Monday, February 22, 2010

Race for the Cure!

Hey all! Just wanted to let you know that I'm going to be running in the competitve 5K Race for the Cure on April 11th to raise awareness of breast cancer and the impact it has on everyone!

I'm super excited since this is my 2nd competitive race (I had a blast during my first race!) and am proud to support my friend during her first race!

I decided to participate in this event for many reasons. Not only am I looking forward to bettering myself and my fitness level, I have many friends who's lives have been touched by this disease. The women who endure the treatments and the strength they display during the challenge it brings to their lives and family is inspiring to everyone around them.

Eleanor Roosevelt described it perfectly when she said, "A woman is like a tea bag- you never know how strong she is until she gets in hot water."

These women prove to me what it means to "fight like a girl" and as such, I have created a team by the same name! I would love to share this event with everyone! And the great thing is, there's a 'sleep in for the cure' . Not in town on race day? Not a morning person? Hate to exercise? NO PROBLEM!!! You can stay home, comfy in your jammies and still play an important role in raising funds for the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure®. You will be sent a special gift, along with a T-Shirt (perfect for sleepwear, lounging and being a couch potato) and you don't need to get out of bed!

Here's the info on my team page:

My main goal for participating in this event is not to raise a ton of money, but to increase awareness for this disease and for the Susan G. Komen For the Cure Foundation. Since it's inception in 1999 the foundation has raised over $5 million, with some of that money benefiting the men and women of Southern Arizona. Seventy five percent of our net revenue helps uninsured and underinsured women have access to lifesaving programs of screening, education and treatment throughout Southern Arizona. If you fel so inclined to donate to this organization so they can continue to do their work, I have set up a personal donation page: (yeah, I know it's spelled wrong... coffee hadn't quite kicked in. :)

Regardless if you are able to donate or join in one of the many Race for the Cure events around the country this year, I ask that you take a moment to think of anyone you know who's life has been touched by breast cancer and say a small prayer for them.

They may be at the beginning of this journey, a survivor, or be one of the fallen.

Send them love and strength and help them (and their familes) to fight like a girl!

And think of me in the wee hours of Sunday, April 11th - send thoughts of strong knees and fast feet!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Friday Follies: Non Scale Victories

Looove me my NSV's!

You know what they are - if you've been in the health and fitness* realm for any amount of time you hear about it. When you hit a 'plateau', that's when the NSV advice comes out of the woodwork, usually under the title, "Other Measures of Success."

These are hints and tips that can either be annoying or helpful, depending on where your mind is when you hear them: Use measurements, how your clothes are fitting, your energy level, your fitness level, etc., basically, use ANYTHING OTHER THAN THE SCALE to measure the progress towards your goal of a healthy weight.

"Research has shown the best way to lose weight is not to diet but rather to work towards a healthier lifestyle that you are able to maintain for the rest of your life." - From Leanne Ely's "Healthy Foods" Newsletter

I have to say, before my Inner Princesses, Veruca & Stevie, and i got on the same page, I *hated* NSV's.

There would be stomping and pouting and screaming! Who cares if my pants are falling off my bum! So what if I can run a little faster (heck, the fact that I can run is huge!) But... But... The scale hasn't MOVED! Why do I/we even bother?!?! Seriously??!?! What does it matter if I have carrots or cake if this is where it gets me!?!?!

::Bangs Head on Desk::

It wasn't until I got seriously sick and tired of a 12" square box telling me what kind of mood I was in that I understood the benefit of NSV's.

In fact, it wasn't until the Princesses' & I shifted our focus to our _actions_ (ie number of fitness minutes/calories burned, number of fruits & veggies per day, cooking at home vs. eating out, getting enough sleep, increasing weight lifted, etc.) rather than results (ie the number on the $@&% box) that wonderful things started happening.

Namely, I finally saw a consistent drop in the numbers on the box, and decrease in the tape measure to go along with feeling great, eating well, and having pants falling off my bum.

I've already shared one NSV this week and I'm happy to share another one...

I am wearing something today that, to my recollection, I have NEVER worn before!

I think it was a bit of foreshadowing when I shared the bracycling info because I hit the JC Penny's last night to take advantage of their "unmentionable" sale.

I am stunned to report that, after trying on several sizes and varieties of "unmentionable" holders that I'm no longer dwelling in the land of the double letters!

I knew my girls were looking rather deflated of late, I just didn't realize they were /that/ deflated.

