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Thyroid Diet: Are You Tired of the Way You Eat?

The Battle of the Bulge Woman Eating Snacks - Buy at Art.comIsn’t tracking what you eat and tracking your exercise such fun?

I equate it to the stomach flu, really, but it needs to be done.

We thyroid girls shouldn’t bitch about our doctors if we aren’t doing to work to help ourselves know ourselves.

But I am with you on the tracking part.

A big part of me wants to return to ages 38 – 43 when losing weight was easy because my hormones were readjusting for one last hurrah at having a baby before turning 50 and having my body tell me to go find a hobby worthy of a woman now needing to pluck grey hairs out of her eyebrows every other day.

Remember those hyperthyroid years?

Except many of us didn’t know we were becoming hyperthyroid and just thought we had become so darn good at taking care of ourselves … all that exercising and salads — wow — lordy!

I ate so many salads that my son drew my head as a salad for one of his school art projects.

But that was all before my thyroid puttered and stopped and the thyroid meds started.  So now I am right here with the rest of you trying to speed up our metabolisms in a healthy way that doesn’t crash our adrenal glands.

If you tuned in last Monday, then you know that I am working through Mireille Guiliano’s book, French Women Don’t Get Fat and starting on Ash Wednesday I survived 48 hours of fresh leek soup fasting to prepare myself for tracking what I eat, along with tracking how much actual exercise I am getting, since I sit on my butt and write every day.

In tracking what I eat, I am supposed to learn what my trigger food is.

I already know that my trigger food is red wine, because I love red wine. Mireille doesn’t say that I can’t have red wine, I am just suppose to be aware of when I have it and how I am consuming it. Which brings me to the next step in the process and why I am really using this book.

The next part of this “thyroid diet” process (if we can really call it that) is make a ritual out of what I eat or drink every time I do it. Meaning, even if I want to gulp down 8 ounces of water I have to consciously do it by sitting down and actually enjoying that glass of water. Mireille Guiliano wants us to slow the *&@!! down when we are consuming food and beverages.

No T.V., no standing over the sink or the counter, no eating while driving — none of it. No distracted consuming.

We must sit down and enjoy every single thing that we put into our mouths without hurrying through the process. This is the part of the French paradox that makes the most sense to me for hypothyroid women.

Since our metabolisms run so slow, it makes sense that we should slow down our eating and drinking to the point of consciously enjoying each and every bite. No holding the fork in your hand, or holding the sandwich in your hand while you chew — putting them down and sitting there thinking about what we are actually eating.

Do we even really like what we are eating?

My mother is the slowest eater on the planet. I am quite sure about this, and she will have no problem with me telling you this fact about her. She has Hashimotos disease too, but her weight is not an issue. Now part of this can be her age and the fact that she is not dealing with hormones anymore. Not to go into her personal medical history in a very public forum, but she hasn’t had raging hormones in more than 40 years.

But she is a very conscious eater. She very slowly enjoys every morsel of food she puts into her mouth and has been eating this way her whole life. Growing up, our family would be on to dessert and she’d be just starting to eat her vegetables.  She takes “slow food” eating to another level entirely.

I think there is something to my mother’s way of eating and when I first read Guyiliano’s book all the way through, this part of her “rules” really hit home with me.

Last week I was further struck by this when I stumbled upon The Learning Channel’s documentary series, “My 600-lb Life,” a film about the seven-year journey of four individuals trying to escape their obesity and regain control of their lives. I got sucked into their struggle and watched the entire show — hoping they would all succeed. One thing I did notice (besides all the fast food) was how fast they (and their families) consumed food — as if no other meal would be coming for the next week.

How does the brain have time to understand when you are full if you inhale a hamburger in under one minute?

What if you were really full after eating half of it but your stomach didn’t have enough time to tell your brain before you gobbled down the other half?

I thought about French Women Don’t Get Fat and Guiliano’s mantra of conscious eating. Eating at a table. Eating with a plate. Eating without T.V. Eating with utensils.

Let’s stop with the frenzied, unconscious eating this week and see where we are next Monday.

Meanwhile I’ll be over here with the stomach flu — I mean — tracking my healthy habits.

Don’t I make it all sound so fun?

So join me.

Catherine

Fitbit stats for the week: 22 miles in 7 days

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Thyroid Thoughts: Does Hope Make My Butt Look Fat?

Liz Donnelly of the New Yorker TED TalkMondays are the days I am suppose to talk about tracking our thoughts, words and deeds when it comes to our thyroid health.

My son was home from school today on holiday and it completely threw me off my game, and now, he’s asleep in his room and my Fitbit base tracker is in his bedroom.

This will be my excuse for not talking stats today and I’m sticking with it.

Besides, I am sure that my stats will reveal that I’ve neglected myself this week.

I can tell even without plugging in my tracker. I can feel it in the worries and stresses bubbling up just under the surface and I know it’s really my body asking me to quit ignoring it.

So let’s talk about something else shall we?

Sometimes I check in on the Hashimotos group I belong to on Facebook. I am not a big Facebook user, but this is one of those groups that I do glance at from time to time and try and offer hope and encouragement to those recently diagnosed, who are worrying about what to expect — and post their questions for the group to answer.

I often want to shoot (it’s a redhead expression) the occasional group member who goes straight to telling them about thyroid cancer. It reminds me of the people who told you all the worse-case birth scenarios before the delivery of your first child.

I want to snap, “Stop it already. Quit scaring her!”

But then I realize that for them to speak from a place of having survived that prognosis, they have the honorable right to express their fear and post-traumatic-stress thoughts on to a newly-diagnosed member because they remember what life was like before their thyroid decided to test their will.

Amen to you sisters.

But I want to be different.

I want to offer a beacon of hope. I want my thyroid sisters to believe that they can be well, maybe not cured, but well and enjoy a full, rich life.

I find great hope in laughter. I know there is humor to be mined here in our thyroid worlds. Laughter calms our spirits and reminds us how sweet life can be.

Each of us that rolled out of bed this morning were given another chance at life. It’s a beautiful gift and often times we get so bogged down in our daily routines that we forget to look at the trees, feel the wind, or smile back at the strange child who is staring at our puffy, red faces. Maybe some of us look like Mrs. Claus and they hope by smiling at us Santa will remember them this year.

Today is a gift people.

You have today to tell someone you love them, to share bread with someone who is running out of food, to hug a suffering teenage girl who has just lost a parent to death, and contact people that you’ve been missing. Today is a great day to laugh.

It’s good to be here.

Come on, at least we thyroid sisters don’t have some hot pink ribbon on every label seen EVERYWHERE to remind us that we might be a “cause.” If we did have such a symbol I think it should be something warm — like wool thread.

Many of us do wear warm sweaters and wool pants in 80 degree weather.

Other days I think our symbol should be a hanging a pot of coffee with a straw swung over one shoulder resembling something along the lines of a coffee/purse Bota bag that we suck on all day.

Don’t get me wrong. I want to raise awareness about thyroid disease, but I don’t want a cause with a colored ribbon.  I want to laugh.

I want to give hope sprinkled in humor.

The kind of hope Liza Donnelly: Drawing on Humor for Change TED talk offers –

I’ll post my stats under here tomorrow.

Catherine

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