Hashimoto's disease plays into the realm of fitness in terms of weight loss and weight gain, because the thyroid hormone is intricately involved with metabolism. And for many women with Hashimoto's, they're left with a feeling of not being able to control their weight, which can leave them anxious or doubtful about their own successes. So I wanted to bring someone on the podcast who could give a perspective as somebody who has been diagnosed with Hashimoto's and is still able to focus on her fitness. So let's hear Karenin's story.
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You're listening to Biceps after Babies radio episode number 93.
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, online fitness coach, wife, and mom of four. 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 0:48
Hey, Hey, Hey, welcome back to another episode of Biceps After Babies radio. I'm your host Amber Brueseke. And today we are going to have a conversation around Hashimoto’s. So, if you don't know what Hashimoto's is we talked about a little bit in the episode, but it is an auto-immune disorder where your immune system ends up attacking your thyroid and because of that, it can cause issues and hypothyroidism, which is low thyroid, which can have a cascading effect on the rest of your body. And we talked about in the episode, but hypothyroidism is a very general broad term that just means low thyroid and Hashimoto's is a specific auto-immune cause of that hypothyroidism, and it's something that I get questions about a lot. It is somewhat of a common issue or a common diagnosis. And it often plays into people's perception of what they are capable of because of this diagnosis and it starts to really bring into coming into the realm of fitness in terms of weight loss and weight gain because the thyroid hormone is so intricately involved with metabolism. You can see when there are issues with the thyroid hormone either too much or too little, it can have an impact on your metabolism which in turn has an impact on weight loss and weight gain. And so what comes up for a lot of women is when they are diagnosed with Hashimoto's that it starts to bring into question. You know, can I lose weight? Can I am I ever gonna be able to get this weight off? Weight, unexplained weight gain can be an early sign and symptom of Hashimoto's and so whenever we start to talk about weight, and we are starting to talk about weight gain and fat gain, there is inherent anxiety that comes with that and for a lot of women with Hashimoto's that weight gain and that feeling of not being able to control it leaves them a little bit anxious about it and so the conversation that I think is really important to be had and obviously, that conversation isn't had best with me because it's not something that I experienced and or have been diagnosed with. And so I wanted to bring someone on the podcast who could give a perspective as both somebody in you know, fitness realm who is focusing on fitness and active and doing things like weightlifting and also has been diagnosed with Hashimoto's so that she could share her story, her experience and you know maybe how she's been able to try you know go through this process of getting diagnosed with Hashimoto's and still is focusing on her fitness and what she's seen with her body.
Amber B 3:22
And my hope is that by listening to this episode, one that you will have a better understanding of what Hashimoto's chances are, there's somebody in your life that you know that has Hashimoto's thyroiditis and that will help you to understand it. And two that, if you yourself, as you know, suffer from or have been diagnosed with Hashimoto's knows that you'll be able to find yourself in Karenin and you'll be able to find yourself in her story, and hopefully find motivation and inspiration from what she shares and what she's been able to do with her life and how she's viewing this diagnosis and the in the future that's been created for her. She was diagnosed right before we went into quarantine with COVID. And so, you know, it's kind of been a tumultuous time for her. She's going into quarantine, like all of us, not being able to go to the gym, having this weight gain, having this new diagnosis, being told that she should go off gluten and dairy. And so she kind of elaborates and shares this experience that she's had over the last couple of months as she's had this new diagnosis and, you know, starting to figure things out with her body.
Amber B 4:32
So I'm really excited that Karenin was willing to come on the podcast and share this with you and that even if you don't have Hashimoto's, or that's not something that you struggle with, that you'll be able to find value in what she shares because we talk about Hashimoto's but the things that we approach in the questions that I asked can be applied on such a broader context that's not just about Hashimoto's but it can be applied to somebody who is is going through a fitness journey and struggling with any condition or thing that makes weight loss, maybe a little bit trickier, a little bit harder. So without further ado, let's jump into that episode with Karenin Robison.
Amber B 5:13
Hey, I would like to welcome Karenin to the podcast. How are you doing girl?
Yeah, how are you?
Amber B 5:18
I'm doing excellent. And I'm really excited about our conversation that we're gonna have today. Because I think it's a really important topic. And it's one I get questions a lot about, and I don't have personal experience with it. So I don't feel like I'm the person that can, you know, answer a lot of these questions really well. And that's why I brought Karenin onto the podcast so she can share some of her experiences with Hashimoto's and how she's been able to pair that with her fit lifestyle and her activities and be able to, you know, succeed and flourish and be amazing in her own right. So I'm so grateful that you're willing to come on and share with my audience.
Yeah, thanks for having me.
Amber B 5:55
Alright. Yes, absolutely. So, first of all, can you just do a little introduction of yourself. So if someone hasn't ever met you, a little bit about you, know what you do and maybe what got you into fitness?
