In addition to getting my Hashimoto’s into remission, I am working on improving my overall health. If you suffer from Hashimoto’s, it’s very likely that you’re a bit overweight like I am, so I’m sure you know where I’m coming from. My brother and sister both do yoga, so I was inspired to try it. I looked up yoga for beginners on YouTube. The video I tried, either the person doesn’t know what I mean by “beginner” or there is another category below beginner that I just don’t know about. Haha! So, I quickly went back to searching, this time on “yoga for overweight beginners”. Jackpot!
I found a video (that’ll I’ll share below) that really fit my idea of “yoga for overweight beginners”. The lady in the video was much more overweight than I am and was recovering from a knee injury. That really motivated me, because if she can do it, I can do it, right? She made it clear she was not an “expert”, but was sharing her modifications she’s made to allow her to continue to become more flexible and fit. She kept mentioning her pants didn’t fit well because she’d lost so much weight. Bonus!
The instructor not only shared the modifications she made, but she made it entertaining to boot. I appreciated the fact that she didn’t seem self-conscious at all and really put herself out there in order to help others struggling like she had. Honestly, I’m not that confident yet to put myself out there like her, but I’ll get there. I’ve subscribed to her channel. If you find her videos helpful, please subscribe to her channel too and/or leave some comments. She also runs a plus size yoga support group for those that are interested.
And now, without further ado…
Yoga For Overweight Beginners
If this post has helped you, please leave a comment below and let me know so I’ll post more things like this. If you know someone else this post might help, please share it on social media!
It’s been about 6 months since I started taking selenium on a daily basis and about 2 months since I started dieting and exercising. Just this past Friday, I had a medication follow-up visit with my doctor. I left her office feeling like I was walking on air. I had lost 6 pounds since my last visit with her in April and 12 pounds since I started this weight loss journey. She said my lab results looked great. I told her I’d been using my Fitbit and synched it with MyFitnessPal. She uses both as well and she gave me tips on certain functionality in the app, as well as nutritional tips like adjusting the macros from 50% carbs/30% fat/20% protein to 50% carbs/25% fat/25% protein. She was almost as excited as I was and she was extremely encouraging and motivational.
It has not been easy and I’m sure it will get harder. Have I cheated? Oh, yes, I have. In fact, that evening after my doctor’s visit, hubby and I went out for a big Mexican meal. But, I don’t kick myself when I do cheat (or celebrate). Tomorrow is another day and I continually vow to do better when I fail. I do allow myself more leeway on the weekends, with only a 250 calorie deficit instead of 500. After all, Sunday is pizza night. But I do it in moderation and so far I’ve only backslid on my weight once. I picked myself back up, hopped on the stationary bike, and worked off some of those calories.
I’ve started walking the 0.6 miles from the light rail station to work instead of taking a shuttle. It isn’t easy, since it’s uphill (both ways, there’s a hill between the station and my building). Slowly, but surely, I’m feeling stronger. I’m feeling muscles under there that I used to be well acquainted with when I was an athlete, *mumble mumble* pounds ago. I ride my stationary bike in the evenings. I make small changes to add more activity to my day. I sync and check my Fitbit app frequently throughout the day so I get feedback on how I’m doing. That spurs me to get up and move a bit or lets me know I’m right on target. I plan my meals to stay under my calorie allotment for the day and I log everything (including coffee creamer, vitamins, etc) in MyFitnessPal. If I want to eat more, I have to earn it with exercise.
I am not pushing myself too hard yet. I know I can do more. But, Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis has been devastating my body for so long that I know I need to heal a bit physically and lose some weight before I really push hard. Besides, I have to balance work, home, and my health, so I’m pacing myself.
My Fitbit is my best friend on this journey, with MyFitnessPal coming in a close second. Without their constant feedback and encouragement (yes, Fitbit will send you encouraging alerts on your cellphone and/or email), this would be a lot harder. For the first time in a long time, I feel hopeful that I can succeed in taking back my health and getting back in shape.
For many Hashimoto’s sufferers, weight gain is a major problem. Hashimoto’s causes hypothyroidism, which slows down the metabolism, leading to weight gain. As if losing weight wasn’t hard enough, losing weight with Hashimoto’s seems next to impossible. Believe me, I know.
The last thing you want to do after a long day at work is exercise. After all, you spent most, if not all, of your daily allotment of spoons there. What do you have left for exercise? Plus, you hurt. So many muscles of your body hurt due to inflammation that you just want to plop down on the couch and not move. And once there, you realize you’re craving carbs, so you get a snack, and maybe another. And you do this every day. Sound familiar? It does to me.
I have successfully lost weight with Hashimoto’s, but that was when I was younger. As I’ve gotten older and the disease has progressed, it feels next to impossible. My blood glucose is slowing creeping up and I’m headed towards diabetes. My cholesterol is a little too high. My blood pressure is a little too high. I don’t want to have to deal with heart disease. So, I need to do SOMETHING.
My first step in losing weight with Hashimoto’s, as you might have read in my blog post about selenium, was to start taking the supplement consistently every day. It has helped me feel so much better. I’ve been able to do physical activities that months ago I would have passed up. I was able to travel and walk around all day sightseeing on a recent trip while barely “paying for it” the next day with soreness. It has really helped. In addition, I’ve been talking Vitamin B-12, Vitamin C, and a daily multi-vitamin, since Hashimoto’s patients are prone to vitamin deficiency. Problems like leaky gut make it difficult for us to absorb vitamins and nutrients efficiently. I’ve been forcing myself to stay hydrated, which is a constant battle for me since I rarely feel thirsty.
My second step was to start wearing my FitBit Flex every day. With the FitBit.com dashboard and iPhone app, I’m able to set a daily step goal and track it. It keeps me motivated to get up and move and burn off calories. It also allows me to link up with friends and challenge them to a little friendly competition to see who can get the most steps. I used to be an athlete, so I love a little competition. 🙂
My third step was to start using the MyFitnessPal app and website to track the calories, vitamins, and nutrients in the food I eat. I also track my exercise activities there. I’ve synced my FitBit to MyFitnessPal so it adjusts the amount of calories I’m allowed daily according to my activity level. This has made me more aware of the nutrition in the food I eat and my activity levels. If I want to have a special snack or treat, I’ve gotta get my butt moving to earn some extra calories for the day! It also helps that all my siblings use MyFitnessPal too, so we can all help keep each other accountable for our goals.
This is not easy. In fact, losing weight with Hashimoto’s is hard. It takes constant diligence and awareness, something I’m not really used to. But I’m motivated by several factors. First, I want to avoid Diabetes as long as possible. My dad has Type 1.5 Diabetes, my paternal grandfather had Diabetes, and my niece has Type 1 Diabetes. I see the struggle they go through. Due to genetics, I will probably eventually have to deal with it too, but there are things I can do right now to push back that possibility. Second, since I started taking selenium, I’ve seen that there are easy things I can do reduce the impact of Hashimoto’s. I have had days where I’ve felt almost normal, where I feel like I’m in remission. I want MORE of that! Third, there are so many things I’ve missed out on because of Hashimoto’s. So many times I scrapped plans to go out or travel or join friends because I wasn’t feeling well. I want to get out and see and experience the world again. This motivates me to take care of my health and get in shape.
I hope that there’s something in this blog post for you that makes losing weight with Hashimoto’s a little more manageable for you. I intend to post regular updates as I continue on my journey, so stay tuned!