Are You Abusing Exercise?

Exercise gives us endorphins, and it’s a beautiful thing, really! 


Having a shit day? Get that anger out, girl.

Trouble processing emotions and feel stuck? Get yo’ ass moving and see things much more clearly.

Need to transition from “part one” of your day to “part two”? Exercise is my preferred way to do it!

It’s a valid method of moving through and processing emotions. After all, emotions bring energy with them, and it needs to continue onward—lest it stay with us.

But, when do we transition from using exercise to benefit our emotional and physical well-being to using it as a scapegoat, distraction, or projection of negative emotions towards ourselves? 

When does our use of exercise turn from healthy to unhealthy?

When we’re not aware of our motivations.

Without awareness of WHY we’re exercising, we may be distracting ourselves from more deeply rooted items that need our attention.

More often than not, addressing these underlying matters is what will truly lead to contentment. Exercise is simply a band-aid.

If this sounds familiar to the use of food—either via eating or restriction—you’re right. Many women use both exercise and food as coping mechanisms, but it’s helpful to look at them in isolation. 

How do you know if your use of exercise is beneficial and healthy?

Ask yourself, “Why am I doing this?”

If the honest answer(s) is derived from a negative place, then we need another game plan. Examples include:

  • shame for food choices

  • disgust with your body as it is today

  • to build a body to please others

  • to distract yourself from issues at home, work, relationships, etc.

  • to prove your worthiness by being an athlete

  • to prove your worthiness by changing your body

  • to prove your worthiness by working harder than everyone else

  • to convince yourself that you’re moving towards greater fulfillment, when what you’re really seeking is deeper connection with yourself and/or others

  • to receive love, attention, or validation from others

Positive, healthy reasons to engage in exercise may include:

  • to challenge yourself and prove that you can do hard things. The key here is to ensure you’re doing this for yourself, not to prove anything to others

  • to build strength, endurance, or power in your body so that you’re a more capable human

  • to build parts of your body based on your own aesthetic preferences, while understanding that this has zero impact on your worth as a human

  • to calm or reset your mind

  • to get out of your head and into your body

  • because it’s enjoyable AF

 These will look different for everyone, and each list can continue in perpetuity.

The key is to be completely honest with ourselves when we look at our intentions, and oftentimes, this awareness is only heightened when we’re forced to take a break.

Health concerns, injuries, and various other life circumstances will force us to pause, to change our exercise routines, or to perhaps stop them altogether. 

This can be challenging, humbling, and frustrating as all hell.

We may even find ourselves in a full-blown identity crisis if exercise—especially of the intense of competition variety—has become part of who we are.

While this may sound miserable, we can use situations like this to our advantage. 

We can use them as opportunities to face ourselves, to show ourselves compassion and grace, and to identify what we truly need.

I found myself in this situation in during the Spring of 2018 when I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s. I had been feeling terrible for months, and that diagnosis was the wakeup call I needed to finally take a step back from my intense exercise regimen and REST.

My 4-5 times per week CrossFit habit changed to leisurely walks and some weightlifting three times per week.

I didn’t become a couch potato by any means—as my body didn’t warrant that protocol—so I was shocked to discover my discomfort with zero intense exercise.

No chasing the clock.

No pushing my body to the point of complete exhaustion.

No competing with others in class.

No using exercise to get my brain to work because I was too exhausted and overworked for it to function normally on its own. 

Rather, I was forced to sit with the discomfort. 

And I pondered. 

Why is this so uncomfortable for me?

What have I been avoiding?

What am I really doing it all for?

Some of the answers that came up included:

  • avoidance & denial of feeling physically unwell when not exercising, as the endorphins made me feel better for the hours after a workout.

  • identifying with going “all out” during every workout, otherwise I felt like a wimp, pansy, and average.

  • proving my worth to the world by pushing myself harder than others.

  • an inability to show myself grace when I’m not good at something. To not push to be better was unacceptable in my eyes, even when it wasn’t making me any happier or fulfilled in the long-run.

  • making myself feel accomplished in an area I’m comfortable with—physical activity—so that I could placate my avoidance of things I’m uncomfortable with: business ventures and some areas of relationships.

