Today on the podcast we have Jordan Greenfield. She shares her story about going from hyperthyroidism (Graves' Disease) to hypothyroidism and her experience of losing weight and regaining it multiple times. She also talked about her “aha” moments and realizations after joining MACROS 101 that led her life to be more successful. So let's dive into Jordan’s story.
“Success doesn't just mean losing the weight, but losing the weight and keeping it off.”
Find show notes at bicepsafterbabies.com/215
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- Graves’ disease (4:04)
- When do you say that something worked for you (8:23)
- Just because someone tells you something doesn't make it true. You decide what’s true for you (12:40)
- Mindset shifts: Finding and celebrating wins, and gratitude (15:22, 19:19)
- Give time for yourself (18:24)
- Releasing the timeline (20:07, 20:26)
You're listening to Biceps After Babies Radio episode number 215.
Hello and welcome to Biceps After Babies Radio. A podcast for ladies who know that fitness is about so much more than pounds lost or PRs. It's about feeling confident in your skin and empowered in your life. I'm your host, Amber Brueseke, a registered nurse, personal trainer, wife, and mom of four. Each week, my guests and I will excite and motivate you to take action in your own personal fitness as we talk about nutrition, exercise mindset, personal development, and executing life with conscious intention. If your goal is to look, feel, and be strong and experience transformation from the inside out, you, my friend are in the right place. Thank you for tuning in, now let’s jump into today’s episode.
Amber B 0:47
Hey, hey, hey, welcome back to another episode of Biceps After Babies Radio. I'm your host, Amber Brueseke. And I'm so excited to be able to have another amazing, amazing woman on today to share her story. Today on the podcast, we have Jordan and she is going to share a story about going from hyperthyroidism, Graves' disease to hypothyroidism and her experience of yo-yo dieting, of losing weight and regaining it multiple, multiple times. And why after joining MACROS 101, she's sure that this time is going to be different. What she's focusing on now, this time around, that is different from things that she's focused on in the past. And I think the secret that we land on at the end of this episode is worth listening to the episode to hear because we land on something that you may not have ever thought about that is something that can make all the difference in your journey, in being able to not only lose the weight but keep it off. And we make that point early on in the episode, that success doesn't just mean losing the weight, but losing the weight and keeping it off. And that's what Jordan is focusing on now in this part of her journey. So I'm so excited for you to listen to this episode. Let's dive in and hear Jordan's story.
Amber B 2:13
All right, I am so excited to welcome Jordan to the podcast. Jordan, how are you doing today?
Hi, Amber! I'm excited to be here but nervous.
Amber B 2:22
That's okay. We can do it, we can deal with nervous, this is going to be a really good conversation. And I'm just really honored that you're willing to share this because, you know, one of the things that I love about the “I Did It” Series is bringing on women who have had different experiences, because we all know that, like our uniqueness plays a role in our journey. And you know, I don't have hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism. And so being able to bring someone on who has that experience who can speak to that life experience is so valuable for other women who are listening. So thank you for being here and being willing to share your story. So let's start a little bit with just getting to know you and a little bit about you and your story.
Sure. I am a wife and a mom to one. I will be 33 next month. And I have dealt with thyroid issues since I was about 13 years old, so for 20 years of my life. I was in eighth grade when it all started. I was struggling to stay awake at school, at home. On the weekends, I was just exhausted and having a hard time even waking up. It took a little while for them to figure out what was going on. Everybody was positive. I had mono, but I didn't. So it took a while to figure that out. They figured out it was Graves' disease. And because I was under 18 and I live in the small state of Vermont. No one would treat me here.
Amber B 3:50
Yeah, I had to travel to Dartmouth Hospital, which was about an hour and a half away, one way. So lots of road trips with my mom.
Amber B 4:00
Will you explain what Graves' disease for anybody who's not familiar with that?
Sure. It is hyperthyroidism. So my thyroid was very overactive. It was telling my body I was working a lot harder than I was. I was just exhausted because I thought I was doing all this work that I wasn't. I was losing a ton of weight, which was really cool for me because I had always been a chubby kid and couldn't lose weight. So I was like not complaining, this is cool.
Amber B 4:32
But you felt super tired.
Yeah, I was just exhausted, super exhausted. I wasn't making it through full days at school and nobody really knew what was going on since everyone was positive that it was mono but it wasn't.
Amber B 4:45
So once you got this diagnosis and you went for treatment, what happened next?
We decided to do the radioactive iodine treatment. So basically it killed off my thyroid, got rid of it. So I went from overactive to underactive.
Amber B 5:01
Is that common? Is that like, are you just swapping? Is that ideal to get to just to take enough of the thyroid to get to, like the middle of the road? Or is that just very common for you to go from having hyper when you do the radioactive iodine to then most of the time it goes to hypo?
