It's hard to even write about it. This is worse than talking about the most difficult moments in my life, but I have to make some changes. This thing I can't talk about - the thing that makes me blush and want to explain away is my weight. It's a subject I avoid like the plague. When it comes to things like this, I would rather just deal with it privately. The problem is the "pretend it isn't a problem" approach doesn't work well for me as of late. I've been diagnosed with a life-altering thyroid disease and I've got to grab this problem by the nads and get it under control.
About nine or ten years ago a doctor told me that I had a "slow metabolism" and he vaguely mentioned keeping an eye on my thyroid. I didn't take it seriously because the doctor only spoke briefly about it with me. I figured if it wasn't important to my doctor, it was probably no big deal. I had explained to my doctor that I didn't understand why sometimes I seemed to gain weight for no reason and other times I knew I was losing rapidly because my clothes would start to fit loosely. Looking back now, I realize one doctor's opinion should not be the only one we listen to when it comes to our health. I had no idea that thyroid issues could become so serious. I honestly never worried much about my physical health until after Julian died. Once I had lost my husband and my children lost their father I started to see that I needed to take care of myself for the sake of my children. I believe the tremendous stress Julian's death brought on caused my thyroid to go completely out of control.
Even when my blood sugar was so out of control that I could not function due to the high numbers I did nothing. I guess, to be quite honest, I always figured Julian would take care of me. A car accident took away the person I depended on to tell me "everything will be okay" and now I have to learn to take care of me. Even if Julian were here, his love could not stop Graves' disease from running it's course and no amount of doting could take away the high blood sugars. All of the changes that I need to make in order to live a more productive and healthier life will have to come from my actions.
First of all, I believe I have to think of food differently. Food for me now is simply fuel and I only need the fuel I will be using - nothing extra. When my thyroid is hyper I could probably get away with indulging and it wouldn't show a bit. When my thyroid is hypo, too much "fuel" could have horrible consequences for me. Right now my thyroid levels are good and I need to take advantage of that by trying to lose as much of this extra weight as I can (in a healthy way, of course) before my levels go haywire again.
When I decided to write this article, I had an entirely different approach planned. I wanted to talk about how people cannot tell by looking at someone what's going on with them. I wanted to talk about how my weight fluctuation isn't always under my control. I wanted to say that it's hurtful that people see me and think I must just sit around scarfing down cupcakes and french fries. But does it really matter what others think of me? How important is it that I have the acceptance of people who judge me based on my weight? I guess, it really isn't important at all. What's important is that I take care of me and if you only see the outside me (or the cover of the book, so to speak), you are missing out on a lot. If I only see the outside me and I let my fear of what the world thinks of me hold me back, then I will miss out on all of my chances to live my dreams. I simply cannot do that. I have to try. I have to live. I have to enjoy every minute.