Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Walking away the Hypothyroid blues!

It has been over 6 months since I walked into a lab & got myself tested for my thyroid function. I vividly remember my reaction when I held my report in my hand. It was a very mixed response. I was feeling relieved that I finally found some plausible half baked reason for my weight gain in the last 2 years.You see,  I wasn't really pigging out or become a couch potato. I was at my wits end carrying all that 'happy' weight "Post marriage" around. That page of random values answered a lot of my questions. My TSH values were twice the normal reference range. In a weak bid to placate me, my T3 T4 levels were still floating around in the normal range. I knew what I had. Subclinical/Mild Hypothyroidism. I was relieved because I finally identified the nasty enemy. I was upset because I knew this would be a condition that I would have to endure probably for the rest of my life. I met a couple of endocrinologists none of whom satisfied my questions.
That is when I decided to take the onus on myself. I vaguely remembered a few details here and there from what I studied in college. But hey! This time , the patient was me.
I demolished page after page on hypothyroidism, but I wasnt really prepared for people around me. I will get to that some other day.
Most people live with hypothyroid with a morning pill & dont really bother too much about it. I am a little obsessive about these tiny details. You see, for most part of my life, I have been healthy, I just did not like the concept of being plagued by some chronic disease. It just did not fit into my scheme of things. The doc told me that i would not be able to lose weight, my metabolism has slowed down blah blah. Go for a walk. Dont eat 'fatty food" etc. This was all I got as nutrition advice.
I finally decided that I wouldnt resign myself to a slow metabolism.
All those " Oh my God! You have put on weight!" "You have put on more weight" "You have put on some more weight!" flashed past! At that time, I really did not know how to respond! and when I finally found the answer, I couldn't tell them. 2 years of bearing opinions, suggestions & advice had worn me down.
I was relieved & angry; relieved that I finally had some clue & angry with all the people for pointing out something that I already knew & did not enjoy.
I began my journey by walking for 4 km at a stretch. I had burnt 200 calories or that's what the App I had downloaded on my phone told me. A friend stumbled on the value & laughed at me for burning only 200 calories. He said 2 biscuits were 200 calories. I heard crass jokes by relatives, colleagues & friends. Yes even my friends. I stopped socialising. It made a difference. Suddenly friends were angry. Calls went unanswered, invites for lunch/dinner/coffee went unattended. I totally withdrew into my shell.
My shell was protective and secured my self esteem with my supporting family & a very loving husband.
I did not want to socialize at the cost of my feelings, my self esteem.
Once inside the shell, I took complete charge. I increased my walks from 4 km to 7 km. 7 to 8. and finally I touched the 10 mark. I just walked the weight away. from 74 to 72. 72 to 71. 71 to 69. 69 to 68. 68 to 66. and finally 66 to 64.
At my comfortable best, I would be 60. So my journey is ongoing. But one very valuable thing I learnt from my known enemy was that my weight is just a number. I got fitter. I got smarter and most importantly I got my self esteem back.
Now I can walk for 10 km, I can skip a 1000 counts with my jumprope and I can practise yoga. While most 'thin' people would not be able to manage half of what I do.
My Hypothyroidism did not make me fatter. It made me fitter. I would have never known if I had not stared at that paper with the random values that evening.

P.S - I have also forgiven all the crass jokes, comments & advice. I would also not like to say that they motivated me to get fitter. That is too much of a compliment.

The only person who is responsible for my new founded discipline & success is me alone. :) 


  1. Way to go girl :) Every cloud has a silver lining and I'm glad you found yours!

  2. Wow!! Inspiring.. Gotta get myself tested too !!