Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Calendar of Shame, updated

So you might remember my Calendar of Shame that tracked workouts, posted on my front door where I was forced to face it daily. In January and February I successfully tracked three workouts per week, and began March and April with a goal of tracking four workouts per week.

I was awesome in March. April, not so much.

Here's what happened. By the night of the 7th, a nagging wrist injury I'd developed (not the first time this has happened with Jillian, I must admit) exploded into serious pain, so I layed off for a few days. Why didn't I just jump on the treadmill and spare the wrist, you ask? Well, that's also the same time that a little thing called house renovation and moving started. My free time was nonexistent. Those blank weeks in April look like nothing happened on the calendar, but I actually probably sweated more then than during my awesome workout weeks... and I certainly woke up with more muscle fatigue. So while I was sore and tired and killed myself around this house for two weeks, I also never donned worked clothes and got my groove on in a concentrated period of elevated heartrate. Yes, I'm hard on myself, but I admit that the Calendar of Shame makes me feel, well, shameful. To make myself feel better, I annotated the calendar, but this also perpetuates the feeling that I'm just making excuses.

I finally got back to it a bit last week. Working out during lunch and then spending all night painting isn't a bad way to stay active. I've recommitted myself to kicking some major ass in May and June and making the 4x/week goal without excuses. A new calendar will be printed as soon as I can manage to set up my printer. Seriously, my home office looks like a scene from Hoarders right now.

In other possibly related news, I unexpectedly found out that my thyroid is out of whack. I have an appointment next week with an endocrinologist to sort things out and begin taking synthetic thyroid supplements, and the vainer side of me can't help but wonder how this might impact my metabolism. As I told a friend recently, I'm willing to do the work to stay in shape and be fit... I don't have a problem with that. I'd just like the work to pay off a bit more, that's all.

Do any of you have experience with hypothyroidism? Any tips for keeping up a workout regimen in the midst of major life "To Do" lists? As always, I'd love to hear your thoughts.


  1. Hey Maggie,
    Don't beat yourself up over the workouts, I always seem to lose the most weight when I'm staying active accidentally (i.e. DIY projects, walking from place to place).
    As regards your thyroid question, my mom has hypothyroidism and she lost a lot of weight before she was diagnosed (I think the normal symptom is weight GAIN) but it ended seem to affect her NORMAL weight once she started taking supplements, and it really is amazing how much better she feels...she can always tell when she's skipped a day of supplements.
    Hope it helps!
    Looking forward to your home improvement posts.

  2. Woo I look like a stalker commenting so soon after your post, but I was in my google reader and your post popped up, and ...

    Saying I look like a stalker obviously makes me not a stalker, yes?

    I have hypothyroidism. It shouldn't be a major problem for you unless one of your symptoms is unexplained weight gain. There's a whole list of symptoms, but I don't actually have all of them when mine gets out of whack. Mine mostly manifests itself in the form of fatigue, but I totally hear where you're coming from.

    Be prepared for it to maybe take a while to get your levels back to normal. Because of the nature of the synthroid and the way thyroid levels work, they will probably take your blood soon, prescribe you a certain dosage, and then recheck in 6-8 weeks. They might get it right the very first time or they may need to tweak it.

    When I was first diagnosed, it took about 3 or 4 months to get my levels back to where they were. I can always tell when I'm off, too, so you'll maybe get good at that. Even after the first 6 week check, though, when my levels weren't quite right still, I was feeling SO much better than I had been feeling.

    The other thing I didn't know was that your levels can change for no apparent reason, which happened to me recently. I was on the same dose for 3 years and then it went haywire. Awesome.

    Mostly it's a totally manageable disease. They just check your blood every so often and go from there.

  3. my mom has it. the only experience *i* have with it is climbing up on the counters when i was about 3, opening the child-proof bottle and eating her entire month's prescription (awesome parenting, mom!). i believe a trip to the ER and stomach pumping followed shortly.

    i do know that it is managed really well with her daily medication but the dosages need to be re-evaluated every so often, of course. she can tell when something is off.

    i have no tips on working out regularly, as i'm in the same boat. minus the major life things and plus a huge dose of lazy. i try the "i never regret a workout" thing but eh, i also never regret a huge glass of wine and relaxing on the couch.

