The Graceful Skinny

A homeschool mom of one sharing my thoughts, curriculum reviews, organization techniques, and planning ideas with others in the homeschool community.

A deeper look into the medical issues in my life- Part 2: Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis April 18, 2011

the gracefulskinny weight loss blog hashimotos thyroidits conditions

Whenever I hear the name Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis I always get a mental image of some crazed samurai randomly attacking my thyroid gland. In reality that image is not too far off from what is actually happening.

Essentially Hashimoto’s is an auto-immune disease in which your auto immune system randomly decides that it doesn’t like the thyroid anymore and then attacks it every so often. This causes the thyroid to go crazy.

During an attack your thyroid is likely to go into overdrive occasionally causing Hyperthyroidism. Hyperthyroidism happens when there is too much thyroid hormones (T3 and T4) being released meaning that your Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH) levels are too low.

Symptoms of Hyperthyroidism are as follows:

  • Heat intolerance
  • Increased Metabolism (This will make you more likely to lose weight and less likely to gain.)
  • Frequent and or loose bowel movements
  • Thinning of hair
  • Change in Appetite
  • Fatigue

After an attack your thyroid shuts down and doesn’t work as well. This causes Hypothyroidism. Your thyroid becomes hypo when the thyroid is under producing the thyroid hormones (T3 and T4). This causes your body to over produce the TSH in order to try to get more T3 and T4.  This is why when the vampires (lab technicians) draw blood to test your levels they look at the TSH levels.  When your TSH levels are high that means that your thyroid levels are too low.

Symptoms of Hypothyroidism are as follows:

  • Cold Intolerance
  • Decreased Metabolism
  • Weight Gain and/or a significant struggle to lose weight
  • Fatigue
  • Drowsiness
  • Difficulty Concentrating
  • Dry Skin, Hair & Nails
  • Constipation

Over all it is easy to manage with proper medication and regular monitoring.  It might take a while for the doctors to find the right level of medication for you but once they do Hashimoto’s becomes more manageable.

Things to look out for with Hashimoto’s:

  • Hashimoto’s and other thyroid diseases are very commonly linked with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
  • It is not uncommon for Hashimoto’s to cause Nodules to form every now and then.  I have been told that they are mostly harmless and just a part of the disease but you never know.
  • Stress and weight can be contributing factors.

Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis while not commonly known about is actually the most common form of Thyroid disease.  It is estimated that it affects about 14 MILLION Americans and that it is seven times more likely to affect women then it is to affect men.

Celebrities with Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis:

  • Kim Cattrall
  • Jillian Michaels
  • Linda Ronstadt (musician)
  • Nia Vardalos (actress/writer)
  • Oprah Winfrey

Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis can sound scary and overwhelming when you are first diagnosed but once you become familiar with what you are dealing with it becomes very manageable.

Websites that I have found useful in dealing with Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis:

You can find Part 1 of my Medical conditions series HERE

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Weekly Update:Glad to see Spring! March 18, 2011

 

So I’ll fess up now, I had a bit of a re-laps into laziness for a bit there. It was so bad I just completely brushed off my weekly updates. For that I am sorry. I think part of it was that I had a bit of a gain period and I hadn’t fully lost it last week. I don’t think I really wanted to face it. However I am proud do say that I was able to kick myself back into gear and I got a 30 minute workout done this week. Did pretty good to!

 

For those that don’t know, I use my Wii Fit to track my weight and to do my exercise. I like it because it keeps track of everything from your BMI (which is actually a bit more accurate then my Doctors office calculations), it also keeps track of my activity and how much time I spent actually moving.  It then calculates out how many calories you burned. It makes exercising feel less like a chore and more like a fun game. My favorite activity as of late is the 30 minute free ride biking one.  To move you step with your feet on the board just like you would when you are riding a bike.  You work the same muscles but from the comfort of inside your own home which takes away all weather based excuses to avoid the workout.  Not only that but it keeps score for you. It has become my challenge when I do it to do my best to match or beat my high score. This forces me to keep pushing myself and work myself harder and harder. I am also noticing that the more I do it the easier it is to go further. I almost always end with my legs like jelly and exhausted beyond belief but it amazes me that when I started out my high score was 4-5 miles. I was overjoyed when I finally hit seven miles. Now? Well I actually hit 11.4 miles this week.  And on that ride I was shooting for 10.6 miles.  Part of me wonders if I could actually pull that off on a real ride. It might be something I would have to try sometime.

