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The Load is Heavy

This post is for my Hypopara friends……

For those of us who have been waiting and waiting and waiting….. and yet again waiting for them to resolve the Natpara issue, this last week was a kick in the gut.

For those of you who have never heard of Natapara, I will give you a very brief unscientific explanation. For those of us who live with Hyopara (Hyparathyroidism), it a nutshell it means our parathyroid glands do not work or work properly. Never heard of a parathyroid? Well that’s because it is one of those things that the body usually never has a problem with. Most (not all) of us came to the Hypopara world due to a problem with thyroid surgery where the parathyroid glands (there are 4) were damaged. At least that’s how I got here. Your parathyroid glands produce a hormone that is responsible for helping your body regulate calcium levels. Not a big deal you think, until you look at this chart.

Anywho……

For a brief moment, all of this was secondary because I got to be on Natpara, a daily injection of the synthetic parathyroid hormone. I was on it for a blip before it got recalled. My body worked the way it was supposed to work without a barrage of pills, self checks and symptoms. I also no longer worried about my kidneys since all levels than were in normal range. Then for reasons that really don’t make sense, this option was taken away. When I say doesn’t make sense it is because it is still available in others parts of the world, just not in the US. So back to daily routine.

Whatever……

As the saying though goes though….. Just because I carry it well does not mean the load is not heavy. It is heavy. Sometimes you get so used to carrying the heavy load that you forget it is there, but it is always there. You stop really speaking about it because you just do what you need to do and even those in your circle don’t see the struggles. Always lurking. Waiting to remind you that it is there. It is those moments that are frustrating. I also know that I am lucky because even with my Hypoparthyrioidism I am able to accomplish and do so much.

But for now, I know that many in the Hypopara community have no choice but to keep carrying our heavy load because we all got notified that Natpara is not coming back. It makes no sense to know that there is something out there that will take away the symptoms, help to protect kidneys because we were no longer taking high doses of calcitrol and calcium, where your face doesn’t start to tingle telling you that your calcium is dropping (that’s what mine does but everyone is different), your feet uncontrollable cramp up, or have muscle spasms in legs. Just sitting here waiting for the other shoe to drop as you deal with the life of hypopara……… because in the end

What choice do we have

especially when the only viable one was taken from us.

Pulled this one Out of Nowhere

So today, I ran the NYC Half. You wouldn’t know about that because I’ve been a little absentee with both updating my blog and my training. My goal is to try and do better with both.

As far as training goes, I followed no plan. I didn’t run nearly as much as I should have especially if I had followed a plan which fell through the cracks. In February, I did mostly 3 mile runs and this month, mostly 2. Then I did one 8 mile run and one 10. I would like to say that I was offsetting that non running with cross training, but that would be a lie. So the race was going to be what the race was going to be.

Got to say, for lack of training, not having a plan, and just overall preparation; I really pulled this out of nowhere.

100% I should not have had the race I had today, but I had a great race. So I will take it. I won’t knock it. I won’t question it with the exception of questioning what I might be able to accomplish if I actually trained:) My goal today was to run a smart race and I feel that I did.

For my Hypopara friends, running a smart race meant making sure that I paid attention and added my calcium BEFORE I would need it which I knew from last years marathon training. I also adjusted my doses today. Normally I take .25 Calcitriol in morning with my pills. This morning I took .50 with my normal calcium amount. Then on the course around mile 5.5, I added 1,000 mg of calcium and 25 mcg of Vitamin D. It add them to my water, so it forces me to continue to hydrate. Post race, I took another of my normal dose of Calcitriol and calcium. Overall, this made for a good day. I am lucky that I had last years marathon training to fall back on to know what I would need when. So I don’t necessarily recommend doing this without training for this reason alone.

As far everything else goes, I feel like everything fell into place. The weather was perfect. Picture perfect. Great day to run. Blue skies. Slight breezes. Sunny and in the low 60’s. I could have done with 5 degree lower but that would just be greedy to ask for that. Therefore, I will go with picture perfect.

