Friday, February 12, 2010

On Pregnancy

I'm pregnant! Took us a while, but pretty much happened immediately following the happy occasion of my TSH dropping (briefly) below 1.0. Sadly, we had a miscarriage shortly later, but were thrilled to find out that all our bits and pieces were provisionally working!

My TSH slipped a bit afterwards and my nails started breaking and I started sleeping more. I knew I needed an increase, but was being stubborn and waiting for my next scheduled TSH test. The test showed my TSH had slipped up into the 1.5 range iirc, so I argued for a dose increase, got it, and promptly felt much better. TSH dropped down to the 0.8 range again, and within two months of that, I got pregnant again!

At that time, we promptly had to up my dose again -very common in pregnancy-, and I'm currently taking 137 mcg/day and my TSH is right around 0.52. I'm thrilled! Am hoping to keep it that low (or lower) post-partum.  The goiter doesn't seem much reduced at all, though Mum and Dad say it seems smaller to them.  At least it's not bigger.

Coincidence? I don't think so!  I'm also pleased that yet again, I insisted on treatment.  To have been told that my thyroid is fine, then to end up with a nearly full-replacement dose is a nice acknowledgement that I was right - thyroid *is* wonky.

Oh, and we're due in late May. :)

Friday, November 07, 2008

Filed under "Everything You Know is Wrong"

First things first, after 50 squats this morning, am having serious trouble staying in control of my legs.  Kinda fun.  Kinda annoying.

So Slashdot tells us that stretching before exercise may weaken your muscles.  I haven't read the original report yet, but this is really interesting.  I've always been a bit of a lazy stretcher.  I've got moderate flexibility and at times I've stretched a huge amount, and at times not so much.  Through it all I've maintained moderate flexibility.  Now, I may not feel so guilty!

It looks like the recommendation is to go with dynamic stretches (described in the article).  They look pretty cool.

From Slashdot today:

Posted by kdawson on Friday November 07, @09:40AM

from the everything-you-know-is-wrong dept.
Khemisty writes"Back in grade school you were probably taught the importance of warm-up exercises, and it's likely you've continued with pretty much the same routine ever since. Science, however, has moved on. Researchers now believe that some of the more entrenched elements of many athletes' warm-up regimens are not only a waste of time but are actually bad for you. The old presumption that holding a stretch for 20 to 30 seconds — known as static stretching — primes muscles for a workout is dead wrong. It actually weakens them. In a recent study conducted at the University of Nevada, athletes generated less force from their leg muscles after static stretching than they did after not stretching at all. Other studies have found that this stretching decreases muscle strength by as much as 30 percent. Also, stretching one leg's muscles can reduce strength in the other leg as well, probably because the central nervous system rebels against the movements."

Friday, September 12, 2008

Wooo hooo!

10 pounds down!  This is the first time I've lost weight since my metabolism blew in '02. 

I can't tell you what a relief this is.

I won't tell you all the numbers involved, but I will tell you this.  I've lost just over 4% of my body weight.  I've lost approximately 11% of my goal loss.

How'd it happen?  Well, I think two things came together:

1.  Strict low carbing.  What can I say?  It works.  I've been a lazy low-carber for years now, so it was easy to drop down to strict low carbing.  Since I've been lazy low-carb for years (since 2000) also means that I'm not missing any comfort foods, but I'm also a lucky person in that I'm not an emotional eater and I don't eat for comfort.  I've been averaging 20 to 40 carbs per day and usually around 1200 to 1400 calories, with a couple of planned lapses for social commitments.  This also means that a good bit of this loss was/is water weight as de-carbing dramatically de-bloats a person, but I'm not complaining.  Last time I tried strict low-carbing was before my wedding in '04, and I didn't even drop a pound of water weight, so that brings us to point two.

2.  88 mcg/day of levothyroxine.  I still don't think I've got a normal metabolism, let alone a fast one, but I think I do have a metabolism now.  Life is so much better than a year ago, and I'm coming up on a year of treatment now.  My chronic headaches are all but gone, I sleep better, I nap much much less, I get hungry for meals almost every day, my skin has cleared up, I sass my husband more (the poor thing), my energy is better, I'm less sensitive to comments, my nails are growing, my hair is growing faster (meaning I have to change the style to save money at the hairdresser's!), and even before the weight loss I'd lost my permanenent myxoedemic bloat.  Looking at pictures from a year or two ago, I barely recognize the tiny-eyed, round-faced person there.

It's certainly worth a pill a day.  Next checkup in a week!  I am hoping for another increase.

At the moment, I'm not crediting exercise for the weight loss.  I'm at the moment an intermittent Crossfitter - I absolutely adore it.  I had intended, since I was one month into this newest venture, to restart Crossfitting this week after a three week lapse, then my pesky husband went and sprained his ankle*.  I'll try for next week.

