The Waiting Game – What’s happening with my thyroid gland?


I don't feel good.  Maybe it's all in my head.  I believe that the mind can manifest symptoms in the body; a stressed, tired and starved mind will manifest in the body.  I have been neglecting my personal health.  My dating life is non-existent, my friends are sadly neglected.  Going to the gym, that is a laughable idea.  I don't feel depressed, I've battled depression before, it didn't feel like this.  Maybe it is depression, it can take on different forms, but I don't think that's it. I am in a good spot, I love my apartment, my jobs are great, I feel overall quite content with life.  But…

I feel sick.  Something in my body isn't working right.  When I look up all my symptoms on WEBMD; I am dying.  It's terminal, but then life tends to be terminal, eventually.  This has been going on for a while, months, years even.  I couldn't or didn't get my family doctor to take my complaints seriously, maybe I minimized them?  I don't like to complain, I'm more of a suffer in silence type.  I have suspected my thyroid has been on the slow side for a while, but I never had proof.  Thyroid tests came back in the “normal” range, but my antibodies weren't tested.  I pursued my failing health complaints with a naturopath. She seemed to take my symptoms at face value, and just help me work to feel better.

A brief history, or flash back style back-story:

4 years ago, I was stressed, having gone thru a major break up, job change and move. I was fat and tired and cried every day. Dealing with my depression became my #1 priority, a hormone imbalance and thyroid were addressed but not as much of a priority. I worked hard with my naturopath and a counselor to battle the war with my emotional and mental health. Under-eating and starving my body and brain had slowed my metabolism, I had low self-worth, no self compassion, and a terrible work-life balance. My average day started anxiously awake at 5 am, a cry to start my day, and a shower.  I would go to work without breakfast, often grabbing a latte or two from Starbucks to console my broken heart with sugar and whipping cream.  Rare was a day I could make it 8 hours without having a cry, and I worked 6 or 7 days a week.  I would come home from work, eat some junk food, and go to bed.  Crying myself to sleep. I was in bad shape.

I knew I had to make changes.

I invested in myself, paying for the therapy and naturopath, and starting a weight loss blog.  That first blog was a sad read those first few weeks, despair thinly veiled with optimism, but it was a good way for my friends and family to check up on me.

I was alive, I was at work, I had a fresh box of tissues. And spoons in the freezer, (this is a great way to bring down swelling in your eyelids after a big cry). I started a program, soy based shakes for breakfast and lunch with a healthy dinner (ignorant to the effects of soy to my thyroid). I would walk for 30 minutes every day after work, twice a week I would try a fitness class, living in a new town and knowing no one but my co-workers, I had to get out of my apartment.

It took a solid 6 months of weekly visits with healthcare professionals before I started to feel better, almost without note, I would only cry once a day, I worked a little less, I made a friend in the new town. My 30 minute walks would get longer, and farther.  I saw a sparkle again, but I was only half way there. Weekly therapy became monthly until my therapist felt I had the tools to cope, my naturopath was treating a hormone imbalance (really low progesterone), vitamin deficiency and suspected low thyroid. I was reading self-love and self-help books like a mad woman. I still had to learn to love myself.

All of this activity, calorie counting and exercise resulted in some weight loss, but it was painfully slow. I started doing some research on paleo, thyroid and nutrition. High fat, low-fat, low carb, no carb, macro, blood type diet, calorie counting and all the sort. I decided that if the thyroid was my issue, the soy based shakes had to go. I found a fantastic gym partner and we embarked on both a training and diet program (carb cycling).  I still didn't see results.  Well, not the results I wanted, in total from the depressed cry all the time self; I had lost 35 Lbs.

My weight loss blog morphed into a public journal and a dating blog, and I decided that I would go on a date for every pound I lost. It was exhausting, pulling focus from my self repair and renewal to online dating.  I learned a lot about myself, and the Internet.  Did you know people LIE on the Internet?  So crazy… I know.  This is where I met Raj, one of my crazy online dates, and our friendship begins!

Enter Paleo

Raj challenged me to eat paleo for 30 days, which turned to 60, and then 90, and was born.

