Sighing just a little bit, smiling just a little bit.

Weeks, months pass by in a flash, or so it seems anyway. I have had yet another break from writing here, not because I do not train or cook or maintain whatever needs to be maintained outside of here. My reason for not being here, is mainly due to the battle I am currently fighting with my own body, my own hormones and Hashimoto’s. And I do not like to complain, I do not like to whine about my situation because I know that many, many, many have it so much worse. That way too many beautiful souls are busy fighting battles far, far worse than the one that is occupying my life. And despite my current struggles, I am lucky, I truly am. Because I have normal energy levels, I can train, stay up late (ish, I have never been an evening/night person) concentrate and do amazingly well at my studies and simply enjoy life to the fullest. And I am tremendously grateful for that, I truly am. Yet, I cannot wish for anything else but finding out exactly what it is that is wrong in my body. What it is that is causing me problems and then treat it, if treatable. The peace of mind to know, in times like this, I believe it to be the most important key to peace of mind. To find out and become aware. To attain needed information and be able to process it all. These are the current thoughts running through my mind, when my new doctor interprets recent test results, wrinkles his forehead and gently says ‘you are an odd case indeed’. And I cannot do anything but smile, because in truth, I have never done anything by half measures. It has always been about all or nothing, so I see no reason to why my potential Hashimoto’s related problem would be anything but extraordinary. Its just the way my life seem to be, and that is okay. I just need to know.

So I have spent the past month seeing my doctor and the nurses on numerous occasions, my arms have been battered and blue from all the different blood tests. Several potential problems have been knocked off the list, some which disappeared with a huge sigh or relive and some I am awaiting results for next week. And within those tests some of the worst nightmares reside, some conditions that many peoples worst nightmares are made of. So we will see, what next week will bring forth. Ever the optimist I still hope that it will be something good, that even if bad appears among the news, that something good will come out of it. That somehow, in that potential curtain of darkness a ray of light will shine through. And till then, I will keep on running, hitting those paths with a mix of gentle fury and delight. I will keep on lifting in the gym, growing stronger, pushed by my newly hired personal trainer and I will continue to enjoy the silence of November and the darkness in- and of the forest. Tall and green, breathing calmness all over my entire being and through everything that I am.

A small update.

Last week passed by in a flash! I managed to squeeze in a few runs and gym, but the weekend was spent celebrating my boyfriends birthday. As such it was a very busy but lovely week and I must say that we had a fabulous time celebrating in the weekend. Lovely weather and plenty of sun (30 degrees) most definitely helped to perk up the mood even more than usual. Perhaps not the most pleasant weather to train in for a Scandinavian polar bear like myself, but I have solved it by getting out of bed insanely early and do somewhat of a ‘sleepwalking run’. Haha, not really, luckily I am an avid morning person and really enjoy heading out in the early morning when the streets are empty and silent. Of course it makes me terribly sleepy in the evening, but that is a price I happily pay. Theres nothing like starting the day with exercise and get that boost of energy straight on, I love it.

If last week was a success, this week had a rather depressing start as I went to my general practitioners office and have now been told to book an appointment with an endocrinologist (at last!) since my general practitioner finally realised that he cannot solve my thyroid problem. Though it makes me rather sad that I have had to wait for a year to get this referral I am still happy that it has now become a reality. However, I also handed in new blood tests where the normal levels will be checked (T3 + free, T4 + free, TSH etc) but also diabetes type 2. This, because my medical doctor told me, for some reason, a year ago that type 2 diabetes had been checked when it in fact had not. Rather shocking right? I actually cannot begin to express how utterly upset I am about this. It is a huge deal, not only because I am not keen on having yet another lifelong diagnosis, but also because I have seen first hand how horrible type 2 diabetes can be.