In fact, this morning when I put on my spiffy new "unmentionable" it was a little looser than it was last night... so I may be down even more than I realized!

[Ok, for the more direct interpretation of all this: Went bra shopping and I can't remember a time in my life when I wasn't a DD...I think I went from 0 to DD in a matter of months during puberty. Yeah. That was interesting. At one point I was wearing a 40DDD! As of last night's shopping venture, I'm at a 36D! I'm actually pretty close to a band size of 34 and possible a C! Guess I rocked what I've got a little *too* much! LOL!]

This weekend, I venture into the land of jean shopping - my order fell through and JCP has a sale on Levi's. Hope to be sporting some non-lonely jeans soon! Not to mention working on my pull-up form cuz darnitall I *will* do a full on pull up one day soon!

How about all of you? What NSV are you celebrating?!?!

*Because of where I am emotionally and in my journey through life and towards a healthy life overall, this ceased to be a "weight loss" journey long ago and has become focused on living an overall healthy LIFE. Don’t get me wrong; I'm all for blasting excess fat from your body and increasing your fitness and nutrition level, and want to help people achieve that in their own life.

I personally feel there's too much focus on "Weight Loss" - the actual pounds lost according to the scale. There are enough people out there who will cater to this type of thinking and will be more than happy to talk up and down about it... I'm just not going to be one of them.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Thoughts for Thursday: Body Image (or Rock it!)

First off, I fear a monster has been created... or at least the beginnings of one.

When I sent out the call for help with my shopping aversion, I had no idea what would transpire after that! Not only did I receive a huge out outpouring of love, sympathy and good sense advice, it also inspired me to delve into the scary world that is "fashion"... ok, maybe not fashion, but fabric constructed in ways to decorate my body.

I was happy that I was feeling a little excited about a future shopping trip to make my outsides look good.

What I wasn't prepared for was where it was going to take me mentally and emotionally: I'm learning that my distain for shopping for clothes is a much deeper issue. Much like achieving a healthy weight is about more than exercise and nutrition; clothing, for me, is about much more than fabric, color and fit.

Before I delve into that, there's always a back story... which I'll attempt to keep short. Ish. :)

For the past year+ I've increased my exposure to the world that is body acceptance/fat acceptance/size acceptance/body image improvement/health at any size/yadda yadda yadda.

There's a whole lot to the movement – some of it fantabulous, some of it down right scary – but at the heart of the matter is what I perceive as one basic principle: Love thyself, inside _and_ out.

It's something that's heard a lot about any process of change - if you don't like _yourself_ now when you're at an undesirable weight, in debt, in a cluttered house, single, etc., you won't like yourself when you're at a desirable weight, a clean home, out of debt, married, etc.

I have to admit, there have been times I haven't liked myself very much. Now, I'm pretty happy with myself and can enjoy the company of just me, myself and I.

But this darn clothing thing: It's a thorn in my side.

It wasn't until I admitted that I think that spending money on clothes for myself to look good is frivolous, that I found the root of the problem.

I love my innards... my mind, my heart, my spirit! It's the physical package I was still having trouble with.

This weekend shed a lot of light on how to correct it.

First came from my hubby on Sunday. He prefers I don't wear make up. I prefer /to/ wear make up. We had a discussion of why I felt that I needed it, if I was made perfect than why would I feel like I needed to improve on it, etc. I didn't have an answer other than it makes me feel good when I see myself in the mirror.

Then I had a mini-What Not To Wear marathon that I got more hints, a little more understanding [and a whole lot of 'what were they thinking?!' LOL!] It planted other seeds of ideas and thoughts that were niggling at my brain but I just couldn't quite grasp... They go into a lot of ‘dress the body you have now’, and ‘play up your strengths’, but I kept feeling like they were sidestepping something… or [more likely the case] I was missing something.

Then I listened to a Missus Smarty Pants podcast, hosted by Leslie, sister to the Dinner Diva Leanne Ely, and part of the ever growing resources that’s part of the FlyLady family - that was the water I needed to help those seeds bloom in my brain.

I had downloaded it because it featured Caitlin of Operation Beauitiful fame as a guest and finally *got* it.

Leslie summed up what I've been told over and over again... but was finally ready to hear: (total paraphrasing) Every woman is beautiful! Every woman has features that are stunning and every woman has features _she_ is not so thrilled about. The key is to find the features you love about yourself and play those up, and learn to come to terms with the rest of it.

