Sore, but not dead.. keep going!

So, on January 4th I went way out of my comfort zone. I weighed myself in front of someone else! Absurd, right? I frigging agree! But the local sporting goods store does this bad-ass contest every New Year… people go weigh in, their weight is marked down in the computer, and in 8 weeks, go weigh again! And for every pound you’ve lost, they issue you a $3 gift card for their store! For anyone without thyroid issues, this could pay big! Or men… pffft… it is just so unfair how quick dudes can dump weight! But as previously discussed, women get to sit to pee, so there has to be balance in the battle of the sexes somewhere. I sit to pee, and they can lose 5 pounds in one day without trying. Yup, totally fair. Anyway, I am getting off topic (slightly)

So I begrudgingly dragged my tubby butt into the store, and then proceeded to ramble the lady’s ear off as I was stepping on to the scale, explaining why I was as big as I was… like she cares, right? Yeah, probably not. But I still felt it necessary! Some days I want to wear a sandwich board explaining my weight situation, because the judging looks can get really hurtful and annoying. But anyway, I weighed myself, for the first time in many months, in front of a total stranger. And as a recap, the many months also included when my son was diagnosed with diabetes, the subsequent hospital stay, and my prolonged IDGAF attitude towards eating, snacking and gluten. Gluten, for anyone who isn’t aware, is a big no-no for people with my autoimmune disease, but at that point, I was focused on my sons newly diagnosed autoimmune disease (which gluten doesn’t affect, for anyone keeping track)

When I stepped on to that scale (it was on carpet, which I didn’t think was smart for weighing, but whatever…) I was pleasantly surprised. It was nowhere near where I thought it would be! It was much lower – still a grotesquely revolting number, but lower, nonetheless.

I re-started the 21 Day Fix on January 4th. I love that program. When it first came out in 2014, I did it religiously and lost 10 pounds in a month and a half. Then my doctor fucked around with my meds, and I gained upwards of 35 pounds, and haven’t lost it yet (thanks Doc!) But it is a great program. Most people don’t really realize how much their portions are just waaaaay wrong. It super helped. And I found the workouts to be really fun! I had to modify lots to begin with, but got better and stronger. Then I had to quit, at to the request of the aforementioned doctor. But I happily threw my dvds in and started all gung-ho. But I quickly became insanely bored (hello, doing this for almost 2 years.. it is bound to get boring as hell) So I popped in my 21 Day Fix Extreme and…. HOLY SHITBALLS! There is nothing easy about this program! The very first workout, I wanted to die. Plyo with weights? Screw you! Cardio with weights? Screw you more! Everything with weights? Kill me now. I am so sore. So so sore.

SO SORE! But you know what? I am not dead. And, I have lost almost 6 pounds now. Sure, in the span of a month, that is not super awesome. But, I am not eating super good (too little, if anything.. for real, I hate food) and I am still modifying a lot (I have the knees of a 70 year old man) But every morning, I get up, make my Amino Energy, pop in my dvd, pull out my weights, and sweat my balls off (I have sweat a lot, so I no longer have balls.. hahaha)

At the very least, I imagine I will get about $15.00 in gift cards. My husband weighed in, too. So I am sure he will let me use his gift cards, too. I am hoping to get enough to get a new sports bra. Ooooh, dreaming big!!

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Grateful + turmoiled = some sort of weird ass emotion…

I am feeling pensive, grateful and turmoiled all at the same time. This post is the product of that mish-mash of emotions.

