Oh my sweet little blog..IT’S BEEN A MINUTE, am I right?!
I’ve been putting off writing this post for about uh…three months now? Probably because I have no idea how to put this all together. It’s been a crazy and busy few months.
So let’s recall all those times when I started off posts saying how stressed/tired/lousy I was feeling..well guess who’s booty all that stress came back to bite?
I had been feeling like a complete bag of crap: no energy, my limbs felt like bricks, I hadn’t hit a PR in ages, my body composition changed, leaning out was impossible, I couldn’t think straight/remember things, I was always hungry/over eating with no self control, I had ZIP motivation to workout and when I did it was a battle to finish sessions and I just didn’t feel healthy…the list goes on and on. You get the point: extreme exhaustion and misery.
This is also why I RARELY posted. How can I come up with quality things to write about when I feel like garbage?!
I racked my brain, looked over every tiny detail of my training, nutrition and sleep, made changes where I thought I could..but still no change. This went on for months. I finally e-mailed my former nutrition coach, George and tried to gain some insight from him. He said there wasn’t much he could do without seeing some blood work and really encouraged me to see a naturopathic doctor.
Long story short, my blood work revealed my TSH levels were high, my hormones were completely out of whack and I was in the beginning stages of hypothyroidism.
Hypothyroidism or “low thyroid” is when the thyroid gland is not producing enough thyroid hormone. The thyroid produces hormones that control the body’s energy and metabolism..so basically I developed a slow metabolism. I somehow LUCKILY only gained a whopping 2 pounds, despite the amount of food I house on a daily basis and my changing training intensity/frequency..but I have lost a little bit of muscle and like I said, my body composition shifted as a result.
The main causes of hypothyroidism are autoimmune disorders, where your body’s immune system attacks its own tissue. While we’re not sure what caused mine yet, we have discussed several possibilities.
But really it all comes back to stress. Continuous stress leads to high levels of stress hormones, (hello cortisol) which really screw with thyroid function. So on top of all the emotional stress I had been dealing with for the past year, I also felt the need to continuously beat the crap out of my body with strenuous workouts (I REALLY started to push harder for all the PRs and gains that I wasn’t getting, even though I knew better..) and pressure myself to have perfect nutrition.
I pretty much bent over and assumed position for ol’ hypo.
It has been absolutely defeating to spend years working hard training and eating right to make progress and have all that feel like it went down the toilet because I’d lost so much strength and drive. As of right now I have ZERO endurance (not that I’m into running or endurance activities, but the fact that I run like a frickin’ hippo makes me feel terribly out of shape).
The naturopathic doctor gave me some vitamins and a thyroid supplement that I’ve been taking. I stayed in contact with George through all of this and decided to take up another round of coaching with him since I had NO idea how to train and eat around this, as to not stress my body further. So he designed a program and meal plan for me.
So I went through about a month and a half of coaching with him and putting in serious work with my training sessions and kitchen time. The results are in.
My TSH dropped down to 3.9. Normal range is .45 to 4.5. So I’m still towards the higher end, but after a month of treatment I’m okay with this. I also feel like a completely different person. I can make it through my training sessions, my 1RM squat shot up and my deadlifts are back to normal. I have energy and can function like a normal human being (kind of ;D) again.
I’m also going to be competing in a powerlifting meet in October. (!!!!)
This was all accomplished with all natural methods and eating 100% unprocessed foods (based on my metabolic type). Training wise, I worked with time under tension protocols + mostly higher reps (8-12) and stayed the heck away from anything aerobic. This was all with George’s help, of course. (I basically owe my life to that man).
I also had the help of an adrenal balancing supplement, digestive enzymes, vitamin D, vitamin B complex and tons of fish oil. I literally have to set aside like five minutes in the morning to take all of these and feel like an addict when I have to carry these around in my purse.
I’m on my own now and completely terrified of slipping back and burning out again, but in Part 2 I’ll get into the dirty details on what I think led to this.
Again I seriously apologize for totally neglecting my blog, but I’M BACK and have lots of goodies in store…and Joob, Kristen, Sable, Stephanie, Christina, Kristen, Tara, Alexandra, Sarah..I didn’t forget about you ladies!!