We’re pretty great at rationalizing our choices and projecting them as healthy to the outside world.

After all, very few people—if any—truly know our motivations behind our seemingly healthy exercise habits.

WE are the ones with the answers.  We may be the only ones seeing all the cards.

Therefore, it’s our responsibility to ourselves to be honest about where we are & where we really want to go.

If any of this sounds familiar, consider taking the uncomfortable route. Consider sitting with the discomfort, rather than running (quite literally) from it.

Take a break—ideally a couple months—from the intense exercise you’re used to and allow yourself the opportunity to uncover what’s lurking beneath the surface.

You can always return to your current exercising ways if you so choose—perhaps in a different format, cadence, or intensity—and you’ll be doing so from a much more positive and life-enhancing place.

Don’t let something with so much life-promoting & enjoyment potential become your worst enemy simply because you’re replacing one form of discomfort for another.

Can you allow the sh*t times to level you UP?


We’re so quick to wish the present moment away as our minds drift into the past or future. We may think we only do this during the bad times, which is understandable, but we put this into practice during the good times too when we’re not immersed in awareness.

During the good times, we begin to worry about the future and how it will pull us away from the enjoyment of the present moment.

I truly believe detachment is useful and necessary, as everything will eventually change, but we also don’t want to miss what’s right in front of us.

During the bad times, we want to wish them away and usher in the next comfortable season. Which is only natural—but is it useful? Do we grow from the cushy, warm, comforting times?

Without the bad, we aren’t able to relish in (or even experience) the good, and we aren’t able to develop into the humans we’re meant to be either.

Rather than lamenting about our current shitty situation, can we lean into it and choose to gain something from it?

My body, and often my mind, haven’t felt like my own for several months of this year. I believe a lot of this has to do with the Hashimoto’s and generally running myself into the ground, but I can’t say with absolute certainty.

Now that I’ve experienced vast improvements since May (I want to be sure of the consistent improvements before sharing what I did), I’m honestly grateful for the experience.

  • I’m much more in tune with my body and my health.
  • I know that it’s not worth it to sacrifice my health for the sake of ego, vanity, or the comfort of routine.
  • I’ve slowed the fuck down. This is primarily physically, but also mentally.
  • I received a lovely reminder of the practice of detachment from my appearance and physical capabilities.
  • I’m better equipped to guide others who are struggling with a similar experience.
  • I learned to lean on others and learned who really cared when I wasn’t my usual, positive self.
  • I was reminded of how strong and capable I am.
  • Probably most importantly, I was reminded that the shit times will come, they happen for our betterment, and they’ll pass.

To that last point, we may as well sit with whatever we’re experiencing and use it to our advantage, no?

If I reflect on the times that have really shaped me during my 29 years, they haven’t been the rosy times—although they carry great memories. I am the human I am because of the challenges, and as I learn to embrace them, there is so much less to fear.

I write this with the intention of reminding all of us, including myself, that every one of us experiences the dark, shitty times, and if we really dig deep and sit with the emotions of those experiences, it will be time and energy well spent.

If the darkness is going to come anyways, and it inevitably will for each and every one of us, we should soak up as much as we can from the experience while it lasts.

We can choose to level ourselves up as a result. How’s that for taking back our power?

Intuitive Eating - Where Do I Start?

Intuitive eating seems to be gaining a lot of traction in the health and fitness realm, which is great! However, there is also a sufficient amount of confusion regarding the concept, as everyone defines it differently.

I love myself a mid-day marg, especially in the summer! 

I love myself a mid-day marg, especially in the summer! 

Some also discount it completely, as it’s not black and white, but the hard-core, rigid dieting rules are the reason so many of us find ourselves in the bottom of the dieting rabbit hole to begin with.  These camps lead you to believe that intuitive eating will lead to binging 24/7 and that it's impossible to develop a relationship with our bodies based on awareness and trust.

The overarching premise behind intuitive eating is that we eat in accordance with our bodies’ signals, in addition to the added layers of preference, lifestyle, activities, and goals.

Solely eating according to our bodies signals can create additional spirals of guilt and shame, as there are times when we simply want to eat and drink for pleasure. The dessert after dinner? Definitely not hungry, but we choose to enjoy some. 

