Friday, June 19, 2009

Fitness Log #1

Fitness log?!?! Wait? What?! What happened to talking about the thyca?

Well, it all sort of ties in together, and at the end of today's post, I'm thinking of issuing a challenge. But first I need to talk in long, convoluted sentences until I actually hammer out the details in my head of what exactly I want that challenge to be.

The basic role of the thyroid is this: control metabolism. I'm not going to tell you all the science involved. If you've made it to my blog, you've probably already taken a fairly active role in investigating the thyroid for yourself, and not being a doctor I would literally be regurgitating all the information that I've found over the years, which isn't what I want to do.

What I do want to do, is tell you what happened to me. I didn't just steadily gain weight, it came in waves, and not knowing anything about thyroids, I just contributed it to various things. I'm about to do something terrifying... reveal my weight... dun dun duuuuuuuuuun.

In 2000, I weighed 132lbs and would jump to 145 depending on the season. Between January-June 2001, I gained weight to be 160 lbs. In the fall of 2001, I dropped all the fattiness, to be 162 lbs, but fitting a size 9 (US)... normally 145 puts you in about a 10-12 size range. I was a lot of muscle. Then 2002 there was a creep up to 170, and then between February and May 2003, I suddenly jumped to the 190s, not muscle. I dipped below the 190's in 2004 when I was running around Europe, but overall I've been on a steady increase, usually gaining about 8-10 lbs during surgeries or radiation, dropping it back, putting it back on, but always seeming to add a little more. Until this year where I went from 204-215 in about a 3 week period. My all time high for weight was 218.

In 2002 there was an overwhelming synchronization of events, all of which have probably contributed in no small part to me just gaining a lot of weight, but also convinced me that it was sort of normal.

1) I was a soph0more in college... I've labeled my tummy my beer baby
2) I stopped playing volleyball competitively, so no more 2-8 hours of running, jumping, etc on a daily basis
3) I went on birth control shots (very bad idea)

Then one day I went and saw my doctor about it, and he ran tests on my blood work because we all thought it was weird, and it turned up nothing. About 2 months later my obgyn asked me if I knew I had an enlarged thyroid.

I can't say that my thyroid made me a fatty. Like I said, there were a lot of things going on. But I know my tumor was fairly large and had spread, sort of indicating it had been there for quite some time.

The biggest problem I think about having a thyroid condition and dealing with your weight and fitness, is in fact the mental stigma you create out of it. You have no thyroid, how are you supposed to jumpstart it to start metabolizing better and faster. How do you raise your metabolism when it is controlled by a pill? Its another one of those things that make me just generally feel helpless about dealing with the whole cancer issue as a whole. And even worse it makes me feel like weight control and general fitness is an uphilll battle... in the mud, at a 90 degree angle.

Has cancer already affected my self-image, confidence, etc? Well, yeah. Then I moved back home. My step-dad did this total body fitness challenge from January-May; he lost 61 lbs. Staring at someone who was able to drop the weight for a week is enough to motivate just about anyone to get out of their funk.

So I have signed up at Any Time Fitness, and I'm working with a personal trainer. Just for two months right now. 1 hour twice a week. She's changed my diet, has me running, etc. I started working with her on my birthday (June 1) and have dropped 3.5 lbs. It isn't a lot, but it is a start, and I already feel my muscles getting back into their groove.

Its a good time to do this for me. It breaks up studying for the bar exam, and is helping me not snack on comfort foods 24/7 while studying. I'm also in a major transition point in life where I have nearly half a year in limbo. What better time to make myself better. And mentally its cool too. I look at what happened at the end of my time in Pittsburgh, and what I've learned over the last few check-ups, and I'm realizing this might be the best way for me to stick it to the thyca, and regain some basic control over this small thing in my life.

I think each week, or everyother week I'll throw up a fitness log to show my progress. Not so much for bragging rights, I swear, but for other people struggling with their weight, having the mental block w/ thyca, etc. It provides motivation for me to keep up with it, but I think if you are like me... seeing someone in your position doing it, might be the boost you need. (like my step-dad is for me).

So my challenge, should you choose to accept it, is this. Take control of this part of your life, whether it be losing those extra pounds or getting into better shape (ie building up and toning some muscle). I'm not saying go get yourself a trainer. Thats mad wicked expensive. I got the trainer as a birthday/graduation present, and threw in graduation money. But there are enough free resources online, and basic common sense to start off with. If your interested, maybe we can build a little support group; maybe let people do some guest blogging if they do well? Thoughts?

1 comment:

BaldyLocks said...

I admire your energy to take control of your situation. I'm still trying to build muscle and lose prednisone pounds. I'd actually just like to convert those pounds to muscle so I can do crazy things like run or play vollyball. That would be so much fun.

I found your perspective on running away from it all, very interesting. I desperately want to move away but it doesn't even really make sense other than to me. Thanks for validating and sharing those feelings.