I have struggled with self-confidence/self-esteem/body image for as long as I can remember. I’ve had times in my life where I have been “chubby”, times in my life when I have been borderline anorexic (although I didn’t realize it at the time), and times anywhere in between. Looking back, I know it was because I had an underlying thyroid condition that was causing drastic shifts in my metabolic rate… not to mention a relationship with a man during my super skinny phase that led me to believe I was “fat” and if I didn’t “get skinnier he’d find someone else.” Granted, he found someone (many someones) else anyway… but that’s another story for another day. Suffice to say that I have had a screwed up relationship with food and my body for a very, very long time that was amplified by an actual health condition.
I had my thyroid gland removed in 2006 and my battle with my body truly began. At the time following the surgery, I had a doctor who wasn’t very supportive. She didn’t listen to me, and instead listened only to blood tests that she ran very infrequently. I was gaining weight rapidly and when I realized this I began using my treadmill religiously. I was walking upwards of 11 miles a day, while also riding 2-4 times a week and limiting my calorie intake. I still gained weight. I gained about 80 pounds after my surgery, and her only response was “Your bloodworm is fine, maybe you should start eating less.” I finally just simply gave up and figured I’d “just be fat.” When I moved to North Carolina I went to my new Lady Doctor and when I told her I hadn’t had blood work drawn in well over six months, she was horrified. She drew the blood and found that my thyroid levels were drastically off. She upped my dosage and explained to me that she felt certain that my weight gain was due to my metabolism functioning at an incredibly low level. She also said, “It won’t be easy to get the weight off now that it’s there, because your metabolism will always be lower than other peoples’.” Great.
I’ve gone through ups and downs with my weight ever since. I had a lot of success with Weight Watchers the first time I did it, and I feel confident that I will experience. However, this post isn’t really about weight loss. It’s about something I realized recently, something very important.