That was my understanding was that there's no way to like, half kill it or reduce it over activeness. Sort of one extreme to the other and yeah, supplement with Synthroid or whatever for the rest of your life.
Amber B 5:34
Right. So the thing with like, hypothyroidism is that we have a medication for it, right, you can take a medication to supplement for that thyroid issue. Okay, interesting. Okay, keep going.
So I got the radioactive iodine, they came in into this like concrete cylinder thing, and they like unscrewed it. And we're still careful not to touch the pill that comes out and they give it to you in a cup, and you take that and then you're just go on your way. It took a few weeks, and I was on summer vacation at that point at my aunt's house. And I remember waking up in my neck hurts so bad, and it was so red and just tender to the touch. And it was like, Oh, my God, what's happening? It's been, you know, months or weeks at this point, what's going on, and it was just a side effect of the treatment. Then it took a while to find my dosage because I was coming from nothing. Most people, for my understanding, are just hypo and they have a slightly underactive, not none. So going from nothing trying to find that happy medium was pretty hard.
So then high school started. And all of a sudden, I could no longer just eat whatever I wanted and lose weight. I was packing on the pounds and I didn't understand what was happening. And it's high school. Everybody's skinny and it's all about body image and weight, and I was freaking out. So I started some bad habits. I started to eat less than less, which eventually turned into starving myself all day until dinner. When I had dinner at home with my parents, because I didn't want them to know, I was essentially starving myself to stay at my weight. I kept it up through high school. And then college was just this food free for all. And then alcohol comes into it. And next thing I knew I was up 50 pounds after four years of college. And I was just like, What am I doing now? I'm the biggest I've ever been in my life. So I found Medifast and dropped 30 pounds in a summer and I was just, this is fantastic. It wasn't even hard. This is great. And then I was like, I'm getting hungry. And I'm kind of sick of powdered foods. So now what and then I gained it all back. And that cycle continued from I was like, 21, or 22 years old to probably 25. I did Medifast a few more times because it worked. Except I didn't realize it wasn't sustainable. It wasn't, in my mind, it was just like the quick fix. That was how the cycle started.
Amber B 8:23
Yeah. And I think that's really common to go back to that and say, Well, I'm going back to this because it worked. When reality when you look at that definition of like, did it really work? Or did it just get you to get a goal weight? But my definition of worked would be a little bit more expanded and be like, I hit the goal weight, and I can stay there. And in that new definition of work, it didn't actually work. It got you part of the way to the goal, but not all the way to the goal. And I think that can be a really helpful way for if you find yourself in that same pattern of like going back to the same thing over and over because it worked in the past, asking yourself that question. Did it really work? Because if it worked, why am I like, why do I need to go back to it if it actually did work?
Exactly. It took me almost eight years. After a few rounds of Medifast, I switched to Weight Watchers thinking this is better because at least it's not powdered foods. It's real food. Then, the most recent time I did it was postpartum. And I dropped the weight and then I started to eat again. I gained it all back and I sat down with my husband and I'm like, What am I doing wrong? And then we finally just talked it through and we're like it's not sustainable. I can eat so low calories and survive and be happy and just live.
Amber B 9:46
Yeah. And what happened when you had that realization?
We started looking for other options during our research and what's out there and what can I actually do that's not a diet like a lifestyle. This has to be my whole life, this isn't a quick fix, this is going to be even if I reach a weight I want to be at I have to maintain it for life. So this is an ongoing thing forever. There's no end date.
Amber B 10:14
Yeah. So one of the things that you told me ahead of time was that you know, before coming into MACROS 101 that you had worked with a nutritionist and a health coach and they had told you something about your body. So will you share that with everybody? And what kind of came of that experience?
So I started working with a nutritionist, and it was all very, like clean, whole foods, no processed, cutting out gluten and sugar and everything inflammatory that like that's the new thing right now is everything's inflammatory. So, and according to her thyroid people shouldn't have dairy. And so I'm cutting out all these food groups. And I like ice cream. This isn't fun. But I did it. I did. I stuck with it. And it was hard. And I got to the end, and I was up like 15 pounds. And her whole thing was like, It's not about weight loss but if you have weight to lose, you'll lose it. Like, alright, I'm here for the ride. So let's try it. I was so frustrated. And then when we talked about it, she was like, well, your body just doesn't want to lose weight right now. Really?
Amber B 11:21
What did you think when she said that?
I felt pretty defeated. I had done everything right. You know, I was following the rules she gave me and I was heavy. I had lost the postpartum weight. But I had gained it back. And now I'm up another 15 pounds, and I'm almost to the weight of being nine months pregnant. So I was like, Really? My body doesn't want to lose this weight? That's sad. I feel sad for myself.
