Dealing with Weight Gain, Depression and Hypothyroidism

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I thought I was just lazy

Jill Carlson is a Green Mountain alum who blogs about the differences intuitive eating and mindful movement have made in her life.

I came home from Green Mountain last summer motivated and ready to continue my healthy lifestyle of intuitive eating, Pilates reformer classes, and getting eight hours of sleep.
hypothyroidismThen about 2 weeks upon arriving home, I started feeling tired. My exercise went from 5 days a week down to 2 days a week. Then, I could only manage to go to work. As soon as my workday was done, I’d count the hours until I could go to bed.

I’d arrive home, stand in front of the fridge to graze, and went right to bed. I’m not gonna lie, sometimes there was some Bravo TV involved.


Everything I learned about pursuing health fell to the wayside. Mindful Eating? I don’t think so. Cardio? No. Relationships and fun? Sorry, too tired.

My Pilates classes were my saving grace of self-care. They were my only constant in this struggle of lethargy and depletion. I knew I was regaining weight.

I was totally depressed and didn’t even know it

Luckily, as I was reordering my thyroid medication, the doctor said it was time for a blood test. Bingo! It showed my thyroid levels were hypothyroid.

What Is Hypothyroidism?

Hypothyroidism is an autoimmune disease that that causes your thyroid to be inactive. Other symptoms can include fatigue, weight gain, increased cholesterol levels, loss of focus, inability to sleep, depression, and loss of hair.

At last, I had a reason for my major self-care slump! With a medication adjustment, I could expect to feel better in three months or so.

Having a reason for my sluggishness empowered me to be gentle and patient with my Self and my body.

I was not lazy.
I was depressed.
I could give myself a break.

I experienced weight gain, but I lost the scale

Despite being gentle with myself, I was still disappointed that a result of my depression was the weight gain. I grew very disconnected to my body’s signals of hunger and fullness and was using food to escape being in my very tired body and mind.

But as I started feeling better, with some effort and added focus to being attuned to my body’s needs, I felt ready to be in charge of my pursuit of health again.

But I did something different this time.

Instead of weighing myself on a weekly basis “to see where it was,” I decided that I would fully trust my body to get to the weight it was designed to be at.

In the past, I had myself thinking I was pursuing health. Honestly, I chasing a number. That number represented much more than my health; it measured my self-worth. It showed me whether I was exercising “enough” and whether I was eating intuitively “enough.” But I realized the scale cannot report that kind of information.

I haven’t weighed myself since August. I probably will sometime in the far future. For now, I am just pursuing feeling good in my body and being in charge of my health.

Bye, bye number! Hello, being in charge!


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