The extra glass of wine? Our bodies aren’t necessarily asking for it - our brains and emotions are. And these reasons are just as valid in the right context.

So if we’re supposed listen to our bodies, but we’re also free to listen to our emotions and thoughts, then how do we go about this, exactly? I completely understand the confusion.

How to get started

1.     First, we need to understand that this process takes time, as there isn’t one blueprint that everyone can follow. This means we can’t just look to Instagram or our friends to see how we should be eating—the onus is on us to learn what’s best for our bodies. Trial and error while practicing awareness is an absolute requirement as we unlearn the rules we’ve been given. Viewing this as a quick fix is a sure way to see the practice as a failure.

2.     Begin assessing your body’s feedback to understand what it likes and dislikes, and evaluate how it aligns with your actual taste preferences. For example, my taste buds love cheese and ice cream, but the rest of my body is not a fan in the least. Can I choose to eat dairy? Absolutely, and there are times I do, but I don’t make a habit of it. That would akin to hearing my body speak and essentially telling it to f*ck off. Not exactly the way to lay a foundation of trust, eh?

We can assess whether our bodies are jiving with said foods by taking inventory of changes in our skin, digestion, hormones, athletic performance, brain fog, and emotions.

3.     Become acquainted with your hunger and satiety signals (full post on how to do so here). I can’t emphasize how important this aspect is to the process. This isn’t to say that you’re unable choose to consciously override these signals. The key here is being aware enough to choose. However, you do need to become very familiar with what these signals feel like for you.

If you’re coming from any kind of dieting background, ignoring hunger signals is usually the element that needs the most attention. The more you give yourself permission to eat, the more hunger you’ll feel. Trust is essential here.

I’m a former member of the “clean your plate club” while simultaneously waiting until I felt like I was going to faint before eating, so I fully understand how uncomfortable and difficult this can be in the beginning. Over time you’ll be able to better understand what levels of hunger and satiety feel best for you, and you can adjust your food choices accordingly.

Why is this important? In order to accurately assess our hunger and satiety stages, we must practice awareness, and awareness lays the foundation of this entire practice. Additionally, becoming familiar with these cues is the gateway to understanding feedback from our bodies after ignoring them for so long, and it's an excellent trust builder.

4.     Awareness of why you make the choices you do. This is closely tied to point number three, as when we really pay attention to the times we eat when we’re not hungry, eat beyond satisfaction, intentionally under-eat, or ignore our hunger signals, we’re forced to face the potential discomfort of why we’re doing it.

Boredom, distraction, numbing, fear of eating full meals (we subsequently snack all the time), and feelings of unworthiness are common reasons, in addition to pleasure, connection with others, fuel for activities, and experiencing different cultures. As you can see, motivations can run the gamut, and confronting them isn't always easy. This step absolutely cannot be skipped, and while it can be uncomfortable, we’re better off for it.

5.     Assess how foods affect your athletic endeavors. I love to partake in strength training and crossfit, both of which require carbohydrates as the preferred fuel source. Through quite a bit of trial and error (another reason a coach is helpful—so you don’t have to endure that part for as long as I did!), I realized that my body needs upwards of 150g of carbs per day to feel happy and content (estimate, as I don’t track).  This is my minimum on most days, as I feel better eating more than this when I’m crossfitting frequently.

I learned this lesson the hard way after listening to the latest diet craze in lieu of listening to my body. Please don’t do that! Pay attention to how your body feels during and after workouts, including sleep, and make adjustments to your food choices and intake accordingly. Changes may include more food before a workout, eating more or less of a macronutrient before working out (more carbs for me, always), and/or eating more food in general.

Our bodies don’t know that we’re about to participate in a difficult workout, so don’t expect it to magically appear with hunger signals and cravings right before (as I did). This is where deviation from our hunger signals is absolutely warranted and encouraged. Although, I want to be clear that you can choose to override your hunger and satiety signals at any point, with the preference being that it's conscious.

6.     Become familiar with what is worth it to you. This is what I consider to be the final step, as we can’t make a proper evaluation of what foods and drink are worth it to us if we haven’t completed the steps above. We must first incur sufficient trial and error to understand if under or overeating, not sleeping, screwing up our hormones or digestion, numbing or distracting, and performing better or worse in our physical pursuits is worth it to us when we’re evaluating the choices in front of us.

