Fit Girl & thyroid disorder: the do's and dont's

Food & Recipes door thijs

Sometimes there is something other than yourself standing in the way of accomplishing your goals. This week I would like to tell you something about my horrible thyroid and the (medical) struggle I have with achieving my goals. This article is about thyroid disorders. I have a thyroid disorder myself, and in this article I’ll explain what it is and how it is affecting my life.

What the bleep is a thyroid?!
The thyroid is a small butterfly-shaped gland in the front of your neck, it makes thyroid hormones. Thyroid hormones travel from the thyroid gland through the blood to all parts of your body. Thyroid hormones help your organs to work properly. They control how your body uses food for energy. Thyroid hormones affect your metabolism rate, which means how fast or slow your brain, heart, muscles, liver, and other parts of your body work. If your body works too fast or too slowly, you won’t feel well.

Here are some symptoms of an underactive thyroid:

  • Feeling tired and cold
  • Dizziness
  • Having a slow heart rate and dry skin
  • Being constipated
  • Depression
  • Gaining weight even though you’re not eating more or exercising less than usual
  • Hair loss

The symptoms of an overactive thyroid include:

  • Feeling nervous and irritable
  • Having trouble concentrating
  • Feeling too warm even when other people don’t feel warm
  • Having a fast heart rate and diarrhea
  • Having trouble sleeping
  • Losing weight without trying

Underactive thyroid
If you have an underactive thyroid, you can add foods to your diet that support your thyroid and metabolism. It’s important to eat healthy and variedly. Here you find some examples of what to eat when you have an underactive thyroid:

  • Fish and shellfish
  • Fats: olive or coconut oil
  • Protein: chicken, eggs
  • Fruit: blueberries, bananas, cherries, strawberries
  • Vegetables: sugar snaps, lentils, mushrooms, pumpkin, carrot
  • Seeds and nuts: pine nuts, flax seeds, pumpkin seeds
  • Nuts: macadamias, Brazil nuts
  • Cereals: oatmeal, millet

Foods and drinks that don’t go well with an underactive thyroid:

  • Sugar
  • Alcohol
  • Refined foods
  • Soy
  • Raw fish, so no sushi =(

My personal story
When I started changing my lifestyle, about two years ago, nothing really changed about my body. I was really disappointed and went to the doctor (general practitioner). She took some blood samples. About a week after that I got a call and the doctor told me I have a slow thyroid. In my case it means that I feel often tired and that my metabolism works slower than it should. I was really shocked and also relieved, because I knew what the cause was. I thought because I was eating healthy already, I would just take some medication and get skinny automatically.
Of course, that was not the case. The next couple of months I didn’t really try that hard to be a Fit Girl. I was convinced that the medicine would make everything all right and I blamed my thyroid for the fact dat I didn’t get fit. I took me some time to realize that the medication made my hormone level just sufficient enough to let my metabolism work normally, not faster. Kind of a disappointment, because it would be so nice to get fit while hanging on the couch and munching some potato chips.

It's annoying but not insuperable
I now have thyroid medication that contains thyroid hormones. I have to take this every morning, 30 minutes before my breakfast, for the rest of my life. Every 2 months I go to the doctor and she takes some blood samples to check if my hormone level is okay or if the dosage needs to be adjusted.
From this experience I’ve learned that my fit journey doesn’t get accomplished automatically. I have to work really hard. My slow thyroid is annoying but isn’t insuperable. I won’t let anything stop me to getting fit anymore. Just positive thinking already helps a lot!

I hope this article helps you to continue your fit journey, even if there’s something standing in your way. Does anyone of you have a thyroid disorder? Or do you have some other medical struggle? How do you handle it? Feel free to ask me any question you may have and follow my fit journey on Instagram
Love, Lisanne