My goal was to run a smart pace which meant watching the pace and keeping it in check. I walked when I wanted which most definitely was the bridges and maybe a little more than I should have, but again I was watching average pace as well as running pace. I knew from my whopping two long runs, that if I kept the pace in check I would feel good and would be able to get to the finish feeling comfortable. So that’s what I did. Once I got to mile 11, I pushed a little harder which made me need to walk but by mile 12 I knew I was pushing when I got a stitch in my side. Well it’s not a race if you don’t push:) My average pace according to my Garmin was 12:34 which really is the sweet spot for me right now. That being said I did push enough that my best pace was 8:36. So there’s that:) Overall my I was running in zone 4 for most of the race which is just where I should be. I was at Zone 5 for the finish which is also where I should be for the finish.

Today was a great day for running. It makes me want to be better training for the Queens 10K to see what I can do and how far I can push (smartly…. always smartly)

What a Year! Oh wait:)

2022 has been a year……. And it has only been a month………

Damn!

January was not the year for running. I looked at my stats and I ran a total of 15 miles. Yes, you read that right. 15 whole miles. So, with out a doubt, not a stellar month for running. I am trying to get back into my training as I would like to comfortably finish the NYC Half. Not looking to run a sub 2 like I did the last time I ran it, but looking to at least enjoy it like I did last time too. I had fun. Running a sub 2 I still managed to take amazing photos and fun selfies while zipping through the city. I want to be able to have that same fun at a different pace.

So I have been trying to get back to my training…..

But it’s hard.

It is so hard.

Again January has been a year….. Like any year, some good. Some bad. Let’s break it down.

The good.

My state of NJ has finally come out of the dark ages and allowed home bakers to legally bake from home with a permit. So beginning of month, I was working on getting all permits and paperwork. Then I was off to the races baking. More truthfully, off to the oven. It has been a whirlwind of testing recipes, filling orders and trying to figure out marketing/required labels. But I have loved it all because to me baking is one of my Happy Places.

So I will share some of my happy moments with you!

Just a little bit of what I’ve been mixing up

While doing this, I am still working my 30 plus normal job, pretending to take care of the house and not letting anything on the home front slide. To say it’s been a lot might be an understatement but I am not complaining because I have a goal.

Then the flip side of the month has brought a lot of different emotion.

A family member has been dealing with the demons of Covid. Watching in slow motion from afar the stories you have watched on the news play out in real time with more than likely the same outcome. This story is still playing out but leaves raw emotions especially for loved ones who you are supporting. So many emotions…. The ONLY thing I will say is …… please get vaccinated. If not for you, for your loved ones.

Then there was/is a health scare with my own mom. She is visiting sister in California and Monday morning fainted falling face first full force on a tile floor breaking her nose in 3 places. After a ride to ER, it was determined that she had a Saddle Pulmonary Embolism which basically is a massive clot in her lungs. They found a second one in her leg. It was a week…… Up and down… Up and down….. Things move quickly in the medical field though (at least in this case). 2 days in ICU. Another 2 in regular room and by Friday in a rehab facility to get strength/confidence back. Hopefully this is a short stay as my sister can’t wait to have her back in her home.

Isn’t she cute? She has some work ahead of her, but outcome is good.

Again, so many emotions all in one week.

All this emotion gets you thinking what does everything mean. I’ve had these conversations/thoughts before. I am having them again.

Not Obese, Just Fat 😉

This week I had my annual physical. Numbers are looking good. Cholesterol is going in right direction. Bad number is going down. Good is going back up. Super good blood pressure…. like awesome 96/60. My doctor even told me…. ”You are no longer in the obese category. You have moved down to just overweight.” lol

Seriously though…. she was happy because I lost 11 pounds this last year. She said whatever I was doing to keep doing it. I will also admit that I was shocked that the number was 11 pounds. Pleasantly surprised. Who wouldn’t be? So I think I will, but I know since Thanksgiving I’ve been sliding a bit. Haven’t we all? That is what happens to everyone over the holidays. Time to find my balance again. Time to readjust and get the wheels back on track. It takes so much work to loose the weight but so easy to put it back on. It sucks how unfair that is!