My kids. What to say… I think they are amazing. And I know, I am biased because I cooked them and birthed them and raised them… but, I still think they are amazing. All three of them – they are individually these awesome little tiny humans. They are smart and funny, so creative and come up with the most awesome stuff. Sure, they can be annoying little craps, but they’re kids! That’s their job. But, I am noticing that there are people who choose not to incorporate them into their lives.. people who know them and have the opportunity to be around them, watch them grow, and be part of who they become. And they are choosing not to. They are choosing to not just watch from the sidelines, but to not participate at all. What do I have to say to these people? Your loss! My kids are great! And it makes me sad to watch these bystanders see them, and comment on how they are growing/learning/talking/sleeping/etc when they had the opportunity to know them and participate in their lives, and decided they didn’t want to. Who missed their football games; sure, they weren’t edge-of-your-seat exciting, but they are trying! Who missed their swimming and parkour and school events. Who weren’t around during their short obsession with rainbow loom, and missed out on getting one of their cute little bears or flowers. Who missed out on them learning to walk and talk. Who missed out on how cute they can be with one another. Who missed out on all of the big moments. Who miss out on their crazy stories, or hearing about their crushes at school. Who will never know what it is like to walk past a lingerie store with my toddler and hear him yell “look mommy! Boobs!” They aren’t perfect, but they are still amazing.

My husband. What to say… He is my heart, the protector of my soul, my second chance at a happy ending, the man who picks me up and holds me up, dries my tears, makes me laugh, keeps me safe and is everything I never knew I always wanted. He may not be the biological father of all of my children, but he is their dad, through and through. He wasn’t something I had planned.. I had given up on that part of my life, and I was fine with that. In fact, I didn’t want a relationship again. He was the one who pursued me, was persistent, sat by waiting patiently while I allowed him into my heart, and still, to this day, patiently and lovingly handles my freak-outs, my moments of pure panic, my moments of total and complete untrust, and all of my insane commitment crap. Yes, I am the commitment-phobe in our world. And he is okay with that. Would he prefer if I was mellow and totally trusting and calm? Oh, I am sure he would! But that is just not what he signed up for 😉 He is my absolute everything, and it pains me to know that there are people who aren’t accepting of our relationship because of our past lives. He is my happiness and my forever.. so, accept that or piss off.. cuz no amount of judging or criticism or rumor spreading is going to change what we have, or the fact that this is our life now.

My current house situation. What to say.. it sucks.. HAHAHA! But it could be worse! It could be MUCH worse! Sure, the carpet is old (read: original, and should have been replaced 7 years ago) and has been lit on fire in some spots, the paint is horrid (it is that really awful pinkish taupe color that was popular in the late 90’s early 2000’s), the old tenants had a dog that literally destroyed the basement (read: let them go to the bathroom on the concrete.. imagine the smell… I am down there once every few weeks pouring Mr Clean on it..), the deck was lit on fire by a past tenant and is not safe for my son to play on (thus rendering the yard pretty unuseable for us), the appliances are old and rubbish (the food freezes in the back of the fridge, so you have to keep things pulled forward, cuz if you changed the temp, the stuff in the door goes rotten.. it is quite the dance to keep food fresh!), the garage wasn’t properly insulated and is literally a sauna and is affecting the food in our deep freeze in there, the neighbors told us the house has been forcibly entered by the police due to the previous tenant and the landlord never fixed it (you could hipcheck my garage man door and come into my house, even if it was locked), the dryer has ruined my sheets and a pile of our clothes… I could go on. But when I lay down at night, I am home. This is where my kids and husband are.. this is where we are making memories for the time being. This is not a forever home.. this is merely a landing pad on the way to our next adventure. And, like I said, it could be worse 😉 Still, I wish the carpets didn’t still smell like dog… ick.

My job. What to say..  I love it! I get to hang out with some of the nicest, funnest and most interesting people every day. It is a gym, and everyone is always in a good mood. I get to talk and learn all day. How is that a bad thing? I have gone to college twice. I have two college diplomas. Do I use either of them? No. Could I? Yes. Would I make a very comfortable living if I did? Sure. But I don’t want to. Because I know if I did, I would be miserable. And life is just too short. My husband makes a verrrrry good living, and I don’t “have” to work. But I do, because a few extra bucks never hurts.. plus, it gets me out of the house and around other people, which is never a bad thing 😉 Still, I have people judging me on my position.. You know what that is gonna get you? Very detailed directions on where to go and how to get there. Trust me, I am a travel agent by trade, so I am qualified to give out such directions! Ha ha….

My past.. What to say.. Fuck off. We all have them. And if you are judging me based on my past, then you don’t deserve to be in my future! Moving on.

