Day 63: Another Bod Pod on the books

Today was another Bod Pod day. Usually, I try to go on a monthly basis, but lately it’s been a bit more sporadic due to scheduling issues. My last appointment was on March 5th, and it wasn’t a good one. After steadily losing weight and fat lbs over the last year, I fell off the wagon and gained a significant chunk of it back.

Date % Fat % Fat Free Mass Fat Mass Fat Free Mass Body Mass
10/25/2018 26.1 73.9 31.518 lbs 89.209 lbs 120.728 lbs
1/25/19 27.8 72.2 34.409 lbs 89.443 lbs 123.852 lbs
3/5/2019 29.8 70.2 37.670 lbs 88.765 lbs 126.431 lbs

Today, six weeks after my last appointment, I went in feeling a tad bit hopeful. I wasn’t expecting any huge changes – the scale hadn’t moved much and I only lost an inch or two off my waist – but I did want to see some improvement. Despite all of the ups and downs these past few weeks, I felt like I did better overall compared to the beginning of the year. No, I didn’t go to the gym as planned, but I did go more often. And although I struggled to get a step goal streak going, I walked more steps on average. I don’t think I necessarily ate any less, but I did make some better food choices. Surely that must have done something, right? 

Well…

Date % Fat % Fat Free Mass Fat Mass Fat Free Mass Body Mass
10/25/2018 26.1 73.9 31.518 lbs 89.209 lbs 120.728 lbs
1/25/19 27.8 72.2 34.409 lbs 89.443 lbs 123.852 lbs
3/5/2019 29.8 70.2 37.670 lbs 88.765 lbs 126.431 lbs
4/15/2019 27.6 72.4 34.316 lbs 89.799 lbs 124.116 lbs

It did! Woo hoo!

Despite not being perfect, I lost 3 lbs of fat and gained 1 lb of fat free mass. I’m tempted to attribute some of those improvements on the Bod Pod’s error margin, but I need this win, so I won’t. Instead, I’m going to feel good about it and use it to get motivated to do more.  I think I’m finally really ready to start reaching my goals.

Happy Monday!

Day 52: I ate a mountain of french fries

The last few days, I’ve been feeling pretty proud of myself. I am on a 5-day step goal streak, I’ve been hitting the gym, and I’ve managed to get more mindfulness and water into my daily life. I’ve also been doing pretty ok with the whole avoiding gluten and dairy thing – it hasn’t felt as hard as I expected it to be.

Until today.

Today sucked. Or rather, this evening sucked.

The day started out all right. I had some bone broth soup for breakfast. I went to the gym. I did some work and a little meal prepping. I even volunteered at my daughter’s school for a couple of hours. It was turning out to be a nice, productive day. Then we went out for dinner after visiting the poop museum (yup, you read that right, a museum dedicated to poop). My daughter wanted a burger and I figured I would be able to find something I could eat there too, so we went to the burger spot.

Well, it turns out they only serve cheeseburgers at this place, and asking for a burger with no cheese or bun just isn’t a thing. That’s just not how it works here; so while everyone else had what they described as the best burgers they’ve tasted since moving to Japan, I ate a mountain of fries.

I have never wanted a burger so bad in my life.

It was awful. That meal was a slap-in-the-face reminder that having to avoid gluten and dairy sucks big time. It legit hurt my feelings.

I know I should focus on the fact that I managed to resist the temptation. I should be proud of myself for staying strong and all that; but truthfully, I sort of feel a bit down about it instead.

I keep telling myself that it’s just food and that cravings are really just mind games your brain plays with you, but it still feels crappy. It still makes me feel kind of sad. I mean, I love food. It means all sorts of things to me. I also love doing whatever I want – I don’t do well with rules and restrictions, just ask any of my previous supervisors from back in the day.

But, I’m going to bed tonight without stomach pains. I’m not running to the bathroom every few minutes. I feel good physically, even if I don’t feel so swell emotionally, and that’s a good thing. I can’t expect it to always be easy. It’s going to be hard more often than not, but in the end, despite the suck, it will be worth it – even if I can’t take comfort in that fact right now.

Day 49: Am I crazy?

One of the most frustrating things I’ve encountered since being diagnosed with hypothyroidism is how my doctors have chosen to treat it (or not treat it). My care has been limited to just enough medication to get my TSH, T4, and T3 in the “normal range,” without regard to whether or not my symptoms are actually improving.