Some examples: I usually find two glasses of wine to be worth it, but a third isn’t on most days. Is it worth it to eat when I’m not hungry before a workout so that I’m able to perform better? Absolutely. Is a slice of pizza or bowl of ice cream worth the digestive distress I’ll experience later? Sometimes—depends on the company I’m with and how special the food is. I’m not going to put myself through that level of discomfort for some basic, run of the mill foods, you know?

As you can see, the concept of intuitive eating requires time and effort, most notably in the beginning, and it most certainly necessitates a high level of awareness. This leads to many people’s eyes glazing over, as they don’t want to make that investment.

Being told what, how, and when to eat removes much of the burden, and I fully understand the appeal. Not only does it allow us to turn our brains off, but we also believe this method will lead to clearly defined results.

But play that out in the long run—where does that path lead you over the next 5-10 years? Chances are, you see yourself desperately clinging to another plan, still lacking any semblance of trust in your choices and your body.

Through the practice of intuitive eating, we’re able to finally join the same team as our bodies, we’re empowered to trust in the signals we receive and our subsequent choices, and we’re able to make room for the shit that really matters in life.

Are you ready?

Email me for more information on one-on-one coaching to get started!

"I Have More Important Shit to Think About" - My Response to my Recent Weight Gain

These are the words I whispered to myself last week in the midst of my frustration with my pants fitting too tightly. Too tightly being defined as quite uncomfortable to wear, despite the supposed stretch in the denim.


During the last 3-4 months, I have gained 7-10 lbs., and I don’t know if it’s water weight due to the inflammation from the Hashimoto’s or actual fat gain. In the end, it doesn’t really matter, as the end result feels the same—I’m uncomfortable in a few pairs of the jeans I fit into quite easily a few months ago.

As I stood in front of the mirror, confused and frustrated as to why I happened to gain this weight despite remaining active and eating as I usually do, my inner voice chimed in and said “I have more important shit to think about.”

I then proceeded to do a mindset calibration to re-center myself, put on a different pair of pants that fit more comfortably, and moved on with my day.

It’s easy for us to proclaim self-love and confidence when we feel comfortable in the bodies we’ve become accustomed to, and even more so when we fit society’s ideal of thin, white, straight, and cis-gender (as I do). The latter point is a topic I will cover in an upcoming blog post, but the former is a testament to my current experience and those of the women I work with.

It’s easy to neglect our maintenance work of not defining ourselves based on our appearance when we look a way in which we feel comfortable. Or when we fit into the same clothing sizes we’ve become accustomed to for years.

The true test is when our bodies morph into something outside of this realm of comfort—into something that feels foreign.

The reality is that our bodies are absolutely going to change throughout our lives, and there isn’t a damn thing we can do about it. Additionally, there are times when our bodies are going to change based on factors within our control. These typically include a deviation from our usual habits in response to an adjustment in priorities (travel, holidays, weddings, work, family, etc.).

The changes within our control can be easier to accept, as we understand we’re willingly participating. The changes outside of our control, such as health issues, pregnancy, and aging can be more difficult to accept due to the lack of control.

When we find yourself in a situation where our bodies have changed, or we’re overwhelmed with the need to control our food and exercise due to fear of our bodies changing as our priorities do, we must first accept and acknowledge the situation.

Don’t run from it, and don’t go down the path of distraction with destructive habits. Sit with it, say it aloud to yourself, and ask yourself the following:

1.     What are the things in life that provide me with the most meaning right now? These may include family, close friends, being active, new experiences traveling or with eating/drinking, pursuing a meaningful career or hobby, time in nature, self-development, a spiritual practice, our own health or that of a loved one. Your appearance may be on the list, and that’s completely fine. However, you need to be honest with yourself about where this lies within your ranking of priorities.

For me, my health, family, friends, career, and time in nature are the most important things to me at the moment, and these define the “more important shit” I refer to above.

2.     Am I willing to sacrifice any of my other priorities in pursuit of changing my body? I’m not simply referring to time here, as mental and physical energy are major resources that are diluted by constantly thinking about our bodies and food. 