My ex. What to say… Oh.. I am not sure we have time to get into this. So, let me just say this. He is manipulative and two-faced. He is a pathological liar, and he is screwing with my kids so bad, they are frequently in tears and have to see a counsellor. It is a constant battle to have him uphold his end of our divorce, and I am frequently on the phone with my lawyer to see what my rights are in different situations (after 6 years, you would think it would have mellowed by now) So when I have people tell me he is a nice guy, or he’s not that bad, or he’s trying… bla bla bla… just stop! Stop. I do not make shit up. I do not want this kind of attention. Trust me, life would be simpler if he wasn’t a flaming douche. But alas, those were not the cards I was dealt. I am here to keep my kids safe and raise them to be wonderful GOOD and HONEST men. And if you have anyone’s back but mine after learning this? Well, then I guess he is going to “get you” in the divorce.

My health. What to say.. it’s brutal, but it could be so much worse. I am beyond grateful that all that is wrong with me is hypothyroidism, hashimotos (an autoimmune disease), some stressed adrenals and the occasional cold. Would I prefer to be normal and healthy? Sure!!!! But, this is my journey. And I am grateful mine isn’t a much harder one.

My friends. What to say.. Though my list of friends has drastically changed over the last few years, I still maintain the closest ones, and that is just fine with me. It is a constant ebb and flow, and the dynamics with lots of them have changed. But I know that if I need anything, I have a handful of people who would drop their shit to come help me with mine. And at the end of the day, that is all that matters to me.

It is my life. As dysfunctional and messy, seemingly broken (to others) and chaotic, maybe sad and pathetic to some… but it is mine… 100% unapologetically and unabashedly MINE. And while there are points I would like to change, that may never be possible. So I am happy of what I have been given, accepting of what has been dealt, and excited to see what comes next.

Grateful + turmoiled = some sort of weird ass emotion….

What to do, what to do!?

I am finding myself in the midst of a real conundrum.. and it has totally stumped me as to what my next step should be.

See, I have been seeing this specialist in Edmonton (4 hours away) for over a year. And although I live in Canada (land of free health care) I pay a very pretty penny to see him. It was something I decided to do after many many years of not getting the proper treatment to fix my thyroid and autoimmune disease. So off we went, in hopes that this would be my pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.

I have been through the ringer when it comes to my thyroid, and I am pretty much completely sick of fighting and trying and searching for someone to fix me. I have seen numerous doctors, naturopaths, specialists… tried different thyroid meds, supplements, vitamins, juices, food restrictions, diets, exercise… and to no avail.

So, back to the current situation. The expensive specialist. It has been a year. I have done everything he has told me to, and all that has happened is I am now downing upwards of 15 pills a day, and gained 25 pounds. SOOOOO not the goal I was hoping to achieve. Sufficed to say, I am pretty pissed. What a waste of money! I have one more appointment to see him in August, so we will see what comes of this.

I am not holding my breath, basically because I have an aversion to dying.. but, I am still trying to maintain a level of hope that this appointment will be the turning point for me. I suppose, at this point, all I can do is hope. But I guess time will tell.

However, what do I do if nothing comes of this appointment? There is my problem. What do I do?! I feel like I have exhausted every avenue available to me, and I am still completely symptomatic and a lot chunkier than I would like to be. Cuz if nothing good comes from this appointment, then I think I am back to seeing my regular doctor, who really did nothing for me, and had to use google to diagnose me (weirdest moment in a doctors office, I swear!) But at least it is free.

I just want to be myself, and feel like myself again, you know? I guess if you don’t have any diseases like this, you won’t fully understand. But know this… it’s miserable feeling this way.