 

Well I have to say that when I hopped onto the scale this morning I was not expecting much. It is a rare day indeed when I show any kind of loss the morning after Aunt Flo rolls in. It’s not uncommon at all for my weight to go stagnant throughout the period.  I was overjoyed and immensely proud of myself when I saw the numbers for the week. It just goes to show myself that if you actually get off your butt and do the work the results will come. (Don’t you just hate it when logic comes back to rub it in your face?)

 

So on to the results for this week:

 

  • This Week: 1.4 pounds down!!!
  • Total Weight Loss: 31.4 pounds down!!!

 

I am very much not ashamed to say that I did a bit of a happy dance around my living room when I saw that number.

 

So dear readers it’s your turn to update me! What is your favorite way to get in exercise? What do you do to kick your butt back into gear when the laziness attacks? How has your week gone?

 

What does 30 pounds look like? March 7, 2011

"Rachael" Gracegul Skinny weight loss diet blog medical conditions thyroid issues PCOS

In honor of FINALLY hitting the 30 pound down mark I thought I would take a chance to celebrate with what has become one of my favorite things about this blog.  That’s right folks! It’s another round of what does the weight look like!

So what is thirty pounds?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1.

 

30 pounds down weight loss graceful skinny blog

 

 

My new Sewing Machine! This baby rings in at whooping 33 pounds. It’s heavy enough that my family has made it a rule that I am not allowed to carry it on the stairs. The first time I tried to pick it up it took me 3 times because it wouldn’t even move the first few.

 

Just think and I have been carrying that around! Crazy!

 

 

 

 

 

2.

 

 

What does 30 Pounds Look Like? Weight loss blog The Graceful skinny diet

 

If we talk in terms of Butter we are looking at 120.5 sticks of butter!  That’s more butter then even Paula Dean could cook with! Can you imagine walking around carrying 120.5 sticks of butter? I sure can’t! Yet, that is what I’ve been doing! I can’t believe it!

 

 

 

 

 

3.

What does 30 pounds look like? Thirty Pounds weight loss blog the graceful skinny

 

If we calculated out into M&M’s that would be 150,000 M&Ms! Holy cow that’s a lot of chocolate!

 

 

 

So now it’s your turn dear readers! What objects can you come up with that are 30 pounds?

 

Weekly Update: Dancing through the Potholes on the Road of Life! February 25, 2011

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Well dear readers my week has been quiet interesting and busy. Due to my birthday on Monday I spent the weekend celebrating with Friends, family and loved ones.  I refused to deprive myself and even caved and brought a few special treats to munch on throughout the week.  I set my expectations low for the scale and relaxed and enjoyed myself knowing that this is a rare occurrence.

 

My birthday was wonderful! It was filled with my wonderful friends and family and some great food. The best part of it all was the beautiful sewing machine that my husband gave me! I have been wanting to learn to sew for the longest time.  He conspired with my friends and family and I now have everything that I need to learn to sew. I am almost done with my first project!

 

But alas, it wouldn’t be my life without a few trips to different doctor’s offices and yet another referral. I had my physical on Tuesday. It was probably a mistake to go in for a physical the day after my birthday but I wasn’t thinking about that when I scheduled my appointment.  So yet again I had all the fun of fasting and giving up 4 vials of blood to the Vampires to test. I was subjected to an EKG and a Breath Test due to my asthma. The EKG was good. The breath test however, came back with results showing I have the lungs of an 84 year old. It is possible that the test was not accurate however I am being referred to a pulmonologist just to be sure.  Oh yeah we also get to tack on yet another medication to help with the asthma.

 

My blood work came back with a mixed bag of results. It would appear that my TSH levels (Thyroid Stimulating Hormone) are perfect. Both my general practitioner (GP) and my gynecologist were happy with those numbers. However, apparently my cholesterol levels are still high.