I'm concerned about this weekend - we're going away with friends for a couple of nights and I've got to sacrifice a little bit of control over my food.  I'm seriously considering bringing a bag of cheese along so I can opt out of meals.

* Softball injury, yes they won the game.  He's fine - can even get his own coffee now and is down to one crutch.  He's a bit uncomfortable, and the ankle is impressively swollen, but improving.  Thanks for asking :)

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Up the dosage!

In a nutshell, TSH has gone up (2.6) so the doc upped my dosage. Up to 88 mcg qd.

Bah. Why? Bad luck? My one swim in a chlorine pool? Shingles? Do my thyroid levels bounce around like this all the time? Did we really just happen to catch my thyroid on the brink of catastrophic failure a year ago?

Also, am grumpy that my weight is up a bit - 5lbs. Might be muscle since I've been lifting a lot lately, but it might also be the result of the month spent gingerly on my bum with shingles. Pants aren't any tighter, so that at least is good.

In the So-What-Isn't-Bad-For-Your-Thyroid-These-Days department:
According to research being presented at the European Congress of Endocrinology in Glasgow, Scotland, there is evidence from animal studies that the chemicals used in sunscreens and some anti-aging products may disturb thyroid function. The chemical studied was 4MBC, which absorbs ultraviolet radiation, along with benzophenone 2 (BP2). The animal studies treated rats with 4MBC for 5 days, which significantly increased levelsof thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH), with unchanged T3 and slightly lower T4. These are changes that are "typical of the early stages of hypothyroidism," according to the study's leader Professor Josef Köhrle. The weight of the thyroid glands also increased significantly, another sign of thyroid dysfunction. Interestingly, the thyroid results were prevented if there was adequate iodine in the mixture.
So, um... get plenty of iodine in your diet!

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

A Case of the Squats

Disgusting! I know! Heeee...

Today was Back Squats 5-5-5-5-5

My previous PR was a paltry 95#, so I figured I'd start at 45#, add ten for each round, and see where I end up.

So I ended up with 5 each of 45#, 55#, 65#, 75#, 85#

It went excellently. Good deep squats on all of them, and I just started to go wobbly towards the end. I felt like I could have started higher and would have had a successful workout, so next time I shall start at 55# or 65#.

That having been said, I did walk out to the car with particularly floaty feeling legs. Margaritas on the neighbor's deck when I got home only added to the effect ;)

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

How to get a number

Lift heavy stuff. Add weights together. This is your number.

Crossfit Total. Check the CF site for the gnarly details.

Shoulder Press, Back Squat, Dead Lift. Oy.

Last time it was SP 65, BS 95, DL 205 for a Crossfit Total of 365

Today, I doubt I got that for my deadlift last time... couldn't do it today. Either I miscounted or I lost strength. Either way it sucks.

However, my shoulder press and back squat both improved markedly. I'm still figuring out where my limits are, and could probably have lifted these last time if only I had known to try.

Thus, today's effort was:

SP 80, BS 115, DL 190 for a Crossfit Total of 385 (up 20)

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Step Away From The Corn Flakes

Background Trials comparing the effectiveness and safety of weight-loss diets are frequently limited by short follow-up times and high dropout rates.

Methods: In this 2-year trial, we randomly assigned 322 moderately obese subjects (mean age, 52 years; mean body-mass index [the weight in kilograms divided by the square of the height in meters], 31; male sex, 86%) to one of three diets: low-fat, restricted-calorie; Mediterranean, restricted-calorie; or low-carbohydrate, non–restricted-calorie.

Results: The rate of adherence to a study diet was 95.4% at 1 year and 84.6% at 2 years. The Mediterranean-diet group consumed the largest amounts of dietary fiber and had the highest ratio of monounsaturated to saturated fat (P<0.05 p="0.01).">

Conclusions: Mediterranean and low-carbohydrate diets may be effective alternatives to low-fat diets. The more favorable effects on lipids (with the low-carbohydrate diet) and on glycemic control (with the Mediterranean diet) suggest that personal preferences and metabolic considerations might inform individualized tailoring of dietary interventions. ( number, NCT00160108 [].)


Push Jerks 3-3-3-3-3

Figured I'd start at my last known heft - 65 lb. 45 lb bar with ten extra on either end. Won't say it is easy, but quite manageable. Definitely have to jump under the bar to do it.

Then I formulate the plan. Go up 5 pounds at a time, so I start with 65, go up to 70, 75, 80, and finish up at 85.

So off I toddle. First three done (65 lb) quite nicely. Pop 5 more pounds on either end of the bar for my 70 pounder, lift (grimace), done.