One day. Some how. Some way. Just keep going……

the jennie digits…

Everyone on earth is different. We are all comprised of these specific conglomerations of digits that make each and every one of us unique from everyone else. No one on earth will have the same numbers or formula that you do. That is really cool! You may share numbers, but you will always have your own special formula 🙂 

Here are my important ones:

12/17 – my birthday

1980- year I was born

5’3″ – how tall I am

1 – number of sisters I have

2 – number of brothers I have

2 – number of parents I have (although 1 came into my life when I was 22)

2 – number of nieces I have

0 – number of nephews I have

2 – number of sister in laws that I have

1 – number of brother in laws that I have

3 – the number of people on earth (including my husband) who know my darkest secrets

1998 – the year I graduated high school

3 – the number of years I was in high school

1995 – the year I met the love of my life

2003 – the year I had my first son

2005 – the year I had my second son

2009 – the year I became a single mom

2009 – the year I lost my grandma and one of my favorite people on earth

2010 – the year I got together with the love of my life

2011 – the year we had our son (my third son)

12/17/2011 – the day I got engaged to the love of my life

2013 – the year we got married 7 – the day of the month that all three of my sons were born on  3 – how many times I have been to Mexico

4 – how many times I have been to Disney (2 in Cali, 2 in Florida)

3 – how many countries I have been to (Including the one I live in)

10 – how many states I have been to (including layovers on planes)

4 – number of provinces I have been to (including the one I live in)

2 – number of college diplomas I have

10 – years I have been battling hypothyroidism

1 – how many times I have reached my goal weight since being diagnosed

0 – how many times I have given up and stopped trying

infinity – how many tears I have cried over the whole frustrating thyroid mess

infinity – how many times I will wipe the tears off and keep going

12 – times I have had my ears pierced (8 are still in there)

2 – how many times I have had my tongue pierced (second one is still in there)

6 – how many tattoos I have

80+ – how many hoodies I have (they are my secret addiction!)

The unimportant ones:

2005 – the year of my truck

4 – how many bedrooms in my house

4 – how many bathrooms in my house

1 – how many times I have been divorced

26 – how many times I have moved in my life

0 – how many marathons I have run

0 – how many pull ups I can do

7.5 – the size of my feet

10 – the size of my tank tops and hoodies and jeans

4, 6, 8, 10, 12 – the sizes hanging in my closet

198 – the highest weight I have ever been (pregnant or otherwise)

132 – the weight I was when I got pregnant with my youngest, and everything broke really bad

180 – the number is see looking back at me from the scale right now

50 – the amount I would like to lose

The important ones make me WHO I AM. The unimportant ones make me WHAT I AM. The two are very exclusive of each other.. The important ones will only ever either stay the same or improve. And the unimportant ones.. They may change, but they won’t ever change me.

Take your vitamins – geez, thanks doctor!

As you may or may not know, I am broken. I have this little bastard butterfly in my neck, and it causes me ungaugable levels of strife and misery. It is something I have struggled with and battled for almost a decade, and I STILL don’t have a grasp on it. It makes me feel like a failure on a daily basis, and it has made me feel like I have wasted so much of my life fighting something that will probably never be beat.

But I digress….

I went to my very expensive specialist on Wednesday.. my husband and I packed ourselves and our little 3 year old into his Golf (yay for diesel cars!) and moseyed on down to Edmonton (a 4.5 hour drive from our house) He doesn’t work during the week, and I don’t work Wednesday’s, so luckily neither of us were missing work. We woke our boy up at 545 and began our long day. We went straight to West Edmonton Mall, as we had some stuff to search and destroy there (I had to get my wedding rings re-dipped, he was getting a new phone at Apple, Oakley needed our attention, I had a gift card from Lululemon burning a hole in my pocket, and we had to go to Sport Chek) So we did that all as fast as we could, as we only had an hour and a half there before we had to rip to my doctors appointment. Luckily, they have an amazing play-care center there, so our little dude was able to burn off some energy there while I dealt with my asshole thyroid.

My BHRT nurse came in and was dumbfounded at my blood test results. Basically, my tsh is too high, my t3 is too low, I have NO iron in my body (their words!), I am painfully deficient in magnesium, extremely deficient in my b vitamins, and need to supplement vitamin d and c. Oh, and probiotics wouldn’t hurt, and while I am at it, add some omega 3’s. HOLY CRAP! What the hell else could go wrong? OH RIGHT! My homocysteine is still high, which is dangerous for my heart. FUCK YA… that’s so awesome.

