Pain or Fat?

So recently I’ve been presented with a question- would I rather be skinny or free from pain?  The answer is undeniably free from pain.   Last year I started having chronic pain in my ribcage and chest area.  After over a year of doctors and misdiagnosis I finally found something that helped with the pain- turns out I have a low thyroid.

In February the doctor put me on levothyroxine and the results were amazing.  My pain was reduced almost immediately.  I can’t tell you what a relief this was for me.  It was like a nearly 2 year monkey was finally off of my back.  My recovery from exercise improved considerably; thereby allowing me to push harder in my sets and train more frequently.

Last week, for instance, I had 5 days of intense training, one right after another. These were no ordinary workouts and yet Sunday came around and I felt pretty good.  A little bit of pain but nothing compared to the overwhelming, almost debilitating pain I experienced last year.

This was all very exciting! On Tuesday I went in for my second follow up appointment.  My trainer had noticed I had gained weight in February but I had dismissed it as one of those things.  You can imagine my shock that I was back up to 284! I blame the medicine because its the only major change that has occurred during that time period.  I was so frustrated.  Don’t most people lose weight when taking thyroid meds?  Naturally my freakish body can never have a normal reaction to anything.  It always has to be complicated.

Basically my doctor told me that the thyroid meds mess up your metabolism in good and bad ways.  Unfortunately they make you super sensitive to bad carbs and sugar.  Now I was not eating much sugar previous to this appointment but I was trying to work it in with moderation.  Evidently with this medicine I can’t have any of it. 😦

Its frustrating because in many ways I feel like I am setting myself up for eventual failure.  Nobody is perfect all the time in a diet and clearly moderation is not good enough.  I gained nearly 15 lbs since I started taking the meds despite my careful eating and training!

The thing is that I feel great! I feel energetic and healthy.  I think I look great.  So why does the stupid scale matter?  Maybe it shouldn’t.  Its just I worked so hard to lose that weight.  Took 3 years out of my life and to see it go away was so disheartening.  Thank goodness for my music because it was the lift I needed this week.

I also get frustrated being on the extreme diets because I feel like they make me super self-critical and over-introspective.  I feel guilty for everything I do, nothing seems quite good enough.  That’s why I avoided dieting for so long because it turns me into this person I hate.  People say ‘don’t diet.  Just make small lifestyle changes’.  Well, I’m sorry but small lifestyle changes don’t work.  I gained 15lbs on moderation and lifestyle changes!

For some reason going hard core is the only thing that seems to work and I refuse to have weight loss surgery. It seems like I’m stuck. Ahhhh! And then I think of that woman on the plane who wouldn’t sit next to me and I remember that so many people still see me as a fattie who disgusts them.  The whole thing makes me crazy and feel so frustrated.  I don’t know what to do but to try with the sugar fast and not give up.

In the end, I feel like I have to chose between feeling good and pain free and losing weight.  That is a really lame decision to have to make.  At least with the sugar fast I can tell my doctor confidently that I am doing all I can to eat right and exercise.  If I can’t keep it up forever well that’s a choice for another day.  I can do my best today and if I still gain what else can you do?

I just have to keep reminding myself that I did not start this process to improve my appearance.  I really didn’t.  I started this process because I wanted to have energy, to do more, to be more active.  I think anyone would be hard pressed to say I haven’t achieved that goal.

If it was the choice between looking a certain way and feeling pain what would you pick?  Be honest! Maybe God just wants me to look like this for some reason?  He’s gotten me to a healthy point but getting below 250 (my dream) seems to be an impossible task. I’ve been working so hard for over 3 years. Maybe I need to try something else? I don’t know but I am trying my best to not feel defeated and to keep trying. That’s all I can do- keep trying.

Still, its been a bit of a downer of a week.  Thanks everyone for your support no matter my size.  Thanks for reminding me that I’m still a good person and I’ve still accomplished great things no matter my weight.  Forget the stupid scale! (or at least try to…Sigh)

9 thoughts on “Pain or Fat?

  1. Firstly, you’re doing a great job. Don’t lose hope dear, that’s the worst thing you cnado.
    Second, muscle weighs more than fat so don’t stress the first few months of working out after you find out about your thyroid, just keep it up. Cardio is better for those of us that are of larger stature when we first get on the thyroid meds because it makes you burn fat more than weight lifting does.
    Third, drink plenty of water, it flushes your fatfrom your body as you burn it off, giving it somewhere to go besides back to your trouble areas.

    Regardless of your weight, as long as you are happy and healthy, it truly doesn’t matter. Anyone that has a problem with us fat people can just go jump off a cliff.

    I know it’s hard, trust me. I was 300 lbs three years ago when I found out about my thyrioid issues. I’m now 230 and finally off the diabetes meds! It CAN be done!

    1. And to your question, I MUCH rather be free of pain!! I swear, since losing the weight, my hips and butt hurt so bad from pressure if I sit or lay too long or if the object I’m on is too hard UGH! I miss my padding!!!!!

    2. Thanks for the encouragement. I haven’t given up. After working 3 years to go from 313 to 256 to be back up to 284 from the meds was super discouraging. My heart about dropped to the floor. (I think especially because I was expecting, maybe falsely so, to lose weight with the thyroid meds). Did you gain at first when you started the thyroid meds?

      But I’m being even more careful with what I eat (lots of fresh produce and protein, no white carbs at all, no sugars except fruit and a little agave) and continuing with my strict training (I’m an open water swimmer and have a race coming up on June 9th- 1 mile in the Great Salt Lake). If I still gain after all that what else can you do? I’d still take the pain relief any day over the weight loss.

      Even if this diet works what scares me is how can I keep up something that extreme forever. I guess I just have to remember what my doctor said on Tuesday- ‘Whenever you do anything this hard you are going to have ups and downs and that’s ok’.

      I guess I’m ready for some more ups. I’ve had a year and a half of a lot of downs. Still, I’m trying and doing.

    3. Also congrats on your weight loss but more importantly the diabetes meds. That’s great. I’m still on victoza but have gotten my A1C down from a 5.7 to 5.1 in the last year and haven’t had a reading over 150 in many months. It’s amazing how much you can improve such things so quickly!
      Right now my doctor said my thyroid is at 5 which for some people is elevated, clearly for me it is. Luckily I have a doctor that is inquisitive and open to discussion (Took me a year and half to find her). Every 6 weeks we meet, do the blood tests and discuss the situation. I think if I’ve gained again in the next 6 weeks we will have to talk about upping my dosage or something. Not sure.

  2. Just another factor to keep in mind: In another 10-15 years arthritis is going to start to rear its nasty head. I forget the ratio, but each pound that we weigh is a certain larger amount of weight on our joints. So, losing weight for looks is entirely different than losing weight because you want to do it now before your metabolism changes (due to age) and it gets even harder.

    -I can really feel the difference that 10 pounds makes on my joints.

    1. Thanks Angie. I just met with a dietician at my gym and I was skeptical but gave me some good ideas. I feel more energized than earlier writing this post. Plus, they weighed me there and I was only 177, which is still more than I’d like but a lot less than what the doctors said.
      It was just frustrating to feel like I’d finally figured the pain thing mostly out but then I gained. I feel more encouraged now. Just got to keep plugging away. Great job losing 10 lbs. That’s a huge accomplishment.

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