• SumanJM

Losing Weight With HypoThyroidism and Slow Metabolism - My Story

It's human nature not to be satisfied with what we have. One of those things in life is our 'body' - the one thing we are stuck with from birth to death, the one completely irreplaceable thing.

My Body and Me

Just like the majority of the people out there, I have hated my body and appearance since I can remember. Well, I actually don't remember any instances of being ashamed of how I looked until late teens. It was only after I got into college that I realized that I was one of the ugly ones. But it is safe to say that since I started caring about my appearance, I have hated my body. Little did I know that those were the pretty days!

The Diagnosis - Late 2014

Things started getting really messed up when I was in my mid-twenties, and I started gaining weight rapidly. Shortly after, I was diagnosed with Hypothyroidism and Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome. I suddenly became this negative person who accepted those diseases to be my fate and spent my days hating myself, gaining more weight, trying and failing at several diet and workout regimens. I saw Endocrinologists and Gynaecologists frequently, only to realize later that people like me are nothing more than guinea pigs to doctors. They know we're not going to die, so they experiment with every medicine they can possibly think of. That seems to be a story for a whole other post. I was prescribed a lot of medications, but my health issues persisted. I even started experiencing edema in my entire body. I would go to the gym, go running but nothing worked, nothing helped, I kept gaining weight and being miserable.

Hitting Rock Bottom - 2015-2019

This went on for several years. My spouse being a fitness freak, tried motivating me many times. I would pick up a good habit and drop it quickly after seeing no results. Sometime in early 2016, I came across Nicole Arbour's Dear Fat People video on Youtube, and unlike popular opinion, that video gave me a positive nudge I needed. Still popping pills that unemphatic doctors prescribed me, I took on running- religiously. I ran almost everyday, anywhere between 5-8 Kilometers a day, some days even 10, but nothing would change. I would feel a little lighter one day, and the next day I would swell up like aunty Marge. It seems funny now, but I felt like killing myself. For a period of a few months, I even starved myself and lost a few kilograms, but that was not sustainable. I eventually gained it all back. Great things were happening in my life, but all were shadowed from me being as fat as I was. Adding to my misery, Cystic acne hit me hard in 2018, and I couldn't even look at or touch my face anymore.

Acceptance and Revelation

Earlier this year (2019), I was at 80 Kilograms - the heaviest I have ever been. At the peak of my self-loathing, I fell sick after a hectic few months of buying and settling into a new house. I knew something was wrong; I felt like if I didn't get help now or get myself treated, I would die. My feet were so swollen I could poke my finger at least 2 inches deep into my skin, I

Pedal edema due to autoimmune disorder and subsequent fluid retention
This is actually the good side of my edema, I unfortunately do not have pictures of the worst case scenario.

couldn't see my eyes in the mirror, and I could see my cheeks touching the rim of my glasses. After getting some blood work tested, I discovered severe vitamin deficiencies, elevated cholesterol levels, lousy Thyroid levels despite being on medication, and infections in my blood. Without getting into the medical nitty-gritty, a metabolic disorder was added to my medical folio. I sought the help of a professional nutritionist and trainer to help me out of the health ditch I had fallen into, but it didn't work out. The reason - I wanted to do it all, be at my job that I love, take care of my family and become a fitter person, but the world kept on convincing me I could only do one thing at a time.

The 90 Day Challenge

I decided to take things in my own hands and fix my life, do everything that I did before with full determination and in a sustainable manner. My first step was cutting down on sugar, junk food, and carbohydrates by 100%, and I did. Cutting down sugar was the easiest; I don't even want to go back to it anymore. I created a calorie deficit of 50% from the usual requirement and sustained it for 90 days. I ate from a limited food group with no trans fats, moderate protein, and only 25-50 grams of carbs each day. I switched from refined oil to mustard seed oil to cook my meals, took on intermittent fasting, and progressed with cutting out bad carbs like flour, potatoes, pressure cooked rice week-by-week. I threw out all the medicines other than my Thyroid hormone replacement. First fortnight was the hardest, I felt like giving up, eating comfort food, and howling into my pillow, but something inside kept me going. One month into the challenge, I started feeling better. I bought a weighing scale, and I was already down to 75 Kilograms. The dropping grams week by week kept me going, and at the end of 90 days, I was down to 71 Kilograms - progress that I had never made before.


I lost a total of 8-9 Kilograms, my skin cleared up, my hair felt better, and all my clothes fit better. The best part is that I realized that even when we think we aren't eating unhealthy, we actually are. I have a slow metabolism, so the process is slower for me than the average human being, but I am on the right track. Not being obese has had several positive impacts on my life. Unlike before, I don't have frequent headaches, I don't get acid reflux, I don't swell up that often, and I don't feel sad enough to hog on everything I see that is edible. I am 7 kilos away from my target BMI and I am sure I will achieve it gradually.

Changes - June 2019 - Sep 2019

Changes - June 2019 - Sep 2019

Why This Elaborated Personal Story

Many women suffer from autoimmune disorders. Just because people can't see it, they are quick to negate our pain and misery and think it's okay to be insensitive towards our bodies and appearance. I am here to tell you that if you have any of the problems I had, all you need to do is fix your food. Working out on top of it is a plus, but unless you adjust the bottom line, it's not going to work. Yes, I miss food. I wonder if I'll ever be able to eat my heart out again - but this is more important. It's not about being thin or pretty; it's come to be more about keeping the mind clear by cleansing the body. You don't need diet plans or expensive trainers, and you don't need medication, all you need is to be strict with yourself.

Tweet or message me your questions. I will answer with every tiny detail and if I can help even one person like myself out there I'll do it. Stay tuned, I will do a follow up story in another 90 days.