World Thyroid Day – My Big News

Celebrate with me – it’s World Thyroid Day!

Oh, you didn’t know? Yeah, it’s not exactly to national puppy day level yet…

But let’s commemorate today with some exciting news.

Thyroid disease changed my life – I’m not going to say all cliché-like that it was the best thing that’s ever happened to me…. but it DID make me evolve and that’s a wonderful thing. In the trenches, I never realized I was so stuck until Hashimoto’s stopped me in my tracks and I literally could not go on anymore. It made me rethink all that’s really important, what I need more of in my life, and what was in excess.

I’m almost a FMCHC – Health Coach!

health coach

Wait, so am I the only one who takes corporate headshot photos for fun?

 

Last July, I began the FMCA program to become a functional medicine health coach. It’s the only program endorsed by IFM (Institute for Functional Medicine), the governing association for functional medicine. Over the past year, I’ve learned from course instructors like Tom O’Bryan, Deanna Minnich, Mark Hyman, Kristi Hughes, Dan Lukaczer, and so many others who are leaders in functional and integrative medicine. In a couple weeks, I’ll graduate and be a fully certified functional medicine health coach!

I don’t teach people to eat less and exercise more…. that’s old school. The program is 12 months of functional medicine and health coach training, including 6 months of practical experience – I’ve already been coaching several clients on my own, some who’d seen some amazing results! My favorite story is a client who needs to lose 20 pounds before their annual physical, struggling with hypothyroidism & metabolic syndrome. In the course of 8 sessions together, the client is down over 18 pounds. More importantly, we measure! The client rated their health as a 3 out of 10 when we started. Today, they’re up to a 7 (energy, mood, etc.) reporting that it’s easily sustainable. It’s amazing and fascinating how giving your body the right things can make such a huge change in a short time.

Functional medicine is about identifying and addressing the root cause of disease. My personal thyroid challenges have led me down a lot of different paths in studying adrenals, sleep, nutrition, detox, exercise/movement, hormones, stress, blood sugar, the gut, mind-body, and everything in between. No matter who you are, health issues are overwhelming — and even more so — when you’re already sick & don’t have the energy to help yourself get better.

I have to straighten the record for a sec: {climbing onto soapbox} Functional medicine coaching is very different than conventional. As a FM health coach, I’ve never once told someone what to do… it’s really about understanding what needs to be done (perhaps directed by a physician, or the individual’s personal goals) and figuring out what that comfortably looks like to the patient in their day-to-day. Sometimes we need to find a gradual approach to get there in baby steps. If they hate cooking, going to a gym, that’s completely ok – we find alternatives so the changes seem effortless. And I’m absolutely not training anyone to live like me. In a few words, we work together to find a way from point A to point B while acknowledging that person’s unique lifestyle.

Where do I go from here? I’m not going anywhere! This is completely a passion project for me, so I’m not trying to be a commercial or even pick up clients. I’m not even thinking I’ll be a practicing health coach, but I know that – somehow, someday – I want to make a difference by connecting people with coaches and doctors, and introducing people (who are tired of being sick) to functional medicine. I just love learning. On Facebook, I’ll be sharing more of the interesting stuff I find (articles, fun facts, recipes, etc.) so keep an eye out. :)

…And By the Way: I’m a Yoga Teacher (RYT).

yoga

K, wait, let me give you a second to pick yourself up off the floor. Right?!?!

In April I completed my certification as a power vinyasa yoga teacher. Because, yoga. What an amazing, crazy journey. If you told me 2 years ago I’d be a yoga teacher today I’d have punched you in the mouth.

Old me:
  • Yoga = stretching (the opposite of fun).
  • And it’s slow.
  • It’s not hard or difficult enough.
  • My legs/hips/whatever are too tight and this hurts.
  • And it’s suuuuper fluffy and woowoo out there and more for people named Moonbeam.
  • And completely not for me.
Me now:
  • Yoga is about shutting up, tuning in, and acknowledging what you feel – emotionally and physically.
  • The days that I can’t do poses I normally can are even more challenging than the “good” days – to recognize it and not try to push through it. The unfortunate thing is that, to commit to running, I trained myself to ignore the pain and keep on going faster, harder, longer. Which is a great way to set yourself up to never run again!
  • Yoga isn’t about pushing your limits like an egomaniac, it’s about meeting yourself where you’re at and letting it happen. You actually don’t get better at yoga by pushing your limits. You get better by breathing. My very smart friend once said, you can’t win at yoga. They don’t give out awards & medals at the end of a yoga class!
  • Yoga is strength – grace – allowing – love.
  • It’s not just exercise but it’s a way to live.
  • And something incredible happens when I’m really doing yoga – I can completely change my vibe, and while moving and breathing… go away for a while. Didn’t matter how amped up or anxious I was to begin with. I just come away feeling seriously lighter.
  • It’s not just about movement, but it’s about energy, the vibe, connection, whatever you want to call it!

Reflection

Exiting the running world was a completely devastating for me – losing everything that defined me. As I walked the line on stage 2 – hurdling toward stage 3 – adrenal “fatigue,” my body could (can) no longer even handle 1-2 min of aerobic exercise and I made the painful decision to quit running because I couldn’t physically do it anymore. Community and being a part of something is really important to me… and in a matter of weeks, I lost my tribe and suddenly felt like an outsider.

Years ago, I considered how terrible it would be to never be able to run again. I ignored the thought, “I’ll cross that bridge when I get to it… decades from now.” The universe is crazy like that… and made me face my fear head-on. It was a life lesson about excess, and being an ultra runner – well, in order to do it, you have to live one of those too-too-much sorts of lives. It could be true of anything: partying, knitting, working. Once you don’t have it anymore, then who are you?

I’m not sure that I’ll ever be more of a dog-walker from here on out and I have to be ok with that. Some days, it’s still tough to not feel like I’m getting left behind/left out by all of the people, places, and events that meant everything to me  for a very long time.

However.

Then I think about all of the amazing people I’ve met, the new things I’ve learned, and my friends around here now (most who don’t even remotely understand the insanity of ultra running, the ones who always ask “in a day?!” when I mention a 50- or 100-miler)…

They’re my guides, my biggest fans, and the types of people I want to be and surround myself with.

They are such an incredibly cool group of people I’m lucky to know, and I never would have, had I kept on my upward and “run-ward” trajectory. I may have lost my running community, but I’m fortunate now to have all of these really wonderful people who get me. They not only understand and support my health/lifestyle but they actually live it too (!) and they push me to keep an open mind, continue learning, and keep on working on my own health. So, because of my thyroid…. I’ve figured out that this is exactly where I’m supposed to be.

Happy thyroid day.

I hope this day brings reflection; an open heart and open mind; and peace to all who struggle and those who love them. <3

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *