Written by my Spring 2017 apprentice, Katie Bressack, this post discusses how feeling overworked, overwhelmed and exhausted is NOT the norm!
A few years ago, I had a three-week span of waking up every morning and feeling like I had been hit by a truck.
I had been sleeping eight hours a night, practicing yoga, eating as healthy as possible and trying as always to keep my stress levels down.
I had been feeling off for a while, but each day felt like the one before so even though I knew it wasn’t normal, this new way of being was starting to become my norm.
Then one of my best friends came to visit with her two little girls…
…and I saw that she had enough energy to manage jet lag, children and running on the beach, but I couldn’t keep up! It was then that I realized how truly exhausted my body really was and that something was not right.
After she left I went in pursuit of figuring this all out. After multiple blood tests and doctor visits we discovered that I had hypothyroidism. This meant that my body was no longer producing enough thyroid stimulating hormone (or TSH), which explained so much more than just the exhaustion.
From a young age, I have always felt colder than most people, especially in my hands and feet. I’d have moments of energy and then weeks of exhaustion. I was sick more often than most people I knew and had a very low tolerance to stress, meaning I got anxious more than others about things that weren’t really a big deal.
It always seemed “normal”
I never thought it was a health issue because I always shared how I was feeling with all of my doctors growing up only to get the response of, “Oh, this is normal. Of course, you are cold you live in New Hampshire. Of course you feel tired you play sports”! Plus, so many of my closest friends during my twenties were experiencing the same exact things.
It wasn’t until I changed my diet, went back to school for nutrition and started spending time with people who ate the way I did, moved the way I did and really felt amazing that I started to notice that something was more off than I thought. But I still didn’t pay much attention to it.
Then those weeks of feeling like I was caught in quicksand totally changed my perspective about my health and women’s health.
We have been taught that we can do everything we want to, even at the expense of how we feel, and that feeling overworked, overwhelmed and exhausted is just the norm if you want to have it all.
It felt like I was going backwards for a few months while I tried to support my body. I stopped saying yes to many invites. I spent more time at home relaxing instead of going out and started to get some help with my business. It took some time, but by really focusing on my diet, slowing down in my movement and adding in some new supplements I finally got my energy back and I started feeling like I was on the right path for me.
Signs of Hypothyroidism
There is a difference between a period of exhaustion, and signs that your hormones are out of balance. If you are experiencing any of these body signals, please bring it up to your doctor’s attention next time you see them.
- You consistently get quality sleep, but still feel exhausted
- Your digestion is off more often than normal
- Have difficulty concentrating
- Gaining weight even though your diet and exercise routine haven’t changed
- Feeling more anxious and irritable
- You are short of breath after walking up a few flights of stairs
- Feeling extremely cold in your hands and feet
If your doctor doesn’t take your feelings seriously, please find a new one. In the meantime, take a closer look at your diet and lifestyle and see what small changes you can make to help support your health right now.
I continue to adjust not only to my diet, but my whole life and now know that when I’m tired it’s time to take a break rather than pushing through it. It’s not “normal” to be exhausted. It is normal to feel tired after a long day, but you deserve to get up the next morning and feel like you can take on the day!
Katie Bressack specializes in healthy weight loss, prenatal nutrition, hormone balancing as well as stress reduction. With Katie’s support, the women she counsels lose weight, eat healthier, maintain a balanced mood, prepare their bodies for pregnancy, increase energy levels, and live a healthier and more vibrant life.
She has also supported businesses through corporate wellness programs for six years in New York City and Los Angeles, partnering with and her clients include companies such as Mattel, Digitas, Karl Storz, Publicis Modem and Vice Media amongst others. Katie previously worked in digital advertising and print journalism before pursuing a career in nutrition and wellness.
She lives in Los Angeles with her husband and dog Piper. When Katie is not health coaching, you can find her on her yoga mat, watching movies, walking on the beach, hiking and spending time with friends. You can learn more about Katie on her website and feel inspired to live a healthier life by following her on Instagram.