Enter my doctor, who is supposed to FIX ME…. he says he isn’t touching my thyroid meds (thanks doc, I feel like shit, so I fully support the lack of assistance!) and my best bet is to add in iron, magnesium, omegas, vitamin b, c and d, and probiotics. Oh and maybe a good multivitamin, too. Then he got up and left.

I paid $175 for that!? Take your vitamins and omit alcohol and gluten? I ALREADY DO THAT!! And he didn’t give me any dosing info… so I suppose I am supposed to guess? Oh, that’s not true. He did tell me to take magnesium until I begin shitting myself (his words) and then back it down a bit. That is some pretty amazing diagnostician work!

So now here I sit, almost a year into my very costly treatment, and I am not farther ahead.. in fact, I think I might be even farther away from where I started.

Oh well… stay positive, Jennie. Stay positive. I suppose in the end, everything I am doing is going to eventually get me to where I want to be. And once the weight comes off, all of my hard work will be immediately revealed, whereas most people would still have a lot of work to do after losing the weight…

So, silver lining! I suppose……… sigh.

Skinny, then fat, then skinny, then fat again….

***Let me preface this with: when I used the term “fat” I am ONLY REFERRING TO MYSELF… as everyone is different, and no one person can be fully and equally compared to anyone else.. So when I say “fat” I mean in my own opinion, of myself, the weight I have, and how it sits on MY BODY. I am NOT fat shaming ANYONE other than MYSELF!!!***

Now that I have that out of the way, perhaps I can refrain from anyone getting butthurt over the use of the 3-letter F word.. probably not.. but oh well! Here we go, anyway….

I am a naturally small person. My frame is small. My bones are small. I am short. (I have a big mouth, but that’s not what we are talking about right now!) I am just small. I was happy that way! I was a gymnast, I was a setter in volleyball, I made a pretty good point guard in basketball, and I could sprint like nobodies business (for real, I did the 100M in grade 9 in less than 13 seconds, with ZERO training) Even after I stopped playing all those sports, I remained small. And when I got mono in grade 11, YIKES! I got TINY! It was frightening, but no fault of my own. I was just naturally small! And I totally took it for granted!!

I stayed small all through high school and college, and even up until I had my first son in 2003 (when I was 22) After I had him, I felt fat, but I was not. Just maybe not as toned as I once was. But I just had a baby!! Muscle tone goes to crap after it’s been that stretched out. It was after having my second son in 2005 that ALL HELL BROKE LOOSE! My weight was going up, instead of down. I had a kid, and the scale was increasing! WHAT!? I spent month after month after month back and forth from the doctor. I was prescribed every possible antidepressant on the market, once even being given an anti-anxiety pill. I clearly remember taking Wellbutrin for 8 days, and gaining a staggering 10 pounds in those 8 days! WHAT!?!? And every time I saw my doctor, I was told to “exercise more and eat less” THANKS TIPS!

I never stopped trying, and could not figure out what was happening to me. I didn’t feel like myself, I felt sad and out of touch with myself completely. My weight was out of control, my mood was awful, my hair was falling out, my skin was perpetually dry and itchy, I wasn’t sleeping, my appetite was gone…. I did not recognize myself at all.. inside or out. I had gone from being super happy and fun and outgoing, to hating every single thing about myself and not wanting to be around anyone. That’s not right! And sadly, this lasted until my second son was almost 3!! So many years of this, and an extra 80+ pounds on my tiny frame. I kept getting told that I was getting older and my metabolism just wasn’t the same, but I KNEW something was askew.

In ways I choose to not divulge at this point, I was able to figure out what was wrong with me. SEVERELY HYPOTHYROID! Effing eh… so happy. In a way, I was happy! I had an answer.. but also totally crushed, because I knew this was something I was going to have to deal with for the rest of my life. Damnit.

This was January, 2008. By July of 2009, nothing was happening! I was still fat as ever. 198 pounds on a 5’3″ frame is ABSURD! I hurt everywhere. I thought the thyroid pills were supposed to help!? Take a look at this girl… she is NOT happy. And I was on thyroid replacement at this point, for almost a year and a half.

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Yuck. I cringe just looking at that poor girl. Swollen face..awful hair.. huge belly. So sad 😦

It took a long time, and it was a tumultuous process, but the weight started coming off… SLOWLY.