Caitlin, who is wise beyond her 25 years, added on to that: You gotta rock what ya got from your mamma!


Clothes shopping is so much more than the clothes themselves. It's about learning to really LOOK at my body, learn to love it and all it's perfect imperfections and find what I do have to rock, while covering the rest. My whole body is a reflection of the goodness in the world and my heart. Time to remember and remind myself of it regularly.

Just like I’ve learned and accepted that I can’t eat whatever I want, and that there’s certain foods that just don’t work for my body, I need to learn and accept what I can and can’t wear. It’s a process that I have to go through. It may be a long process or I may get lucky.

Two things I’m looking forward to with this process:

1) Getting an idea of what size my body _really_ is. I’m not talking the arbitrary number on the label, I’m talking the actual physical space my body occupies (or doesn’t occupy as the case may be)… I have a certain concept of my shape and size that’s stuck about 20-30# back, and it’s time to have my mental image catch up with my actual body.

2) Learning to accept that it's ok to rock what I've got, that I deserve to rock what I've got, and that it's ok to do something "selfish" and "frivolous" for _me_.

To answer the make up question – It’s my one way that I have actually embraced the ‘rockin’ what I’ve got’ concept. My eyes have always been what I feel is my strongest feature and while I don’t do the super duper drama eye makeup, I do like to have them featured as part of a polished looking face. That’s one thing that I can feel confident with my abilities, and I prefer to see my face with even skin tone and a little make up to highlight those features. Time to move that to the rest of my body, eh? :)

What about the rest of you – what are your strong features? What do you find really beautiful about your physical self? Where are you in your body acceptance journey?

One for the "girls"

I got this link from another blog and wanted to share:

From their site: "We are a textile recycling company, specializing in recycling bras and providing deserving women in our communities who are facing challenges with a basic lingerie staple."

As we all know, when you lose weight, you lose it from aaalll over, and that means the 'girls' start to get a little deflated and the band starts to get really loose. This is a great way to pay forward your 'abundance' (or lack of, as the case may be ;) by sending your quality, lovingly used over the shoulder boulder holders to sisters in need of support. (Yes, I'm trying to go for a record ;)

The great thing is, if you're in the Phoenix/Tucson region of AZ or in Dallas, TX, there are drop off locations available. For all others, there's an easy form to complete and just pop those bad boys (bad girls?!) in the mail.

Spread the word!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Laissez les bon temps rouler!

It's Mardi Gras y'all! Or, if you're not French, Happy Fat Tuesday! Whoo hoo!!!

Yeah, sounds so much nicer when you say in French. :)

Today is the day our medieval ancestors started the tradition of gluttony, drunkenness and debauchery, for tomorrow we fast. S

orta reminds me of the New Years Eve/New Years Day dichotomy: Celebrate, party, get in those last 10,000 calories because at the stroke of midnight everything stops! We repent for our past diet and exercise sins, we give penance at the alter of the the salad bar and the treadmill, so that we can be reborn in the land of the thin and healthy lifestyle. While there are other people who can explain Lent, its significance and observation much better than (though I could bore you to TEARS talking about the special entrance on Notre Dame Cathedral that's use was reserved for Lenten penitents), there's two parallels that I am happy to draw: 1) It all the same, and 2) it's never too late, which goes back to #1.

You see, it doesn't matter if your New Years resolutions were left on the dance floor at 12:01 on 1/1/10, or if you've picked up that ball and ran with it, but find yourself struggling right now.

You may have had a heckova Valentines weekend and ate your weight in chocolate and are feeling like doing pennence right now. There may have been that 'slip up' of a cheeseburger and extra large fries last week when you had planned grilled salmon and steamed veggies. Slept in when we should have hit the trail/treadmill.

Wisdom is knowing the right path. Integrity is taking it.

You know the right road to walk, but sometimes it's not easy to take.

Sometimes you get sidelined, or side tracked, but resist the urge to beat yourself up over it.

Instead, treat it like Mardi Gras and Lent. You indulged today. Reflect, abstain and act tomorrow.

Every day you're given a chance to start over. Every minute you're given a chance to make a better choice.

Don't look back in regret. Look forward in hope and plan for success.

Monday, February 15, 2010

A Bittersweet Victory

Today I had one of those moments that made me do a happy dance and caused me to be a little sad at the same time.

I had to change the weight on my Heart Rate Monitor.

