Adrenal/Thyroid Update

Apparently I’m overdoing it again.  I started crashing again and needing more naps.

What’s changed?

  • I’m back in the gym
  • My kids are out of school and at each others’ throats all day
  • We’re having financial problems
  • I’ve been staying up late to work on my own site (PLUG!  still needs some work)
  • I’ve been skipping breakfast!

Ummmm… Yeah, seeing that written out makes too much sense.  I’ll work on the things I CAN, meditation for the rest.

If anyone was following the workouts, I’ll post the next 2 weeks for you soon.  I’ll more than likely be replacing my workouts with yoga.

I talked with my Doc today.  She’s taking me off the T3.  She said it should have worked by now if it were going to work at all.  And although my temps came up some, they still aren’t responding the way she wanted them to.  She’s drawing more blood in about a week or so.  Then she is more than likely going to put me on a sustained release of T4/T3.  She told me this is a long term approach since the jump start technique didn’t work.  I’m the 5% that it doesn’t work on.

She kept using the word “damaged”.  The “damage” that’s been done has been so long term that getting my body to respond to stress appropriately is going to take a lot more time.  *sigh*  Just when I thought things were turning for the better.  I can’t help but wonder if I’ll ever get back in the gym the way I love.  And if I can’t?  I’ll worry about that when it’s a reality.

Week 2 in the Gym

“WOW!  I can’t believe this workout kicked my butt!  All I did was add another cycle!  I’m resisting the feelings of defeat by acknowledging how much I’ve “lost”.  My buds in the gym are encouraging me with “at least your back” comments.  And I say AMEN to that!  At LEAST I’m BACK!  Just saying that feels terrific!

Week 2 of the program I posted progresses simply by adding a 3rd cycle.

Let me do this without comparing what I used to be able to do to what I can do now, although it’s so tempting not to.

The Planks were rough!  By the 3rd set I lost 10 seconds, for a total of 50 sec. hold.

My 3rd set of side planks I managed 12 and I can see a big difference from side to side, with my left side being more unstable and weak.

The 3rd set of push-ups had me pushing aside my ego more than anything.  I used to be able to do 4 sets of 20 push-ups superset with heavy chest presses.  Ooops, I did it! It’s not about where I was, it’s about where I am and what I’m working towards.  This is the hardest part.  Anyway, on the 3rd set of push-ups I only was able to knock out 6!

Chest Presses were fine.  I dropped the weight from 30 lbs to 20 lbs on the 2nd and 3rd sets to keep my momentum.

Same situation on the alternating ball military presses and single-leg lateral raises.  I dropped the weight from 5 lbs to 3 lbs on set 2 and 3 for the presses, and from 10 lbs to 8 lbs on the lateral raises.

I picked a solid weight for the kickbacks and press downs – 15 lbs kick backs, 20 lbs press downs.

I could really feel the pump and my heart rate was spiked.  My sweat glands and cardio conditioning also have some catching up to do, but it feels SOOOOOO GOOD to be back!  No matter what I look like or how much I’ve lost.

Post workout snack protein/fat/carbs – protein mix, peanutbutter, and an apple!  Mmmmmmm…….

Phase I – Week 2, Day 1 and 2

If you missed the last two blogs, start here.  We’re moving on to week 2!  Time flies when you’re having fun, right?

Phase I – Stabilization

This phase gets your ligaments and tendons prepared for higher volume. It will also help your nervous system adapt to higher demands.

WEEK 2, DAY 1 & 2

Week 2 is simple… Just add a 3rd set to what you’ve been doing. 🙂

add 3 sets to Day 1


add 3 sets to Day 2

Everything else remains the same.

Don’t neglect to stretch and have fun!

If you complete this workout! Post me a comment to tell me about it!

Phase II – Week 1, Day 2

Feel free to follow along. Don’t make me add a disclaimer (get clearance from your dr. first and all that!). Please be smart. If something hurts, STOP.

Phase I – Stabilization

This phase gets your ligaments and tendons prepared for higher volume. It will also help your nervous system adapt to higher demands.

