1/ Healing is a marathon not a sprint
I was privileged as a Nutritionist student who understood that despite what the GP was telling me, I was not ok, this was not normal, nor the simple consequence of simply ‘doing too much’. From the moment my head lifted off the pillow in the morning I was a walking zombie. I felt a rising panic that this was going to be my life now, forever. By my third GP, after having to pay privately for proper pathology because the first two doctors refused to run a comprehensive thyroid panel, I finally got a diagnosis.
After my initial grief & fear (which lasted a few months) I came to a place of relief; I finally had a face for my fatigue, brain fog, weight gain, haywire hormones & low moods. Ever the A type personality, I pulled out my text books, wrote out meal plans, put a supplement chart together and created a plan to get my life back on track.
I don’t think I need to tell you how that panned out.
The following few years are a blur of different practitioners, doctors, diets, many many supplements, so many blood draws that I was on a first name basis with my local pathology clinic and a lot of money spent without great results. I would feel better for a time and then decline again. It was always two steps forward, one step back.
I was discouraged, impatient and desperate.
It wasn’t until I found a Naturopath who specialised in thyroid health to guide me that I started to get improvements. But the big healing shift occurred after I implemented my own personalised nutrition food plan (the same plan that every Thrive Method member now receives) years after my diagnosis.
Healing is a marathon meaning you have to show up daily, consistently & persistently for months to years to reignite your energy, shift stubborn weight and regain your previous health. And you have to keep it up! Slipping on bedtimes, work boundaries and daily eating habits will make your health slip backwards. I hate to break it to you but your habits need to change for life if you want to keep your results.
Going on a diet for a few weeks or months just to shift some weight and then returning to your old habits is not going to cut it, it will just damage your metabolism even more.
I wish I had known this, it would’ve helped me fight the late nights, excess coffee, constant pressure to exercise, frequent snacking and one too many wines on the weekend which kept me stuck for years. My clients and I have discovered that nothing tastes as good or is worth feeling subhuman everyday. Now I look back and I’m grateful for every connection I was able to make and each step that led me closer to where I am today. Not only did I learn SO much (which I can now share with you!) but it makes me supremely thankful for the level of health I now enjoy.
2/ How blood sugar regulation was crucial to battling symptoms
I knew what I ate mattered of course, I was studying Nutritional Medicine and ate a really good diet if-you-don’t-mind-thank-you-very-much! 90% of my daily eating was whole foods, made from scratch, lots of veggies and much of it was organic.
BUT, my blood sugar still wasn’t regulated, I wasn’t addressing meal timing, portion sizes, macronutrient balancing and ensuring I was getting enough protein, healthy fats and complex carbs daily. My coffee habits and addiction to busy-ness was keeping my stress hormones & insulin high. There was also enough inflammatory & processed foods creeping in to keep me trapped on the disregulated blood sugar rollercoaster day after day. I wanted off but I couldn’t find the release switch and truth be told, I wasn’t equipped with the knowledge to recognise what it was anyway. Wasn’t poor blood sugar regulation only relevant to those with diabetes? How wrong I was.
If I had understood how crucial blood sugar regulation was for lowering inflammation and shifting stubborn Hashimoto’s weight, exhaustion, brain fog, poor sleep, haywire hormones and my skin I wouldn’t have suffered all those years. It turns out eating ‘healthy’ foods was not enough.
If, like me back then, you wouldn’t know where to start when it comes to blood sugar regulation, I have a free nifty resource that makes it all extremely simple and easy to follow. You can download it here. Oh how I wish I had a resource like this when I was first diagnosed with Hashimoto’s disease!
3/ That a Hashi’s diagnosis is not a life sentence and there is hope for healing
The moment I discovered I had an autoimmune disease is seared into my memory, I remember the windows and light behind the GP’s desk and the sensation of my stomach dropping. Later that day doctor google provided me with enough doom & gloom to keep me afraid and trapped in victimhood for a time. The ‘C’ word worried me in particular because I already had a genetic predisposition and had just been through a ten month long osteosarcoma scare. But the idea of living out my days tired, foggy and unable to stop the gradual weight gain was pretty daunting in my late twenties with two little boys in tow.
I wish I had known that remission and even curing yourself of autoimmunity was entirely possible. It would have helped me take action & dig myself out of that pit sooner.
Every week I hear diagnosis stories from women and how they were told that their immune system was slowly destroying their thyroid tissue and that there was nothing they could do. Eventually their thyroid would be irreparably damaged and they would be reliant on medication. No hope. End of story.
This is not your sealed fate, there is A LOT you can do and it is possible to cure yourself of Hashimoto’s. I wrote a blog post on this topic last year, check it out here. But even if you never get your antibodies down into remission level you can still manage Hashimoto’s to the point where your symptoms are mild or in some cases eliminated and you can lead a normal life again. I’ve done and my clients do too.
P.S. I was fortunate that as a Nutritional Medicine student I already knew gluten was a no-go for those with Hashimoto’s otherwise this blog post would’ve been titled, FOUR things I wish I knew…lol.