Imagine my fists pumped high in the air when you’re reading this.

One of the symptoms that led me to believe I had a thyroid problem was the fact that I had no endurance during workouts.
I’ve never been a Super Athlete, but workouts have always been a part of my life. When I was a teenager, I would workout for hours in my bedroom (with layers of clothing to “sweat out” the fat.) When I got married, I joined a women only gym. I would work out every morning before work. I left that gym when I got pregnant with my first child, I quit that gym, but joined another gym 2 months after my son was born.
And I went every single day.
Exercise has always been a part of my life.
Sure, I went through periods where I would be “too busy” to work out, but those periods never lasted long.
After I had my daughter, I got back into the gym right away. It took me longer to lose the weight than it had in the past, but I pushed myself hard at the gym and it paid off.
But after I had reached the 70 pounds lost mark, something began to happen.
Workouts became harder. I couldn’t push myself as hard. I’d get winded easily.
I started skipping days at the gym because I was physically unable to work out. “I’ll take a week off.” I told myself.
A week came and went. The thought of working out made me want to cry. I was exhausted, unmotivated.
I remember one time in particular. I had forced myself to get up off the couch and go to the gym. I was tired. This wasn’t a normal tired. This particular tired literally made my body ache.
I made it to the gym and stepped on the treadmill. I turned the treadmill on and begin to walk.
In less than 5 minutes, I was exhausted. I had a hard time catching my breath. My muscles ached.
“What the hell is wrong with me?” I thought to myself. “Why am I being SO LAZY?”
Then, right there on the treadmill, I started to cry.
That workout was the last one I had for a long time.
Turns out, it wasn’t laziness.
It was hypothyroidism. (Hashimotos.)
Anyone who’s read her for a while knows that I went undiagnosed for over a year. When I was finally diagnosed and put on medication, I knew that I’d have to get back into the gym. I was naive in thinking that I’d feel back to myself after I started taking the medication.
It took months.
Getting back into the gym was one of the hardest things I’ve had to do. My body was so out of shape, so unhealthy. Each workout felt like TORTURE. I cried more times than I care to admit. But I kept going, believing that one day it would be better. I would tell myself that one day my knees would stop buckling while I did the elliptical. I told myself that one day I’d be able to run on the treadmill for more than 30 seconds at a time. Even when I didn’t really believe it, I TOLD MYSELF it would happen. That was enough to get me through many workouts.
I started on a level 4 on the elliptical and a 3.0 on the treadmill. For free weights, I used 3 pound free weights.
Last night I ran (not walked) on the treadmill alternating between 5.1-5.5 and ran a mile (without stopping) in 11:52. Then, after I did 8 lb free weights, I did 30 minutes at a level 9 on the elliptical.
My knees didn’t buckle once.
Nor did I shed a single tear.
The speed at which the weight is coming off is frustrating at the moment. Still not under 200 pounds, although, AM CLOSER. 203.5 pounds as of this morning. (OMG!) I still have such a long way to go. However today I choose to focus on the progress I’ve made physically.
I am stronger.
I have more endurance.
And that’s pretty fucking awesome.

51 thoughts on “Imagine my fists pumped high in the air when you’re reading this.

  1. Nancy P

    You are such an inspiration to me. The mere thought of doing even a level 4 on the treadmill panics me. And the elliptical? I tried it once and thought I was going to die.
    Keep up the good work!

  2. hippittee

    my arms are pumping in the air in joined celebration!! great job…your persistence (among other qualities) is something to be admired!!

  3. Jen

    That is so great! Good for you.
    I haven’t followed you for very long so I’m curious – Why did it take so long to get diagnosed. Did they not want to test you? I’ve suspected I have a mild case of this but the one time I was tested, it came back normal. On the low end of normal but still normal so they wouldn’t do anything.

  4. Lori

    You are very courageous to go back to the gym, and 203.5! Yipee for you! I know you can do it! And please keep writing Y, you are an inspiration!

  5. Danielle

    yay – good news! that’s very encouraging! I wish I had just a smidgen of your willpower and motivation:)

  6. Denise

    Hmmm…this got me thinking. Lately I’ve had NO endurance on the elliptical at all. I never used to be that way either. Now I go for a minute, and rest for 20 seconds. I do the whole workout that way. I can barely make it 30 minutes and I’m only 25 lbs overweight. I guess I should have my thyroid checked.
    Either way, I’m so impressed with your progress, Y, and how hard you’re fighting. I’ve been reading for a long time, so I know something about what you’ve been through. YOU WILL ACHIEVE YOUR GOALS.