Those first paleo days were rough, I am a sugar and sweet fiend, in case you couldn't tell from my baking and treats recipes. I think I suffered from a “carb flu” and I still had no energy. Something still wasn't right, but eating paleo had made me feel a little better, and I had lost some weight.  10-15 lbs.

In the last few months, Raj has been a great motivator for me to talk to my family physician instead of just suffering, or guessing at what is wrong. I stopped taking my naturopath prescribed thyroid supplements (desiccated pig thyroid, selenium, iodine) in order to get a far past due baseline reading of my T3, T4 and antibodies. I am waiting to see my Dr early next week for results. I am hoping this will give me some answers. If it's not my thyroid being lazy, what is causing this: fatigue, ache, hair loss? Why do I want to sleep 10 hours a night and then have a nap? Why can I not seem to lose weight?

I need to practice self compassion

My body is a crazy amazing machine, and even with a few extra lumps and curves, I need to love it.  I need to feed it, and rest if I feel like it.  Cry if I want to, and have patience that with a little effort and tune up it will be back to top form in good time.


About the Author:

Real food fan. My first love is baking, and it keeps me sane. I am new to the Paleo lifestyle, but already infatuated. Recovering sugar Junkie. Love awkward situations, drunk people and ridiculously high heeled shoes, especially when they coincide. Always looking for my next great story.


  1. Ruth February 21, 2016 at 12:30 pm - Reply

    Thank you for sharing. Getting to the root of health issues can be time consuming and frustrating. Finding the right person to “go the mile” in finding what is really going on and getting the right treatment takes a lot of energy. Keep pushing for answers.

    • Holley February 21, 2016 at 12:57 pm

      Yeah, the thought of trying to figure out what’s wrong is exhausting. Excited to hopefully have some answers or a plan after Tuesdays Dr appointment. Thanks for reading Ruth!

  2. Aimee February 22, 2016 at 5:12 pm - Reply

    Hi Holley! life is quite the journey, I too have been feeling flat lined for a number of years now. I had a thyroid test a few years back, since I thought my symptoms were presenting hypothyroidism, but my conventional dr did a test and told me “nothing was wrong”. I know my adrenals are pretty much exhausted no thanks to all the coffee I had consumed over the last 25+ years. I hope you have some better luck and encouraging answers, until then keep writting in your gratitude journal

    • Holley February 22, 2016 at 5:42 pm

      It’s true Aimee, those adrenals can give you trouble too! Thabks for the encouraging words, I’m hoping for answers tomorrow! Gratitude is an important tool in coping!

  3. Aimee February 23, 2016 at 1:19 pm - Reply

    So I was “whining” to my son that my challenge paleo was hard, but it is almost over, he then shared this Shia LaBeouf Just Do It clip with me, hope you like it as much as I did! Hope it comes through, if not, let me know – hahaha

    • Holley February 23, 2016 at 8:37 pm

      That is AWESOME!!!!! Who knew Shia could grow a long braid like that!! It’s almost done, one week to go. I am really missing cheese, what are you craving?

    • Aimee February 24, 2016 at 6:16 am

      Cheese and all dairy for that matter! I make some really good Greek yogart and kefir, so can’t wait to put that back into my rotation. So how did the test results turn out? Inquiring minds want to know!

    • Holley February 24, 2016 at 7:58 pm

      I have a BUNCH of coconut yogurt as I have been perfecting a recipe,(on the site soon) but yogurt is usually one of the things I miss too!
      My tests were, inconclusive? Or, not really, I am on the right track as to what is wrong, but need more tests and have been armed with a pile of “homework”. Luckily my family Dr supports my desire to take a preventative and holistic approach instead of going straight to the pharmaceuticals. SO more tests and a always glamerous stool sample regime. I will write all the gritty detail in the next few days. Of the Dr. Not the other stuff. Hahah. Thanks Aimee. 5 days till dairy!!

    • Raj February 24, 2016 at 7:53 am

      I didn’t like the yelling. Too early in the morning for that. But the message was great. haha

    • Aimee February 25, 2016 at 4:07 am

      Yeah there was a lot of yelling, but that is what made it so funny! Plus, this came from my 11 year old son, giving mom the tough love – Priceless!

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