Changing my lifestyle in ways I never thought I’d have to 15



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In my early years, like most of my siblings, I was fairly skinny.

When I started work late in my teens, I was able to indulge in calorie-laden treats for morning tea every day. I wanted to put on weight, certainly didn’t have to worry about what I ate that’s for sure. My co-workers were envious of me.

I remember an aunt telling me, when I was 20: “Don’t worry about it, by the time you’re 30 you’ll be fondly remembering these slender days”. It didn’t happen quite like that.

I had four daughters over the course of 12 years. I retained a little weight with each one, nothing to worry about. Then, in my mid-40s, I was diagnosed with the thyroid condition Graves’ Disease, one of the main symptoms being weight loss. Oh, and a racing heart. Prior to diagnosis, one afternoon my pulse was beating at 129 a minute, after I’d been sitting reading. This was faster than my daughter’s pulse, the one who’d just run four kilometres. When I lay on my left side, I could feel my heart thumping the mattress.

So I was really skinny again but it didn’t last after treatment. Without now my daily tablet my weight would balloon uncontrollably. Talk about a contrast!

The one thing I never did was exercise. When I was young, I preferred to read. When I was a little older I was scared exercise would make me lose what little weight I had – and I preferred to read anyway. When I had children, I was too busy – and I had to fit my reading in what spare time I had.

When I was a bit older, I was busier still – and you know about the reading.

Now, I’m about to turn 70. About 18 months ago I had a sore shoulder and started doing a couple of upper body 1 kg weight exercises from the internet, thinking to strengthen the shoulders and upper arms. The shoulder was still sore so I had it checked medically and there’s a little arthritis there. At that point I couldn’t get my arm behind my back because the shoulder was so painful.

I found the exercises quite satisfying so expanded their range, still just upper body. I’ve gradually added some yoga-type activities, some general stretches, and now use 2 kg weights.

My shoulder hasn’t hurt for months. I presume the arthritis is still there but there’s no sign of it as far as I’m concerned. Now I do my set of exercises, 20-30 minutes worth, every second day. I imagine an expert might scoff at my exercise regime; I could go to 3 kg weights; I could go on to 40 or 50 minutes, but I don’t want to risk losing interest.

I still fit in plenty of reading.

Have you discovered a new interest late in life? Are you doing something you wouldn’t dream of doing a few decades ago?

Fran Goodey

Frances Goodey is the mother of four daughters and the grandmother of two primary school age boys. With six brothers and two sisters, she was raised in Sydney and later lived and worked in Papua New Guinea, New Zealand and Brisbane. She is an avid reader and has had some small success with children's stories being published in New Zealand and Australia. Both she and her husband are retired, and her daughters live in Brisbane, Toowoomba, Sydney and Frankfurt.

  1. My story is so similar to that one, I was diagnosed with Graves’ disease after being thin till my 50s then I was hit with osteo arthritis around the same time only mine is in the ankles, knees, hips which makes it very painful to walk but I do try and also hydrotherapy. My weight is uncontrollable as the medication reacts to the state of my body and I find myself slipping back into Graves so they increase my meds., so it is like being on a roller coaster. I am in my early sixties and not being as mobile as I am used to gets frustrating so I find solace in my books every chance I can.

  2. I thought you were telling my story that’s it I’m nearly 70 only I do have arthritis have to watch everything I put in my mouth!

  3. Have had thyroid disease(hashimota)since early forties,have always struggled with weight problems,now have osteo-arthritis in lower back,neck and shoulders,also told I need to be gluton ,dairy,wheat,and soy free,I am really struggling with this,but still cannot lose weight,sometimes I just feel like giving up!!

  4. I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes at 58yrs. I’ve changed my whole lifestyle because if it. I was I’ll for most of the 1st yr but gradually got control of the disease. I try to eat low GI good and exercise daily for an hour. This is keeping my blood sugar at 5.8 which is fantastic! However living with diabetes and managing it takes up a lot of time and energy!

  5. Me too, thyroid disease, hashimotos, weight gain, arthritis, brain fog just to name a few. New Doctor last year and now all arthritis gone, big weight loss and brain fog gone. What did he do? He balanced my estrogen then put me on NDT (natural thyroid replacement) and then I followed a low carb and healthy fat diet (real butter and fatty meat) I feel better than I did at 35

  6. Like you all I too have a Thyroid prob for 25 years. My wieght went down to 39k’s. I start on Oroxine and my weight went up to 70k’s, my pre Thyriod weight was 43k’s I was always skinny, so my doc’s and I loved the extra weight. One day i thought to myseld enough is enough and set out to lose this extra weight. I bought in Big W this book. “Your Thyroid Problems Solved” by Dr Sandra Cabot and Margaret Jasinska ND. I discovers all trhe foods we shouldn’t eat with our Thyroid meds. I am now and have been 54 to 56 k’s for 10 yrs. I will eat some of the food occassionally. I walk every night with hubby. I started my walking on my walking machine and used my exercise bike daily until my ostio porosis in my spine and hips put a stop to the bike. Please find this book or similar and discover the foods not to eat.. Banana’s, cabbage, broccili, cauliflour to name some. Cabbage is a big no no

    3 REPLY
    • All you women who have written above are inspirational and I want to wish you all the very best and congratulate you on doing the best you can with what you’ve got!

    • Thank you, Cathy. I’ll look into this pronto. I’m lucky that my Oroxine has kept me pretty stable for ages now but expert info is always welcome.

  7. I’ve had the opposite thyroid disease – hypothyroidism. When filling in a form for hospital recently I wondered how on earth this old girl kept going. Since then I’ve been diagnosed as diabetic and torn the tendons in my left thumb. A car accident 5 1/2 years ago made me very grateful to be alive. Good to be here.

  8. This could me. I had Graves Disease and finally had my thyroid removed after 4 bad relapses when I went toxic. I finally had my thyroid removed and now take thyroxine. I am now 61. My weight is steadily creeping but I do go to the gym although the osteoarthritis has lowered the weigjts I lift considersbly and my hip pain wakes me at night. I walk or use a treadmill for exercise. Getting the right amount of medication is a balancing act. Thyroid problems are no fun! I will check the foods too.

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