  7. Vickie

    Congrats!!!! You’re doing it! Been a reader for a while now and i’m thrilled to read of your progress….i’ve jsut started to work out too and i LOVE how it makes me feel….the poundage take it’s sweeeet time coming off but the feeling of doing it and the afterwards is priceless….such an emotional high, and stress reducer!
    So GO girl, you are DOING it!

  8. Julia

    wow, you are AWESOME! I cannot believe your determination. you are an inspiration to so many people who read your blog.

  9. NM Liz

    Wow! Imagine my jaw on the floor — level 9 on the elliptical? I can do that for about 30 seconds. You’re fantastic!

  10. mom, again

    Yay you!
    your blog is one of my support systems for getting myself to the gym. I am at about the same starting weight as you, (knock wood) & I’m damn lucky not to have anything wrong except being overweight and the inconvenience that brings. Breathing heavy with any exertion, having trouble playing with my child, no cute clothes, needing the extension belt for the airplane seat, needing several inches of my husbands airplane seat too. But, no blood pressure or blood sugar or other such problems. Just a lot of embarrasment and ugly shirts. So far.
    So Far. Amongst other things, your blog finally brought it home to me that I’ve been lucky, so far. One or more of those big horrible things more likely to happen when you are obese is gonna happen soon. A couple of small horrible things already have (jock itch between the fat rolls. Nice.)
    I have a two year old and I’m in my 40′s. I want to see his 30′s, or even 40′s. I am not likely to do that carrying around the weight of an entire extra me around.
    I finally joined a gym this month, and have kept to the planned schedule for two weeks now. Which doesn’t sound like much, but! You know it is.
    So, thanks. and, keep it up!

  11. Midwest Mommy

    How were you diagnosed? I seriously just had bloodwork done because I was convinced something was wrong with me because I am so tired all the time. The only thing they found was high cholesterol.

  12. Cris

    Thank you so much for writing about this. I’m going to go get on my treadmill now (the first time in a few months) and then call my doctor. I’ve known something is wrong for a while now but just keep telling myself not to be so lazy. Your first few paragraphs described me exactly. Thank you.

  13. Phoenix

    Woo hoo!!!!! I know how important the weight coming off is for you, both physically and mentally, but I am so glad to hear you giving yourself credit for the improved fitness too. Sounds like you have made amazing progress and that will do your body and your spirit so much good! You are such an inspiration – even I have thought about joining a gym after reading this!!! LOL Much love x

  14. Phoenix

    Woo hoo!!!!! I know how important the weight coming off is for you, both physically and mentally, but I am so glad to hear you giving yourself credit for the improved fitness too. Sounds like you have made amazing progress and that will do your body and your spirit so much good! You are such an inspiration – even I have thought about joining a gym after reading this!!! LOL Much love x

  15. cindy w

    This post makes me so happy, I want to burst out into song here. “Did you ever knoooow that you’re my heeeerooooo???”
    Seriously. You rock. (And I’m sorry if I got that song stuck in your head.)

  16. michie

    I just wanted to say congrats on getting back to the gym! I know for me, it takes more mental work than physical work to get me moving. Your story is inspirational. Thank you for sharing.

  17. Tiffany

    If this were like facebook I would just hit “Like”.. because i’m betting it’s inappropriate to put “I fucking think this is awesome for you” in button form on all your posts?? I need some of you motivation mojo to workout,, i’ve went from a muffin top to a full on popover:(

  18. Alice

    Kick. Ass.
    Working out when you don’t get ANY of the endorphin rush, and have to work through crappy thyroid exhaustion hormones to boot, is a real feat. Congratulations on doing this, Y!

  19. schoolofmom

    You? AWESOME. You’ll probably never know how many people you inspire, but add me to the list. :-)

  20. Rachael

    I know I am super late, but this has been sitting in my reader because I wanted to make sure and come over and tell you how AWESOME that is! I have had similar struggles with weight, and I know how hard it is, and you are doing SO well. Way to go!

  21. BZMomma

    Wow, you are awesome and motivated! You inspire me. I feel like such a slacker b/c I have no excuse (no Hashimotos or anything) and yet, I haven’t been to the gym since July. It’s November.
    Just wanted to say, thanks to you, I got my bum-bum out last night and took a half mile walk. It’s not much, but it’s a start. I have to renew my gym membership since it expired, but we’ll see how long I can go outdoors (and save $ from a membership) first.
    Sorry for the long comment, but thanks for the inspiration!

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