I have one that calculates your calories burned, which means it needs info like my weight. It's something I change every 5 pounds or so, and for the longest time it's been set to 150.

I realized today that I'm now a lot closer to 145 than I am to 150 and that ROCKS!!

But it stinks because it means I have to work harder to burn the the same amount of calories I did at 150. And the fact that my fitness level continues to improve, and my body becomes more efficient, I also need to bump up the intensity to get the same benefits.

So Yeah... awesomeness! With a tinge of "aw man!"

And yes, I realize there's people reading this that want to throw things at me right now. You too will soon have this fun problem! I have faith! :)

Saturday, February 13, 2010

A Thought for Valentines Day

I got this from one of my inspirational daily emails and wanted to share...

For most of us, Valentine's Day is a time when we exchange loving sentiments with those closest to us. I already know that before the day ends, my husband, David, will surprise me with some sweet gift and a card that expresses his love. And, of course, I have a card and a special surprise with his name attached. Our family valentine exchange extends to our children, to our mothers, and to others we hold especially dear.

But recently, I learned that valentines, love notes, and other tokens of affection were once sent anonymously.

That sparked an idea: Why shouldn't I be someone's secret admirer this year? I could send flowers to that once-in-a-lifetime grammar school teacher who doubled my confidence level the year I was in her class. Attaching a simple thank-you note signed "one of your grateful students" would most likely speak for a hundred others besides me.

And that lonely man I know who lost his wife. I wonder . . . if I took the time to bake a pie today and left it on his doorstep with an unsigned note, wouldn't it make him feel less lonely?

Wonderful "valentine opportunities" are all around, it seems. With the tiniest effort, it becomes a day for widening my circle of love.

Love is a gift I will pass on to another on this Valentine's Day.

-Pam Kidd


Even before reading this I was getting my shopping list together and one of the stops I was planning on making was a store where I could pick up a few valentines day cards for my awesome hubby. Yes, it's the day before the holiday but it wasn't to give to him tomorrow. It was to have a stash on hand so that I could leave him little love notes throughout the year.

I won't delve deep into my personal thoughts on the holiday, but the gist of it this: it's a nice day to celebrate the love you have in your life - not just romantic love, but also family, friends and self love - but, like Christmas, if you only celebrate it one day out of the year, is it really that special?

Share the love, joy and kindness all year round. Treat everyone (starting with yourself!) with respect and a little more patience. Be someone's secret admirer. Those flowers that are super duper cheap right now? Go buy them and put them in your nicest vase and proudly display them. Pull out the nice china, the good crystal and the candles and have 'special' dinner on a Tuesday.

There are a multitude of ways to take the spirit of Valentines Day and make it last for the next year and beyond.

So... what is your favorite way to share the love?

Friday Follies, follow-up, and fill in the blank

This week has been full of a lot of stuff and a lot of nothing. Life is nothing if not a series of learning experiences.

This week I'm learning that spending a day standing on a concrete floor in a freezing stadium wears me out a lot more than I would expect. I've made it to the gym twice this week, and both workouts left me feeling more 'meh' than I would have liked. And the one day on my feet left my body a wreck. I'm sooo happy I have a patient and able chiropractor who's willing to put my hubby & I back together again when we're silly.

I've also learned that taking an active 'easy week' is me still being active - it needs to be a week of extra rest days instead... Last week I tried to dial it down a few notches in intensity... apparently not enough.

This week I'm also starting to get more of a grip on what the heck I'm really doing in terms of my health/fitness goals and subsequently my life... because you do realize that your health and fitness are _part_ of your life, right? And you do realize that YOU are responsible for your actions.

This 'epiphany' hit me as I was looking at a recipe for a super nummy looking cake/cup cake recipe. I was toying with making it - it is, after all Valentine's weekend and Mardi Gras is coming up too... but I kept coming back to: Why? There's been pie and brownies already the last 2 weeks, do I need to add that to the mix?

No. No I don't.

It comes down to this: am I really committed to living a 90-95% healthy, sustainable lifestyle that enjoys a treat on /special/ occasion?

If I am, then I need to acknowledge that a weekend doesn't qualify as a special occasion.

It's not that the cupcakes are OMG so evil and other things we say to demonize food to try to avoid it. It's that right now, it's not going to do anything to help me get to where I want to go. It's not that I don't trust myself in the presence of baked goods. It's not that I've been deprived of 'treats', I haven't stuck /so/ close to my eating plan for any length of time that I feel I am entitled to it. It boiled down to the fact that it was the weekend, I wanted to do something that I don't have time during the week to do... and it sounded good.

