Or, why exercise is hard with Hypothyroidism or Adrenal Fatique
My entire life exercise was nearly impossible. In high school, I joined the track team but realized running was way too exhausting, so I did the shot-put instead (three steps, toss, and you're done). I desperately wanted to do sports but I couldn't keep up with the others girls. No, no, this isn't a sob story about me. Like me, I think there are just lots of girls out there who have hypothyroidism & adrenal fatique and want to know how the skinny girls do it?
When I say "any kind of exercise completely wore me out" I really mean that. And not the usual "I'm tired, but I feel good" kind of workout. This was an "I'm tired, I feel like hell" kind of feeling. For me this meant:
- My muscles would be sore for 4-5 days (not the normal 1-2).
- I would feel nausea, even flu-like aches and pains.
- My face would turn bright red during exercise.
- Exercising two days in a row was impossible.
- And oftentimes I would get so hypoglycemicfrom exercise that I would crash for hours afterward.
- To make matters worse, I would never lose weight from exercise!
Around the time I started treatment for Hypothyroidism, I also started an amazing, really athletic yoga class. But it was so frustrating watching the 50-year-old ladies hold a downward dog longer than me. My arms literally couldn't support me (from what I hear arm strength and endurance are common Hypothyroid problems).
As the Thyroid medicine started working, I noticed I was able to do more in yoga class. Everything started to improve; my strength, endurance, recovery time. So that's how the skinny girls at the gym did it! They didn't have Thyroid problems.
But there's more... two years into Hypothyroid treatment, I found out about Adrenal Fatique (a condition linked with Hypothyroidism, which also shares many common symptoms). When I started treatment for Adrenal Fatique something incredible happened for the first time in my life. I wanted to run. Literally, I wanted to strap on my sneakers and just run. So I did. And guess what? I ran and I didn't want to stop. And I didn't get sick. My muscle recovery was less than a day. Can you say shocking? Omg, yes, it was for me too!
These days in yoga I am one of the strongest in the class. I know, I know, yoga is not about being competitive (Ohm...) I only share this detail as a point of reference for before and after. It's amazing to go from unable to lift a finger, to doing handstands, running 3 miles and feeling great. Now I can exercise every day, sometimes for hours, with little or no recovery problems.
All those years I thought I was just lazy (insert sigh). But, hey, I am glad I know, which is why I share my story with you. To all the girls out there who are exercising, not losing weight, feeling physically terrible and frustrated like me, now you know my secret (or at least one possible explanation for how the skinny girls do it).
Please note: not all overweight people are Hypothyroid. I have to follow a very specific eating plan, the HypoT Girl's Diet, which I created just for me. But if Hypothryoidism is an issue, like it was for me, losing weight was almost impossible without treatment.