My current doctor has been a welcome change to that sort of previous care. She believes in ensuring I am taking enough medication to reduce my symptoms, regardless of where on the range I am. Unfortunately, like other doctors, that’s about the extent of her treatment plan for me.

I don’t want to be that person who goes online, reads blogs and articles, and then believes they know more than a professional. I don’t want to claim that I’ve earned my MD from Google university, but I can’t help but wonder if there truly is a knowledge gap in conventional medicine when it comes to basic lifestyle changes and how that influences the body.

We know the foods we eat can make us sick. Overeating can lead to obesity which can result in all sorts of health conditions. Diabetes can be caused by improper diet. Heart attacks by clogged arteries, stuff like that. So, why wouldn’t we consider how the foods we eat and our activity levels affect our health?

The same goes for our mental health. There are studies that have shown that a positive outlook can influence a patient’s recovery from an illness or injury. Couldn’t our mental state have an impact on our health as well then? I’m pretty sure it’s been confirmed that stress can cause illness.

I don’t intend to stop taking my medication or stop going to my doctor. The truth is, all the lifestyle stuff is up to me, so I don’t really need her to try to eat better and be more active. As long as I’m not going against her guidance (which is to keep taking my medication) there’s no harm in trying to make positive lifestyle changes in hopes of improving my health.

That being said, I would like her to run a few additional tests for me, just to see if I have any of the nutrient deficiencies associated with Hashimoto’s. I don’t want to supplement recklessly and make myself worse by taking stuff I don’t need. I do want to be able to make educated decisions on what supplements to take, if any, and for that I need her help.

Therein lies the problem though, how do I ask her, and possibly convince her, to run these additional tests without coming off as “I know more than you do because I know how to Google?” We have the same goals, which are to make me feel better, so that’s a positive start, but I don’t know where to go from there.

Day 47: An unwanted reminder

Last night I decided to drink the chuhai a friend had left in my fridge after our weekly Taco Tuesday dinner this week. Chuhais are these canned, fruity, boozy drinks they sell here in Japan. They’re delicious, but they have a lot of carbonation in them, so I don’t drink them often. They fill me up really quickly.

I’ve been trying to cut back on how much alcohol I drink though, so instead of making myself my usual Maker’s and Coke, I decided to drink the chuhai instead.

Fast forward to now, I’ve spent the day with some slight nausea, dull headache, and a little stomach cramping. I’ve been going over what I’ve eaten since yesterday in my head, trying to figure out what’s triggered this sudden backwards slide in how I feel, but I couldn’t figure it out until just now: it must have been that chuhai. I didn’t even stop to consider whether or not it has gluten in it when I grabbed it out of the fridge and took that first sip.

Granted, the ingredients are all in Japanese, and my Googling has yielded no results in terms of confirming or denying the existence of gluten in chuhais. But, everything else I ate was safe – it’s the only outlier. That had to be it.

Regardless, this has served as a reminder that I need to make more of a conscious effort if I’m going to be successful at avoiding gluten and dairy. It’s going to be a bit harder than I thought, and I already figured it wouldn’t be easy. Fortunately, I’m still feeling positive about my chances of doing it successfully. Now if I could just make myself feel better today.

Day 45: Walking the walk

I committed to avoiding gluten and dairy in my last post with the hopes of improving my overall health, but truthfully, I didn’t start avoiding it right away. Although I said I would do it, and I truly believe I should, I just don’t think I was ready to pull the trigger yet. So, I didn’t; but, I did take some small baby steps to prepare for it.

For example, on Friday after my metabolic assessment appointment, I spoke to the wellness counselor about scheduling a few weekly coaching sessions. Although I understand the value of coaching, I’ve never given it a try. I guess I just didn’t think it could help me or maybe I didn’t know how to make the most of it? Regardless, I decided that with the changes I want to make, now would be an ideal time to give it a try. Food tends to be the area in which I struggle the most, so I’ll take any help I can get. What’s the worst that could happen anyway?