When told a friend I lost 11 pounds this last year, they asked what I was doing and if I thought my smoothie game was a factor. So here goes….

I do think that the smoothies have helped. For a few reasons. I start my morning of every day with a nutritionally balanced smoothie. It is never the same but always packed with lots of vitamins, filling fiber, and protein. It sets the tone for the day. Some days that works. Some days maybe not but at least every morning I get to start over.

No While I have been working with my Functional Nutrionist and it has been helpful, food wise she really has just been reinforcing what I already know. Cutting down dairy, processed food, and bad carbs is really the answer for me. Also thinking about what I am eating, when I am eating, and why am eating has been helpful.

It also helps to know what workds for you as each person is different. I have never been one to track food, count calories, or any of those things. Some that works for them. Not me. Also for me, I really am not looking at this as a diet plan to loose weight but as a healthy more natural way of eating. Seriously it is a lifestyle change and it really is about meeting my nutritional goals and just eating healthier. The thing about that is that means cutting out processed foods and cutting back on unhealthy carbs and dairy.

Win Win.

Eating this way does not in any way feel like I am giving up anything. It also allows flexibility and I never feel like I am missing out. I will also say that if I want a cookie that I will have a cookie. If I want something that I will not deprive myself but maybe instead of having a plate of cookies that I will have one or two.

Balance.

It’s not easy to find. It is often easy to get out of it and sometimes you are going to fall. As long as you keep getting up, dusting yourself off and getting back on the balance beam all is good.

As I said before….. This is about my health, meeting nutritional goals and trying to be the healthiest that I can be.

Some people might think because I run marathons that I never suffer from issues from my Hypoparthyridism. They would be wrong. It just is part of the routine now.

Case in point

Claw hand

Yesterday, while cleaning kitchen. Not doing anything out of the ordinary. Unless you count really doing a deep clean. Hmmmm

I think the difference is that while running though, I really pay attention and adjust. During build up of the miles in my training for marathon, I pat attention to the signals. Monitoring when hands start to get tingly. Pay attention to how hard to push before adding more calcium. It is all so random to be honest and changes all the time. Things that always effect it though are temperatures when running, pace and how hard I’m pushing, time of day, time on feet, and really what the calcium Gods decide. At least that last one feels pretty accurate.

One thing that I realized during a training run is definitely extra calcium is required before mile 10. It is always better to keep the levels up than try to recover from when the hands start to tingle. During training if it was a longer run, I would make sure to take my morning dose of calcium and calcitriol before running. If it was a shorter run, I would take it as soon as I got home. If it was a LOOOONG training run, I might add extra calcium powder (Calez) to my water. If it was a hot day, I would do the same. Regardless though, I always kept a pack of the powder with me because some days I needed it and some days I didn’t, Really is a crap shoot.

On marathon day and the day before, I did some preparation. In eventing before the marathon, I took an extra dose of my Calcitriol because normally I aim to keep my blood calcium levels at just below or at the the low end of normal. So I didn’t want to go into the marathon with low calcium already. Then the morning of before I left at the super early hour of 6:00 AM, I took my morning dose which normally I don’t take until 10ish. Then I packed with me my normal meds but taking an extra dose with me as it was going to be a long and hard day. I wasn’t starting until 12:00, so I had to bob and weave before the bob and weaving actually began. So around 11:00 am or so, I took another dose of calcium and calcitriol which really would have been my normal time. Then I made sure to add Calez to one of my water bottles to have along the course. I saved another dose of my calcium, calcitriol and magnesium for when I finished. Easy Peasy Lemon Squeezy.

