Since graduating from high school, I lost 50 pounds. In 2006, I gained 25 back thanks to Graves’ Disease, an overactive thyroid disorder. Now, you are asking yourself, don’t most people with an overactive thyroid LOSE a ton of weight? Yup, not me! But let me tell you, I had every other symptom in the book. As a pharmacist, I should have realized what the problem was, I was a textbook case. I was sweating, stripping down to a tank top on the subway on my way to work, in the middle of February. My heart was racing. After 12 minutes on the elliptical, I almost passed out. I’ll spare you the bathroom details. I thought I had an anxiety disorder and I was more irritable than I had ever remembered being. I just choked it up to having suffered a great loss during this time of my life. I went for my annual physical and when my doctor called me a few days later, PANIC set in. He said my lab work came back abnormally. Turns out my thyroid levels were DOUBLE what they should have been and he wanted me to see an endocrinologist immediately. Long story short, I had radioactive iodine treatment to kill my thyroid, waited for my levels to plummet and was finally put on thyroid medication. It took months to get my levels to normalize, which was the reason the doctor gave me for not being able to lose the weight I had gained.
Finally, in early 2010, with my levels finally happily balanced, I had found the courage and strength to deal with the weight again. I was finally ready to put it in the hard work necessary to get back to a healthy weight.
Enter running! I had always liked to run and it was always part of my exercise routine. I think I started running in college. Then, just before spring began in 2010, like turned into love! It was an unseasonably warm day in early March when I headed over to Central Park. I love Central Park just before spring begins. It’s still bare and quiet before all the fair weather runners head back over. I had honestly always been one of those fair weather runners, only running outside in perfect running weather.
Everything changed in 2010. I ran in heat, humidity, rain and then as the year continued cold, wind and snow. I realized that I loved it all. I remember the first day I felt like a “real runner.” It was summer and pouring rain. I really wanted to go for a run but, like I said, I had always been a fair weather runner. Well, I decided to just go and if I hated it I could always come home. I left my iPod at home so it didn’t get ruined in the rain and just ran, and ran, and ran. It was exhilarating. 7 quiet, Central Park miles later, soaked from the pouring rain, I felt amazing. I finally felt like a runner!