Monday, December 15, 2008

I Do Love a Good Challenge

Those of you who join me for my writing challenges over on my other blog know that I do enjoy a good challenge. I'm rather competitive by nature and I like to feel I'm doing well. But sometimes rather than challenging ourselves, life gives challenges to us and we have a decision to make - crumple or buck up?

You'll recall that last June, I was put on a low sodium diet by my doctor. The recommendation didn't fix the problem I was having with my ears, but I enjoyed the other benefits, so I've stuck with it, mostly consistently. I do swerve from time to time. I've had fun trying out new recipes, and in the spirit of turning a weakness into a strength, I'm writing a cookbook of low sodium recipes. It's been pretty fun.

This last week, though, a wrench was thrown into my works.

I had an appointment with an endrocrinologist. I've had Hashimoto's thyroiditis most of my life. Here are some of the symptoms: "Symptoms of Hashimoto's thyroiditis might include symptoms of hyperthyroidism in the early phase of the disease, and then hypothyroidism. Weight gain, depression, mania, fatigue, panic attacks, bradycardia, tachycardia, high cholesterol, reactive hypoglycemia, constipation, migraines, memory loss, infertility and hair loss are a few possible symptoms." I've had or do have a goodly number of these symptoms, so of course, getting proper treatment seems like a great idea. However, my body is just quirky enough, we had to call in the specialists.

The upshot of all this is - I've been put on a low carb, high protein, low cholesterol diet, in addition to the low sodium diet I was already on. How completely overwhelming. This leaves me with, what - beans and pineapple? Well, apparently not the pineapple. Too many carbs.

A good friend of mine got me pointed in the right direction, after I wandered around for two days trying to figure out what to eat. I'm now giving the Body-for-Life diet a try, tweaking it to adjust for my sodium needs. (Those people eat scads of cottage cheese, and I can't.) My goal is to lose 23 pounds by the time I see my doctor again in a couple of months, and to get my cholesterol down a couple of points. I don't know how to set a cholesterol goal, as I'm not sure how fast one can reasonably lower it, or if lowering it will work for me - I've got the thyroid making it high, plus it's hereditary, so I'm not sure if my dietary changes will be enough. I guess we'll see.

I realize I'm rambling, but this whole thing has been a little confusing for me. Once I get fully educated on just what carbs are and how to manage them for proper health, I think I'll be less rambly.

So, to make a long story short, you all get to come along with me on my journey. I'm starting the twelve-week program tomorrow. I've been following the eating plan for three days now, but until you add in the exercise, it's really not a complete effort. Wish me luck, and keep an eye on the sidebar for my progress!

In the meantime, it seems that the cosmos has been smiling kindly upon me and I finally figured out why I'm so emotionally attached to food. It's a little too personal to share online, but I'm so glad to make this discovery because now I can nurture myself through it instead of feeding myself through it, and that's a crucial key for me.


Annette Lyon said...

Your title here shows a great attitude. Sheesh--what a challenge! I have genetically high cholesterol as well. Not fun.

But finding out the why of emotionally eating is HUGE! Congrats on that!

Kara said...

Hey, I'm with you on this! I remember all too well how hard it was for me to adjust my diet when I found out I have major food allergies and they were contributing to my illness. (This was 3 years ago.) I grieved for a while over losing foods. However, as my body adjusted to my new way of eating, it began to heal in some ways and was happy. I also have celiac disease so it tweaks my diet even further. It was hard but the more my body healed, the less I grieved for my old foods. Now, I rarely want anything off of my diet,

Oh, on the cholesterol -- coconut oil will help lower that and triglycerides. It will also kill viruses, candida and some bacteria. You need to get the kind that is cold pressed or centrafuged and NOT refined for cooking. It is working great for me. Email me if you have questions: 86wildchild at

Josi said...

Oh wow, Tristi, good luck with all that. I find your attitude so impressive--if anyone can do this with a smile on their face it's you. I loved Body for Life when I did it a few years back, I think you'll have a good result.

Danyelle Ferguson said...

Tristi - Good luck! I know you can do it! I'm so excited to see you work towards your goals AND reach them.

Marta O. Smith said...

Wow, Tristi. Good luck! Try tilapia with a little lemon pepper. And are you supposed to avoid all carbs, or can you have complex carbs, like broccoli?

Amanda said...

Tristi, I nearly cried reading that Wikipedia article. These are things I've suffered from for a long time, and nothing has helped. I lose or gain weight without any connection to my eating or exercising habits, and they keep testing my thyroid without results. The line that really got to me was "Hashimoto's thyroiditis is often misdiagnosed as bipolar disorder" - I've been diagnosed with bipolar disorder for nearly five years now, and the medicines they gave me did nothing much to help. This has given me hope. Thank you.

Tristi Pinkston said...

Amanda, I do hope this helps point you in the right direction. When something's out of whack with our bodies, it sure throws everything else in our lives out of whack!

Tristi Pinkston said...


I will try your fish suggestion - I may have to learn to like fish, sounds like. :)

I can have fibrous carbs, so broccoli and things like that are just fine. It's the empty carbs, like white flour and sugar, that I'm to avoid.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...