After that was all done and scheduled, I swung by the library and happened to notice they had cookbooks. No duh, right? A library with cookbooks, who would have thought? Anywho, after browsing their selection, I decided to borrow two: Nom Nom Paleo (the yellow one) and The Science of Cooking. I skimmed both books, did a little meal planning, and made my first meal from the Nom Nom Paleo book tonight. I have to say, it was really good. Even my family liked it. I’ll be buying a copy of it for myself.

On Sunday, I decided to make some bone broth – specifically seolleongtang, a Korean bone broth soup my husband really likes. I’ve read on a bunch of blogs and in magazines that bone broth is good for gut health, so I figured I might as well jump on the bandwagon and see if drinking a cup of broth daily has any benefits for me. This is another one of those, “what’s the worst thing that could happen?” things.

Finally, on Tuesday, I took some new progress photos and body measurements. Although I’m making these changes for overall health instead of weight or fat loss, I can’t help but feel curious about what changes might occur if I stick with it. I had my first coaching appointment that day as well, so I decided to consider it my “day 1” of avoiding dairy and gluten.

I’d like to say I’ve been doing great at avoiding it since then, but truthfully, it’s been a bit harder than I expected it to be. I’m not craving breads or cheeses, but I’ve struggled with the “hidden” gluten and dairy in stuff. Especially in a bunch of the common ingredients I use when cooking, like gochujang and soy sauce. So disappointing.

I don’t feel discouraged though. It’s challenging, but in a good way; and I’m really looking forward to seeing how creative I can get with this. Hopefully I can share some fun finds on this blog in future posts. Wish me luck!

Day 38: “Healing” my thyroid?

I’ve struggled this week, not just with meeting my step goal, but with making positive choices overall. Today though, I’m really feeling it. I had all these plans for the day, but I just can’t seem to motivate myself to do anything. I feel sort of out of it. Instead of doing some work, going to the gym, or cleaning the house, I’m sitting here Googling stuff about my thyroid.

I think I mentioned in my first go around that I have hypothyroidism. I recently had my blood tests redone and although I haven’t met with my doctor yet to go over the results, they were uploaded to my online medical record and it looks like she might be officially diagnosing me with Hashimoto’s.

I’ve suspected my hypothyroidism is a result of Hashimoto’s for a while now based on prior lab results, but I’ve never really considered having it confirmed or doing anything about it. Last December though, I started to give it a lot more thought. I skimmed through a few books, read some blogs, did all the Dr. Google stuff people do, and in the end, decided to make only one New Year’s Resolution for 2019: to take better care of my health.

I started the year off by trying to avoid gluten and dairy. Both are considered to be inflammatory and it seems a lot of people with Hashimoto’s have seen positive improvements by avoiding these. Unfortunately, I underwent an emergency surgery less than two weeks into the new year and have struggled to get back to it since then.

This month, I added both items to my tracking spreadsheet and my doctor ordered tests to confirm whether or not I’m suffering from milk and gluten intolerance. I’ve avoided both here and there, but not consistently. Today though, I’m thinking that needs to change. Me being me, I created a spreadsheet of all my lab test results and it doesn’t look good – my results seem to be getting worse. Will avoiding gluten and milk help like the internet says it will? I don’t know, but I don’t think it’ll hurt to give it a try.

So, that’s what I’m going to do. I’m going to commit to it and I’m going to keep tracking my test results to see if it helps. Worst case scenario it doesn’t, but best case scenario it does. Either way, no harm, no foul right?

 

 

Day 23: Bod Pod Results

My Bod Pod results from yesterday were just as bad as I expected them to be. From October to now, my body fat percentage has increased from 26.1% to 29.8%, and I’ve gained a little over 6 lbs of fat. The worst part is, more than half that increase happened in the last 6 weeks.

Yesterday’s results:

Results from January 25th:

Despite my not-so-great results, I felt pretty motivated to get back on track yesterday. I made some healthy food, went to the gym, and tried my best to get all of my steps in early. I was on a roll until right after dinner time. Then it all went to shit. I felt tired, little man was cranky, and I just felt overwhelmed.

Although I didn’t binge on junk food or anything like that, I did have a drink or two and then went to bed – without checking my step total for the day. Just like that, I ruined my latest streak. I missed my goal by around 3,000 steps.

It’s ok though. I’ll get right back to it today. My next Bod Pod is scheduled for April 15th. I feel confident I can get a new streak going while working towards getting my body fat percentage moving in the right direction.