Hypothyroidism taught me body positivity
I'm 28 and I have hypothyroidism.
Hypothyroidism is the malfunctioning of the thyroid gland. Under this condition, your thyroid gland does not produce enough of the thyroid hormones leading to weight gain and fatigue. This ailment usually affects persons from ages 60 + but in my case, it caught me at age 20 and went undiagnosed until 25.
I was miserable. I exercised, went on extreme diets and still kept putting on weight. With hypothyroidism comes fatigue and depression. I wasn't social during this time and I also started treatment for depression. Mental health discussions are frowned upon in our society so I sunk further.
The most dehumanizing part of all this was shopping for clothes. Most popular clothing brands wouldn't carry my size. If they did the options would be very limited. Also, most of these items would resemble ponchos or dresses which could second as tents. The shame of being fat settled in them. Culture told me to hide my undesirable body. Being fat went from being a physical trait to a personality flaw. I would get suggestions on diet and exercise from almost everyone I knew. I would say I have tried everything and nothing seems to work. To that, they would say I wasn't trying hard enough, I was being lazy. Now, I was lazy too. Apart from the problems I had with the way I looked and felt, I also made my body very vulnerable by putting it in extreme physical conditions. As this is a social forum, I feel there is a danger in sharing the things I did because I do not want my desperation to inspire someone else's desperation. But like I said, I put my body through a lot of physical and mental stress. All of this could have been avoided if only tests were done to check the functioning of my thyroid gland.
Today, I'm doing a lot better. By chance, my father noticed a swelling in my throat and advised to go to our doctor. Tests were done and I was finally properly diagnosed. I started my treatment and life changed. The exercise started to work and I was losing weight. It took almost 4 years but I went from a size 16 to size 6. I eat clean and healthy. I don't need anti-depressants. I am happy.
My reason for sharing this is to spread awareness about the issue. Check your throat, is there any swelling? Do you feel cold when you shouldn't be? Do you tire easily or feel depressed? Go to your family doctor and talk about the possibility of hypothyroidism.