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I have been struggling a lot lately.

With my self-esteem.

With my meds.

With sleep.

With my relationships.

With work.

With my health.

All over, I have felt weak, failing, defeated.

I’ve slacked on my nutrition, my meds, my routines. I have let life slip by the past several months.

And then this morning I came across this photo and I was reminded of how far I have come in the past 5 years.



Sometimes I can’t even believe that I am the same girl

When the first photo was taken in 2012, I was weighing in at 265-270lbs. I had never thought about Hypothyroidism. I knew I had bi-polar disorder, and I was taking anti-depressants in attempts to control it. I was also having migraines daily. Sound didn’t bother me, but any bright light ignited a fierce pain in my brain. I often spent hours in bed in the dark listening to audio books and podcasts just to pass the time. I was taking Topomax to help with the migraines. It made everything I ate or drank taste terrible.  I could taste each and every chemical in food. If something wasn’t 100% natural, I could taste every additive. Instead of curbing my appetite, I became jaded. I hated life.

Fast forward to now. I weigh around 207. I just started seeing a new therapist last month. She has me on a new medicine called Latuda that targets bi-polar depression vs clinical depression. It’s been the easiest med to transition to. I took it for about 3 days and started feeling great. But as usual, I slacked and felt horrible after a few days. Now, I am about a week into steadily taking it and so far, it’s working out. I have not experienced any nausea as every other anti-depressant has given me. I take it after dinner because it does make me a little sleepy, but this is a good side effect for me. For months now I have been unable to sleep for more than 5 hours. Falling asleep has been extremely difficult. But, with this new med, I am able to “wind down” much faster and I am practically asleep before my head hits the pillow. I am gaining focus everyday. I joined a gym a few weeks ago and I have rediscovered my love for Zumba and Yoga classes. I love the feeling I have after a great work out. I tried several Beach Body programs. While I liked them, and the at home aspect, my home is tiny. 842 square feet to be exact. There really isn’t much room to move in my living room. I was constantly having to modify workouts so that I didn’t knock something over (like the giant old school TV) or have pictures falling off of the walls (jumping jacks DO make pictures fall of of the wall). While externally I knew that the walls rattling and the furniture shaking when I worked out where due to the small house I lived in, my brian kept telling me “You are so heavy that the house is shaking!”. Over all it wasn’t healthy for me.  being back in the gym I feel more at home than I do trying to fit yoga in around a Doxie and Curious cat.

I had labs drawn for my thyroid and vitamin levels on Monday. I go back this coming Monday to review them with my doctor. I am hoping for good news. I missed entirely too many doses of my meds the past few months.  Struggling with taking my meds is not new. However, I think I have finally found a system that works for me. It may seem simple, but this has been the biggest struggle for me. I got an old pill organizer that has two places for each day (am/pm). I take my thyroid meds in the morning and the rest of my vitamins and meds in the evening. To make sure they are always in my face, I put the organizer next to my toothbrush. I never fail to brush my teeth these days. Since starting Invisalign, I have become regiment with it. Having my pills with my toothbrush has allowed me to integrate taking them into my morning routine without having to “remember”. I also keep a bottle of water next to my toothbrush. I drink half in the evening with those meds, and the other half when I wake up in the morning and take my morning medicine. This gives my Thyroid meds time to absorb before I get to the office and make a simple breakfast and have my coffee (non dairy, sugar free creamer!).

The point is, I struggle. Hard core. But I am light-years beyond where I was. I used to get frustrated and would give up. Not I know that when I get frustrated, I might trip for a few days, but I am going to jump right back in feet first. You have to keep looking forward. Keep pushing yourself to move towards your goals. Its ok to mess up a little bit now and then. Being in optimal health isn’t easy, especially when you start with such poor health, but it CAN be done. It takes dedication and focus, and sometimes the right meds, but a commitment to yourself is the best commitment one can make.

Take care of yourselves.




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