At the beginning of 2015 I was diagnosed with Hypothyroidism and assumed my weight gain was caused by my slow thyroid. Well, after taking the thyroid hormone (levothyroxine) medications for almost 6 months and not feeling any better, I went to see a specialist who diagnosed me with Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis.
Learning about this disease was overwhelming but answered many of my symptoms. The most important one was my weight gain. Although it has been minimal compared to others stories I have read, it is still significant to me. Over the course of the last four years I have been actively into lifting weights and working out with my husband who is a certified personal trainer. I have focused on eating certain macros to help with my fitness goals, and the only results have been an increase in muscle mass but not body fat loss. I was always grinding myself into the floor at the gym, to the point where I felt like passing out after my work outs, little did I know I was making myself sicker.
The first thing I did after learning some basic facts and information about my new diagnoses was cut out gluten. I didn’t want to but I found a great source of information Dr. Izabella Wentz on Facebook who also has a blog and wrote a book on her own personal experience and research. She convinced me to try going gluten free for a few weeks and see how I felt. I also decided to cut out dairy because it seemed like I had sensitivities to it, as in constant stomach aches. Everyone’s body is different, I’m not saying cutting out dairy, gluten and soy will magically cure you or make you loose 5 lbs, but it has worked for me.
I’ve also learned that our bodies need fat, good fats which I wasn’t eating many at all from fear of getting “fat”. I use coconut oil for all my cooking now and even add it into my smoothies. Since I cut out dairy, I can no longer eat cheese or yogurts which was how I got most of my fats in my diet, so I traded them in for peanut butter and avocados which are delicious! I’ve noticed the difference in just 2 months, the stomach aches and bloating have stopped since I cut out gluten, dairy and soy.
As for exercising I learned that you have to take it easy. According to Hashimotos healing article “…excessive exercise can actually cause major problems with immune function. And if you have Hashimoto’s it is very important not to overtrain or you can wipe out all of the benefits and actually make many things worse.” which I found to be accurate from my experiences in the gym. Instead of doing 1 1/2 hour long work outs, and feeling like death after, I have adjusted them and have been feeling better.
The last and probably the most important factor is STRESS. Stop worrying about how much weight you’ve gained, how much you didn’t loose this week or how you ate that cookie today. Stressing about the weight gain for some reason does not help at all. Do the best you can each day and you’ll see results. It won’t happen overnight but if you continue working at it it will happen.