Any of you who know me personally know that around last Christmas I engaged in many events of self-torture and happenstances of self-deprivation in a valiant…okay…more like “desperate” effort to lose the extra pounds that I had gained through years of alcohol abuse and overindulgence in all that is bacon. I was fairly successful and lost 50 lbs. Just to help with the imagery, before the diet I looked like Peter Griffin. After the diet I looked more like a young Carol O’Conner. How’s that for cross generational mixed mental imagery?
I managed to stay right at my goal weight for about four months. I packed a few pounds on at the end of August due to ten or eleven days of camping food and the excessive hammock time involved in my camping outings. I wasn’t too worried at the time, but the intervening three months since then saw me pack on twenty more pounds. So now I have gained back over half of what I lost and I appear to be picking up speed on my way to the Aretha Franklin neighborhood of fatulence.
It finally dawned on me two weeks ago or more that my thyroid may have told me to fuck off again and I need my thyroid medication adjusted so my body can again be convinced to burn calories. Combine that with my apparent desire to poach my liver in vodka once or twice a week and the results aren’t pretty. Anyone who has ever admitted to themselves that their alcohol intake could stand to be trimmed down a little, knows that alcohol is the Navy Seal of addictive substances. You can consciously monitor it for long periods of time, but as soon as you let your guard down, BAM…you’re lying on the floor trying to remember where you are and how it all happened.
And when the medication bonks…it’s a sneaky bastard, too. Usually by the time I catch it, the medication level has been twisted for a month or more. It’s not like I can wake up on Tuesday…look back at Monday and recognize my medication isn’t right. I usually have to say… wake up at the end of November and look back at the previous two months and realize that my naps grew progressively longer, I grew increasingly less efficient at work in tiny increments, and if it gets really bad, I have trouble completing a thought. At it’s worst, a few years back, I couldn’t complete a sentence because the brain fog was too um…foggy. Yeah…that’s why I write. Cuz I’m good with words like that.
I was reared to believe that I am in charge of me. I am in control of my fate and I am to blame for everything that goes wrong and if I want things to change I have to change them. So when the weight starts coming on, I tend to think it is my failure and mine alone. Then when I take measures to get rid of the weight and it doesn’t go away, then the depression sets in which makes my judgment even worse.
Now here’s the icing on the cake. When my medication levels go south on me, I sleep. A lot. When I’m not sleeping, I should be sleeping. I get nothing done and keeping my eyes open is a near impossible task at times. Wanna guess the one substance I can take that wakes me up? Not coffee. Not soda. Liquor. I don’t care about the science behind it. Liquor wakes me up when my underactive thyroid makes me want to sleep 23 hours a day. Seeing as how I been known to have a hmm…lessee…an aficionado’s interest in that liquor stuff…yeah…not good. It’s sorta like giving an angry, short tempered, gorilla a large club and telling him old people are filled with bananas and then dropping him off at the old folks’ home. Next thing you know everyone is dead and there’s a pissed off hungry ape staring at you cuz he still wants his bananas. Okay, that metaphor broke down a little by the end there, but you get my point…it can get messy.
Let’s recap…thyroid condition…sneaky. Alcohol…sneaky. One tends to give at least the illusion of making the other better. Both tend to make depression worse. Are you starting to figure out the level of awesomeness my battle with this stuff has been for the last decade?
It has taken me years to realize how this condition has affected my body, my mind, and my confidence.
What brings all this up? The doc called me this a.m. and affirmed to me that my medication needs to be upped. Why does that make me happy? Because now I know the last few months haven’t been all my fault. I know it wasn’t all me and my laziness that made me gain so much weight back. It wasn’t 100% me that didn’t read to my daughter because I needed a 45 minute nap instead. It wasn’t entirely my fault that I’ve been intending to build my mutt a dog house for two months and still haven’t done it. And that’s all I need. I need that crack of daylight to be reminded once in a while that I’m not a complete pile of shit so I can get my chin up in the air again and forge ahead.
I start the new dosage of meds when I get home today. Bummer part is, I usually have to take it for a month before I can fully realize the change, but when it does kick in, the weight tends to fall off again. I tend to feel like exercising more. My urge to drink every Friday and Saturday night decreases drastically, too. I get ten days off for Christmas break and if my meds are helping by then, I can hit the gym 6 or 7 of those days and do a good bit of setting myself to rights again before the New Year.