5 Things to Lose So Your Thyroid Can Win
Average Read Time: 6 mins
I get asked so often in our thyroid community, “What can I do to feel good again? I just want to feel normal. I miss me…”
Oh, god, don’t I know that feeling…
I went from bipping and bopping all over the place in my mid-twenties as a professional musician and young, married woman with a sexy body and a sharp mind to being 270 pounds, stuttering, hallucinating, and sleeping in my car outside the emergency room within a year.
I know what it’s like to have your life turned upside down and feel like all the change has been shaken out of your pockets.
I know what it’s like to look in the mirror and feel like someone SuperSized you without permission.
I know what it’s like to wake up exhausted, go throughout a day with no energy, and go to sleep with dread.
I know what it’s like to have doctors tell you that it’s all in your head and then, a year and a half later, tell you that you were dying.
I really, really, really get it.
So, that’s why when someone asks me how they can feel good again, I want to spare them, and all of us, the long and winding road that I went through. I want to give you the shortcuts on the fastest way back to you. Today’s all about five things you can lose, let go of, and get rid of once and for all, so that your thyroid can win.
1.) Crappy Beliefs
Girlfriend, I gotta tell you, some of us are a hot mess in our heads. I know that I was, and didn’t know how much until Hashimoto’s slowed me down enough to examine the wreckage as my life crashed and burned.
- I had spiritual beliefs from my religious upbringing that were based on fear and punishment.
- I had strong underlying beliefs of unworthiness.
- I had a performance mindset: If I look this way and make this much money, THEN I’m a good person.
None of those were going to serve me in my healing. I had to shift to positive messages like:
- I am safe.
- I am strong.
- I am beautiful.
- I am healing.
- I am resilient.
- I am here for an amazing purpose.
Those became my mantras. And if you don’t feel like it’s true to your heart to say those things, take this tip I learned from thought leader Reverend Michael Beckwith, and say: “I am willing.”
–Are you willing to heal?
–Are you willing to be resilient?
–Are you willing to live out an amazing purpose?
Then, say that!
2.) Inflammatory Foods
Okay, honestly? Here’s what I really wanted to say: “Stop eating gluten.”
But I say that and people act like I told them to sacrifice their child into the mouth of a burning volcano.
Trust me. I get it. I’m Italian. Gluten is pretty much everything I was raised on, all that I held dear, and as comedian John Pinette said, “Everything that tastes good in the world.”
Cookies, cakes, bread, pasta, cannoli, more bread…
Except for this: It wreaks havoc on most people with thyroid issues. There’s something that Dr. Datis Kharrazian talks about called “molecular mimicry”, where the body is attacking the thyroid tissue, and then the autoimmune system looks for similar offenders to attack as well.
Guess what? The gluten molecule is similar to the thyroid tissue and the body starts going after that. When the body’s in attack mode, that equals inflammation.
That equals: No bueno.
There are other foods that I also had to bid farewell to. Things like dairy (most of the time), eggs (for a time), potatoes and other nightshades, and a bunch of other foods, too.
Basically, cut out what doesn’t work for your body, i.e. if it gives you a skin reaction, anxiety, stomach distress, or makes you feel sluggish after you eat it. Because, remember this: food is supposed to make you feel good and give you energy, not take it away.
I started having my energy back in FOUR days after giving up gluten. I’m talking about feeling like garbage for YEARS and then, BOOM shakalaka!
Here’s what did work: Meats, green veggies, salads, good fats, and berries.
It doesn’t sound very sexy, I get it. But if you want fun and creative ideas for how to spruce up an anti-inflammatory diet, check out my friend, Mickey Trescott’s book, The Autoimmune Paleo Cookbook: An Allergen-Free Approach to Managing Chronic Illness, and the foodie in you can come out to play while you get healthy again.
UP NEXT: 5 THINGS TO ADD TO YOUR LIFE SO YOUR THYROID CAN THRIVE
3.) Crazy Exercise
Some of us sit on the couch too much. Some of us are in the gym too much. I don’t know where you’re at on the spectrum, but I want to say this: Scratch all the stressful exercise for a while (just as an experiment). If you’re anything like me, your adrenals might be fried like those little french fries that get stuck in the corner of the fast food bag in the land that time forgot.
I was exhausted from my wonky thyroid and trying to exercise in the same old way that I used to: More aerobics, more weights, more jogging.
And I was still gaining more weight.
My body was waving the little white flag.
Because when a body is really stressed out and the thyroid isn’t functioning properly, the mitochondria, which are a big part of you converting food into energy, get unhappy. They don’t function the same. Aggressive exercise needs to be traded for gentle exercise.
Walking. Yoga. Qi-Gong.
I was shocked that I was actually losing weight while doing something so gentle. I had spent my life applying more elbow grease to everything, and the Universe was teaching me that there is a yin to the yang of life. That gentle can be just as effective – in some cases, more – than forcing myself to perform like I used to. This was a new time. My body was in a new situation. It needed a new way to move.
4. Toxic Relationships
You know the picture of the girl, sitting in the field with a daisy, picking off the leaves, “He loves me. He loves me not. He loves me. He loves me not…”
Nobody needs that kind of crazy when they have to heal!
It doesn’t just show up in the partners we choose. It can show up in friendships and family members where there’s so much hot and cold, so much judgment, criticism and negativity…so much drama that we truly don’t have the energy to heal because we’re spending it all on toxic relationships.
Here’s what I learned through having Hashimoto’s: Some people are not going to understand. Some people are going to call you “fat” and “lazy”. Some people are going to tell you to get over it.
They may be your family, but they are not “your people”.
I have learned this important lesson:
My love is unlimited, but my time and energy are not. My heart can love you, even when you’re not being lovely, but this body needs rest. This mind needs to stay focused on happiness. This energy needs to go toward healing.
If you are not part of my rest, happiness, or healing, then you can’t have as much of my time or energy. I do not have the bandwidth for you. That doesn’t mean you’re less important than me. It means that my health is calling for my attention and I am not willing to give it to you when my health needs it first.
It’s an act of love.
Toward the world.
And toward us both.
5. Negative Self-Talk
It’s funny to talk about putting a target sign on your backside when you feel like the broad side of a barn. It’s tempting to poke at the fat on your thighs and tell it to go away. And it’s easy to step on the scale and roll your eyes so hard you get brain damage.
I get that.
And I also get that none of it is helping you to win at your health.
I saw a quote a few years ago that really spoke to me: “Your body hears everything your mind says.”
My mind didn’t have a lot of good things to say about my body.
I just wanted to be different.
Back to the old me.
I didn’t want it to remind me that I was sick and needed healing.
I wanted my body to just be a good soldier and get in line.
But the thing is this: It was.
It was getting in line with what needed my attention. And because I’m vain, I didn’t really listen to my symptoms until my body got fat and it wouldn’t get thin.
It was a signpost – okay, a billboard – saying, “Stacey! Come on. I need you. Pay attention. Help!”
It didn’t need my criticism. It needed my love.
So, I stopped putting it down and started saying, “Thank you.”
I stopped criticizing it and started saying, “I love you.”
I stopped wishing it away and started saying, “I’m here.”
That’s what my body needed – that’s what my life, my heart, my mind, and my thyroid needed. It needed me to say, “Thank you. I love you. I’m here.”
Friends, sometimes it’s not about pushing harder. Sometimes it’s about letting go. Releasing what no longer serves us so that we can make room for what does.
So are you ready to win your health? Take out these 5 things and you’ll be off to a great start.
Sending you big love and great health!