WEEK 1, DAY 2  (Did you miss Day 1?)

Perform 15 reps of all exercises in a circuit fashion (perform one set of each exercise working down the list and then start over). Take no more than 30 seconds in between each exercise. 2 sets total (or 2 cycles).

15 reps Single Leg Floor Bridge

NOTES: Finish in the start position but don’t bring your leg all the way to the ground. Drive through your heels. If this is too hard for you start with both feet on the ground lifting your hips only.

15 Back Extensions

NOTES: Don’t hyperextend (Bending your back past this position). On your descent down, don’t come all the way down. Keep the tension in your glutes and lower back. Too easy? Hold a weight plate.

15 Seated Cable Pull-Downs (alternating sides)

NOTES: Keep your shoulder blades pinched. This may mean you don’t extend your arms as far as the pictures are showing.

15 reps Single Leg Alternating Dumbbell Rows (15 each side)

NOTES:  Think, pulling back with your elbows. Don’t strain your neck.

15 reps Stationary Lunge to Balance (both sides)

NOTES: Keep your heels down and chin tucked. Balanced leg makes a 90˚ angle. Start and Finish Standing on both feet.

15 reps Side Step-Up to Balance (both sides)

NOTES: Start and Finish standing next to the box.

15 reps Single Leg Hammer Curls

START OVER (one more time)

Exercises will remain the same for 4 weeks (2 x a week). Sets, reps, and training style will change. HAVE FUN!

If you completed this workout!  Post me a comment to tell me about it!

Phase I – Week 1, Day 1

I have become my OWN trainer! I don’t know why this is just happening since I am well qualified. Feel free to follow along.

Last week my friend brought over her Insanity DVDs. I managed 15 or 20 minutes of what I would definitely describe as INSANE!

It’s been a total of 2 months solidly off. I’ve only worked out on and off maybe 5 times (at least it seems like) since the early part of January when my Doc said “NO MORE!”

This Insanity workout had me realize all the healing that my body has accomplished. I was sore, but I wasn’t overly fatigued, tired or finding myself crashing. There was no morning after affects. All of which have been typical for me. This gave me hope and motivation to KNOW it’s TIME!

I’ve been putting this off for many reasons. I haven’t been too confident that I’ve been ready, even though I’ve felt better more consistently. I’ve also feared that because I’ve felt better I would push myself back by doing anything.

I’ve made a lot of life style changes for my health. I’ve learned a TON and I think pushing myself back is an irrational fear at this time.


Feel free to follow along. Don’t make me add my disclaimer (get clearance from your dr. first and all that!). Please be smart. If something hurts, STOP. J

Phase I – Stabilization

This phase gets your ligaments and tendons prepared for higher volume. It will also help your nervous system adapt to higher demands.


Perform 15 reps of all exercises in a circuit fashion (perform one set of each exercise working down the list and then start over). Take no more than 30 seconds in between each exercise. 2 sets total (or 2 cycles).

60 sec. Plank

NOTES: Make sure your elbows are directly below your shoulders. Keep your abs tight. Avoid letting your back arch. If you’re not able to keep your back from arching, the time is too long. Drop your time to something that is challenging but also something that will prevent hurting your back.

15 reps Side Plank (both sides)

NOTES: Make sure your elbows are directly below your shoulders. Keep your body from tilting to the side.

15 Push-Ups

NOTES: If you can’t do 15, do as many as you can then finish on your knees. If this is still too challenging start from your knees.

(I had to show a man doing these. “Sissy Push-ups” is a pet peve of mine. There is room for this exercise in ANYONE’s routine!)

15 reps Staggered Stance Single Arm Cable Chest Press (both sides)

15 reps Alternating Ball Lying Military Press (15 each side)

NOTES:  This exercise doesn’t take a ton of weight to get the job done!!  Try 3 lbs to start.  Adjust from there.

15 reps Single Leg Dumbbell Lateral Raises (One side at a time)

NOTES: I don’t like to go as high as they are showing. It involves more of the traps, in which I am dominant in.

