Dillion Harper on Oct. 23 @ 5pm PST
286 posts and growing daily!
Having Hashimotos but not letting it have you.
A lot of you ladies have asked me to share my experience & knowledge with my Thyroid journey, so I am going to share my story.
**Please know that I am NOT a medical professional or in the health care industry whatsoever. I am not offering medical advice and highly recommend going to a Doctor in your area that is well versed in your condition-If thyroid issues are what you are diagnosed with. We are ALL made up very differently inside & not everything effects us the same, therefore, I cannot tell you that what I am doing will work for you.
Starting from the beginning, if you are like me even a little and are in tune with your body, you can tell when something is off. Over a decade ago, I began telling my doctors of my symptoms that seemed to be getting more persistent as time went on. The symptoms for me were terrible cystic facial acne, very serious mood swings, dry mouth, excessive sweating, hot/cold flashes, depression, fatigue, potty issues,  insomnia and the list went on. I was in my early 20s and the consensus from the doctors was; “You’re too young to have hormonal issues”, “You just have bad PMS” and the one that made me feel the worst was, “Its all in your head, you need to get over it”.  It seemed like an uphill battle, so I conceded and listened to the last doctor that pressured me into seeing a psychiatrist. The shrink immediately put me on anti-depressants. It not only didn’t help any of my symptoms but made them worse and added a few more in the form of side effects! I gave it a good try, and decided to ween myself off as I was feeling worse and worse each month. Being that diabetes and Hypo-thyroid is hereditary and both my mother & paternal Aunt had hashimotos, I kept begging Drs to test for them. I was very young at the time and when the told me, no the insurance won’t cover it, you’re too young…I just took their word for it. I didn’t know that I could challenge the insurance or even just pay for it out of pocket.
So I went about my life thinking I was perhaps imagining the symptoms as I was living a healthy lifestyle, keeping myself at a weight I was happy with when all of a sudden, I started feeling so sick. Throwing up & nausea daily. Weight gain etc. Boom, I was 5 months pregnant and had no clue! I still had a normal cycle each month and was on the pill! It was pretty crazy. The result was a miscarriage later that month. This was the turning point in my health as I knew it. I went into a depression and gained around 70 lbs. That is where you see my before-during that time, and after, when I saw myself in my brothers wedding video and with utter disgust with how far I let myself go, made a huge change.
I lost all of the weight within a year and although I was doing everything properly, training perfectly (I got NASM certified) and my nutrition was great….I only maintained that goal weight for a year and then out of the blue, the weight started creeping back on. Terrified of gaining weight (mainly due to the industry I am in), I continuously added time to my already long & strenuous workouts. I also drastically cut my calories. In my head it made perfect sense. Output more than you input and it equals perfect weight control! That worked…..for a while. The whole time, I continued having extreme symptoms that felt worse and worse every few months. My skin was TERRIBLE! I look back at old photo shoots now and thank God they weren’t in super HD yet, like they are now! My moods were erratic and uncontrollable. I would swing into a horrid depression and then go into a more normal state. It really sucked, but my weight was good so I was happy with that.
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Before and After

 

Then all of a sudden, I started gaining weight again! FUCK! I was also sick ALL of the time, had multiple muscle and tendon injuries from all of the over-training and my quality of life was shit. After really being sick of all of the asshole doctors telling me this or that, but never trying to find out what it was, it dawned on me. Hmmm, doctors are just people, they are not all knowing beings with the ability to look at one person to the next and determine what their issues were. I said fuck it, I will pay out of pocket for a doctor that will take the time to see what is really going on.
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I was around 20lbs heavier than my original weight loss, but thankfully knew how to cheat with flattering angles. Life had to go & I had to keep working regardless of my added lbs.

I found a well recommended MD who also specialized in holistic health. If I could tell you just how simple it would have been for every other doctor over those many years to give me a few specific blood tests to figure things out, you wouldn’t believe me. He straight up said, well, you have a family history plus all of your symptoms match up…let’s do an in depth test of your thyroid.

