Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Easy On, Not Easy Off

I am sure I've mentioned on this blog how incredibly fortunate I am that I have not had issues with my weight. I have never had to seriously diet, and simply eat as I usually do and keep active to maintain my weight. Now? Well...

Back in January I was diagnosed with a condition called Hashimoto's disease.

Sounds terrible, doesn't it?

It's actually so NOT terrible that I forgot to tell my dad I had it. It's basically a thyroid condition in which my body attacks my own thyroid (don't you know it's one of your own?!) and prevents it from creating the hormones my body needs to operate at optimal efficiency. While there isn't much doctors can do to keep my body from attacking the thyroid, it's easily treated with thyroid hormone replacement drugs.

Symptoms of Hashimoto's include fatigue, irregular bowel movements, weight gain and irritability. The only symptom I had was irritability (someone hand mama a drink!) so I was somewhat surprised when this diagnosis came back. I began taking the thyroid meds and the irritability got better. Who knows if that's actually related to the thyroid condition, maybe it's related to my kids not standing on my last nerve.

Then I developed that pesky third symptom: weight gain.

I managed to pack on 10 pounds in 6 months. Me, who has never in my life gained weight unless I was growing a baby.

What. The. Hell.

I managed to gain this weight during my most active time of year; summer. I trained a minimum of 20 miles of skating each week for at least 8 weeks while preparing for the NorthShore Inline marathon, not to mention a couple of 5ks, running around with the kids, and normal crazy summertime stuff, including going to the pool wearing a swimsuit. A swimsuit, I say!

What is going to happen when I start hibernating in a couple of months?

This is not "toning up" weight; there is nothing "tone" about a muffin top hanging out over the top of my pants. My pants which are now too tight which I refuse to replace because I do NOT wear the next size up, I don't care how comfortable they are! Seriously, who can afford to gain this kind of weight? I certainly don't have money to spend on a brand new wardrobe.

I went back to the endocrinologist and they agreed -- yep, I've gained a surprising amount of weight in a short time frame. They are doing another screening and expect to find that my thyroid production has reduced again due to continual antibody attacks (again, it's YOU, what are you doing, antibodies?) and that they'll need to increase my thyroid dosage.

This does not make the weight I have already gained come off magically. It just means I should stop gaining weight.

Guess what takes the weight off? Taking in fewer calories than you burn.

*Simmer. Fume.*


So I have begun counting calories, a good first step to determining what I'll do next. Because I will tell you what I won't do: diet. I won't follow some plan that I can only actually follow for a few weeks or months and then will eventually go back to my "regular" eating in which I'll put the weight back on that I just took off. I would rather adjust my daily intake to something I can stick with and track my activity to make sure I'm burning more than I'm ingesting.

I've only just begun but I can already tell you one of my guilty pleasures that I'll be saying good-bye to: Caribou. Fare thee well, oh medium skim mochas with Guittard dark chocolate and whipped cream! How I love thee, but alas, you are too bad for me. (340 calories, yowza.)

I may update this blog again with progress, I may not. In the big scheme of things, it's really not that important. There are people out there who set for themselves much more daunting weight-loss goals, who wish to lose 20, 50, even 100 pounds to get their health back. I bow to them in admiration for the commitment and willpower that it takes to set and reach those goals. Now THAT'S an achievement. 
So while I've got one goal ahead of me, I'll look back and reflect on one goal I've already achieved this year. 
The final 100 meters of the inline marathon.

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