15 reps Bent-Over Dumbbell Kick Backs

15 reps Single Leg Cable Tricep Push-Downs

START OVER (one more time)

If anyone is interested I’ll post my Thursday workout that you can also use.

Exercises will remain the same for 4 weeks. Sets, reps, and training style will change. HAVE FUN! I did!

If you completed this workout!  Post me a comment to tell me about it!

Slowly but Surely

The weekend before last I threw my hands in the air and said FUCK IT!  Sounds bad doesn’t it?  But it actually turned out to be a good indicator of all my progress and a boost in my confidence and motivation.  I’m so sick of having to be so super fucking strict with my diet.  Everything causes a reaction within my body.  Whatever I do… no dairy, which means no cheese for certain, sour cream, cottage cheese, yogurt, or milk. No bread, no grains, no peanut butter, peanuts, or cashews. Definitely no sugar, no foods with added hormones or antibiotics. Wash all my vegetables with pesticide wash, and drink my water out of a BPA free bottle!  If it doesn’t cause weight gain, it will cause 4 day long debilitating migraines.  My body is so jacked and I’m just sick of feeling like I can only eat 3 food items (at ALL times) to be healthy!   Since getting back from my vacation in September after my show last year, I’ve eaten clean with a “cheat meal” every week or every other week.  I do not binge on my cheat meals, but I gain weight that never comes back off.  I’ve gained 50 lbs this way.  When you eat clean 99% of the time and gain like this it’s the most frustrating thing EVER!  I guess it’s just as frustrating to be called a liar when you bust your ass prepping for a figure competition. I’d like to for once enjoy a cheat meal of some sorts without gaining more weight that will never come off!  I know my goal isn’t weight loss right now, but it’s also not weight gain!  I’d like to feel NORMAL!  I’d like to let go of some strictness without it having a huge unnatural negative impact!

So what’s been going on for the last week and a half?  I threw caution and health to the wind and I ordered a pizza!  The next day I did it again, as well as ordering a chocolate ice cream with Reese’s Cups in it.  I can’t remember the order or days of everything, but I know I had ice cream, pizza, cookies, chips, an Ezekiel bread burger, Subway sandwich (with commercial wheat bread and processed meats) and I might have missed something in there.  I didn’t binge, but I ignored that these foods will lead to ill effects later.  This went on for 3 days – Friday through Sunday.  By Saturday I had gained 3.5 lbs.  I thought it pointless to get on the scale after that.

By Monday, and not knowing the effects on the scale, I decided to take back some self-control.  I ate clean all day.  Tuesday morning I had lost 2 of the 3.5 lbs I had gained over the weekend.  That day I ate mostly clean but had a sandwich from Schlotzkey’s (commercial white bread with processed meats) and a couple bites of a cookie.  But when I got home I ate some more cookies (I had Dale throw them out).  This has gone on for a week and a half now, eating clean, and then back to eating a sandwich with chips and a cookie.  But the unexpected blessing in disguise that I finally recognized is that my body is not responding like before.  If I had attempted this sort of thing in the past I would gain and gain and gain.

This week, compared to last, I didn’t feel out of control.   I just felt like I was letting down my guard and trying to live a little regardless of what the scale was going to tell me.  I’m not completely convinced that that’s not an excuse, but for the past 3 1/2 years, I’ve been nothing but extremely strict, so it feels good to let go and not have any ill effects.  All these years I’ve envied the people that could let loose once in a while and not gain a ton of weight and at best maintain, and I for once feel like I may be heading in that direction.  I feel like I may be becoming one of those people.  I feel more like a normal person – one that can enjoy not so super clean food once in a while and not gain 10 lbs overnight from it.

What I learned was, my body IS responding more in a positive way!  With a change of focus I have confidence my health is strengthening. I’ve noticed many other important changes. First let me point out the 3.5 lbs that should have been close to 10!  PROGRESS!!  And again, I lost half of it and then maintained it without being super strict for an entire week!  NEVER!  In the beginning of my recovery I was gaining an average of 10lbs a month with super clean eating and only 1 moderate cheat meal every week or every other week.  In February that slowed to an average gain of 5 lbs a month.  By May it had slowed from 5 lbs a month to maintaining.  Why didn’t I see this as significant progress before now?