Additionally, my medical doctor has had over a year to sort out my thyroid problem OR refer me to specialists and still nothings happened until I went to see my doctor on Monday and by chance ended up seeing a different doctor at the same office whom was shocked and rather appalled that I had not been told to see an endocrinologist and an eye doctor. Apparently all thyroid patients should at least once consult these two specialists once diagnosed with hypothyroidism (and Hashimotos) to make sure everything is alright. So yes, I have in vain (when it comes to weight loss, not when it comes to general health of course!) spent a whole year fighting super hard to lose weight though I obviously have an extremely sleepy metabolism. Not only does it make me cross because the lack of weight loss due to my thyroid medication not being on pointe, increase the potential of developing type 2 diabetes, but also because I really want to get back to my old self again. Additionally, as my boyfriend usually says, ‘it must be horrendous to put in all the hard work, train, eat health consciously, never drink alcohol (not that it is must but you know what I mean!) and never be able to reap the benefits of all that hard work’. And that is exactly it, its easy to lose motivation and heart when you do absolutely everything you can but at the same time over and over be let down by the very institutions that is supposed to care about your wellbeing, efforts and sacrifices made to become well. Hopefully I will get the right kind of help in September when I get to see a specialist for the first time. But for now; Bring on tomorrow, bring on the verdict and give me strength to embrace it no matter what it may turn out to be.

Banana-pancakes and a bit of a Hashimoto rant.

Version 2

Banana-pancakes because…its Wednesday and I bloody well deserve it! I am having a great training week so far, but unfortunately not a so great Hashimoto (💀) week. Thus I have to head back to my doctor again and ‘force’ him to take a second look at my lab results (and take new ones) because something is not right. I do realise that I am very fortunate (so far) with only a few symptoms, but the ones that do happen are awful such as horrendous migraine esque headaches and the non existent weight-loss (due to an extremely sleepy thyroid) no matter how often or hard I train or how careful I am with my diet. And trust me I am not one to cheat, not a chance! I follow my recommended diet (and calories per day) to a tee! Mainly because I know that one cheat meal would ruin a lot more than that meal only. My sleepy thyroid does not burn anything and its a constant balance act to eat enough to cover vitamins, minerals etc but not so much that my thyroid will start collecting and storing. Trust me, it is very annoying! But really, the main reason to why I never cheat is because I respect myself, my body and the goals that I have put up for myself to achieve. Despite this, it is of course very dis-heartening when I over and over have to battle and try to accept the non existent results of my hard work. But I refuse to give up, so back to the doctors office I go…laboratory rat should be my first name really. They have taken so much blood from me by now that I most likely could donate to the entire population of Germany soon!

Version 2

Anyway, back to the pancakes right! I love banana-pancakes, they are free of guilt (and no, I don’t mean in the ‘sick’ way I mean guilt free as in no bloating stomach, fully calculated within my daily calorie intake and not bad for my Hashimoto!) and they are easy-peasy to make. Put two peeled bananas in the blender, let it blend till its rather smooth, add four eggs a bit (1 table spoon ish) of ecological vanilla powder and blend again. Heat up the frying pan and start frying. One difference that I have observed when it comes to ‘banana pancakes’ compared to ‘traditional pancakes’ is that they don’t need to fry as long. So keep an eye out and get practising on your ‘flip ’em over’ skills, I love doing that! Whenever I make banana-pancakes I usually make a batch which I can re-heat later in the week if I would like, but in all honesty, most of the time whatever I don’t eat usually end up in my boyfriends tummy. Sharing is caring eh!

Vegetarian lunch and Hashimoto thoughts.

Sunny day and I have just enjoyed a lovely and quite light lunch. I suppose that it is no secret anymore that I adore spinach and try to eat it as often as I possibly can. However, as most Hashimoto sufferers I have to be a tad careful since it may cause the thyroid to act up and that is definitely very bad. A much annoying thing about having an underactive thyroid (and Hashimotos) is that there seem to be one million different advice to be found, and not many are based on scientific evidence and as such it is impossible to know which ones to trust. Therefore I tend to pick and mix the information as I please, I love spinach and I eat it within moderation and most of the time I cook it (it is supposed to decrease the negative effect on the thyroid) instead of eating it raw. I do envy everyone that does not have to think about all these things when cooking and eating, but these are the cards I have been dealt and I have decided that I am going to beat this thing. And by beating it, I mean making my body work with me again instead of against me, and I believe the path to achieve this balance is by healthy and fabulous food.

Version 2

Sometimes I eat this for breakfast as well as I quite enjoy warm lasting food in the morning. However, as most people know, when you base most part of your meal on vegetables and fruit the calorie numbers remain very low (I still count, since my thyroid isn’t under control yet) and you are free to indulge in food more often during the day and yet never get that ‘heavy’ feeling in your stomach. Saying this I also feel compelled to mention that ‘portion size’ of course need to be within reason no matter what. Because even if this kind of food isn’t calorie dense, the portion size still effects your physical body (stomach size) as well as psychological factors such as behavioural patterns and triggers to ‘over eat’. I believe that finding and remaining within the correct portion-size for yourself, is very much a modern day problem. Many people, including normal weight individuals, have lost much of the ability to recognise genuine feelings of hunger and the notion to stop eating when feeling sated and not full, i.e knowing your portion size.

Version 2

Anyway, back to this gorgeous lunch of mine! So, I start with washing the fresh spinach (about 110 gram) thoroughly, this is important because even though I shop from a local fruit and vegetable shop that solely deal with local farmers, it is still safe to assume that the veggies I purchase have been handled by quite a few people before it ends up in my kitchen. Additionally, washing raw spinach is also recommended when you are dealing with fresh spinach because I guarantee that there will be a bit of gritty sand and occasionally some happy caterpillars, don’t fret this is a good sign really(!), but you may want to set the little beasties free instead of making them a part of your meal.

Version 2

After I have washed the spinach I usually chop off the longer stems as I find that they tend to get a bit to stringy and I don’t enjoy that much. Personal preference, really – once that is done, I start frying the spinach and after a couple of minutes I add some fresh chunky chopped cherry tomatoes (about 40 gram). What is not shown in these photos is that I also add some raw broccoli (left over from yesterdays tea, about 60 gram) which have been lightly blended, heated and seasoned with half a lemon, gorgeous! And lastly I added two eggs for some protein, this can of course be exchanged for tofu or any other protein source if you would like to keep the meal vegan instead of vegetarian.

Version 2

Lastly, the finished product, perhaps not the most lovely looking meal of them all – but to me, this tastes like a little bit of heaven. I love how the raw somewhat ‘harsh’ and fresh taste of the lemony broccoli beautifully complements the much sweeter taste of the cherry tomatoes. I usually add a few raw (cold) tomatoes too as they bring out the flavours even more. I don’t tend to use any additional spices or so for this meal as I like the raw taste, but I am sure that it could be tweaked in many ways. I am by no means a master chef, quite the opposite, I have only just begun my adventures in the kitchen. So feel free to leave a comment below if you have suggestions or ideas.

My health battle, Hashimotos Thyroiditis and a nonsensical GP.

During the past months I have tried to come to terms with the fact that my thyroid simply won’t cooperate. It saddens me to realise that it will take a whole lot of effort to make my body once again work with me instead of against me. Not only am I disappointed with my medical doctor (I am in the progress of changing GP and seeking advice from an endocrinologist instead) who have been taking me for a ride for almost a year and at my latest appointment told me that I was perfectly fine while analysing the wrong data. Rather shocking to say the least! Luckily I have several medical doctors in my immediate family whom advised me to move on and see a specialist instead. To be fair, for some health related problems general practitioners are fantastic and I have received top-notch private medical care in Germany up till this point. But since it is vital that my thyroid (and affiliated) health problems are monitored  properly I simply do not want to take any chances.

