Day 83: Purposeful Unemployment

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It is officially my first weekday as an unemployed person. It is a holiday in my city, as it is hosting the state of the nation address. For me, it is another day to workout, and exercise I did. 

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I plan to take a break first to clear my mind. The circumstances surrounding my resignation revolved around factors beyond my control. It is important for me to regain my bearings. Of course I am not a hundred percent healed yet, as I had to question my fundamental principles and corporate ideals. Letting go of my job was not an easy process, as it also involved defying questionable practices which went against my basic values. In the end, I had to stand my ground and follow what I was taught to be correct. No one should be made to literally shell out money at work. No one should be asked to go against their health in the name of camaraderie. No one should work in a dissolving program. 

I had breakfast after my workout and I reflected on my previous job while having coffee. I know that there is a better place for me. I just have to make sure that I am not angry anymore when that happens. I am at my best when I am at peace. Give me a few days of fitness and books.

I will be okay.

Day 75: Determination

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I workout everyday because I have to. Having hypothyroidism has forced me to take a stand on fitness, and I chose to defy my condition the right way. I did not resort to crash diets or questionable pills. I decided that going slow but steady is key to developing good fitness habits that can support me throughout my life.  

My determination comes from a simple motivation to be the healthiest version of myself, for myself. That way, I can ensure that I am giving myself the best that I can be and I can pass it on to the ones I love. Indeed, self-love can sustain a girl with a chronic hormonal condition.  

If I can be determined to push myself, I am sure that you can do this too! 

Day 67: Consistency

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In an age where there are endless forms of distractions to derail me from being fit, I aim for consistency. It is a challenging journey, because it is also acceptable to just let go. But I am not giving in. Rather, I choose to go all out with my efforts. 

I start my day with my morning prayers. I go on with my workout even if I am so sleepy. I carry on even if my joints refuse to cooperate. I will them to obedience. I have been doing this since I refused to let hypothyroidism rule me. I have befriended coffee and promised myself to eat right for my condition. Eventually, my efforts have paid off.  

But I am not being complacent. I cannot afford that, as hypothyroidism is a chronic condition. I have to aim for consistency. 

This daily journey has to be a consistent one, and it is keeping me grounded. I hope that I will remain faithful to it, and may the fruits of my efforts inspire me to carry on each day. 

Day 63: Life Meaningfully Hacked

 "Whaaaaat? You have hypothyroidism? Aren't you supposed to be fat?" 

Lifehack #1: A microwaveable pillow helps my body temperature adjust to an airconditioned office after commuting. Hypothyroid patients are notorious for being sensitive to changing temperatures, so a heated pillow is a Godsend.

Lifehack #1: A microwaveable pillow helps my body temperature adjust to an airconditioned office after commuting. Hypothyroid patients are notorious for being sensitive to changing temperatures, so a heated pillow is a Godsend.

This is the usual reaction I get from people every time I tell them I have hypothyroidism. It is sad that in the Philippines, hypothyroid patients are popularly perceived to be predestined to be overweight. The condition is widely covered by mainstream media, and not many people talk about it online. The lack of awareness causes the condition to be shrouded in mystery and misinformation. 

Yes, hypothyroidism can cause the patient to be overweight. But I am not letting this happen to me. Just because I have this condition does not mean that I will let it define my weight, my mind, and my sense of being. To counter the tendency to be overweight, I workout everyday and watch my food portions. I also include as much exercise as I can in my day, such as walking to the MRT station, and taking the stairs instead of the elevator. Regarding the natural tendency for hypothyroid patients to be sluggish and drowsy, I fight the lack of energy by drinking coffee after each meal, taking walks, and really, willing myself to keep up with life. I cannot afford to drift away and lose myself in the tiredness, and I can tell you first-hand that this is not easy. The lack of energy can really make me feel sleepy even in the middle of meetings. But I try my best to psyche myself up so I will not snooze at every onset of drowsiness.

Lifehack #2: Taking a selfie before boarding the MRT strangely prevents me from dozing off during the trip. Yes, I have snoozed even in a SRO train!

Lifehack #2: Taking a selfie before boarding the MRT strangely prevents me from dozing off during the trip. Yes, I have snoozed even in a SRO train!

This is why I strongly believe that defying hypothyroidism is more willpower than anything else. Mindfulness is my secret weapon, and my thinking is that I should believe in my own ability to fight the symptoms of my condition. Every time I feel discouraged or moody, I workout. I read. I listen to music a lot while working. I go on a coffee run. These life hacks help me go through life, and just plain awake.

