A weight on my shoulders

Around us all, there are messages out there on tv, social media, magazines etc. about the ‘perfect bikini body’ or how to ‘lose those pounds’. I never used to let these things bother me so much when I was younger but now, as a full grown woman, it gets to me.

When I was pregnant, I loved my body and my baby bump. It was one of the most magical times seeing our baby boy grow and the weeks flew by. After I gave birth though, I wondered quite a bit about how my bump would go down.

Have you ever felt anything towards either of these?

  • Lose weight
  • Don’t lose weight
  • Be comfortable in your own body
  • Put some weight on

So, which one is it? Sometimes I feel confident enough to eat all of the yummy food and snacks I’d like. Of course, that’s with healthy bits in between. But then again, if we are supposed to maintain a healthy weight, how do we maintain a healthy mind too? I don’t know about you but at the minute, I feel like it’s either or. It won’t always be the case. I feel stuck at how much I weigh and I guess that’s okay. My mind though, I need to work on that… I am working on that.

Just the other day, I said to my partner, “Oh, I think my sides are back!” He smiled because he knew what I meant but he has never looked at me any differently. Isn’t it funny how we can see ourselves in a completely different way? Your own perception versus another can be the opposite. Yet, I wouldn’t see or think of how I see myself about another person? The human mind can be a baffling one to say the least.

Today, I looked in the mirror and the positive thoughts I had only a couple of days ago had changed. I seen flaws, imperfect sides, and a very stressed and drained person.

I’ve learned that I need to try and focus on the positives wherever and whenever I can. To be truly happy, I can either accept my weight and embrace it, or if it’s really bothering me, get motivated to do some more exercise.

No matter how someone else sees you, I think it’s so easy to criticise and put a downer on yourself, whether it be physically or mentally.

I’m going to try to remember that being me is what matters, not the unrealistic images we’re supposedly influenced by. Also, I get married next year and I have never felt as amazing as I did when I found ‘the dress’. So, I’m going to keep that memory in mind and I’m sure it’s going to feel like a dream come true when I’m wearing it on our special day.

Let’s talk social media

Social media – something I didn’t grow up with, until the time of Bebo and MySpace. Oh wait, I had one of those Piczo sites too… wow. I wouldn’t dream of looking back at either if the access was ever granted.

I have a love/hate relationship with social media. I’m a marketing manager so it’s a given that social channels are involved. All I get frustrated about on a professional level though is you never know which campaign is gonna hit and which isn’t. The personal level is a whole other story…

The self comparison, the searching, the comments, tags, blah blah, I find myself digging so far into a whole that I don’t even know why I use certain channels anymore. Take Facebook for example, I’m just done with it. Suddenly, it makes me feel bored, fed up, and scrolling along for the sake of it. Don’t get me wrong, I love the meme pages but I can get them on Twitter and Instagram can’t I?!

I love Instagram and Twitter – the second more than the first. Instagram can be quite damaging though. The filters, edits, true? happy lives, how to parent, how to eat healthy, how to keep fit, and so on… but I love sharing special memories and that’s why I’m on it. Oh and of course, for the golden retriever photos and videos!

For me, I find, it’s like an addiction. And that’s not to post but to check the apps even when there aren’t any notifications. Now more than ever, I understand why people come away and ‘take a break’. I really get it. You need space and less of a distraction.

A few months ago, I decided to turn the notifications off on my phone home screen for WhatsApp. I couldn’t handle them constantly popping up and feeling the need to reply there and then. Now I feel much more comfortable going into the app when I do and reply as and when I can.

How do you feel towards social media?

The psychological side of hypothyroidism

My hypothyroidism diagnosis is pretty new but it has lingered for many years. I was always one of the ‘borderline’ people following blood results. That changed a couple of months ago when they went dangerously high. It’s better now that I have the right dose of medication but it doesn’t end there. I have hypothyroidism and I’ll continue to take levothyroxine for the rest of my life – that’s where I’m lucky because it was found.

I wasn’t sad when I was diagnosed, I was kinda relived because it meant I had an answer or at least I hope I still do. So much has gone with my body over the years related to high blood pressure, bowel problems, dry skin developing to psoriasis (the worst of it in my ears), and more. The side I never thought about and knew too much was how it can affect your way of thinking.

For too long now, I’ve been a worrier and the over-thinker. I can’t remember a time where I didn’t worry about at least one thing a day. And it’s all sorts – how I look, anticipation around new challenges, meeting people, putting social events off, the list goes on…

I’ve always told myself, it’s just me, it’s who I am. But why? Maybe hypothyroidism has a lot more to answer for than I initially thought. I don’t think it helped that this came to light in the midst of postpartum life and becoming a new mum for the first time. Hormones are crazy enough, right?!

I’ve isolated myself many times – away from people, situations, getting dressed, not getting a bath or shower etc. I can guarantee people look from the outside and say I have no reason to be down. I don’t always have the reasons. A wave can come over me, it’s like a grey cloud that suddenly starts to rain without warning.

I know what I have – a beautiful family, including a gorgeous, loving fiancé and the son we’ve always dreamed of. I am at my happiest being a mum. Hypothyroidism doesn’t take that away from me. Anxiety, low mood, low self esteem, you name it. My therapist has used all of these to describe what I’m going through. I’m finally on a different way of thinking and won’t allow that side of me tell others who I am. I don’t want to be looked at in a certain way or for people to feel sorry for me. I just want them to listen and try to understand.

If you know someone who has any kind of thyroid disease, it’s more than you think. There are so many symptoms and the way it affects your mind is just one of them. Be kind and think before you say something. We’re all human and some of us are more sensitive than you think.

Life with Irritable Bowel Syndrome

For a few years now, I’ve had some problems with my bowel. When it first started, my GP prescribed some oral powder solutions to help me go to the toilet. I’ve had chronic constipation for as long as I can remember. This has also been referred to as, slow transit constipation, following a barium X-ray in 2018.

It wasn’t until I was referred to Oaklands in Salford again more recently for a sigmoidoscopy, that I was diagnosed with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), with constipation, not diarrhoea.

For me, IBS seems to be getting more common but lost in what it actually is when people say, “Oh, I have IBS.” I always knew something wasn’t the same anymore when I went to the toilet but it was always put down to, encouraging me to eat a high fibre diet, continue to take laxatives etc.

There’s only so many things you can try and I’ve lost count of the different laxatives and stool softeners I’ve tried. My body takes them in then decides to go back to square one after a couple of weeks and reverts back to the sluggish bowel.

A consultant prescribed a tablet for me which I had a bad reaction too, which I as surprised at because new medication usually agrees quite well with me. Unfortunately, I was feeling sick, going to the toilet (up to 10 times a day) with the opposite of what I’m used to, and feeling very shaky with some chest pains. It was awful and I was sent to A&E to be put a drip to rehydrate me. Luckily, nothing serious had happened.

Living with chronic constipation before it was looked at more closely to determine IBS, it made me feel strange. It’s had such an impact in how I see my body (the bloating and hard belly), hearing the constant grumbles, and being in absolute agony because I haven’t been to the toilet in so long.

Today, I think I’m on a much happier road. I know what I’m dealing with now. It doesn’t make it completely better as many other people out there with IBS know, it affects you mentally and physically, in many ways. But for me, it comes part and parcel with hypothyroidism, just like many of the symptoms I experience on a daily basis.

I’m so glad that I am under a consultant who can guide me on the best medication, diet and laxatives to take. My poor fiancé hears about it all… even the bits he would rather not. But he puts up with me anyway.

If anyone has any advice or tips, I’d be so grateful. Please share them in the comments below or via my contact page.