If you are new to my blog you may not know that I have an autoimmune disease called Graves disease and hyperthyroidism. I was diagnosed when I was 35 weeks pregnant with my daughter Kate. It was a nightmare! If you wanna read more about my diagnosis and Kate’s very dramatic birth you can head over to My Story in the main menu. Its a thyroid disease that effects your entire body.  I  have been struggling with my health for about 3 years now. I went over a year with out even knowing that I had a disease and my health completely deteriorated. I just thought was way out of shape and I was really embarrassed about it and I didn’t ever really tell anyone about it. I was completely winded when I would simply walk up a flight of stairs. I remember once when I was on vacation with my husbands family we all went for a family jog and I couldn’t even run for 30 seconds. I was so embarrassed!  I would even have to sit and take a break when I was folding laundry I was standing still what the heck?!! It was so frustrating to me cause I always considered myself to be a fit and healthy person. At 22 I thought my healthy days were already behind me. Even though I was completely out of shape I was the skinniest I had ever been. Like grossly skinny. swing

 

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These photos are a great example of what my body went through. My thyroid was putting out too much hormone, kicking my metabolism into high gear. It was working so hard that it ended up burning up all of my muscle. They call it muscle wasting. Thats exactly what my muscles did. They wasted away to nothing! Look at those puny arms! Just skin and bones! My appetite was out of control all I did was eat cause my body constantly needed fuel to burn and I was exhausted always! Since my metabolism was so out of control my poor heart was taking a beating! I was have heart palpitations constantly. I was always sweaty and out of breath.  My heart would pound so hard I felt like my head would explode. I was later diagnosed with a heart condition and put on heart medication. I still had no idea I had a disease. In my mind major health problems couldn’t happen to me. I was young and healthy. yeah… not so much!

 

The other thing that came along with Graves’ was bulging irritated eyes, chronic dry eye and chronic sinusitis. This is what I struggle with the most I can’t help but be really self conscious. they are still really big but not as glossy and blood shot as they used to be thank goodness. Thanks to eye steroid drops things are so much better! I just have to be careful how I wear my eye make up. I have learned I can’t under any circumstances line my inner rim. You tell me, do my eyes look like they are having a good time in this photo? haha

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My health this past year has turned the corner and I have felt so much better! I did the thing that lots of people warned me against. For some people with hyperthyroidism about 30% can go into remission. After over a year of trying my doctors told me I was not likely to be part of the 30 percenters. So I made the decision to have a total thyroidectomy. I can’t tell you how happy I am that I did! Hyperthyroidism is very tricky to treat. I was going to my endocrinologist and getting blood draws monthly and it was a real big pain! Now that I have no thyroid I technically have hypothyroidism and folks its so much easier to medicate. I take synthroid its a synthetic hormone I will have to take for the rest of my life. Before my surgery I was on antithyroid medication. It caused me major join stiffness there were days I contemplated just cutting my shirt off cause I couldn’t lift my arms over my head and it was so painful! I was also slightly allergic to my medication and It gave my miserably itchy white rashes all over the backs of my legs.

Now I do have a fun scar on my neck that I don’t love. I can feel people staring at it when Im talking but I will take that over having crappy health any day! I have high hopes that it will disappear one day.scar

I feel so much healthier now! I used to be so intimidated by the gym cause I always felt so defeated in my own body. Now I am so happy to say I am the healthiest and strongest I have ever been! I have been doing HIIT ( high intensity interval training) classes 3 times a week. This class always intimidated me cause never in my wildest dreams would I be able to keep up. Now I freaking live for this class!  I have never ever been the person who loves to work out. Now I’m one of those freaks who craves the gym and gross sweaty work out! I am really embarrassed to share these photos but I’m so happy that I have put on so much muscle and I can be a better mom to my kids and not a mom who is constantly sick and no fun. I’m actually getting a little emotional as I’m writing this I can’t tell you how grateful I am to have my health back.

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Last summer I ran a half marathon with my girl Whitney. I literally loathed every single second of it but I was so happy and proud that my body could do it!

Stay Golden,

Christine