 

My GP wants me to consider medication for it, but my gut tells me strongly not to.  This gut feeling was re enforced when I went to the drug store to pick it up and the pharmacist explained some very likely complications this cholesterol medication would cause with my treatment plan for the PCOS.  Needless to say I have declined the option for this medication.

 

It just goes to show you that when it comes to your medical issues, you can’t just sit back and assume everyone else knows what they are doing 100% of the time. You can’t relax. You have to stay on top of things. Sometimes that might mean you have to get annoying, others it might mean that you have to get stubborn. But always falls back on you to fix the issues of the day.

 

Needless to say, I have been busy this week. Which is frustrating, because it means I haven’t had nearly as much time with my new sewing (to me) machine as I would have liked.  And while I could have easily have let all this negative news get me down I choose not to. I am choosing to focus on the good side of things.  But enough with that. You probably are just sitting there anxious to see the damage all that celebrating did right? I know that I was when I stepped on the scale this morning. It took me a moment to actually peak at the screen and see my numbers for the week.

 

Imagine my absolute shock and surprise when I actually did take a look at the numbers!

 

The Results for the week are:

 

  • This week: 1.1 POUNDS DOWN!!!!!!!!!!!
  • TOTAL WEIGHT LOSS: 30.5 POUNDS DOWN!!!!!!!

 

 

In all honesty, I think that is the best birthday present I could ever give myself! And it goes to show that you can indeed have your cake and lose weight to! I can’t describe how great it feels to finally break through the 30 pound wall. And in just 4-5 pounds more I will officially be out of the obese category! How great is that!

 

So dear readers now is the time I hear from you! How has your week gone?  Anything exciting going on with you?

 

Weekly Update: Aunt Flo takes a visit….. WILLINGLY! February 18, 2011

Graceful Skinny, "weight Loss" diet blog  "Thyroid Issues" "medical Conditions"

So I am slightly frustrated that I have yet again come so close to reaching my 30 pound mark one week just to yet again swing back the other way slightly. However, there are a lot of factors in play this week and for the most part I feel pretty good.

First of all I woke up Saturday morning to the arrival of Aunt Flo. While usually we women would groan about that for me it was a rather good sign.  The royal mess up of blood work from a few weeks back had my doctor’s office swearing that there was no chance for a period this month and said I might as well go forward with a 5 day round of Provera .  However my spidey senses were tingling and despite the nurse’s confident assurances that the 5 day delay in taking the blood had nothing to do with the resulting low numbers, I had a feeling that there was a strong possibility that they were wrong and that the pregnancy like symptoms I had been experiencing were just a very strong PMS reaction due to the fact that this was my first naturally induced period in over a year.  Needless to say my skepticism paid off and Aunt Flo arrived upon her own accord on Saturday.  Boy was it nice to see her arrive willingly!

So on top of the fact that I have been on my period (and have always shown a gain the weeks were that occurs), we also had Valentine’s Day.  And Lastly I have been rather busy this week running errands and doing chores getting ready for my Birthday Party tomorrow night. (My Actual Birthday is Monday.) And when I haven’t been doing chores I have been outside enjoying my wonderful Birthday weather!  So I haven’t been able to get my usual workout in.

So what were my numbers this week?

  • This Week: 0.2 pound Gain
  • Total Weight Loss: 29.6 pounds down

Overall, it’s not too bad all considering.  Especially considering that usually when I have a week of Period Gain the spike is a lot more significant than 0.2 pounds.  I almost don’t even count numbers that small as a  gain.  So this weekend is my Birthday celebrations, and because of that I am not expecting much next week on the scale.  But I did learn from Christmas. This year instead of going to Costco for large amounts of over-processed crap, I went to my favorite little sandwich place that does some catering and have placed my order to let them prepare everything. It turned out a bit cheaper and it will be significantly better quality and will taste miles better. I even get the added bonus of not having to bake everything and deal with a dirty kitchen with guests arriving. I get to just sit back relax and be the Birthday girl.  I have to say it’s a win all around.  Not to mention that this place is always great about proper portions so by just giving them my head count they helped to ensure just enough food. This makes me less likely to have portion control issues.  It also leaves me with fewer leftovers after everything is all said and done. And while some of you might not see this as a good thing, it actually is.