  4. I have hypothyroidism! I have had it since I was in 2nd grade, which is super rare (most people develop it when they are older). As I have had it for so long and seen so many specialists I consider myself a non-doctor-expert on the subject so if you ever have any questions feel free to email me.

  5. During the first weeks of my pregnancy, the doctor diagnosed me with hypothyroidism and I began taking supplements. After reading a few medical journal articles about how thyroid problems can lead to dumb kids, I was super freaked. All is well now, I think. Point is, make sure to figure out your "levels" before considering children (if you are considering them at all).

    Unfortunately, I don't think there is a magic bullet when it comes to exercise, eating, and weight gain/feeling good. Some people I know eat whatever they want and laze around all day, some people have to work much harder to prevent weight creep, especially in their 30s. Most of it is genetic. It's hard to reconcile that and it doesn't seem fair, really. As Marion Barry said in the 80s, "it's a set up."

  6. Welcome to the club! I've been hypo since my teens (runs in the fam), and totally agree with Sarah - regular checks are a must as things can inexplicably fluctuate. Other than that, it's totally manageable.

    I just have a few tips, from my own personal experience. First, my docs have been hesitant to adjust my dosage when I'm in the low end of the normal range - to them, it's still "about normal." But every little bit counts! I upped my iodine intake a tiny bit (via Trader Joe's seaweed snacks! so addicting!) and it boosted what little thyroid function I have just enough to put me more in the middle. So much better! Give it a shot if you're ever in this boat! Second, I know this sounds like a nasty drug company plug, but watch out for the generic hormone supplements. My pharmacy switched to generic on me (which is normally ok), and my levels plummeted. I've since heard docs say that they're starting to think the dosage:effectiveness is different b/w name brand and generic, so they're not exactly interchangeable. Something to watch out for!

    Good luck with the work-outs - once you've got the thyroid thing sorted, you'll have more energy. It's subtle, but you'll definitely notice.

  7. I was diagnosed with thyroid cancer last year and so they removed my thyroid started me on the medication. I also hoped it would help with weight loss but unfortunately it didn't happen for me :-(. But my doctor said it is possible so I will keep my fingers crossed that you are able to benefit :-)

    It really does make SUCH a difference to have your thyroid levels stabilized. I went a while on nothing because I had to have radiation for the cancer and I was SO tired and had no energy to work out at all. After my levels got back to normal (which has taken close to a year) my energy levels returned to normal and I feel much better. Good luck and welcome to the thyroid sisterhood!

  8. Blogger (surprise!) ate my comment. The bullet points:

    Read like a fiend. Educate yourself. Ask questions. Don't be bullied by doctors.

    After some 10 years of dancing this dance, I have a pretty low opinion of endocrinologists. Most of them specialize in diabetes and could give a shit about the complexities of thyroid health. If yours checks only a TSH and tries to base any treatment plan on that alone, run for the door.

    An interesting read vis a vis iodine and thyroid:

    Consider Armour instead of Synthroid or the other synthetics. Contains both T4 and T3.

    My health dramatically improved on all fronts when I discovered the wheat sensitivity. Western medicine completely failed me on this front, and I had to venture into woowoo territory to figure this out, but it worked when nothing else did. 35 pounds, gone. Skin, gut, vertigo, you name it... gone. One endo tried to send me to a shrink, and it all came down to what I was putting in my mouth--an ostensibly healthy food was toxic to my system. I love simple solutions. Which is all to say, yay for taking an active role in your own health, think outside the box, and don't take no shit from anybody, no matter how white their coat.

    Oh, and my only advice for the exercise/schedule conundrum is this: do it first. Do your workout before you get into anything else, and it's done. Nothing will crop up and take it away from you.

    Congrats on the house! Moving will end. One day. I promise.


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