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If you always do what you’ve always done….

You’ll always get what you’ve always got….

Easy to say but making changes is often not the easiest thing to actually do.

Recently (there’s a blog coming up about running will also relate to this!) I’ve been trying to reflect on what is really behind my seemingly unstoppable ability to self sabotage all and any efforts to make positive changes in my life which I know, in my heart, I need to make.

When I look back to the time in my life I felt ‘at my best’, it wasn’t in my 20’s when many people travel, enjoy the freedom of adulthood and live life to the max. During that time, I was in a controlling, unhealthy relationship which led to me developing an extremely unhealthy relationship with food and me being extremely underweight. I wasn’t anorexic but I was very clearly unwell and my body displayed the symptoms to prove it – not that I listened! The ending to the relationship was traumatic to say the least and took some dealing with.

As I headed into my 30’s, I was pretty much a different person. What I’d been through in my 20’s shaped my personality and made me determined that never again would I be controlled by another person. There were other legacies from my 20’s including the need to recover from my abysmal eating habits. Essentially, as I healed, I started to live my 20’s but it was as if it was on FFWD in order to catch up.

With some bumps in the road, things improved. I had a great career which took me all over the country and made me feel I was really making a difference. I was fit, healthy and personally happy. Life was good. Yes I had put on weight but I was healthy.. My body was fuelled by good nutrition which supported my workouts, challenging career and active social life. I was in good shape!

Looking back – this is when I think I was truly my best self. Forgive me the slightly cringey ‘american-ism’ but actually it is the best way to describe how I felt.

So, going back to my starting point, if nothing changes then nothing changes!

Yet clearly something has changed. Over a period of 10 years I have allowed myself to move from a healthy way of life to slip into habits that are clearly detrimental to my body being able to function. Not helped by a chronic hormone condition which requires lifelong medication.

I came through my pregnancies damaged – physically and mentally. Not by the children (although that’s probably another blog post!) but the ‘condition’ and the resulting changes to me. Nothing extreme or unusual for many women out there, but I certainly haven’t ‘bounced back’ in any way, shape or form. It’s led to long term health issues and changes that I have never been able to reverse or come to terms with.

And as more time passes, the further I am moving away from all the things that I know, intellectually and emotionally, will help me to feel better. Somewhere along the line, my self esteem and confidence has become so eroded that, even when I try to look after myself well, it lasts such a short time that there’s no chance for those changes to become embedded and actually make a difference. Before anything positive happens, I self sabotage.

So, the point of this? Well, having had counselling (which helped with some issues), I recognise that I can’t actually continue as I am. Of course there are certain aspects that may be able to be helped by working with my GP, but actually, to change how I feel and think about myself, well, only I can do that.

At a loss for what to do next, I got back in touch with a friend I had (almost deliberately) not been in touch with for a really long time. I was prompted to do this after bumping into her in a coffee shop. Despite not having replied to her attempts to communicate, she was genuinely excited to have bumped into me, warm, interested and just really lovely.

She is also someone who has faced her own demons in life and come out the other side with an enviable passion for helping others, immense positivity, and has forged a successful career doing just that! And she’s no bullshitter – a rare but beautiful quality IMO!

It’s early days. We are currently working to establish what it is we are actually dealing with in order to form a plan. But in the first conversation I had with her, she said one single sentence so sincerely that I absolutely believed her. And it was:

“I will help you sort this, because you are worth it”.

So here goes…. there’s no ‘plan’ at the moment. But what there is, is an intention and with that intention, some initial actions to start making the changes that need to be made. I’m resisting the urge to go in all guns blazing as I’m fairly sure that’ll end in failure. By taking small positive steps every day, I hope things will start to fall into place.

And the first thing I plan to do is take some time to heal my body and mind. It’s time to stop punishing ‘it’ for not doing what I want it to do, to stop just pushing on and to start helping it to get well.

 

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3 thoughts on “If you always do what you’ve always done….”

  1. Hello,
    Just wondering what the chronic hormone condition is that you refer to?
    In my first pregnancy my thyroid became low and now pregnant again the same thing is happening. It’s horrible as it makes you feel so weak and exhausted the whole time.
    Have hardly met any others who have suffered from this triggered by pregnancy.

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    1. Hi Beccy,

      Thanks for responding.

      Mine is now an under active thyroid. In my early 20’s I had Graves Disease which is an auto immune system that causes an overactive thyroid.

      It was treated and I was in remission but advised that any hormonal upset could cause a relapse.

      After my first pregnancy I was suffering symptoms again but rather than take a wait and see approach, they treated me with a med to block my thyroid function. Once the post pregnancy thyroid fluctuations passed I was really ill. A blood test revealed untraceable thyroid hormones which my GP told me she had never seen in all her (40) years in practice. Basically they overtreated my postnatal thyroid issue and rendered my thyroid function useless!

      Since then (7 years ago) I have had to have thyroid replacement therapy and, periodically my function worsens and my meds have to be increased.

      The most frustrating thing of it all is that I know it’s not right but if I’m at the low end of the normal range the GP is reluctant to increase my meds. Yet UK ‘normal’ ranges are far lower than elsewhere in the world.. also, a ‘range’ would suggest that there is variation for individuals needs.

      If you have the symptoms and your blood results show your function is low, get the meds. They’ll make such a difference. The synthetic thyroxine is safe in pregnancy as far as I know and I took it all through my second pregnancy. Make sure you are closely monitored and don’t ignore symptoms.

      I hope you have a fabulous pregnancy and enjoy your new arrival when the time comes.

      Liz xx

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      1. Hi Liz,

        That’s very interesting to hear what you’ve experienced, but it really sounds like you’ve had a terrible time of it with the thyroid and treatment. I’m so sorry, as it so much affects your ability to function. And I know you have 2 daughters to look after.

        It seems to be such a difficult thing for the medics to get “right”.

        I suffered very badly in my last pregnancy and it wasn’t until I was 8 month gone they put me on Levothyroxine. I seemed to be ok after the birth, but now I’m pregnant again and have felt very ill and exhausted in this first trimester (so so hard to cope with a 2 y. old too). And I’m worried it’s partly because of my thyroid and will only get progressively worse.

        Again my blood results are on the border of the normal range so my GP won’t put me on meds. So I went to see Dr Hurel a thyroid specialist in Sevenoaks last week, assuming he would see past my border line results but he says he’s not convinced I need medicine!!! He will be taking my bloods this week, but if they’re still in the normal range then I don’t think he will be putting me on levothyroxine. It’s terrifying to think I’m most likely going to just get worse and worse like in my last pregnancy where I could hardly walk for exhaustion, swelling, carpal tunnel etc. I don’t really no where else to turn as he is top in the field. From all my reading, I don’t understand how they don’t get that being in the normal range but close to the upper or lower limit is not sufficient, and most definitely not optimal especially in pregnancy.

        My sister and auntie also had thyroid problems, but all this seems to be not enough to convince him!

        I guess I’ve just got to wait until these new blood results and then try and argue my case to try me on Levothyroxine. It’s so frustrating and I feel quite hopeless about it.

        Beccy x

        Sent from my iPad

        >

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