It’s January and the TV and radio are full of ads for gyms and diets. I know that’s normal, but it’s grinding on me this year. Because even though Dana and I have been in the gym for almost a year, I have gained 15 lbs.
I know, I know, we’re not supposed to talk about actual lbs. We’re supposed to use euphemisms like “I ate a few too many Christmas cookies” or “It’s true what they say, eggnog goes right to your waist!”
But there’s no euphemism for “My synthetic thyroid hormone meds are jacked up.”
In case you didn’t know what your thyroid does, it regulates things like metabolism. Synthetic hormones have come a long way, but they can’t replace an organ. For whatever reason, my “normal” dose of hormones, which had done the job for over a year, stopped about six months ago and sent me into hypothyroid territory. My hair started to thin and I gained a fast nine pounds. My doctor upped my meds, which lowered my levels a bit, and made my hair thicken up, but I added another six pounds. So he upped them again. I’ve been at this level for three weeks now, and while my head is full of little tufts of baby hair when I pull it all back into a ponytail, the scale has not budged.
I am trying not to freak out. I keep hitting the gym and tracking what I eat on My Fitness Pal. But I have never weighed this much in my life. After Kate was born I worked really hard to lose an extra 15 pounds and I stayed there in the years between her and Annie. Now my clothes either don’t fit or don’t look right. I don’t look in the mirror. I don’t want to take pictures.
It’s enough to derail my determination to celebrate the wins.
Then yesterday I was driving along, listening to Air1.com on the radio and Brenda was talking about why so many New Year’s resolutions fail. She had read somewhere that it’s because most of our resolutions are about ourselves. Losing weight, climbing a mountain, traveling somewhere exotic, eating better food, exercising—while none of these resolutions are bad, they are all self-serving. And since most of us drop them within days or weeks, they aren’t making us any happier, either.
But resolutions to serve others? Could be we’re much better at keeping those.
It got me thinking—I could fixate on the scale and my weight. I could live or die by the numbers every morning and let my days and sense of self-worth be dictated by whether the numbers go up or down.
Or. I could let it go. I could accept that my meds are off right now, and may never get right. I can feel thankful that this weight gain means I am alive and beat my cancer. I can stay on my eating plan and stay in the gym and be the healthiest heavy version of myself that I can be.
And. I can make a different kind of resolution this year, one that doesn’t serve myself. I will volunteer or donate or advocate for others. I have to look around, because this idea just came to me yesterday, but I already know there’s no downside. Think of others before myself? Give some of my time, treasure or talent to help? Show my kids how to walk the talk? Yes, yes and yes.
I think this is part of learning to Be, too. Do less. But be grateful. Be giving. Be humble.