Tuesday, May 15, 2012

A Growing Problem

 I have an obsession. It lives within me every day of my life, it never leaves, just hangs around like a bad penny. My obsession to some is annoying, to others a complete waste of time, and to medical professionals a joke. You see, my obsession is about my weight. I can't help it. Historically, it was the byproduct of years of having a poor body image, driven by the need to be accepted by others, but recently it is caused by another reason.

I am not, or never have been, anorexic or bulimic. Ironically, and probably luckily, I love food and have an extreme fear of vomiting, so there is no chance of my becoming either of the two fore-mentioned conditions. I am five feet, five inches tall and an American size six (sometimes an eight on a bad day) so logically I know I am not overweight. But, over the past two years my weight has steadily increased. I have put on ten pounds in total.

Two years ago, I was feeling sluggish, my hair was thinning and falling out, and to put it mildly, I could have killed anybody that strayed in front of me. I was the moodiest person alive, or so it seemed, especially to my family. No amount of dieting or exercise has stopped my progressive weight gain. After many visits to the doctor, it has been confirmed that I have a slacking thyroid, otherwise known as Hypothyroidism. For those of you who are in my camp and suffer from the same thing, you know exactly what I am talking about, the endless battle that just goes on and on.

Hypothyroidism is indeed a pain in the proverbial, but for me it adds extra stress to my self-proclaimed obsession. I have grown sick of the doctors telling me that my weight gain also coincides with my advancing age and slowing metabolism (hello, we are talking thyroid here!). They insist that my thyroid hormone level is now balanced, near perfect, thus rendering them an innocent party in my problem.

However, nothing is ever as it seems and I am getting desperate. Every day of my life I watch what I eat. I size up menus looking for the healthiest options and my fridge is always full of fresh fruit and vegetables. I very rarely eat fast food and I have tried every diet possible. I exercise at least 3 -4 times a week, but I do however sneak an occasional tootsie roll, and I admit, I like a glass of wine or two in the evening. There has to be some pleasures in life! I am still growing and I cannot get anyone to take notice because, I am for now, considered a healthy weight.

Some people have sneered at me when I have mentioned my problem and called me neurotic. I have had doctors intimate I may be imagining this whole connection to my thyroid problem. Some have just looked at me and ignored the weight issue completely. Once a doctor did actually prescribe a diet pill for me, it was a quick fix for two months. I think I wore them down with my moaning about my weight. I lost my weight and got my energy back, it was great, but of course, as soon as I had finished the tablets the weight came back and my afternoon slump returned. Those tablets are controlled, quite rightly so, and are not prescribed on a long-term basis to people like me, people who are not clinically overweight.

So what am I to do? I feel like I am on a never-ending treadmill. If I stop or slack in my ways, I am afraid to think about what will happen. I have this vision of my body growing like a balloon, getting to bursting point and spontaneously combusting at the most inappropriate moment, perhaps at a doctor's surgery – wouldn't that be sweet!

 I know my problem may sound simple, but it really is not. It is a nightmare, a daily one. I have yet to meet another sufferer like myself who has been given any help with this growing problem (pardon the pun!). Therefore, after many hours of investigating and deliberating I have finally decided to try another avenue of help. I am going, later this week, to see a Chinese Herbalist. I have heard many good reports of success taking this route but only time will tell. It will not be covered by my medical insurance, but I don't care. I want off this treadmill, I want to wake in the morning and feel no need to step on those scales, I want to be normal, but most importantly I want to be free, free of this time consuming obsession and finally accept me for me and get on with my life.

Wish me luck!

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