Last week, I asked myself, “Am I really going to spend my precious energy thinking about these changes to my body when I have creative and professional ambitions and a summer to enjoy with my loved ones?” The answer is no. Especially, when I’m focusing on treating my body with respect via nourishment, rest, and movement already.

3.     What do I contribute to this world that is of the greatest value? Creating valuable content to help others, general creativity, being there for family and friends, providing entertainment, uplifting others, being a teacher, acting as a confidante—these are all worthwhile attributes that begin a laundry list of items people can ascribe to. The way our bodies look is at the bottom of the barrel—they don’t actually contribute anything to the world, and the constant pursuit of changing our bodies detracts from our time and energy being spent on these more important items.

4.     How can I make my body and mind feel supported right now? This might be eating less inflammatory and processed foods, drinking less alcohol, eating more food, more rest and self-care, more alone time, more time connecting with others, time outdoors, meditation, yoga, weightlifting, journaling, reading, wearing clothes that fit. It can be one or all of these things, in addition to a plethora of others.

The point is, focus on what you can do to better serve your body and mind, not go to war with them. Remember, we’re on the same team.

5.     What am I grateful for that my body does for me right now? This is especially relevant when dealing with health issues or experiencing changes that are outside of our realm of control, as it’s easy to believe our bodies are betraying us. Admittedly, I subscribed to the victim mindset upon hearing of my Hashimoto’s diagnosis, and it was tempting to throw my hands in the air and play the blame game.

I eventually acknowledged the unhelpful and soul-sucking nature of this mindset, and I began to focus on what my body can do and how it shows up for me every day. Our bodies are just trying to survive and, dare I say thrive.  Sometimes we need to give them some breathing room to do their thing.

Turning our frustration into gratitude

These body changes can be alarming initially, but they’re incredibly valuable. They force us to look inward and assess our alignment with our truth and where we’re placing our value.

The universe has a funny way of giving us lessons that still need to be learned, and it’s evident that I needed an internal “tune up”, if you will. For this lesson, I am grateful, as I needed the roots of my worthiness to be planted further within myself—not in anything external.

I’ve been doing this internal work for years, yet this caught me off guard and forced me to acknowledge that I have been functioning on auto-pilot for some time.

This isn’t anything to be ashamed of, as it’s common for us to settle into a new “normal” and label that as our relative zone of comfort. However, as we know, we don’t grow in our comfort zones.

Our bodies and lives are not static, and they’re never going to be. The more we can learn to accept and move with these changes, the better off we’ll be. And the more time and energy we’ll have to focus on the more important shit.

My Recent Hashimoto's Diagnosis & What I've Learned Thus Far

Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional, and this post is not a substitute for professional care. This is meant for informational purposes only. Consult with a medical professional before making any changes.  


Over the last six months, my health silently deteriorated to a point that prompted me to get a few blood tests done, and I was told shortly thereafter that I have Hashimoto’s, an autoimmune disease that attacks the thyroid gland. While this diagnosis is very recent, I am sharing my experience in an effort to make others feel less “crazy” (as I did with all of my symptoms) and to seek medical care if any of these symptoms sounds familiar. You’ll see why as you read further.

The Beginning

Beginning in November 2017, my sleep really started to suffer, and I would wake up exhausted even after a full night’s rest. As a morning person, this was unusual for me. I was training for a Crossfit competition with some friends at the time, so I chalked it up to pushing too hard and perhaps being overly stressed. This may have been the cause, but this is the beginning of my downhill spiral.

My digestion has always been inconsistent, but it was kicked into high gear towards the end of December and has continued since then. My period disappeared shortly thereafter, and when I returned from a trip to El Salvador in February, my stomach was in a sufficient amount of pain. Again, I’m no stranger to digestive issues, but extreme bloating and pain in my upper stomach was foreign to me.

I called my GP back home, and he said I had likely contracted a parasite while traveling and prescribed me an antibiotic. Within a few days, the pain subsided.

I was hopeful after experiencing some relief from my stomach pain—I needed a health win at that point—but things continued to go downhill after that trip.

