February 28

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You need to Focus on You to Heal from Hashimoto’s

Putting yourself or your health first isn't selfish. I know it's a tough mindset to overcome. In this article, we'll discuss a few ways to do this without feeling selfish, but also why it's insanely important to Hashimoto's remission.

By Sunny Brigham, MS, CNS, LDN

February 28, 2022

minutes read time

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Most don’t know that you can put Hashimoto’s into remission. When people come across my blogs or my free Facebook group, they’re surprised that this is even possible. But it is! You can put Hashimoto’s into remission

You can’t cure Hashimoto’s because once you have it, you have it for life. But you can bring your antibodies down to a normal level and ditch all the symptoms. It’s 100% possible. But there’s a catch. 

You have to prioritize your health and yourself in order to make this happen. Reading and absorbing information isn’t prioritizing you. Taking action is. 

After reading this article, you’ll feel motivated to include self-care and stress management into your life because you’ll have learned why not including those is preventing your body from healing from Hashimoto’s. 

Change is Difficult 

In the past 5.5 years that I’ve been working with women with Hashimoto’s, I’ve come across a variety of women. I’ve worked with those that are super motivated and stick with everything we talk about. And, I’ve worked with women that love the idea of change but change is difficult for them. 

First and foremost, change is hard. Often, women blame themselves for not being able to stick with change. Sometimes it is. I’m just being honest here. And other times, it’s not their fault at all. 

Because change is hard. 

But making space for change is the key to being able to include new activities or new things in your life. Especially new things that are going to help your body heal from Hashimoto’s. There are 5 stages of behavior change when it comes to health:

  • pre-contemplation
  • contemplation
  • preparation
  • action
  • maintenance

I know these well because I used to assist in teaching a class on behavior change at Youngstown State University. 

Stages of Change for Hashimoto’s Remission

The first stage, pre-contemplation, is when people are aware they need to change but have made no steps to change their behavior or would rather not change. These are individuals that are acutely aware of their health or their health behaviors and aren’t bothered by them at all. They’re content where they are. 

A woman with Hashimoto’s and hypothyroid that takes her medication and eats exactly how she pleases would be someone in this stage. They’re not bothered by their health conditions at all. 

The next stage, contemplation, is when people are aware they need to change and are thinking about how they could do this. I have over 3,000 women inside my free Facebook group that are in this stage. Maybe this includes you! 

Those in the contemplation stage are conducting research or learning more about Hashimoto’s. They’re absorbing information. And perhaps they like the thought of change but something is holding them back. Often, it’s fear. Fear of not getting the results they want. Fear of the process and it being too difficult. Or fear of change. 

As you’re reading this, are you in this stage? If so, what’s holding you back from prioritizing you? Perhaps just sit with this for a minute and try to understand what prevents you from taking action and making changes. 

The third stage of change is preparation. This is someone that’s ready for change. They’re actively taking steps to prepare for the change. Maybe they’ve joined a group program or have an upcoming appointment with a nutritionist to guide them through the process of change. Or they’re seeking help from another functional medicine practitioner. But they have a plan to start changing within the next 30 days. 

The fourth is action. These are people that are in the process of changing. These would be women with Hashimoto’s that are in my group program. Or those that are working with me or another nutritionist in a  one-on-one setting. They’re working through the change process and adding new things into their lives to help their body heal from Hashimoto’s. 

The last stage, maintenance, is just how it sounds. It’s those that have reached remission and now they’re working on maintaining their results. 

Do you know what stage of change you’re in?

If you’re reading this blog, at the very minimum, you’re likely in the pre-contemplation phase. You’re learning and absorbing as much as you can to determine if you even want to make a change. You’re aware that nutrition can help heal Hashimoto’s. 

The most important thing that you can do to help heal your Hashimoto’s is to put yourself first. I know you’re thinking…but Sunny, I am!

I had this conversation with someone in my Facebook group a few weeks ago. Reading and absorbing information about how to heal isn’t the same as taking action to heal. Remember, you need to move into the preparation phase in order to take action. 

You’re probably also thinking, but Sunny…I have kids, a job, a house, bills, and a partner that I have to focus on. 

You probably do. And I totally understand that. But of all those people and things you’re focusing on, how many are returning that favor and allowing you to heal? Prioritizing you and your health doesn’t mean that you just toss caution to the wind and don’t take care of your responsibilities. 

It means you start doing things for yourself and asking for help from others. 

Here are some ways that you can prioritize your health and you each and every day:

  • Get to bed early enough so you can spend time reading or journaling, but most importantly, so you can get enough sleep each night
  • If you love reading, spend 10-15 minutes each day reading – have the kids grab a book and make it a family affair
  • When cooking for your food sensitivities, cook one meal for the family – if they don’t like what you cooked, now is a good time for them to learn how to cook a meal for themselves (unless they’re toddlers of course)
  • Take a 30-minute family walk each night after dinner
  • Invest in your health by joining a Hashimoto’s program or working with a nutritionist
  • Adding in 10-minutes of meditation each day
  • Work on reframing thoughts when you’re worrying – if you can’t fix it in that moment, there’s no need to spin your wheels over it
  • Give yourself permission to work on yourself

Self-care isn’t selfish. Self-care means that you love yourself and those around you enough to help heal your body so you have the energy and focus your family and others need. 

Putting It Altogether

If you’ve read any of my blogs previously, you know that small, sustainable changes are the way to go. Because, again, change is hard! But change is needed in order to reach remission.

What is one thing that you can start doing today to move you into the preparation stage of change in order to reach remission? Or even the action stage? And if you’re still in the contemplation stage, what can you do to start focusing on yourself?

Pick something from the list above. Or think of something that you can add in that will be sustainable. Sustainable means that you can easily fit it in your life and it’s not something that is going to fall to the wayside quickly. 

In the comments, let me know what self-care or stress management activities you’re going to include in your daily life in order to help your body heal. I’m looking forward to reading your responses!

  • This is a really good article because it’s something I’ve struggled with for SOOO long. I keep trying to put myself first and do the healthcare/self care things I know I should, but somehow, when push comes to shove, I just choose not to. Like I’m just so distracted by my life that I decide to put out today’s fires instead and take care of myself “tomorrow”.

    • You, me, and so many others. I recommend digging deep to understand why you do that. Is it fear of putting yourself first? Or maybe you’re valuing those other tasks over yourself? Or, is it that it’s easy to focus on other things outside of ourselves. For me, it’s fear of letting others down. I’m working on this.

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