For the record, I don’t know how all of you with families do it all.
I’m over here trying to just work my 9-to-5, adjunct an online class on the side, and take a single class at night as a student… along with working out, and man, is time tight. And I don’t even have to cook meals for anyone or keep little humans alive. Just myself. Which, in reality, after having had something to care for the last 10 years (a little medically challenged dog… and later a live-in boyf) – feels like I should be able to do all of this AND have free time. It its times like these that I am ashamed to say that I am super jealous of all of the naturally thin ladies out there, who can take a break from working out and no one can tell the difference (nor do their doctors start telling them they’re unhealthy). Times like right now, if I knew that my body wouldn’t immediately put on weight the minute I stopped working out, I’d totally be letting that slide (just like the cleaning and cooking part of my life – LOL). Sometimes I feel like superwoman, other times I feel like since I’m literally the only thing that I’m responsible for, that I’m a huge wimp and I should feel so much more energetic and have so much more time in my day than all of my lady friends who are doing so much more than me at home and in life – and somehow STILL making it work. The mental expectations we set up for ourselves sure are jerks, aren’t they?
Anyhow, my rant today (which totally went off track) really started because I recently upped my thyroid medication. I’ve been fighting with my slowly-dying thyroid for 15 years: I was diagnosed with an underactive thyroid at 20 (Hashimoto’s) and have ever since slowly and steadily increased my dosage of medication. Even with that, my weight and fatigue are always a struggle. I’m at the highest weight I’ve been in quite a while right now, back over 200lbs. I don’t look all that different from 185/190, but I can tell. My pants still button, so there is that. Generally, most other people in my life haven’t noticed much. See that person down there? All of those pictures were taken in the last week, and honestly, they don’t look that different from ones in 2015 or ’14. But this is about me – and I know how I feel.
Sometimes, like my rant above, I get super frustrated that my body seems to always be fighting me (and the amount of hours in the day). Shouldn’t running 3 to 4 days a week, plus swimming, some yoga, and some biking (depending on the season) amount to more than me gaining weight? I swear, in my head I should look damn svelte. For the last few years, my thyroid will get out of whack, I’ll increase my dosage, have a really good year that year (race paces, weight, energy, etc) – THEN the following year, my levels will be slowly working their way back upward but not quite over the point that my Doc will change my meds. I know that I feel worse, but it isn’t bad enough to fix yet. So I wait out the year, and then my levels get to a point that my Doc will do something about it again. And thus the cycle goes round and round again. Along with emotional baggage of a hard year and a lot of changes, 2016 was a year of my thyroid levels slowly heading north until they were fixable: combine those two things, and here we are. A few weeks ago I started a new level of levothyroxine, and sadly, all I could think was that 2017 would be a better year already, no matter if any life-stuff that happened. Things would be easier, I’d feel a little more “up,” a little more energetic, a little lighter. All because of one little pill. Sad, isn’t it?
In truth, my Type A personality makes me keep running, no matter what. Part of me is afraid I’ll lose the fitness level, the other part of me is afraid I’ll gain even more weight and move back up to size 16/18 pants and need a whole new wardrobe. Its only one size away, really. If I didn’t NEED to run to keep my weight from being a disaster, would I? Surprisingly, I have come to love running races and meeting new friends and feeling athletic and accomplished. Clearly, as someone who is seeking a Doctorate by choice, I like a challenge in many areas of my life – and racing still provides that, too. At this point, it has become a part of my identity that I am proud of. However, sometimes, like right now, when life is crazy… I wouldn’t mind being the kind of person who could just drop the exercise regimen and get a few hours back in the day with no consequences. Imagine… those hours back in the week… to cook, to bake, to leisure read.
Oh, and for the record, this weekend’s 6 miler… back to 12:20/mi pace (where it feels like I really SHOULD be!)… the ups and downs continue!
Would you keep working out if you didn’t “have” to in order to stay healthy (whatever that means for you)? What would you do with the extra hours in the day if you didn’t work out?