I will say that I think for once I ran a smart race. It helped that I ran the first 16-17 miles with a friend. I think we kept each other in check. We ran paces that were sustainable. We ran smart. We also walked when needed but also encouraged each other to push ourselves to run. I ran a much smarter race when I was running with her. I would have loved to have run the whole thing with her, but we split up when she needed to stop for a bathroom pit stop. At that point, I really was afraid that if I stopped that it would be too hard to start up again. My legs were dead. My foot was hurting. Stopping was not an option for me unless I wanted to call it a day.

So I kept on going……

And going……

And going…..

At first I did not run as smart as I did when I was with Rosa, but I caught on to my stupidity. So I tried to run smarter. I walked more than I probably would have than if I was with her, but the pain was real.

But so was the joy….

The bottom line though was I still got where I wanted to get which was the finish line.

Yes, I know you’ve seen this photo before, but I do so love it.

Everyone who runs a marathon has hardships that they push through to get to the finish line. It wouldn’t be a marathon without it. This is just part of mine. Before becoming Hypopara, I didn’t have to take into account medications and added calcium, but that doesn’t mean there weren’t different challenges. As they say…….

If marathons were easy everyone would do them. I’m just too stubborn not to do what I have to do to get to the finish.

Perfection is a Myth

I will be the first to admit that I am not perfect. I am far from it. I have many faults but I really don’t feel the need to list them. I also have many positive traits that I don’t feel the need to list. All that being said, we all know those that put forth the ”perfect life.” They have the perfect home. The perfect style. The perfect this the perfect that….. Blah…. Blah…. Blah….

Let’s be real, there is not such thing as perfect in the real world. Usually when you peel back the mask of perfection, you will see how imperfect it all is. The problem is that often no one bothers to look past the initial layer to see the reality of what striving for perfection cost. Perfection is an unattainable goal and often leads to frustration, giving up, or in some cases drastic measures (think of those celebs who went one cosmetic procedure to far).

In our workout routine or diet, the strive for perfection often leads to people walking away feeling like a failure. We think that we have to follow a strict diet and if we don’t follow to the letter T that we cant do it. Many times people who decide to get fit go gang busters…. Going to gym every day. Starting strong as they say. Then they get sore. They miss a workout. They can’t hit a pace in a run. They feel like they are too slow. That why bother because we just aren’t good enough. The strive for perfection often sets us up for failure.

I am to the point that I am realizing that striving towards “perfection,” towards unattainable goals, to comparing myself to not others but old versions fo me were setting me up for failure. My goal is no longer perfection, but only to be better and the best version of me. A realistic version. A version that I can live with. A version that is sustainable. A version that will never be perfect, never be more than it can be, and one that I can say I did my best.

I’ve been thinking along these lines with my nutrition. I have always said that my problem with diets is that if I get hit by a bus that I don’t want my last meal to be celery. Not that there is anything wrong with celery as I actually had it for snack last night, but you understand. I do not want to live my life feeling deprived. Striving for things that long term will not keep. So as I started thinking about my nutrition, I’ve realized that sometimes change while hard doesn’t always mean depriving myself. I want to develop a nutritional plan that I can live with, feel good about, that is healthy, and most of all sustainable. Also I know for a fact that I am not going to be giving up certain things and that is ok. Embracing the imperfection of moderation.

So far. So good.

The morning smoothies are still a thing and one that hubby and I look forward to. The thinking about what I am eating, when I am eating and why I am eating has been helpful. To be honest, the cravings for certain foods is lessoning. My boss gave me 2 caramel chocolate bars 2 weeks ago that are still uneaten. Not because I am depriving myself but because i just dont want them. That would be unheard of before. My morning coffee is now filled with an almond creamer instead of half and half or such. If you know me, you know I take my coffee seriously so this was a big step. But once I took that step, I realized that it was more in my mind than in the cup because my morning coffee still tastes like my morning coffee. This past week, I also made homemade cinnamon rolls for my family. They are delicious but I didn’t have one because I really didn’t want one. On the other hand, when I made Pumpkin donuts I did eat one. Just one and that was enough. No shame. No Guilt….. Balance.

