Despite moving away from family in Texas to California & missing them, the stress of finding ourselves out here, the follow up appointments we're still doing for Emma due to her 4 pneumonias in 6 months, despite having a spiral fracture to my toe, despite running my own business and the stress that I unnecessarily put on myself, and lastly despite being off thyroid hormone replacement meds for now over a year and a half with having only half a thyroid..
Despite ALL this, my TSH was 1.899.
Per Medline Plus, TSH stands for thyroid stimulating hormone. A TSH test is a blood test that measures this hormone. The thyroid is a small, butterfly-shaped gland located near your throat. Your thyroid makes hormones that regulate the way your body uses energy. It also plays an important role in regulating your weight, body temperature, muscle strength, and even your mood. TSH is made in a gland in the brain called the pituitary. When thyroid levels in your body are low, the pituitary gland makes more TSH. When thyroid levels are high, the pituitary gland makes less TSH. TSH levels that are too high or too low can indicate your thyroid isn't working correctly.
The thyroid is easily affected by external factors (endocrine disruptors, stress, etc..). With the thyroid responsible for so many important roles in the body and me only having half a thyroid without any support from medications... I COULD have had my levels off. I COULD have felt horrible during all of this. However I am 100% happy with my results! I feel good and I have the labs to back it up.
*Know this comes from a place of teaching and not bragging. I am a perfect case study for all the things that COULD go wrong and my past shows that it COULD happen again. Right?! Does the past have to repeat itself? Will I be plagued with migraines, panic attacks, night sweats, mood swings and bone pain forever?
I chose not to let it be that.
I chose to do things on my terms.
(take that docs who said I'd be on meds forever. Take that docs who said I needed even more medications. Take that docs who said it wouldn't last... I'm secretly sticking my tongue out at you!)
Who Says it has to be hard?
Who says it can't be done?
Who says you'll always be this way?
... ok getting off my soap box but I'm just passionate about this because I've been there and know a way out.
How did I do it?
How did I move forward and come out the other side THRIVING?
I stuck to my non-negotiables.
I rely on these non-negotiables to keep me healthy. I rely on them to help me bounce back if I come off track, if I self sabotage (because common, it happens still at this stage. The important part is recognizing what's going on and know what to do to get back on track).
We all get knocked down.
We all get thrown off our course.
Knowing your non-negotiables is legit a life saver.
I believe in it so much I just recorded a podcast about how you can find your non-negotiables too. You can listen here and every week with a new episode.
Knowing your non-negotiables will help you navigate your goal to ____________________ (Lose weight, improve diarrhea / constipation, balance your hormones etc).
When it comes to our health, I like to break these non-negotiables down into 3 categories.
You can break these down by habits or even by different routines you have.
For most, a typical morning routine would be
- wake up (maybe press snooze a few times)
- Make coffee
- Get the kids up and fed
- depending on time of year you're helping the kids to school
- maybe you have to drive to work
Now ask yourself, "What can I do to support my health?". For example, if you have PCOS you'd eat breakfast within 2 hours of waking up to help stabilize your blood sugars and as a part of that breakfast you'll have certain types of fats to help with stabilizing your hormones (cortisol, estrogen, progesterone etc)..
When you know what your body needs, it's easy to do. You can totally add in a breakfast into your morning routine that will support your health right?
If it's too much to do in the morning (maybe you're a night owl), then have a plan the night before.
That's what these non-negotiables are! A plan made just for you!
Maybe you want to lose some weight but you have a thyroid disorder, so it's making it more difficult for you. One thing you could add in during your morning routine would be to eat foods rich in antioxdants and anti-inflammatory properties. You'll also take some supplements to support your thyroid, so it can work more efficiently... which over time with consistency will result in the desired weight loss results.
[ I have a FREE list of anti-inflammatory foods here ]
I hear time and time again, how overwhelming this all can be and it IS when you don't have a plan. When you don't have a road map.
I encourage you to take some time today to write this down..
My Health Non-Negotiables
Step Two: Write down the things you know that make YOU FEEL GOOD in these categories.
Step Three: Then find ways to do these things every day. Break them down by routines like I showed you above.
Step Four: Once you master what you know makes you feel better, feel more like yourself again. Then you add to it. CROWD OUT THE BAD WITH THE GOOD.
This typically becomes the most difficult step because it's the "WHAT do I need" and "How do I keep this up?"
This is why I encourage you to have a community. A community that is going through the same thing as you are. A community that will help you rise up because when one rises, we all rise! Meaning you see results faster! You get the support you need and also, if you chose the right community for you, you'll get the rest of your answers. You get the missing pieces to your puzzle.
Alone it took me 12 years to realize what I needed.
My goal for sharing everything I do, is so that someone else reads / watches / or listens to something I've shared and learned something. I hope you know you have a dietitian in your corner, ready to support and help you rise up too! I would love to invite any other Health Warriors like myself to join the Health Warriors VIP community, so I can help you with the remainder of the non-negotiables for you!
You may join us here, anytime!
Your fellow Health Warrior and goofy AF Dietitian,
Nicole Eichinger RD, LD