My Symptoms

  • Sleep – I was unable to fall asleep, and when I did, I would be wide awake at 2-3 in the morning with a racing heart, only to fall asleep an hour or two later and wake up completely exhausted.
  • Night Sweats – I experienced night sweats frequently despite sleeping in a 65-degree apartment, and I was soaked through my clothes and onto my sheets. This has since subsided in the last two weeks (win!).
  • Extreme fatigue – As I noted above, I have been an energetic morning person my entire life, so wanting to crawl under my desk at 2pm was not only odd, but really uncomfortable. I had to pinch myself to stay awake during meetings and while driving, and it felt as though my eyelids were attached to weights. Not the best look at work.
  • Inability to complete workouts – I’ve been doing Crossfit for almost four years; attending classes at least three times per week. While I can certainly see a connection with my performance and stressful periods in my life, I struggled to make it through one or two workouts per week. It felt as though I had 10% of the fuel in the tank that I normally did. I was eating enough and taking plenty of rest days, but my body just couldn’t do it.
  • Vertigo – this was really concerning to me, and I first experienced it while driving about six weeks ago after never experiencing it previously. This continued for a few weeks and has since subsided in frequency.
  • Brain Fog – This is one of the most frustrating symptoms, and I’m currently experiencing this full force. Hence the reason it’s taking me far, far too long to write this postJ I have been under-slept many times (as most people are) and have experienced slower brain-processing speed as a result, but this is different. I lose my words frequently and feel as though my brain and life are moving through mud.
  • Mood changes – there is entirely too much stigma around anxiety and depression, but both of these are common with Hashimoto’s.  I have been a fairly even-keeled and calm person for most of my life, save for my low-carb dieting days (I was SO moody), but I began experiencing anxiety with my heart beating out of my chest at the most random times, and I would then feel down for hours afterwards. I also found myself to be more short-tempered, and things that typically wouldn’t bother me in the slightest were causing me to snap. These swings have lessened since I’ve made a concerted effort to stop intense exercise and meditate more, but they’re still showing up on a weekly basis.
  • Inflammation – I have gained around ten pounds since February, and while I’m sure some of that is water weight due to the inflammation, the sudden changes were another sign that something wasn’t right. This was especially true after Crossfit workouts—I was unable to put pants on the next day and my joints were throbbing for days after.

I want to emphasize that these symptoms can certainly be attributable to a multitude of underlying issues, and based on what I have read thus far, everyone’s triggers for autoimmune diseases are different and multi-factorial. I would caution anyone against assuming Hashimoto’s if any of the symptoms above resonate. This was simply my experience, and the combination of them prompted concerns over the state of my health.

Essentially, I felt and continue to feel like I have a gnarly combination of a hangover and PMS all the time.

My quality of life seemed to be deteriorating by the day, and I was starting to feel like a stranger in my own body and mind. I told myself that these issues would resolve themselves and that I was likely being overly dramatic. After all, we live in an under-slept society, so everyone is tired. Who am I to think I’m special and complain?

I was discussing my concerns with my hair stylist (the keepers of all secrets), and she suggested I see a Nurse Practitioner who had recently joined the salon. She specializes in women’s hormones, was able to draw blood on the spot, and she’s relatively inexpensive. I firmly believe that knowledge is power, so I made an appointment to get a status update.


As I understand it, most traditional doctors will only check TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone) and perhaps T3 and T4, and after mulling over all of my labs from the last five years, I can confirm this to be true in my experience. None of them included thyroid antibodies. For some reason, this nurse checked my TSH, Free T3, Free T4, and my TPO antibodies (one of two thyroid antibodies), and my antibodies were well above the reference ranges (many consider under 35 IU/ml to be normal; mine were 485 IU/ml).

Upon hearing I had Hashimoto’s, I was simultaneously relieved (I’m not crazy!) and scared, as I didn’t know anything about it. I scheduled an appointment with a new-to-me doctor that night (I rarely go to the doctor, so I don’t have a local GP), and I began obsessively reading about Hashimoto’s in hopes of reading stories of remission.

I don’t like to be in a position where I feel helpless—in fact, I despise it. My doctor doesn’t want to put blinders on and assume the root cause of anything I’m experiencing, which I greatly appreciate, but left to my own devices, I will take action into my own hands.