Amber B 11:49
Yeah. And so then, you know, at that point, you have like two choices, right? You have the choice to like believe that and accept it and, you know, go on your way or you have the the opportunity to say, Hmm, okay, she said, that doesn't necessarily make it true. So what happened to you from that experience? Did you internalize that you take it on or did you say, we're gonna try something else?
For a short time I did, and I did believe it. I was like, Fine, I'm gonna buy bigger pants, then I'm just sick of this. So I bought bigger pants, and I just started eating whatever I wanted. Like, while my weight is not gonna change I might as well do what I want. And then I needed to buy another size up and pants. And I was like, whoa, wait a minute. Just because she thinks that doesn't make it true.
Amber B 12:37
Did you hear that everybody? Say it again. Say it again, Jordan.
Just because someone tells you something doesn't make it true. And I have lost 30 pounds at least four times in my adult life. I can lose weight. My body knows how to lose weight. I just didn't have the right person helping me, the right tools, the right knowledge, and the right mindset. I wasn't in the right place.
Amber B 13:01
So talk to us a little bit about what made you, like how did you find me? What made you come into MACROS 101? And what has that experience been like for you?
Someone I follow on Instagram, tags you in a lot of her stuff. And she's someone I have been following for about a year and a half, maybe two years, and I really trust her. She keeps it really honest and true and I like that. So I found you, and I started following you. And I was liking your content a lot and then found the podcast and listened to a few of those. And then I found out about MACROS 101. And then I just got on your waitlist and counted down the days for the doors to open because I was just like, so ready to make this change.
Amber B 13:44
Yeah. And so then what happened? Like what was different as you came into the program that maybe was different from the prior experiences that you had in losing weight?
One of the things you said right off the bat was to remain coachable. So I was like, Forget everything I've ever been told. I have ever read, I have nothing. I'm coming in cup empty. Amber, fill it up.
Amber B 14:11
Fill it up.
I'm here for it. So I was just open. I didn't have this preconceived anything. I'm just I'm here for it. So-
Amber B 14:21
And what were some of those things that because you came with an empty cup that you were able to hear and let in and walk away with?
One of the biggest things first day was you said something, it was about the scale. And I have a really hard time with this getting on the scale. And you were like so what it's up six pounds? You didn't gain six pounds of fat overnight. Like yeah, I know that. I know that but I've never thought about it. So I was like, wow. And then from there, it was just like everything you said it was just like yeah, I know that. I know that but I've never thought about it that way and It's been so eye-opening.
Amber B 15:01
It's awesome. So you mentioned that, you know, one of the things that impressed improved for you is your mindset and how you think about this process. What specific shifts in your mindset have you seen?
I have not been going straight to the negative I have. You talked about finding your wins. I start out every day trying to find something, it's like, you know, people who do the gratitude, journaling and finding. So I tried to find wins right off in my day, and I carry that through, if I am having a bad day, or I'm really hungry, or, you know, the scale was up, and I'm trying to work through that. I let myself be sad, mad, whatever for a minute. And then I'm like, okay, but what's the win? What am I learning from this or how can I shift that?
Amber B 15:57
I love that you said that. It's always funny to me that when we have lessons, I feel like the like life tries to give it to us in like two or three different ways. And you just said something that I have just been thinking about just this morning. I was on a call yesterday with clients and we were talking about the personality of a lot of people who are very hard on themselves. And I think a lot of people listening can identify with Yeah, I'm super hard on myself. And we talked about, you know, identifying and being intentional about finding wins. And I had a client who was saying that, you know, when she was growing up, somebody had told her in her household, it was very frowned upon to say, share wins or to toot your own horn, or to say anything good about yourself, it was very frowned upon in her household. And so I was working with her to help her like, Okay, so the belief that you're coming with is tooting your own horn is a bad thing, right? It's a negative thing, we shouldn't do it. So we're wanting to shift that into, like tooting your horn is is what? And what could that be? And what kept coming up for her as I was working with her, was that tooting your own horn, that's what I people laugh about. But that's what I call it tooting your own horn is a form of gratitude. It's a form of saying thank you for the things that I have. And I think when we can re-characterize celebrating ourselves, celebration of what we've accomplished, finding wins, saying good job to ourselves, when we realize that that is a form of gratitude, just like you said, it's like some people do a gratitude journal. I look for wins, I would say that those are kind of the same thing. It's like you are feeling grateful and having gratitude for the wins that you are having. And all of us want to be grateful. I think most people are not walking around saying I really want to be ungrateful. We want to be grateful and part of being grateful is looking for and celebrating the things that are going right in your life and in in in your journey. And that's what celebrating wins is. So it was just kind of like, this has been something that's been percolating in my mind the last like 24 hours. And then you said that and I was like, dang, apparently, this is something that I need to like really incorporate because that's the like, third time it's been brought up in the last 24 hours. So I think it's so poignant that you identify that as a huge shift that's allowed you to get to where, where you're at. So speaking of where you're at, what would you say are some of the results that you have been able to create over the last little while in your life?
