I was always on the thinner side growing up and never struggled with my weight ..until the age of 20. I started to struggle with weight gain. I didn’t really think too much of it. I just figured I needed to start working out harder. I had started dating my husband and we were eating out a lot. Well I started pushing myself in the gym and paying a little more attention to my food hoping to get some results. Well the weight kept coming on. I went to the doctor for a physical check up for my scuba diving certification. She felt my thyroid and asked if I had ever had my thyroid checked? I said no.. why? She said it felt enlarged and recommended I get it checked. I did and was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s Disease, hypothroidism (underactive thyroid). It is an auto immune disease where the body attacks and destroys its own thyroid gland. Thyroid hormone regulates metabolism and the way body uses energy and affects almost every organ in the body. I realized this is serious business and time to get my health in order. It was time to make healthier choices, minimize the eating out and start pushing it in the gym. I had no idea I was struggling with this disease and was so glad that my doctor found it. Honestly, I didn’t realize it at the time, but I had symptoms: low energy, tired, weight gain, always cold. I didn’t put it all together… I wasn’t that in tune with my body and health, like I am now. I have had ultrasounds, biopsies etc. I take a pill everyday and get blood work done every year to keep my body healthy.
Also in 2012 I dealt with Melanoma. I haven’t really shared this with many people. My new goal is to start making people aware of Melanoma and the importance of using sunblock, AVOIDING tanning beds, and getting regular yearly checks with a dermatologist.
I was totally a sunbather and used no sunblock and tanned in tanning beds as a teenager and young adult. I am paying for it now. I am so lucky my melanoma was caught early. Please get regular check ups and see a doctor as soon as you notice a suspicious area on your skin. This disease is not just “skin cancer”. It is one of the most deadly cancers out there.
I found a suspicious spot on my back side. I ignored it for a few weeks and it went away. It came back later and was itchy and bleeding. I decided I better not ignore it anymore and immediately made a doctor appointment. I had it removed and biopsied. I was actually two weeks away from my second competition and found out it was early stages of Melanoma. I was terrified..no one ever wants to hear they have cancer..scary stuff. I didn’t much about it, but I did know it can metastasize. I immediately scheduled the removal of it right after my competition. I had it removed and all the borders were clear. I just figured I was safe now. Well this year I had a new spot appear on my chest and I just knew it was melanoma. I was totally stressing and freaking myself out. I made a doctor appointment and she said oh that is xyz and nothing to worry about, but I am concerned about this other spot. SO she removed it and biopsied it. IT is what is known as dysplastic nevi (not cancerous), but having these does make you more likely to have melanoma. This triggered me to get more educated and be more proactive. This “skin cancer” is no joke. My goal is to bring awareness, educate and encourage prevention to minimize the risks of developing skin cancer.
I don’t allow my health issues to hold me back or use them as excuses in life. They drive me to take even better care of my body and live a balanced healthy fit lifestyle. I want to educate others and make them aware of the importance of taking care of yourself starting when you are young to minimize illnesses and diseases.