Answers. Test information. Reading studies from top advocates, healers, doctors and scientists all around the globe. I paid for access to medical journals and did my own digging…planning on getting to the core of what was wrong.
I started also talking about my findings with women, and actually became the “go-to” girl in my salon and local community. I started to feel better when I shifted my lifestyle AND my diet, and added in supplements that were tailored to me. I then found a female DO that listened to me and worked with me…and I still see her now…and I just turned 59.
Yes, I do take a compounded T4/T3 thyroid medication that I have monitored every 6 months. I do take care of my digestive system to be sure that I absorb all of the good foods that I eat (Jeez…I didn’t know before that I was not!)…with supplements and adaptogenic herbs.
I exercise a couple of times weekly doing strength training moves that don’t take hours of gym time…let alone exhaust me! And…I eat a nutrient dense diet of whole foods and try to realistically eliminate all offensive foods and toxins, whenever possible.
I am human..and I love to socialize and eat out…but I eat very mindfully about 85% of the time!
Yes, I do eat meat. Yes, I do drink on occasion. Yes, I try to avoid gluten and eat grass fed and organic IF possible…but yes…life still gets in my way sometimes.
I like to say that “I don’t follow a diet with a name”. Because it doesn’t have my name on it!
For the last 5-10 years, my friends, family and coworkers have referred to me as “Dr. Dawn”. They tell me that they learn more about their health and how to deal with their bodies changes from me, than from any other source.
I have been interviewed for 7 different women’s health summits about taking control of your health. I have also been a guest speaker for a chiropractic dinner speaking on aging with strength and balance and how to overcome age related weight gain.
That’s why I started my own blog and newsletter… and created 3 digital products to make life, health and wellness easier for women that are struggling.
I have had testimonials and emails about how women are finally able to make senses of what’s happening to them with the help from my digital products.
I know that hormones change as we age, and unfortunately one diet does not fit all. Nor does it work all of the time, forever. Our needs change as we age, and what works for a friend, or what worked for you before…may not be what your body requires now.
Most trendy diets are not sustainable and lead to binging and the feeling that you have failed. I encourage women to find the answers for their body and lifestyle, because no two women are alike.
If you are trying to lose weight, and feel that hormones are to blame…
If you are not happy with your health care practitioners plan and want to know how to approach taking control of your health..
If your hormones seem to be out of whack and you want to be able to walk into an office and ask the right questions and then be able to have a conversation about your health..
If you want to exercise but are too tired or don’t know what exercises are the most beneficial
If you want solid advice on how to ditch the overwhelm with diets, and want to know how to eat for energy….
I can help and have created several digital guides and blueprints for you to take back your health, and your body so that you can feel, move and look better than ever!
I endorse and have created each of these digital products with years of experience, top notch and cutting edge access to data, and with every woman that struggles in mind.
I hope that I can help you!
Discover more at my blog, ConstantEnergyFitness.com — or contact me with any questions at Constantenergy1@gmail.com. And for access to all of my weekly tips, tools and insights for all things regarding women’s health, exercise, nutrition, anti-aging and mindset, sign up for my newsletter and grab access to my 7 Days to Extreme Energy and a Flatter Belly FREE — Download here.
Sharing ways for us to live long and strong in bodies we love at every age!
About the Author
Dawn is wildly passionate about seeking and sharing knowledge for women to overcome health, hormone and weight gain issues as they age. As a gym owner and women’s coach, she has over 25 years in the field, and has found ways to feel, move and look great despite an autoimmune disorder.
This blog post was originally published by AutoimmuneMom.com, written by Dawn, and first published on Nov 18, 2018.
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