Last Updated on November 12, 2023 by Anna Baumann
Everyday Tips for Living with Graves Disease and Unbudgeable Weight Gain
Since Hyperthyroidism speeds up metabolism, people associate Graves Disease with weight loss. It’s not what happened to me, but unexplained weight loss is often the first Graves Disease symptom that people notice. It would be great if treatment just slowed things down and created a sense of normalcy. But it doesn’t. Medication, Radioactive Iodine, and thyroid removal cause Hypothyroidism. We go from one extreme to the other and usually end up gaining weight. The amount of weight is different for everyone. But one thing we seem to have in common is that it’s difficult or impossible to lose. It’s agonizing because we work so hard on diets and lifestyle changes and the scale does not budge! I wish I was here to share a great new weight loss plan. Unfortunately, I’m out of ideas (for now). But, I do have some everyday tips for living with Graves Disease and unbudgeable weight gain. Just simple things that you might have thought of yourself if you weren’t feeling so frustrated.
Change what you can
I know you obsess about your weight. I do too and it’s hard to stop. But the constant inner turmoil keeps our stress at an unhealthy level. We should use that energy to focus on things we can change like:
Hairstyle and color
Look around on Pinterest and talk to your stylist about trying something new. Something hip and slimming to boost your cheekbones and your self-esteem. Maybe even a new color that feels fun and makes your eyes pop!
“A woman who cuts her hair is about to change her life.” ~ Coco Chanel
It’s an amazing pick-me-up! My Mom always wears lipstick and taught me that it goes a long way in helping you feel pretty and put together. I hardly ever wear other makeup, but I always wear lipstick. Once it’s on I’m ready for the day! It’s a small thing that makes a big difference. (Fun fact about me: I’ve worn Revlon’s Cherries in the Snow since 1986! I occasionally try something new, but I always go back to it.)
“Put on some lipstick and pull yourself together.” ~ Elizabeth Taylor
So what if you’re up a size or two. You’re still BEAUTIFUL. Buy some things in the right size that you feel good wearing. If you’re not up to dealing with salespeople and changing rooms, then shop online. Amazon has a great try-before-you-buy option. And most other stores make it easy to return whatever you don’t like. (While you’re clothes shopping, buy a new bra. Giving the girls a lift will lift your spirits too!)
“It’s not about the size you wear. It’s how you wear your size.” ~ Anonymous
Do more things that make you feel good
Don’t let the extra pounds be a dark cloud over your life.
(Only if approved by your medical doctor.) Take a walk or do some Yoga. If you’ve never tried Yoga, this site has a great little chart I printed for myself. Just 10 simple moves to do every day. The site is slow to load, but if you scroll to the end you can print the chart. I like having the printable because it reminds me to get moving!
Low impact exercises, like walking and Yoga, reduce stress and raise those endorphins so give it a try! Do it because it makes you feel good, even if it doesn’t do anything to budge the weight.
For at least an hour each day, spend time enjoying a great book or learning something new. Sharpen your mind and get the creative juices flowing!
I don’t mean for you to start another diet. I mean to eat more real food. Again, it may not help with weight loss. But, if you eat well, you’ll have more energy and you’ll feel better.
Plan a vacation and GO
Vacation is different for everyone. Whether you want an exciting adventure or a relaxing escape, planing a trip feels almost as good as being on it. So even if it’s a year or more away, start making plans!
Appreciate your attributes
We spend way too much time beating ourselves up for our weight gain. Sure it’s a bummer that it won’t budge. But is that all we are? Just a body? NO. We have a lot more going for us!
When was the last time you thought about something you like about yourself? How about your sparkling personality and kick-a** typing skills?! Your body changes don’t erase all of your beautiful gifts! Remind yourself DAILY of all of the GOOD that you are.
Start a gratitude journal
Journaling is a great outlet because you can say whatever you want, however you want. Make a habit of taking time to think about the things you appreciate about yourself and your life. I know you’re busy, so if it’s not every day shoot for every week. Grab a cup of tea and your journal for a nice session of self-reflection and appreciation. I know it sounds hokey, but it’s life-changing.
Accepting what we can’t change, does NOT mean we’re giving up. We’re just choosing to find peace in a frustrating situation that isn’t going anywhere, at least for the foreseeable future.
I still have hope that one day the weight will budge. If a doctor or friend suggests something I haven’t tried yet, I’ll get on board and check it out! But I no longer freak out about things like buying a size Large instead of a Medium.
This unbudgeable weight is our reality right now. Our before-Graves body wasn’t permanent. We can have hope that this one isn’t either without letting it define us. Graves or no Graves, we’re always changing. And we need to learn to love ourselves through all the phases of our lives.