**I will say that there was 1 test 1 doctor did on my TSH that showed normal-however in a young woman that is over all healthy, it will show normal**
It wasn’t until he tested my T3 T4, free T3 T4, DHEA, estrodial etc that it showed what they could have easily seen that entire time! I had hashimotos disease. My levels were so low that the doctor was shocked I wasn’t 300lbs! Being an athlete fended that off.
Hashimotos disease is an auto immune disease in which your immune system attacks your thyroid, a small gland at the base of your neck. The thyroid gland is part of your endocrine system, which produces hormones that coordinate many of your body’s activities. When this is disrupted, your hormones either aren’t secreting properly, aren’t being sent to the right places, or doesn’t allow you to absorb properly…or in my case, ALL OF THE ABOVE! Which explained a few other health issues I had. Your hormones control your entire body! Skin, moods, weight, everything I was having issues with. >>more info<<
I did not know how hard it would be after being diagnosed to then figure out the proper treatment with the right doctor. I began 3 years of being a guinea pig to find the proper treatment plan for me. I will be forever grateful that this Doctor made the original diagnosis. However, he was unable to correctly prescribe medications to manage my hashimotos effectively.  None of the natural meds worked for me, so we went synthetic. At one point my medication levels were so high that I was having heart palpitations daily. I couldn’t do the intense cardio that I was used to. I remember breaking down in the gym and just wondering WHY my body would not cooperate with me. Once the heart issues arose, I felt it was time to see an endocrine specialist who immediately took me off of the super high dosage of Levothyroxine and put me on a lower dose. It took time for my body to get used to it and another shift in hormones occurred but the heart issues stopped, so I thought that was better. I patiently waited for my body to regulate back to what I thought it should be normally….patiently for over a year. I asked this doctor why am I still not losing weight? Why is my skin still so bad? My moods etc? She simply said, “Look, you’re just always going to be a little heavier than you want to be and the older you get, the more mood symptoms you’ll have”. (My uncontrollable moods were so bad that it had major effect on my loved ones around me. My family and friends.) Again, something had to change before I lost it.
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I was able to “manage” and although everyone thought I looked great on the outside, my insides were really suffering.

 

I had been on a waiting list for an endocrine Dr, Dr B. who was not accepting new patients. He was said to be the best in town. I went in person to BEG them to take me in. They did! I was elated! I thought this was it! I would be cured! He took me off ALL thyroid meds and began to treat the symptoms one by one, prescribing me a strong med for skin, for moods etc etc. He said, please give these all a try for at least 6 months. After the 1st week, I know why he urged me to give the meds a chance. I was suffering the worst dizziness, nausea and other side effects from them that my quality of life again diminished. Meanwhile, I still had 2 companies to run, a household, my family, my jobs on top of the businesses and travel. After 8 months of HELL, I kept telling him that I was just too sick feeling every day to continue. He never once told me to stop the meds but I again said, FUCK THIS! I have been so patient and I am losing so much of my life! Time I will never get back. A trip to Europe that was overshadowed by my constant nausea and exhaustion. You do what you can not to let it effect you, but there really is only so much a person can tolerate. I stopped the meds on my own and stopped going to Dr B.
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I remember feeling so ill, forcing a smile and was so down on myself for not being able to suck it up during a trip of a lifetime.

 