And that's not good enough of a reason for me to do it right now.

Doing laundry, getting stuff together for a trip to good will, and cleaning the cat boxes - THAT is a better way to spend my time.

As for an exciting follow-up announcement: I bought a new pair of jeans!!! Ok, I ordered them, but still, it's a baby step in the right direction.

After my hubby pointed out that every pair of pants I own is hanging off me and exceeds my own rule (of being able to take them off without undoing them)... and HIS pants meet the same criteria [I put on a pair of his jeans inadvertently... they were on my side of the closet!] And 90% of my tops are way too big as well. It Was Time.

I decided to take the plunge and ordered a pair of jeans from the site.

This wasn't an easy decision, but I was getting the ClueX4 to the head and it was time to make that stop. See, it's not that I don't love or accept myself. It's not that I don't have the money (ok, I don't really, but I have some, so it takes away a bit of the excuse). It's not that I don't have the time or resources [aka stores].

It's that I think it's frivolous to spend money on clothes for me to decorate my body in a flattering way.

There, I said it.

This realization came after watching an episode of What Not To Wear (See, I listened to my peeps! I am trying to become a good student! :) One of the ladies was very proud of the fact that she never spent more than $20 on a piece of clothing in her closet... and most were under $10.

It showed. Low quality material, bad fit, not so flattering colors/styles, etc. Even *I* could see that... but then I looked at my own closet. I've spent a bit more on my clothes, but really, I hate to part with money for clothes. And having made clothes, I can recognize shoddy construction... but that happens when you look for clothes at Target instead of Nordstroms.

Yeah, so it was time for me to put those Big Girl Panties on and spend some quality cash on quality clothes. I wear the heck out of clothes, so I need something to stand up to that kind of abuse.

So I just spent ::gulp:: $55 on a pair of jeans.

In reality, if I am able to wear these jeans for the next year, it will be money well spent. More than that it will be double bonus!

I am also looking for a person to do alterations on my dress pants. I've only had those 3 months and don't want to buy a new pair. That way I have money to buy a few new tops to last me a little longer.

One "Ah-ha" moment I had was while watching WNTW... they gave the ladies poloroids of the outfits to refer to... I had the /brilliant/ idea to print off a few of the suggested outfits from MyShape, and use that as 'inspiration' of what to look for. That way it's less aimless wandering, it's more 'search and destroy'. LOL!

One other thing that I've been putting off - I finally registered for the Race for the Cure 5K! YAY!!! I am not seeking out donations, but if you are so inclined, I will post a link to my page when I can.

I have also set up a team: Fights Like A Girl if you would like to join in the fun... I love that they have a 'sleep in' option for the race - pay the fee, but don't have to do it. ;)

To add to the excitement, while I'm generally an antisocial/solitary exerciser, I got a notice that they're starting a training group in a couple of weeks that seems like a great idea to meet new people and pump up my endurance a little in the process.

Finally, the Fill-in-the blank section... of the different themes swirling around me this week, this one has stuck out. You know the rules (no wrong answer, keep it clean, answer as many times as you like)...

Fill in this blank:

Healthy is _____________

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Inmates running the asylum

That's at least what it feels like in my brain of late.

First off: Insert standard apologies for not visiting/responding/keeping in touch with folks/their blogs/groups/etc. here. I have been thinking of everyone a lot! SparkTime has become a precious commodity of late, and I've been trying to jump in where I can rather than spend a huge amount of time catching up.

Secondly: Yes, I've been quiet. Yes, I'm ok. No I haven't fallen off the non-existent wagon and suddenly gained back 50 pounds. And my candy dish is still full. Just been busy with work which is a good thing, and little to no brain power/desire to spend time on the computer when I get home. This may or may not change any time soon, so just givin' folks the heads up that, if I'm quiet, feel free to give me a nudge to make sure I'm still breathing. ;)

Finally... the inmates.

Yeah... this is one of '(re)learning about myself' blogs, so feel free to move along if you are so inclined. ;)

Yesterday was one of those chaotic brain days - every little thing annoyed me and I couldn't wind things down. I usually listen to music when working out and yesterday I couldn't even tolerate that - the competition between the roar in my brain, my ears, the music in the gym and the extra blasty spinning class music just drove me over the edge. The day got worse from there and culminated with me invoking the "If you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all" privilege toward my DH, and sending cranky @$$ to bed (You're right _Ramona, that DOES make my bum seem more valuable! :) by about 9.