Phew. Okay. Five more pounds on either side, 75 lbs. Lift, grimace, swear, done. Wow, this is harder than I thought it would be.

Then the old brain, however briefly, surfaces for just a moment.

65 plus 5 pounds on either side is 75 not 70. Then, if you follow me, 75 pounds plus 5 pounds on either side is 85.


Also, ouch.

Okay... regroup, think again. Add 2.5 lb on either side for the next lift of 90 lbs. Very very hard. Wobbled quite a bit. You really can't get away with dropping the bar at the YMCA so even though I had the safety railings up, I couldn't trust that I wouldn't have to dump it if I went higher, so I did my fourth three, removed the 2 2.5 lb plates and for my final three re-lifted the 85 lbs. That had been my goal anywho.

So to finish we have Push Jerks 3-3-3-3-3 with weights of 65 - 75 - 85 - 90 - 85

In continuing themes: I seemed to be the only person sweating. I grimaced, but didn't grunt. The whole endeavor was *not* assisted by the three fratheads taking turns doing bicep curls behind me. I was uncharacteristically self-conscious. I think I was afeared of letting rip with a ginormous fart (Crossfart?) at an inopportune moment, or some such. Ah... feminine vanity.


Row, row, row your boat,
Briskly 'cross the drink,
Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily,
Crossfit makes me stink.


Row, row, row your boat,
Briskly to the shore,
Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily,
Crossfit makes me sore.

As a puppy/buttercup I only had to row 1000 m yesterday. It's intended to be a sprint, but I don't sprint until I've got a fairly good idea of how knackered I'm going to be at a more normal pace. First, run your mile, then learn to sprint it.

Well, I expected to really suck at rowing - not so! Maybe all those years of swimming have finally amounted to something, because they sure as heck didn't tone me up, slim me down, or really do anything other than empty my head and keep me sane. I had the crank on the rowing machine on 10. I don't know if 10 is easy, or 10 is hard. (Edit: I just checked online, 10 is hard. Wow.)

However, I was feeling good, so I did the big dawg workout - 2000 m. This makes me feel better for not having truly sprinted, but rather hurried through the whole thing. I was pleasantly knackered at the end, and kind of wanted to keep going. I messed up my watch, but I think it took me about 10.5 minutes.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008


Today's workout was great. It was deadlifts. I love deadlifts. I'm good at deadlifts.

Well, comparatively. Let's put it this way. I don't completely suck at deadlifts in quite the spectacular manner that I suck at the rest of Crossfit. It fits with my image of myself as a 'big strong girl'. Raar.

So the workout was stunning in its simplicity. Deadlifts 5-5-5-5-5. Whee. Five sets of five!

I started with 135#. Really easy weight for me. Then I went up 10 by 10 until I got up to 175#. This isn't anywhere near my PR, but I also only had to hoist the PR up once. The final few resulted in me pulling comic faces at myself in the mirror - bared teeth and grimace.

Oh no... that means I'm the face-puller. Ah well. We had a moaner in the gym today. This fella was bicep curling huge dumbells and moaning fit to star in an x-rated movie. Totally intimidated the lady next to him who was on her first workout with a personal trainer - he had her doing a series of arm-wavings-about with a 5# weight. She was working hard, but made some comments about how she felt so inadequate next to Mr. Moaner. I piped up and told her that she was doing just fine, and she'll get there too and I had this moment of clarity and understood a bit better how my brother encourages me when we work out together. Hmmm.

Anyway... I'm still totally embarrassed about the grimacing, but at least I'm not a moaner. In the gym, I mean.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

For James


Deadlift 205#, 7/8/2008


I thought my intestines were going to fly across the room.

Monday, July 07, 2008

About time...

To quote my brother, "When doesn't this suck?".

Saturday was evil. Evil nasty. Evil nasty bad. Evil nasty bad painful. Crossfit Games workout, hard even at the buttercup level. So, I woke up, cleaned the bathroom, kissed my husband, packed the car, and then set off for a weekend of fun. Husband was on call, so he got left at home. First stop, the gym to do some thrusters with the squooshy bar. I was also supposed to do some pullups, but I only had 10 minutes to spare at the gym since I was late for a lunch date, and I misread the instructions. Since I didn't even attempt them, I got a penalty workout that night! Aiee! Not as bad as the usual penalty workout (50 burpees or 200 meters of walking lunges), but still...

I arrive at the Family Compound, slam down a cup of tea, then get dragged off to the gym with my brother to do the second part of the workout. OW. Owie ow ow. Deadlifts and burpees. I don't like burpees and my legs are still sore. Still, I buttercupped it through - super slow on the burpees and respectably fast on the deadlifts. We even upped my deadlifts weight because even though I have zero metabolic conditioning, I am strong.