I’ve also noticed I need fewer naps during the day, and I don’t crash anymore.  My friend brought over her Insanity DVD’s and I managed at least 15 minutes, if not more, without completely dying!  In the past, something with this level of intensity would have me crashing shortly after, if not later in the day or the next morning.  I’ve survived almost 24 hours without this typical post exercise crash.  PROGRESS!!!

And on signs of thyroid improvement, my body temps are higher and steadier then previously.  I wake up most mornings with a temp of 98 compared to 97.6 or lower.  Most days I’m averaging 98.2 instead of 97.8.  The dramatic temperature fluctuations are occurring less and less frequently (96.3 to 98.6 or higher).  I’ve also noticed my finger nails are looking smoother instead of rigid.

Maybe throwing my hands in the air was necessary to fully acknowledge the significant progress I AM making instead of feeling like I’m in a standstill or feeling hopeless and doomed.  Good things are coming, slowly but surely.

Don’t Force It

So it’s the end of the world tomorrow, if you didn’t get the memo, and my weight is actually moving! It would take the end of the world for my weight to start moving again. Down, that is! Go figure, right? But seriously, it’s a very surreal feeling to have the scale moving after almost 9 months!

I’m on my 2nd week of no grain and no dairy. I originally said I was starting the Paleo Diet, but I really hate putting any label to it. It’s just smart healthy eating when it comes to my bodies needs right now. It’s interesting to see how my diet has changed through the years and how my view towards certain foods has also adjusted. For instance, I avoid cheese on a regular basis. Not because it’s fattening, but because it’s a molded food that contributes to a yeast overgrowth in my system which then leads to hormonal disruption and migraines. Have you ever had a migraine? If the hormone disruption weren’t bad enough, the migraines is sure to be ENOUGH. I also avoid breads for the same reason; sugar for obvious reasons, etc. So when I put a title on my “diet” it feels odd. I’m just choosing to eat things that I feel my body tolerates well and avoid things that my body doesn’t tolerate well. It’s my diet, but not A diet.

I’ve already replaced my meats with steroid and anti-biotic free sources. The next modification to my diet will be the addition of organic grass fed meats opposed to grain fed. If you’ve never compared omega-6 to omega-3 ratios in grass fed and grain fed meats you may be very surprised to see the difference. I was. A lot of meats (including eggs) are as high as 20:1 (omega-6 to omega-3) vs. almost a perfect 1:1 ratio found in nature from grass fed animals. Because I have been found extremely deficient in DHA, and I don’t eat fish, this is a decision I feel strongly about. I don’t feel my fish oil supplements are going to be enough in my case.

The most amazing feeling is I don’t feel deprived. This was a major breakthrough for me concerning my diet – the food I eat. It is 100% my choice to eat the way I do. I think for the last 3 years it was more of a rule. And technically it was “a diet” not a lifestyle. I’ve used the moments I’ve had temptations and cravings as a way to view what’s rolling around in my head on a much deeper level. It’s made me even more aware of my feelings that fly under the radar. I crave things when I’m feeling something I’m not comfortable with, or when I’ve hit that threshold for enduring uncomfortable moments, feelings or thoughts. I think I began seeing this through the competition diet, but it was easier to mask it as deprivation more than emotional eating – I didn’t want to be eating that way.

In these last two weeks I’m shocked at the scale. (Yes, I still get on from time to time) I cut out all exercise for the first 2 weeks after adjusting my diet in order to give my body one thing at a time to deal with. In these last 2 weeks, with no cardio and over 2000 calories a day, I’ve effortlessly dropped 7.6 lbs. I’ve read over and over that health
comes before fat loss. Fat loss that comes almost effortlessly, not FORCED like most of us are used to.

This is about coaxing my body not forcing it. Maybe this is a sign my body is becoming more balanced. I think it shocks me not just because I haven’t seen the scale move in almost 9 months, but because for the first time I’m NOT forcing anything. I’m making choices for my health and not for weight loss – a priority I didn’t see clearly before.