This means I’ve been listening to an endless number of podcasts and reading books and blogs about others’ experiences in an effort to arm myself with information and questions for my doctor. However, this has also been a source of additional stress for me—something my body doesn’t need at the moment—so I’m making a concerted effort to take a breather right now and wait for more information.

What I’ve Learned Thus Far

  • Autoimmune diseases are confusing AF, and there doesn’t appear to be a lot of conclusive evidence on how to put them into remission. What works for one person doesn’t work for another, so a sufficient amount of trial and error seems inevitable.
  • I haven’t done a Crossfit workout in about three weeks, and a few of the symptoms like joint pain, waking in the middle of the night, and night sweats have greatly dissipated since then. Based on this, I’m guessing Hashimoto’s isn’t the only issue here, or perhaps the intense workouts were exacerbating the issue.
  • Hashimoto’s primarily affects women, as do most autoimmune diseases.
  • Most traditional doctors won’t test for thyroid antibodies unless your thyroid hormones are out of range. However, increased antibodies may eventually lead to damage of the thyroid and subsequent hypothyroidism. As such, if you don’t feel well despite normal hormone ranges, it may not be a bad idea to request the antibodies. Based on my most recent set of labs, I may have caught the progression early enough before damage has been done to my thyroid.
  • The vast majority of remission stories I’ve read involved partnership with a functional/alternative medicine doctor as opposed to an endocrinologist or GP. I believe this is primarily due to the lack of evidence around appropriate treatment, so traditional doctors are less inclined to go through a process of trial and error to reduce antibodies (**note that I’m completely speculating here). I’m hoping I can leverage my traditional doctor and alternative approaches as needed, but only time will tell.
  • Dietary interventions may help. Some sources say everyone with Hashimoto’s should be strictly gluten free, while others claim there is only a small percentage of people who benefit from such a change. As I noted above, everyone’s triggers and experiences with autoimmune diseases are different, so there’s not a one-size-fits-all approach. I intend to make as few lifestyle changes as possible to experience progress, but I am gluten-free for now under the direction of my doctor. I don’t want to be a hero or dogmatic unnecessarily.
  • I need to be more forthcoming when it comes to advocating for my health. It’s common for healthy people to become obsessive about their health and blow things out of proportion, and oftentimes the fundamental bases like sleep, nutrition, social connection, stress, and movement still need to be addressed. I always turn to these first, but my symptoms were beginning to seem insurmountable alone, despite making changes to my lifestyle.

I feared being labeled as dramatic or a hypochondriac, so I began to doubt my experiences and plowed through as best I could. I have read many stories of women with Hashimoto’s doing the same thing, only to have seriously deteriorated health (and thyroid glands) years later. We don’t need to have it all together, all the time.

  • Health issues likes this can be isolating, as they’re not readily apparent to others. I can put on a happy face, pretend like I feel like myself, and act like all is well, and I was doing this for a few months. This diagnosis has liberated me in a sense, as I can put a name to my experience, but I should have been more forthcoming about my struggles sooner. I’m fortunate to have tremendous support in family and friends, and one of my girlfriends is going through a very similar experience (we were both diagnosed within the same week), so we’re supporting eachother through the challenges.

After telling a wise friend about my disappointment with the diagnosis, she responded by telling me to feel the negativity, frustration, anger, and sadness, but that I’m not allowed to stay there. That place can’t become my new normal. Ever since that conversation, my emotions have subtly shifted towards acceptance and hope, and I intend to continue expanding upon this growth mindset.

I currently oscillate between feeling hopeless, disappointed, and overwhelmed—wondering if I’m ever going to feel like my old self physically, emotionally, and mentally again or if it’s going to get worse—and then being grateful for this experience.  I’ve known deep-down for some time that I need to slow down and stop pushing myself, and this is forcing me to do so.

I still have every intention of focusing on my health and getting back to baseline as quickly as possible, but I also know there are great lessons to be learned during these experiences.

Given the high number of women who suffer from Hashimoto’s, I’ll share my experiences here in the hopes of helping and connecting with others. I’d love to hear about your experiences too!