Back home, nice dinner and chatting, then part three of the workout. Strictly speaking I didn't have to do it as my instructions had told me to pick two of three options. However, I had to do a penalty round for skipping half of the first workout. Oopsie. Thus, I found myself at dusk dragging an American Bulldog out for a fast walk while my brother went for a run.

I've made the command decision not to run until my weight drops a bit - I have no problem walking fast enough to get a good puffy sweat on and I'm worried that at my current prodigious weight that I'll crush my knees. I think I'll try running when I've dropped 20 pounds.

Of course, the next day I got dragged again off to the gym for even less fun. I am going to call this particular incarnation of evil the deadlift-squat-jumpingjack-with-barbell. Aiee. My legs were so stiff that I couldn't get down into a proper squat, but I was getting better at doing the push jerk at the end when James made me put more weight on. More weight = better form. Weird.

So, this morning I was debating whether or not to check out the WOD over at Crossfit. Do I want to know? Sometimes I psych myself out so much for it that the anticipation is much worse than the actual workout. However, it would be helpful to know if I should do it before work, rather than afterwards - plus it might be a fun one! I'm thinking dumbell swings and deadlifts - fun fun fun!!!

So I checked, and was absolutely thrilled to pieces that it was a surprise rest day! Wheee!

So to answer James' question: When doesn't this suck? When you get a surprise rest day, that's when.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Dearth of Pullups

Today's workout brought to you by the Marquis de Sade and his good buddy the Marquis de Masochism.

Officially titled "Death by Pullup", this workout strikes especial fear into the hearts and minds of those of us who, to put it mildly, suck at pullups. Suck badly. Aiee. What to do?

Well, I warmed up as usual, sans pullups of course. I'm not the stupid one. The pushups required a bit of dancing about as the half-bouncy-ball I use as a foot rest decided mid-up to slide jauntily away from the railing I was using. This nearly resulted in a bonked nose, but quick thinking and a subvocal "ohhhhh...noooooo" got us through quite nicely. I'm using the half-bouncy ball to raise my feet slightly because that's easier than sawing down the railing - I'm alternating doing my pushups old-school off the floor (for improved realiness) and doing them off the railing to improve speed, depth, and body control.

The instructions for Death by Pullup are as follows. In the first minute do one pullup, in the second minute do two pullups, in the third minute do three pullups, extrapolate until you vomit.

Now I can't do a pullup, and can barely do them on the assist machine, so I failed in minute three. I can actually keep going doing pullups, but I average two a minute - three kills me. So, for minutes four, five, and six I did controlled and slow dropdowns. Here's hoping that helps me build the strength to do this properly one day.


Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Sweaty is good, right?

Scaled Crossfit WOD from BrandX

Three rounds for time of:
10-15 pound Deadlift, 15 reps 10-15 pound
Hang power clean, 12 reps 10-15 pound
Front Squat, 9 reps 10-15 pound
Push Jerk, 6 reps

Hm. Ran into a minor logistical issue here - I didn't have access to a 15 lb bar. I knew I could probably survive the darned thing with a 45 lb bar based on my experiences yesterday and knowing that I'm a strong deadlifter and squatter (comparatively). However, I've done some reading and I knew that there was a key piece of information in the instructions.

"for time"

This means that this is, in addition to strength training, also a metabolic conditioning workout. The weight is meant to be low enough to give you the ability to hustle and get the heart rate up. Compare this to yesterday which, when you're really doing it (rather than playing with an empty bar like I was) you really try to get as much weight on the bar as possible, and if it takes you a bit longer to get through it, well then that's fine.

So, I found a heavy squooshy bar and used that. I hoisted it up next to a 45 lb bar, and it seemed lighter, so I think I did the workout today with about a 30 lb weight? So much for following instructions. First round was about 2:30, second round I forgot to set my watch going again but I estimate a 2:10 (I know it was my shortest round), third round was 2:14. I think I was a bit tentative on the first round because I didn't have a good sense of whether or not this was going to kick my ass, or just tickle it. Turns out it was somewhere in between.

So I hustled. This means I also sweated. I also got bit red faced. I'm red faced sweater - add in the obesity, and this makes me a pathetic looking gym rat. However, I had my hustle on, knew I was doing some good for myself, and considered it a point of pride that I did this while I was still sore from my previous three workouts - though the sorenesses are all melding together a bit now. Plus, my arms looked totally muscly and huge - always a plus!

Much like at my old gym, nobody else in the weights area was red faced, pink in the face, or sweating. We didn't even have a grunter. There were probably five or six other people there. C'mon... there's got to be at least one grunter in the bunch.

Oh wait... maybe that was me? Note to self - check for grunting next time. Also, try not to flick sweat on mirror. That's a touch pathetic.