I have also been taking this approach to my running. I have continued to walk the first few miles of my long run and the first of pretty much all. Then my goal is to keep the pace in the 12’s because that is where I realistically am. In being real with what I can do, how fast I can run, and what my body can do; I have actually been able to run better Striving for unattainable goals has been my downfall with my running. Working towards being the best I can be on each run has been making running both enjoyable and sustainable.

To be the best version you can be on any given day either in your nutrition, in your running or in your life will change day to day. The trick is to give yourself the grace you need to be that version. Accept the version that you are today and if it doesn’t live up to your expectations know that tomorrow is another day!

An Actual Running Post

So since this is supposed to be a running blog, I thought I would do something novel and actually talk about my running…. I know, shocking!!!

As you know my training for NYC Marathon has been all over the place. I started off great following my training plan right up until I didn’t. And while my training hasn’t been stellar with following the plan. I feel (especially after yesterday) that I have been doing ok.

You know the expression….. You do you

Well I have been doing me and it has been working. With all my issues both mentally and physically, I just started loosely following the plan and doing what I felt would work for me. Before all my issues, I’ve followed training plans to the letter T (what does that even mean?) with great results. The problem with cookie cutter plans is that when you are not the ”ideal” runner, they might not work for you. Even though I took that into consideration in the beginning, I took it to the next level recently. After yesterday, I would say it has worked for me.

What have I been doing?

Well not as much running as my plan has called for. On days where I had foundation runs, I might have done HITT, biking, combo of biking/running, or even yoga. Since my goal has never been about time, I really stopped worrying about training runs where I needed to hit certain paces/training zones. I would do the run my way. Once I got back on ”schedule” with my plan, my biggest thing was to make sure that I was getting in the miles for long runs which is really where I was lacking. Even then I needed to make sure not to jump my miles too quickly as I was behind. So I adjusted.

Having run multiple marathons, I also know what works for me in training and what doesn’t. I know runners who feel the need to run multiple 20 mile training runs for their marathons. I have done them and I know that for what ever reason they don’t work for me. I find them defeating. I find them hard in a way that is not good for me mentally going into an event. They just don’t work for me. I would much rather do 16 to 18 miles and then the next day do a few miles on tired legs. This works for me.

Now all that being said, yesterday I went out for my longest run this cycle and I started at noon which is about the time that I will be starting NYC. I wanted to see how my body would be at that time of day as normally I run right after I take my morning meds.

16 miles.

It went well. To be honest, it went MUCH better than I expected. I continued with the walking the first 3 miles as I ALWAYS start off too fast. Plus since being Hypopara it does seem to take my body a bit to warm up. Then my goal was to keep the pace in the mid 12’s. To keep it at a level that I felt that I could run more than walking. There was no walk/run time. There was just doing what I could. I found that if I paid attention to pace, ran the “slower” pace, and didn’t try to run something I can’t sustain that I could run. I could run without the need to walk. Now don’t get me wrong…. There was walking, but there was much more running.

In order to conserve my battery, I did the first 6 miles with no music. Just me and my thoughts. I am not a runner who minds being alone and it was nice. Maybe a little boring, but I reminded myself that NYC will not be boring. I normally do not listen to music on race day as I LOVE to listen to the crowds, the runners feet hitting pavement, and just taking it all in. Out alone in my town though it does get boring.

Holding back is what I realize that I need to do if I want to have a good day. Yes, I can run faster BUT I can not sustain those paces AND they are not good for my body or feet. As you can see, I kept a fairly steady pace. At the end though, I wanted to push it to see what I still had in the tank. You know the Finish Strong mentality. I pushed it to the point that my arms literally went numb (you know the feeling like you laid on them). It was a good training run both mentally and physically.

What I learned…… Starting later, I do need to adjust my calcium intake. At mile 10, I added Calez to my water for added calcium but maybe I should start earlier. I also need to add more as miles add up. Maybe even taking a calcitrol at some point during run. This is why my arms/hands went numb at the end. As soon as I finished my run yesterday, I came inside and popped 500 mg calcium and a .25 calcitriol as I felt a crash coming. This also may have been due to the faster pace at the end. Either way, I need to pay attention and adjust accordingly. One thing with calcium levels is that they fluctuate and you have to pay attention to the signs to adjust with them.

Another thing that I made a mistake on yesterday, but to me I think it was a beneficial mistake……. I forgot my bag of fuel. This time around, I have been trying not to use gels but more natural (ok still processed) food. Since I started at 12, I didn’t eat lunch. So I ate a protein bar before starting out. I had a bag of almonds and some bars with me. I left the bag on counter, so I only had one Nutrigrain bar for the entire run. I ate half at mile 6 and then finished off around mile 12. While not ideal, I view this as a win because just think of how much better my body will feel when properly fueled on course. Learning to run/push when the tank is literally empty is not a bad thing.

Recovery…….

When I came home, I stretched. I took added meds. I had a chocolate cake batter smoothie (Sadly no actual cake batter, but healthy proteins). Then I soaked in some epsom salt. Followed by the use of my foot massager. Overall recovery was good. Although I know that I did not replenish both water and nutrients enough. We ordered Thia food and I really couldn’t even eat much as I wasn’t hungry. Weird…. but I will do better today.

Today as I sit here typing, I feel good. I feel like I just ran 16 miles yesterday. My feet are sore, but normal sore. My legs are tired, but normal tired. I will do some restorative yoga and be kind to my body. I will also make sure today’s smoothie has some properties that will benefit recovery.

How is your training going?

It’s Complicated

In a relationship with food?

My relationship with food is complicated. Always has, but hopefully always won’t be. It does have a past though…

As I have said before I was the fat kid growing up. I may sound like a broken record when I say that but for some reason it stays with you. This may have been made more complicated by the fact that I literally had a balerina/Ms Teen USA older sister and lots of other dynamics growing up. Although they may speak more to body image than food relationship, but there is always a correlation.

When I think of my childhood some of my happiest memories are around food. I remember making fudge on the farm with one of my sudo Godmother’s as a young child. I remember my brother’s and sisters making Christmas cookies while listening to Christmas music (The carpenter’s) on an old record player. It’s funny too because I have a horrible memory when it comes to my early childhood but these standout. These are good memories.

I also have the stark recollection of my childhood doctor talking to my mother about my weight and giving her a diet I needed to follow. Do doctors still do that? I mean if you look at the pictures of me as a child, while I was not the ”ideal” weight I also now think this was extreme. Then again, I grew up in the 70’s, so I am betting times have changed. Based on where we lived (we moved several times, so this is how I tell times of my childhood), I would guesstimate that I was probably in 5th or 6th grade. Anyway, I remember getting into trouble for having an extra packet of oatmeal for breakfast. I don’t even remember the trouble (wouldn’t have been more than Mom saying something), but I remember the feeling. (Also in my Mom’s defense, she was deferring to the doctors and again this was the 70’s).

I would also like to give exhibit A to this story……

On the left and adorable but I didn’t know it at the time
On the left again and at that very awkward stage but still not at a level that screams in need of diet

So as I share these stories, I wonder if anyone else has thought about their complicated history with food and how it effects them now?

I have started to think more about my food choices. I have started to think more about my relationship with foods, how it effects my body, and what better choices I can make. For the most part as an adult, I really have never thought about these things. Yes, I have thought about what I want to eat, where we are eating, and all of those things; but I have never really given food choices much thought. I’m hungry. I eat. Not why am I hungry. Why am I hungry for XYZ and why am I making the food choices that I am making and are they really good for my body, my health and my mental well being. That last is in reference to when we gorge ourselves on chocolates, cookies, or what not and how it makes us feel later. You know the… I should not have eaten all of that food guilt/shame.