Additionally, since mid November last year till February this year I fought incredibly hard to drop weight (since I need to!) knowing that my metabolism is extremely slow, I was advised to stick to a calorie intake of 1200 cals/day and train as per usual, meaning going to the gym 3-4 times per week and walk/jog around 7-10 km in hilly areas the rest of the days. During this time, I measured and weighed all my food, calculated everything to a tee, did not drink any alcohol (I rarely do anyway) and still I only managed to drop a bit over 3kg at the end of it. In other words, less than 1kg per month. When mentioning this to my GP he told me that it was perfectly normal (!) and on top of it all exactly what they recommend their patients to lose in a month when engaging in a weight-loss. Do I need to tell you that these comments left me absolutely speechless? I guess not. It is certainly NOT normal to lose that low amount of weight when you fight so hard for it and when you have quite a bit of weight to drop as well. I would have bought his argument if I was very close to my goal weight, but I am not. Naturally I questioned my GP about this statement of his, and of course he became very defensive and started to quiz me on when exactly during the day that I usually eat (le sigh) and when I said that I eat at normal hours he instead tried to tell me (not ask, but actually TELL me) that I surely must drink sugary drinks and that I should be aware of the calories in those. I mean, seriously? I never drink sugary drinks and never have! I do eat fruit however, but not without carefully calculating it. Safe to say, I have had it with my GP at this point, he is not only incompetent (evident of the lack of accuracy when interpreting my test results) but also lack the ability to speak to his patients without dropping derogatory comments. Two things I simply do not think that I as a client should have to put up with when interacting with medical professionals whom most definitely should know better.

So, it has been awfully silent here on 365evermore, and I am terribly sorry about that. But I have not only been battling my GP I have also been extremely busy (still am) with my psychology studies. However, to remain motivated and to keep on going with my training and healthy lifestyle I realised that I definitely need to continue to update here. It sort of helps me to stay on point and think twice before I try to dodge a gym session or when the temptation of less healthy choices enters my everyday. Because yes, it happens and yes sometimes I fail and sometimes that is okay, it is the danger of these failures becoming a habit that I am desperately trying to avoid.

Last but not least, I hope all of you are exceptionally well, I promise to produce a much more upbeat update with some lovely photos the next time. Stay tuned lovelies! ♡

Enjoying the weather and changing focus!

Truly beautiful weather today and I have enjoyed it to the max! Started the day with a morning walk in moderate pace, enjoying the views, wildlife (I am obsessed with birds in case you did not know already) and gently waking up my mind, body and metabolism. Well, the latter a bit more questionable but one can hope right? More about this later on in this post, anyway, the weather you guys – stunning, simply stunning! Not much of a December feel to it, but the leftover cold from the night still managed to squeeze out -2 degrees at 10am and add to that perfectly clear air, I simply could not ask for more!

Version 2Version 2Version 2Version 2

Today I walked outside the Botanical Gardens and you see these cute signs making pedestrians but perhaps more important cyclists aware of the toads that every year risk their lives crossing the walk and cycle path to reach the breeding grounds. At some point I will record the toads ‘singing’ for you during the mating season, it is heartwarmingly beautiful! Perhaps not for everyone but then again, I am a wildlife nutter and easily impressed by things like that. Version 2Version 2

Despite enjoying the weather and the walk, I must admit that I have had a bit of a rough patch as of late. I saw my medical doctor the last week and found out that my thyroid levels were worse (which explains the horrible headache and “sore/tired” eyes) despite medication so I have now had to up my dosage hoping it will kick it back into the right gear. Admittedly it is a bit of a downer to struggle with under-function in my thyroid while at the same time trying to achieve a weight loss. Let us just say that it is more or less an impossible equation unfortunately.

Version 2

However, I prefer to view things on the positive side (I also have fantastic support from my boyfriend and family) and have therefore decided to forget about the weight loss journey for a bit and instead put all my focus and effort into increasing my fitness levels. It may sound a bit odd since one naturally leads to another, but not necessarily in my case due to my metabolism being more or less non existent. To give you an example, at this point due to my screwed up thyroid and metabolism, I would have to stay below 600 calories a day to achieve a weight loss and that would still be heavily dependant on me being quite active (hikes, gym, running etc). So no, I am removing myself from ‘hitting that very agonising and stressful wall’ again and again and instead shifting focus to fitness, cardio and muscle building. The idea is to keep my heart happy by keeping at the cardio (hikes, jogging, rowing) and build a strong muscle frame that eventually, when the medication dosage hit the right levels, will help my body to burn through the excessive weight in a heartbeat. That is my plan anyway, I refuse to give up and ‘wait it out’ because hitting the right dosage can take up to a year and I simply do not have that kind of time on my hands. Keep your fingers crossed for me pretty please, I have a feeling I might need it! ♡