As fate would have it, my insurance forced me to select a Primary Care Physician and Dr B had referred me to my current Dr. Dr Andrea Dempsey, an internist that preferred a hollistic approach when available. She ran all of my bloodwork and noticed a lot of issues with my thyroid, my adrenals etc. She took SO much time with me. Really knew her shit and anything she didn’t know, she said so. We started off slowly, one medication at a time as to not disrupt my body dramatically. It also allowed us to know if one of the added items was causing a negative effect. This was the doctor that I had been waiting for all of these years. We addressed the possible root causes of the hashimotos as there is normal an event in our lives that allows the major change in our body. For me, it was the miscarriage. That sudden change in hormones and sickness was what caused the hashimotos to appear for me.
As if enough wasn’t enough, BOOM, no progress in the gym, no matter how healthy or how portioned I was, I would gain and/or hold onto weight. I was then referred to an amazing coach who had a lot of experience with women in general but women with thyroid/hormone issues. He immediately let me know that from the many years of over training and under eating, I trashed my metabolism, creating >neuroendocrineimmune dysfunction< (or in easy to understand terms-metabolic damage). Now MOST of you out there will not have this issue. Its pretty loosely thrown around when people hit a plateau or can’t loose the weight they want to. I created this damage to my body over a 7 year period of doing 4-5 hour workouts each and every day. Eating less than 1500 cals each day. Not taking any days off…. I thought that was the only way that I could maintain a weight I was happy with, but in turn I fucked myself worse than I could have ever imagined! Reversing the damage took more inner strength than I thought I had. It required me working out a LOT less and eating a LOT more! UGH. I got used to the working out less as my body was so badly beaten up, injury stricken etc. but every time I had to put food in my mouth I felt sick. It was so much more than I was used to and I was gaining lbs to boot! All things my coach warned me about. He said it would take anywhere between 1-2 years for me to fix things. During that time I was also getting my hashimotos treatment plan in place with Dr Dempsey. Little by little, I got there. It took an ENTIRE 2 years that I am just at the end of now to heal the neuroendocrineimmune dysfunction.

Much heavier than I wanted to be but as usual, fake it til you make it! Most people that know me don’t even know that I have gone through all of these struggles.

Today, I am on a treatment plan with both synthetic and holistic remedies. I learned that my body does not tolerate any generic form of Synthroid or Cytomel, so I am on both name brands of those. I am also using a low dose of progesterone. Part of hashimotos treatment has to be dealing with your hormones and adrenals.  Nothing alone worked for me, it is the combination of things for me that is helpful. I feel better than I have in many years. I do need to mention that just because I am on a treatment plan, does not mean I am cured or do not experience symptoms.  In some way or another, I am effected by hashimotos each and every day. Sometimes I feel amazing, like yesterday when I was able to wake up without being groggy, have an amazing workout where I doubled my normal max weight, go off to accomplish a million things! And then there are days like today, where my brain feels foggy, I feel a bit down, exhaustion to the point of wanting to crawl in a hole and never come out. BUT listen, YOU control how your life is going to be. I now realize that I cannot be so very hard on myself. On days like today, you better bet your ass I still got up…stumbled around dropping things…got to the gym, did a very good-hard workout, even though I did not have it in me, I DUG into the depths of my mind, and I fucking did it. Then I got home took the dogs out for a walk-which is scientifically proven to increase your serotonin levels, making you happier. I didn’t get everything I wanted to done today, but I did a lot and I am happy with that.
I’ve seen people with a LOT of excuses my entire life. There’s literally ALWAYS going to be a reason NOT to be healthy. There’s always the, “Oh, I’m so stressed, I deserve ______”, “Oh my back hurts, I can’t go to the gym”. Sweetie, I have been in over a dozen car accidents and am blessed when I have a day without a severe neck/back/hip issue and I still hit that gym as hard as I can! :O) Its really up to you if you decide to let things rule your life. I chose not to. While I am NOT perfect in any way, I strive to better myself each day-inside and out. I don’t know if I will ever be completely rid of the body dysmorphia that I have created but I am learning to love myself and be comfortable with myself. Baby steps guys.

After completing TWL 90 day challenge the 2nd time through. My main improvements were how my weight shifted from fat to more muscle, the shape of my muscles and glutes were much improved!

