Since going off of my Hyperthyroid medication last week, I have been ready, waiting for something to change. My doctor told me within three to four days I’d feel a difference in my “energy and metabolism”. I was timing it. Waiting. Magically between Thursday afternoon and Monday afternoon I was sure I would feel a significant lift or burst or drop 8 lbs overnight or something dramastic (dramatic + fantastic).
No. Not quite. Instead I have been feeling incremental changes – tiny nuanced shifts in my body and energy, which are slightly visible but more internal and energetic. Something is definitely different. Again, this isn’t a cold with a predictable progression, as much as I would like it to be. This is a continuous, subtle evolution that works at its own pace and not my preferred speed. But I am definitely, 100% feeling better.
I have been exercising nearly daily and it feels freakin’ great. In fact, exercise is now giving me what I think it’s always meant to – good health. I can feel my own blood moving, I like the slight soreness in my muscles, I enjoy the sweat without the dizziness characteristic of hyperthyroid. Exercise is one of the critical tools in my fanny pack of resources that gets me present, connected to my body and in the work of cultivating a relationship with it. I had gotten very good at ignoring my body, particularly when the hyper symptoms had peaked over the summer. It’s good to look at it with open eyes rather than pretending it doesn’t exist.
Exercise is shifting into new-ish territory. I’m very accustomed to exercising as a means to burn calories, lose weight, or not gain weight. I have spent most of my life attached to the results of exercise versus doing it for enjoyment while it’s happening. Was the workout was “good?” or “what a slog?”. Results-driven exercise is what I know best and have known for two decades worth of spandex and sweat.
A turning point for me was when I began a regular yoga practice. Through yoga, I became aware that movement could be for a higher purpose rather than a tangible, visible result. With thousands of sun salutations I have learned what it means to get connected, dialed in, be in tune with and work in partnership with my body, feel my breathing, use my breath as a tool, connect the inhales and exhales with the up/down motions, and all the other things I’ve said as a teacher and have had teachers say to me.
They are not empty words. I mean them when I say them and I internalize them when I hear them. Now again, and as something new, I am understanding what those words mean.
Essentially, the message is: DIAL IN MOTHER F**KER. BREATHE AND FEEL YOUR OWN DAMN BODY. STOP LOOKING AROUND. GET INTO YOUR OWN PHYSICAL SPACE AND OUT OF YOUR HEAD. FEEL YOUR BODY AND THE SPACE IT TAKES UP. FEEL YOUR HANDS AND YOUR FEET GROUND DOWN INTO THE EARTH, YOUR OWN WEIGHT AND ENERGY. CLOSE YOUR EYES AND GET CENTERED IN YOUR OWN PHYSICAL MASS. ARE YOU HERE OR SOMEWHERE ELSE? WHAT DO YOU FEEL? WHAT’S YOUR BODY SERVING UP FOR YOU TODAY? CUT THE SHIT, STOP WORRYING ABOUT WHAT OTHERS ARE FEELING OR IF YOU’RE DOING IT RIGHT AND GET INTO YOUR BODY SO YOU CAN LISTEN TO WHAT IT’S TELLING YOU.
I just like the drama of ALL CAPS.
Actually, I do say these things when I teach (minus the cursing). I’m talking to myself as much as I am my students. Having hyperthyroidism has been a loud, persistent body alarm with a shrill ringtone: Listen to me now and not later. I am out of balance and I need you to pay attention. It’s more important now, than ever before, that I listen and act based on what my body is asking for and not what I think would make me better.
Do I want to drop the undetermined amount of pounds I gained in a very short time due to thyroid wackiness? Well, yeah because I have many clothes that fit, but not quite, and that isn’t okay. And, equally, if not slightly more, I’m interested in building immunity, facilitating sleep, promoting good digestion, pushing out stagnant chita (Sanskrit for shit, really), pumping endorphins and other feel good chemicals into my blood stream, and exploring what movements feel right to me.
I’ve become a nutrition hoarder and an endorphin enthusiast.