Source: Oxford Living Dictionaries

Source: Oxford Living Dictionaries

I once suggested to a teacher to share life hacks but I was told that systems work better because it is not wise to hack through life. I strongly disagree to this because as a hypothyroid patient, I have been working smarter to make it through each day, each week, each month, and each year. I have followed forums and groups online to know how to hack through each hour of my day, because trust me, having hypothyroidism is not a piece of cake. Systems are useful, but hacks are help me survive when I am battling drowsiness, hunger (because I am controlling my portions), and moodiness (yes, hormonal imbalance does this to you).

How can I even maximize systems without life hacks? They are efficient steps to productivity, and in purposeful living, getting things done is key. Here are some life hacks that help me everyday (see photo captions). I know that they are useful not just to hypothyroid patients like myself, but for everyone. 

Processes can work if there are efficient steps along the way. I have embraced these life hacks which I have discovered as I have lived each day because they keep me productive, awake, and thriving. If I am thriving, then I am really maximizing my time, resources, and creativity. And yes, life hacks help me live meaningfully and defy hypothyroidism.

What are your life hacks? How do you integrate them into your processes and systems? Let me know so we could exchange ideas!

 

Lifehack #3: Workout, workout, workout. Burn calories, release endorphins, and improve your mood!

Lifehack #3: Workout, workout, workout. Burn calories, release endorphins, and improve your mood!

This morning's selfie before the MRT started moving southbound. Yes to staying awake during the whole trip!

This morning's selfie before the MRT started moving southbound. Yes to staying awake during the whole trip!

A good breakfast is never complete without coffee. Lifehack #4: COFFEE HELPS!

A good breakfast is never complete without coffee. Lifehack #4: COFFEE HELPS!

Lifehack #5: Online classes, books, Tedtalks...Always look for opportunities to learn and grow. Feeding the mind is just as important as nourishing the body. 

Lifehack #5: Online classes, books, Tedtalks...Always look for opportunities to learn and grow. Feeding the mind is just as important as nourishing the body. 

Day 61: Fit and Fab with Hypothyroidism

Yes, that's six-year-old me on the framed photo. 

Yes, that's six-year-old me on the framed photo. 

Having hypothyroidism means that I am supposed to be fat and sluggish. Sure, that may be the norm when my thyroxine level is naturally insufficient. But I am determined to outsmart my condition by being fit, fab, and active!

I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism when I was thirteen and I did not choose the path of self-pity and loneliness. Rather, I have noticed that my mood and overall wellness improve when I am constantly exercising and mindfully choosing my activities everyday. I may not be able to engage in stressful jobs such as graveyard BPO roles and advertising agency life with round the clock deadlines, but I can still have a meaningful existence through fitness, proper dieting, positive thinking, and of course, a lot of faith.

Championing courageous wellness through mindfulness! 

Championing courageous wellness through mindfulness! 

These photos were taken this morning, and the framed photo shows a smiling six-year-old me. If I can give my childhood self some advice, I would tell her to be courageous enough to defy expectations and outsmart a chronic medical condition.

My life is wonderful even if I have hypothyroidism. I am sure my six-year-old self will be like, 'wow, fantastic!".

 

Day 58: There has to be a word

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1. There has to be a word for remembering to be thankful even when your day is not going so well. 

2. There has to be a word for sticking to one's diet even when you feel tired and entitled to a cheat meal

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3. There has to be a word for the oppression that you feel when commuting options are limited and traffic makes you late.

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4. There has to be a word for the anxiety that you feel when you are stuck in a bus that is not moving due to bumper-to-bumper traffic.

5. There has to be a word for the realization that you love your job enough to brave through roads and a clogged thoroughfare for it.

Day 57: Life After Diet Delivery

I am currently enjoying regular food after three years of diet delivery subscription. My drivers for this decision to eat normally but within diet portions are: 

1) Budget- Food subscriptions are expensive! Especially now that my salary has been downgraded since working in the academe.

2) Convenience- As my food provider grew its reach, their delivery times became erratic. I work in a company that has strict security, so it will not be easy for the rider to bring my food up to my office. 

3) Adaptability- I cannot be dependent on a food provider for life. After three years with them, it is time to let go. 

I am fortunate that our cafeteria has vegetables, the half cup of rice option, and fresh fruit shakes. It has been a fortnight and I am already eating healthful meals. I get to enjoy guilty pleasures such as shawarma rice and sausage muffins, but only if I eat vegetables and half rice for lunch. It is about compromise and balance.

I am addicted to kebab rice meals. 

I am addicted to kebab rice meals. 

 Vegetables with half rice from our cafeteria

 Vegetables with half rice from our cafeteria

Portion-controlled snack at a work event

Portion-controlled snack at a work event

Yummy way to begin the day

Yummy way to begin the day