Recently I had a consultation and then my first session with a Holistic functional nutritionist. In just talking with her these two times, I have started to think about my food choices more. Her open ended questions of simple things….. What if your replaced X with Z, how do you think that would make you feel? Why do think you NEED to have a snack at night? Are you really hungry or is it just habit? She is a runner who has run several marathon’s and I feel this helps. She has also said, we will do no major changes to my diet until after the marathon although changes have already started to occur just in thinking about things. Plus in looking at my diet, she has already pointed out that I need more protein and I also need more water which I can and should implement right away.

For me, this is about my health. This is not about number on the scale. When she asked me what I wanted out of our time together and what our goals were, I thought of my Grandmother. A woman who drank nothing but probably coffee or iced tea. Who never went to the doctors and if she did didn’t really listen to them. Who smoked right up until she kind of forgot she did when she had stroke. Who up until the end was the healthiest unhealthy person you could have met. I said to Lisa (my nutritionist) that I worry with my hypopara and the toll it takes on my body (thinking long term kidney health), having to now use a CPAP machine, and now peri-menopausal that my goal is to be the ”bad ass woman that I was meant to me” channeling my Grandother.

The original badd ass woman

So this is my new life motto:) Ok, it may have already been my unoffical motto but I thought about it now.

So with this in mind, I have started implementing minor changes that are really not so minor but they don’t feel life altering which makes them easier to stick with.

  1. Start my day off with a glass of water before coffee. Preferably with lemon and continued through out the day.
  2. Instead of skipping breakfast or worse grabbing something aimlessly that really offers no value, I have started my day with smoothies (Go to my instgram to see them). I do not feel like I am giving something up and hubby now benefits because I make smoothies for 2. It’s kind of like a game now where he tries to guess what is in them. Besides being tasty (a pre-rec for anything I make), it is packed with nutrients and are filling.
  3. Thinking about what I am actually eating has made me want to eat better.
  4. Realizing that some eating is really just habitual and better choices can be made.

Lisa and I have talked about my Hypopara especially in our initial consultation. Some holistic groups I’ve been in are very anti-medication/supplement and feel like you should get everything naturally. Before working with her, I wanted to make sure not only did she understand but was on board with my circumstances. As a person with hypoparathyroidism, my body does not produce the hormone PTH which helps to regulate many things but Calcium is the big one. I also no longer have a thyroid. Because of these two factors, I take a boat load of pills a day. This is just the way it is…….. Some such as my calcitriol and thyroid meds are a must as is the vitamin D, magnesium, and, of course, calcium supplements.

All that being said, though, as I am entering this journey adding more natural calcium to my diet……. I am beginning to wonder if maybe….. just maybe…… instead of taking calcium supplements 4 times a day……. maybe just maybe….. I only need them twice a day, I could replace one or possible two of them from a food source. Would that be better for my body? Would it help me with my kidney health long term. More importantly for the short term, would it keep my calcium levels where they need to be?

These are things rattling around my brain and only time will tell.

What is your relationship with food and have you ever thought why?

PS – here is Lisa’s info – https://www.embraceyourwellnessjourney.com/blog

Taking Back The Keys

Part of being a passenger of life is abdicating responsibility and therefore accountability. If it is all out of our control, then nothing that happens is our fault. Not really the way it works. I realize that even though I had thought I was taking control, I had handed over the keys and just going along for the ride.

There is truth that with Hypoparathyroidism much is out of my control, but I also recently realized that I was giving up all control to it. That I was believing that due to the Hypopara that I just had to go along for the ride. That there was nothing that I could do That I just had to go along with the status quo. I was wrong.

I have talked about gaining the 20 plus pounds since becoming Hypopara. I’ve tried to loose it with no luck. So I just gave up. And this is not even about the weight but about health. For me this is now about my creeping up cholesterol, feet that are suffering from the extra weight, and now my sleep apnea.

This past week I took a step about taking back control and jumpstarting my healthy nutrition. I completed a five day healthy smoothie challenge which is just what is sounds like. Every morning instead of skipping breakfast or eating something filled with carbs an no nutritional value, I started the morning creating delicous, healthy, and power packed smoothies. They were yummy. They were easy to make and they also left to better choices later in the day.