I'm sort of feeling the same way today, but too tired to really care thanks to kitten intervention last night... apparently they were trying to save me from my Wacky Bobo DreamsTM by waking me up every 20 minutes or so, whether I needed it or not.

Turns out that an over busy schedule + minimal down time - (adequate sleep + optimal nutrition + forearm licking) = one stressed out monkey!

It's all about balance, and the last couple of weeks I haven't had much. I'm all about focusfocusfocus workworkwork because, well, there's a lot to be done...

And it's making my Inner Princesses very annoyed.

It's now to the point where Stevie & Veruca have taken matters into their own hands.

Super Brat Powers: Activate!

I've been feeling rebellious, been resentful of "having" to do things, and starting to dwell in the land of the "Poor Me's"...

To which Stevie and Veruca reply: Now that we have your attention, can we puh-leeeezzee start having a little fun again?!?!

Looking back at their "Promotion Promises", I'm realizing I certainly have not kept up my end of the bargain by any stretch:

1. Everything can be a game.
2. Don't walk when you can run.
3. If you don't like it, don't eat it.
4. Laughter feels good.
5. Playtime is important.
6. The world should be full of color!
7. It's always more fun with friends around.
8. Adventures are found outside, not inside.
9. It's important to use your imagination. (I had to leave the extras on this one! You can be Captain Fantastic or Stupendous Woman [YAY! Stupendous Woman!] any time you want. Give yourself permission to believe in your own super powers and let your mind take you wherever it wants to go.)
10. Anything is possible.
11. You have your whole life ahead of you. Here's your chance to do it right.

Life is much more fun, and a lot easier, when you learn to play with your Inner Princess'. They are much less demanding of things like cookies, cake, and sleep-ins, and I seem to get more done without wanting to bite people's heads off.

So... lessons learned, sleep will be had, breathing will begin, and forearm licking that doesn't involve copious amounts of wine, beer or cookies will commence!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Thoughts for Thursday: The Thyroid Post

Anyone who has been around this blog and/or known me for any amount of time can discern 3 things about me:

1) I have waaaaay too much info rattling around my brain
2) I lovelovelove to help people
3) I’m exceptionally passionate about 3 things (aside from my hubby, family, friends and kittens, that is): health/wellness/nutrition; girlie reproductive issues/health; and thyroid issues.

The things I’m most passionate about have become so because they are things that I have had issues with in the past, have found frustration with conventional wisdom (that isn’t), and have been compelled to do a lot of research and brain picking to get to the best “truth” I can find.

And truth be told, I start looking into a topic because that particular issue has become a burr in my bum. Something going on in my life that I’m just not satisfied with the usual answer of “Don’t worry about it. The labs/tests are normal.”

That’s how I came to have a brain loaded with info on hypothyroidism. And with the stuff going on around me of late – the plethora of people close to me getting the “normal” brush off, stories of doctors refusing to treat a patients, etc.

While I would love to take tons of time to dump my brain onto all of you, my unsuspecting blog public, I don't want to bore you with all the details of my life, my past, my progress, and my current plans... unless you /really, really/ want me to (ie... just ask, I'll spill! ;)

I do want to share what I know so that you know how smart I am (LOL!), and also to know that I feel your pain and frustration at feeling like your lazy and crazy and fat and tired and sick and tired and achey and tired and freezing and tired and oh yeah, the doctor doesn’t want to hear about it anymore so just go on a diet, lose weight and you’ll be fine.

::bangs head on desk:: (by the way, that’s now my “official” “Indian” name… LOVE IT! Thanks Julee!)

The other reason for sharing is to give some hope. Yes, there’s a loooot of people struggling with issues that can be related to their thyroid, that are either diagnosed and un/under treated (Hellooooo Oprah!), or undiagnosed because hey! Your labs?! They’re “normal”. Get over it. But there are some of us out there who are finding a way to get the right treatment from a medical professional (I heart my Naturopath!), find what works for our bodies nutritionally and physically, and how to take care of ourselves emotionally.

I believe that it is possible to go from this:

To this:

To this:

(which isn't me...yet. ;)

Despite that silly little gland in my throat.