 

All of that is a HUGE reason why I LOVE Lyzabeth’s TWL plan. Not only is she the go to girl for amazing workouts that are realistically achievable, fun and different every day, but she is one of the VERY few fitness professionals that know anything about hypothyroidism. The holistic nutrition aspect of the TWL plan has inspired me to make a few tweaks and changes to my life for the better, as I have actually felt the improvements.  (cutting out fake sugars, etc) I can actually feel my body responding to different foods/herbs/etc.  If you are not fully committed to the plan and nutrition aspect of the TWL, I urge you to really try to stick with it. It doesn’t ever get easier…YOU JUST GET BETTER! (if you have not joined, >>CLICK HERE <<to join).  I have now done the plan twice and am on my 3rd time through. While my weight loss was not dramatic from start to finish, the hourglass goals of changing my shape definitely show. I have lost inches and lost Body fat…so try not to let the scale rule your life. For me personally, I can at most weigh in every 2 weeks or more or I become obsessed with the number and get down on myself, which is also impedes results!  I treat my nutrition and training like an actual job, I really think it is. I schedule my workouts and lift 5x per week, and I add in my HIIT cardio throughout, the number of days I add it varies based on whether I have a shoot coming up or how tired I am. On the 6th day, I usually do fasted cardio, then the 7th, I rest. That was the toughest thing for me to train myself to do. Allow my body to take it easy. So now if I feel good, I will go outdoors and hike with my puppies or something fun!
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No, we don’t look like this on a hike! HAHA!

End of TWL 2nd time around. Lots of base with a side of abs! 😉

Nutrition wise, I have the luxury of being my own boss, so I am not confined to a 9-5 schedule. However! I do still make the time to food prep. I usually like to make food for 2-3 days and store in one large container; 4oz portioned chicken breasts-1 container, 4 large zucchini’s-1 container, 4 portions brown rice-1 container, etc. Then the next day, I will do a different meal with left overs in large containers, so I am set for the week. If I am on the run, which I am often, I make sure I have food with me where ever I go. That is so important. Most friends I speak with don’t eat all day and then gorge at night. This too trashes your metabolism. Then there’s the cheat day, EH HEMM, I mean cheat meal. Don’t go ham and eat everything that you’ve been craving all week! Moderate yourself. I like to plan these meals around an event; family BBQ, dinner out with the girls, a vacay etc. I usually do this once a week-if its a mini cheat meal or once every 2 weeks if I ate a doughnut or something insanely delish!

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Snapped this the other day, I am in month 2, week 1. I gained some lbs back from when I was in Europe but not mad at living my life!

In closing, I hope that my story can help at least one other person whether it motivates you to make some healthy changes or if you have not been feeling like yourself lately. If you have symptoms, or you feel off. DO NOT allow another person to tell you that its in your head! Do not be afraid to challenge authority, do not be afraid to get 2nd or 3rd opinions! I have learned that in women (and sometimes men-my Unc has a less severe form of Hypo-thyroid) approaching or in their 30s, its super common to have imbalances. If your hormones are even a little off, it can create a lot of issues within your body. It doesn’t mean you have to be medicated, but there are natural things you can do as well as lifestyle changes. I rarely eat gluten for example, unless its a cheat meal that I have been dying for….but less and less do I even want to feel the after effects of that-swelling, bloating, gas, nausea. So little changes can help too if you are not as jacked as I am lol! By all means, get checked out at the very least! Never wait around for symptoms to get worse. I will also add that most of you will not have such a difficult time finding doctors. I live in Las Vegas, NV which is great for many things but not for healthcare. Few and far between. Now that I know that I am the main one that controls my health, I won’t allow another individual to tell me I am not feeling what I feel.
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We have to stop seeing our flaws and appreciate our blessings.

Thanks for taking the time to read and I wish you all the very best!
XO
Brianna
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Brianna, missing in action

Hey guys, just wanted to drop a quick note to let you know that I am alive! If you follow my social media, (AND YOU SHOULD BE 🙂 you know that I have been dealing with some personal problems. Not to fret, if you’re a BriannaJordan.com member (AND YOU SHOULD BE!), all of my content keeps pumping out better than ever! And I will get to the new blog posts later this week and into next week! I will also fill you all in on everything soon!

If you are NOT following my NEW and for a limited time-FREE Snapchat, get your ass in gear & GO NOW! Snapchat user name is MSBRIANNAJORDAN <—————ADD ME NOW!

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and fuck facebook in the ear. If you see a profile with my photos, they’re stolen.

Here’s some HOT upcoming shit for you to drool over in the meantime! xoxo, Brianna

 

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YAYAYAY! Football is back bitches!

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