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See how my face is less swollen, and I have less of a gut situation going on? Yeah… fast forward to ONE MORE YEAR (yeah, it is a painfully slow process when you are fighting with your thyroid… thyroids are assholes, I’m just saying)

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LOOK AT HER!!!! After trying for soooo long, I FINALLY hit my goal weight! I like to call it my “sweet spot” and my weight literally came crashing off of me. It fell off… literally. It was amazing!!! Look at that tiny ass… Those jeans were a 27 waist and were falling off of me. MISS THAT!!

Skinny Jennie Skinny Jennie2

So fast forward again, to November of 2011…. I have my third baby, and my thyroid took yet another nose dive, now thrusting me into HASHIMOTOS which is an autoimmune disease. So now my immune system attacks my thyroid, and my thyroid meds. It’s glorious. I love my son so very much, but he messed me up bad. I had to be sedentary for almost a year, while my doctor tried to figure out what was wrong with me. Again. Awesome. My resting heart rate was up to 150 bpm, while laying still in bed… scary ass scary!! We got it sorted, I had to remove a laundry list of foods from my diet, and have to figure out how to lose the weight ALL OVER AGAIN!!!! NOT FAIR!!!!

I am going to see a very expensive specialist who is working to fix me… but he dropped my meds back to the bare minimum, to try and get a feel for how broken I really am. I AM BUSTED ASS!!! It’s so bad. I want to cry whenever I think about it.

It’s NOT EFFING FAIR!! It really isn’t. I bust my ass every single day, and eat exactly how I am supposed to, I take the supplements I need to, drink more than enough water, and sleep lots. Just goes to prove what a giant asshole the thyroid truly is! Cuz until it is happy, I will not be happy. It would seem it is lots of give and take, and it is!! It takes my happiness and gives me weight issues! BAH!

So, I became a BEACHBODY COACH so that I can fix my body underneath all of this fat, and while I am at it, help anyone who wants my help! I have been in both situations… fat and skinny. So I know what it is like to feel hopeless and to feel totally elated!!

I am shooting for elated…. I see my specialist again on February 18th. I feel like I am close… hoping this tweak will sweet spot me again, and my tiny ass will make an appearance once again!!!!

FINGERS CROSSED!!!!!!!!!!

(this was super readers digest version, or I would still be rambling on!!! Here’s a point form indication of what my life has been like with this disease….

Here’s the skinny: (haha… irony)
1. diagnosed after YEARS of “being in the grey” in 2008.
2. finally on the proper dosage after years of tinkering July 2010.
3. hit my goal weight and was all giddy and nonsense, August 2010 (notice how that coincides with being on the proper dose!?)
4. got pregnant February 2011.
5. had my baby November 2011, and then all hell broke loose.
6. hormones all fucked up after having my son, one idiot doctor read my test results wrong, dropped my dose, and put me in a year of hell, April 2012.
7. after a year of not knowing what was wrong, was diagnosed with Hashimotos, after a string of arrhythmia and erratic heartbeats (read: 140+ bpm resting heart rate) April 2013
8. refused to be seen by any endocrinologist because I do not have cancer, therefore am not a prime candidate for treatment July 2013.
9. went on Thyroid (natural desiccated thyroid) in August 2013 after doing lengthy research on the benefits.
10. energy went back to normal, but developed hives on my legs September 2013.
11. taken off of Thyroid in January 2014 as doctor worried that is what caused the hives. also determined that my dose had been too low, by almost half, for 6 months.
12. put me back on synthroid, told to wait for a month to see if my energy changed, and then would try me on cytomel as well January 2014.
13. gained 23 pounds in a month and a half, doctor finally agreed to test my adrenals and cortisol (after 8 years of asking) February 2014
14. energy is in the toilet. still gaining weight while on a gluten free, dairy free, soy free vegetarian diet and exercising almost daily.
15. Reintroduced meat into my diet, as I was told that Paleo is the way to go.

16. Seeing a specialist who is trying to fix me, but no weight is coming off… however, my energy is back!!