After all... you've seen my before/progress photos:

My overarching disclaimers:

#1, I’m not a doctor, nor to I even claim to play one on the internets. I’ve thought about it, but the time and money involved is too great.

#1a. Anything you read here is no substitute for actual medical advice.

#2 This is in no way, shape or form an assumption or assertion that everyone with a weight issue has a thyroid issue. People with truly normal functioning thyroids have weight issues, just as people with no weight issues have malfunctioning thyroids. It’s a “here’s the info, if the shoe fits, I’ll show you how to find a cobbler to fix said shoe” type of post, and again, an opportunity to empty my brain. If it empowers you to take charge of your health, all the better.

#3 The symptoms I list below may or may not indicate a thyroid issue. There's a LOT of different illness that are similar, and can be co-occuring with each other such as Fibromyalgia, chronic/adrenal fatigue, PCOS, metabolic syndrome, etc. Checking the thyroid first is a good first place to look when you know something is wrong, and can help open the door to the true heart of the matter.

First and formost, Here's a list of common symptoms:
Fatigue [not the oh gee I'm tired... it's the full body achey/weary/tired to the core fatigue]
Headaches & Migraines
Easy Weight Gain
Fluid Retention
Anxiety & Panic Attacks
Hair Loss
Poor Memory
Poor Concentration
Low Sex Drive
Unhealthy Nails
Dry Skin & Hair
Cold Intolerance /
Heat Intolerance
Low Motivation
Low Ambition
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
And a whole lot more

Secondly, here's a mess of links for you:

The 'official' guidelines on Hyper & Hypothyroidism (the hypo stuff starts on page 7, and the TSH lab range is in the 2nd to last paragraph on page 6.)

[quick TSH 101 lesson: a low TSH indicates that the thyroid is functioning normally or is over active, ie processing too much of the T3 & T4 floating around your body. The higher the number, the lower the thyroid is functioning... think of a wet sponge - it can't absorb anymore liquid so any excess just sits there.]

If you have nodules on your thyroid:

Info on lab ranges:

Article on "normal" ranges

and another one...

[Side note: the less than scientific 'ideal' range where a lot of people to feel good, asymptomatic and highly functional is 1.0-1.5.... if you're TSH is in the 2.0+ region and you have a lot of the symptoms, talk to your doctor, endo, naturopath, whomever about getting treatment.]

A checklist:

Another great site that also deals with hypothyroidism, but from a different approach, and looks at complementary medicine as well. This one helped me a lot when I was in the info gathering stage:

This site has some good info, but it took me a while to appreciate it because it’s very ‘in your face’/ activist oriented. If that appeals to you, this will help get you geared up for a talk with your doctor.

And my friend Julee's SparkPeople group that has way more info than I could even hope to contain here:

Finally, YOU are your own medical advocate! Most of the stuff I included just scratches the surface but has reputable/reliable information, and enough to plop a binder on your doctors desk and say "here... educate yourself". Do NOT be afraid to ask for a test to be run and then ask for a hard copy of your lab results. It's YOUR blood that was tested, it's YOUR medical information, you have the right to it. You may have to sign a release, but who cares if that means the difference between knowing what's going on in your body or being told what's going on.

That all being said, hope this was helpful and if you have questions or want more info on my experience, let me know!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Fired Up and Focused February

February is Focus, Focus, Focus month!

They say that a dream that isn't written down is just a wish. I want to make my dreams a reality!

I am continuing my journey towards 140 pounds or less, and torching body fat like nobody's business!

I am holding myself accountable by doing the following:

-Tightening up my eating by weighing and measuring my food to ensure I'm getting appropriate amounts of carbs, fat & protein

- Eating a wide variety of raw and cooked veggies, limiting my grains, and enjoying lean protein

- Doing 5 workout sessions a week - 4 crossfit workouts + 1 walk/run session to prepare myself for my upcoming 5K

- Allow myself to 1 adult beverage a week (2 this week since tonight's the hubby's b-day dinner) While I enjoy sharing a beverage with my hubby, more than this is counter productive to achieving my short term goals.

- Allow myself 1-2 desserts a week

- I maximize my fat burning potential by creating an efficient calorie deficit though exercise and controlled food portions.

- I continue to work through, and remove limiting beliefs that keep popping up and blocking my success.

I look forward to achieving my goal and sculpting the body of my dreams!

At the end of the month, I am excited to see the scale reflect 5 pounds of pure fat gone from my body forever!