Pineapple Mango Spinach Smoothie
Sweet Potato Pie Smoothie
Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana
Pineapple Banana Smoothie
Peanut Butter Banana Blueberry Smoothie

I found these to be a great way to start the morning and set me up for a better day. Come lunch, I was making healthier choices and I was thinking about what I was putting into my body instead of just aimlessly grabbing something.

One good choice can lead to another…….

How do you start your morning?

Seriously, Seriously, Seriously

I’ve written about this before, but I will again……..

When you are not a size 8, people automatically think that you must eat nothing but crap all the time. That you start off your morning with a donut. Followed by a Big Mac for lunch followed by fried chicken for dinner. Topped off by bon bons, cake, cookies and what not all during the day.

It’s exhausting

Not the eating. The dealing with the misconception.

These misconceptions come from everyone including healthcare providers. Some are more understanding than others but even the understanding ones I think give you the side eye. Years ago when I was 25 pounds lighter and in great shape, I was considered borderline obese. I was wearing a size 8 but the numbers on the scale were high. Probably because at the time I was doing Crossfit, training for a marathon than, and all muscle. I had a doctor just look at the scale and tell me that I should have a shake for breakfast, a salad for lunch, and a small dinner to get my weight down. I switched doctors.

But now, we fast forward a few years. Due to my thyroid/hypoparathyroidism I gained 20 pounds in one year. Sadly, due to covid year, probably gained another 5. I also know that I am also in not as great shape as my Crossfit days nor am I as young (shocking). That was 2016. I am 51 now. I have my thryoid/para issues. I am premenopausal (sorry guys) and it is hard. Really hard.

So yesterday, I went to see my Endocrinologist. She did take into account some things, but I still feel like she was looking at me like I am making excuses. I pointed out that once again, I am training for a marathon and I am active. She suggested that maybe a food tracking app would be good because sometimes people don’t realize what they are eating. Then went on to say that I should use the setting that doesn’t take into account exercise. WTF! WTF…… Excuse me (ahem) Bitch……. If I am going for a 6, 8, 10 plus mile run, I am going to need to fuel the run and recovery. I also don’t think she believed me when I said that I for the most part eat a healthy diet, am a pescatarian and do balance it.

Exhibits from last week.

Low fat yogurt with fresh fruit and granola
Letting dog have bit of apple once I’m done
To be clear, I did balance with a piece of banana cake but still…

Now, here me out…….. I know I could do more. I know that I could have the damn shake for breakfast, salad for lunch, and small dinner with carrots as a snack. I know. I know…… I know……

Here is the thing……

I don’t freaking want to!

Seriously…….

Maybe it is the trying and trying and trying. Followed by the failing and failing and failing. Who knows. I also know that thryroid/hypoparthyroidism/hormones/age/ect are already working against me. So maybe I have given up before I started, but weight really is just a number. I don’t know why we let us define us so much.

My cholesterol last year while higher than previous with lower good cholesterol than in past is still good. While I take tons of medication daily none of them are for blood pressure or cholesterol, so there is that. My sugar levels are normal. And while I know that the extra weight probably did move my sleep apnea from high end of mild to extreme, I still had it 25 pounds ago.

I am also a petulant child. Tell me to do something and I will dig my heals in, cross my arms, and pout that “I don’t want to do!”

So who knows.

Would I like to fit back into my size 8 jeans?

You bet….

Will it ever happen?

Doubtful.

It is also really frustrating that just because it probably won’t happen that people think it is because I have no self control. Here is another fun fact….. I was a fat kid. I still remember the doctor telling my mom when I was in grammar school that she needed to put me on a diet. I still remember getting in trouble for sneaking a second packet of……. Wait for it……… wait for it…….. Oatmeal for breakfast. The shame. The teasing in school. The name calling.

Of all the things that people should feel shame for being fat isn’t one of them. So while we are now at a point where fat shaming is not really accepted, it is still going strong. Being skinny doesn’t necessarily equate to being healthy any more than being fat equates to being unhealthy.