So readers, anybody else have exciting plans for the weekend?

 

A New Discovery for Those Days When You just really Want a Soda! February 17, 2011

Graceful Skinny "Mexican Coke" "High Frutose Corn Syurp" "Corn Sugar" "Cane Sugar" soda "weight loss" diet

One of the first things that I learned when I started on this weight loss journey was to be weary of anything with High Fructose Corn Syrup (a.k.a. Corn Sugar). There are more and more studies that are finding strong addictive tendencies in this evil substance.

Princeton did a study on the substance and the results that they came up with were enough to raise eye brows. You can find the article that talks about this study here:  http://www.princeton.edu/main/news/archive/S26/91/22K07/

It is definitely an article worth your read.

In the study, they found that the rats who were given High Fructose Corn Syrup laced water gained significantly more weight than the rats who were given table sugar.  Not only that but they also found that the rats who had the High Fructose Corn Syrup ended up not just gaining more weight than the table sugar group but that the animals in the High fructose corn Syrup group ended up gaining 48 percent more weight!

When I stumbled across this information I started to try to do my best to avoid it, only to come to the realization that it is found in almost everything we eat.

It’s not practical to think that you can avoid ever eating it again. And the saying is always true, Everything in Moderation.  The problem however, is getting that into moderate amounts of your diet.

So next time you decide to go pick up that soda can or candy bar think twice! Rid yourself of the constant craving for it and you will quickly find that things that are loaded with it are overly sweet.

After only a month I got to the point were most sodas and soft drinks are just revolting to me.  Just try to go a while without the processed foods and then taste them again. They just aren’t as tasty as we thought.

But there will be days when you will miss that soda. And for those days, my husband and I have found a great compromise.

This bottle of coke isn’t any normal coke, and you more than likely are not going to find it on your regular soda aisle.  No folks, this coke is Mexican coke! What makes it better than the normal stuff you ask? Let’s turn the bottle around and take a look.

"Mexican Coke" Coke Graceful Skinny "Weight Loss" diet Soda "Cane Sugar" "Corn Sugar"

The red box believe it or not is the ENTIRE ingredients list.  That’s right there are only 6 ingredients in this bottle.   And let me tell you, there is a huge difference in flavor alone to justify the extra cost.

All of that being said, you should be aware that there is a bit of the “Corn Sugar” that may find its way in here.  I went on to coke’s website and found a Ingredients Glossary. According to their website  Caramel Coloring is defined as:

Caramel Color

Caramel color is made by a process involving the heating of corn or cane sugar and other carbohydrates to achieve the desired color.

http://productnutrition.thecoca-colacompany.com/ingredients

Because they don’t clarify if its indeed Corn Sugar or the better option Cane Sugar you should still take caution and limit the amount you drink it. But if you are just looking for a special treat every now and then, I would have to say that is a great way to go.

So as you go about your day, be weary and warned. Keep your eyes out and pay attention you might just be amazed at just how much of the High Fructose Corn Syrup is making its way into your diet.

 

Weekly Update: Doing Better! February 11, 2011

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So this week my stomach bug has finally started to pass! Thank the Lord above! I have had a pretty good week work out wise. I was able to remember to weigh in 3 out of the 5 days this week. Not perfect, but certainly better then what it has been lately. I even got in 2 separate workouts in.

 

So with all this progress comes some results. However I am a tad frustrated, even though I know I don’t have much reason to be.

 

So what are my results for the week?

 

  • This Week: 0.9 pounds down
  • Total Weight Loss: 29.6 pounds down!

 

 

Its remarkable progress I know, but part of me is disappointed I couldn’t get that last 0.4 pounds off to make this week’s totals a rounded total of 30 pounds.  I guess it just means I have to wait until next week to finally see that number.  I just hope that this new round of Provera I start tomorrow won’t mess me up yet again.

 

I almost feel as if the 30 pound mark is a bit elusive.  It has been dancing just outside my grasp since just before Christmas.  I am getting anxious to surpass that point in my journey.

 

Anyways that is how my week has gone! How have you been my dear readers? Has anybody else ha victories in getting back into the swing of things?