Prioritizing me, you said, you know, if you can carve out 20 minutes a day, I can help you. And at first, it was daunting, with a two-and-a-half-year-old and house full of chores, constantly needing to be done. But like, I can do 20 minutes, and now I find myself. No, he takes a nap. I'm spending my whole hour of his nap, listening to podcasts, listening to modules, doing the work, journaling, and working through my workbook. I just I'm always looking like what can I do with macros today? So carving out time for myself has been awesome, I guess, back, you know, back to saying the gratitude thing. It's sort of changed my whole day, just by starting with wins. So every day has been I don't even know how to describe it. It's just It starts off your day and you're feeling grateful and you're feeling motivated and empowered and ready to hit your goals. I don't know.
Amber B 19:19
Yeah. And when you and when you come from that perspective, like you said, it shifts the rest of the day. And so it's like, I mean, people do like morning routine. There's reasons people do morning routines is because it like sets you up for your day. And what I'm hearing you say is like you spending time celebrating your wins, acknowledging the things that are going right sets you up for to have a better day to, you know, excel more in the things that you are doing. And I think that's amazing. One of the hard things that you had previously was being able to hit and then maintain the weight. What are you doing differently this time around or what has been different about this process that is going to help you to not only hit but actually have a long-term maintenance of the goals you have?
One of them is removing that timeline, no end date. In my mind, I don't even have an end goal weight. I don't know, I don't know what that goal weights going to be, I have an idea of what I would like it to be, but I'm not set in stone. I'm really open to work, this is going to be a work in progress forever. So I'm just-
Amber B 20:26
Releasing the timeline. I love releasing the timeline. It's such a good tip for people who are listening. And I think it does make such a difference in being able to maintain. It's like when you're in a hurry to get there, you're not focusing on maintaining, you're just focusing on getting there. And that's short-sighted. When you really can release that timeline, you can do it in a way that allows you not only to hit but to maintain long term.
And sometimes having that end goal or end date. It's like once I hit that, then I can free for all that. That I can eat back to the cookies, back to the chips. So I'm trying to release that and figure out how to get those into my day now. Still having dessert every night. So I'm losing weight, losing inches, and I'm feeling great. And I feel stronger than I've ever felt in my life. So it's like how to make it work now, just kind of a day at a time.
Amber B 21:19
And yeah, I think about it like an analogy that came to mind, as you were saying that was like the difference between if you think that you're running a 400-meter sprint, you're gonna go at a very different pace than if you know that this is a marathon. And what I'm hearing you say is that in the past, maybe you would have viewed it as like a 400-meter sprint, and then once I finished that sprint, then I can slow down and walk, you know, and that causes that binge and like that rebounding, that tends to happen. And what I'm hearing you say is that you are shifting to more of viewing this as a marathon and the pace needs to be a little bit different. Because this is not just for 400 meters, it's not just for the next three months, this is like a lifestyle. It's how you're going to live the rest of your life. And so that needs to be a different pace than maybe an all-out sprint or all-out restriction or all out like gung ho. And t that's a big shift in how you're viewing this and why it's going to be a lot more successful this time around. Good job. All right, so any last and final words, especially for somebody who maybe is struggling with hypothyroidism and some of the beliefs that are associated with hypothyroidism and how it impacts your journey. Any tips or advice that you have?
I guess, specifically, someone telling me I'm not ready to lose weight, just in general. Just because someone tells you something doesn't make it true. You decide what's true for you. You're the boss. So, you know, I've constantly heard my whole life, you know, you have a thyroid problem that's why you're overweight, or that's why you're tired or so it's been easy for me to fall into that victim role of like, well, I do have a thyroid problem. So I do need a nap and I need that extra candy bar because… So just because somebody says that doesn't make it true.
Amber B 23:15
It's good. Super good. Well, thank you for coming on. Thank you for sharing your story. And for sharing all of your wisdom with my audience. I super appreciate you.
Thank you. Thanks for having me.
Amber B 23:30
I hope you learned a lot from that episode. I think some of the most salient points that Jordan brought up work that of how important celebration has been in her journey in looking for and celebrating the wins. And then the second thing is removing the timeline. I thought it was such a great point that she talked about of removing that timeline of what it needs to look like for success and really just settling into it. Settling into the journey, settling in for the ride and not being anxious or worried about how fast it may or may not happen. So such a great episode. Thanks for being here with another of our Friday “I Did It” Series. I'm Amber, now go out and be strong because remember my friend you can do anything.
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