Yeah. Okay, so um, I am originally from Honduras. I was born and raised there. And then I moved to the US, Utah when I was 14. I got married when I was 18. I just started having babies. I have three, my oldest is 14. I have a 12-year-old boy and an almost nine-year-old girl. And my husband and I own different businesses. So we've always worked from home. I guess my main one is the fitness apparel line that we do. And what got me into fitness was we've always been pretty active, but I'm not for my pregnancies. And then I guess I started weight training after I had my last daughter because I was struggling with postpartum depression, so that's what got me into fitness like every day. Really?
Amber B 7:11
Yeah. So it was kind of like training with that postpartum depression almost like a little bit of therapy.
Uh huh. Yep.
Amber B 7:18
Yeah. And so where did you start with it? Did you start?
Oh, I first started running. I remember one time I legit wanted to run away from home. I ran 10 miles and I had no idea that I had run that long.
Amber B 7:24
I turned around and I remember like, running back to feeling like the strongest person in the world. And I was like, I can do hard things. Like, I'm amazing. So I'm like, I'm gonna train for a race, you know? So I started training for marathons. And then I kind of like, got tired of that, and then started training for century rides. Then after that, I started CrossFit. And then I went into pilates and bodybuilding. And I like to say like, I'm like a master of none, but I'll do it all and I still do. Some days I wake up and I feel like bodybuilding. Some days I do more tactical, some days I do boxing, some days I ride bikes, I still run a lot. So I guess I just kind of do whatever my body wants that day.
Amber B 8:30
I had no idea that you had done so many, such a wide variety of exercises. I kind of feel the same way, like I've done bodybuilding, and I've done powerlifting, and I've done group fitness and I've done CrossFit and I ran a marathon and yeah, I kind of feel when you say like, jack of all trades, master of none.
Yeah, the one I haven't done swimming and I really don't do it for as long but I can't swim.
Amber B 8:52
Oh, yeah. Like can't swim, can't swim or like can't swim like you know
I doggy paddle.
Amber B 8:57
Yeah, okay. You're just like keeping your head above water
I'm trying not to drown basically.
Amber B 9:03
Yeah. Oh, that's funny. Yeah, my sister does triathlons and I've kind of half thought about doing it, but I don't like biking, and I don't like swimming. I don't really love running. And so I'm like, why do I try a triathlon, it's not like that I enjoy.
Amber B 9:17
So that's awesome. Um, so you came to the United States when you were 14? Did you speak English at the time? Or was that like that cause you had an experience for you as well?
Kind of, so I always went to like a bilingual school. So
Amber B 9:29
kind of like dual immersion here. You know, my kids go out and do immersion school. So enough to like, know, hello, how are you? I want water, this kind of food or what not. But um, I thought I spoke really good English until I came here. And I was like, Oh my gosh, I understand nothing.
Amber B 9:46
But then it's crazy how your brain just like within a month and a half. Like it was like a light switch that just got turned on. And I was like, Oh, I can speak two languages. And I was dreaming in English and it was like, so surreal for me to like, be like, holy cow. My brain is amazing. Like I can speak two languages you know?
Amber B 10:07
That's so amazing. Yeah, that's awesome. I wish I could speak two languages man. I really respect people who can speak both languages and go back and forth and make their kids speak Spanish she said they were going to a dual immersion school.
They go to dual immersion school and they're pretty good my oldest this um, I would say like 85% fluent.
Amber B 10:29
That's so cool. So Awesome. Cool.
That's really cool.
Amber B 10:32
That is so cool. So um, in your fitness journey or in your journey at some point I'm gonna you know spoil the give a spoiler like you were diagnosed with Hashimoto's. Okay. But take us back before that, like what led up to that experience? What were some of the symptoms that you experienced leading up to getting that diagnosis and when was that diagnosis for you?
So, um, I got officially diagnosed in February 2020. Like literally a week before COVID-19.
Amber B 11:03
Oh my gosh,
I feel like this is the longest story because I started feeling symptoms of it seven years ago.
Amber B 11:11
So the real truth is so I, let's see, I had my daughter or I was pregnant with my first, 2005. And my dad got diagnosed with an autoimmune disorder. It's called myasthenia gravis.
Amber B 11:27
And then most of my family members on his side of the family have some sort of autoimmune disorder. And then most of my siblings do too, actually. And I just figured I'd dodged the bullet. Like, I was like, my mom, and I was just super healthy. But um, and everything looked fine, except for I had really really hard pregnancies. And the other thing that was kind of off is that my hormones were really weird like my testosterone was super high. So I could go into all these like doctors to figure out like, why are more hormone levels like so? wack you know we did even like a scan of like my pituitary gland to blind to see if I had some sort of like tumor growing because my hormones were just they couldn't explain why. So they thought maybe PCOS, but then they saw my blood sugar levels and they look fine. So I just went from like a doctor to doctor to doctor trying to figure out why things were off and nobody could tell me really why then I think it was 2017 I went in because I was having crazy rashes and just my joints were hurting every time I was squatting or doing anything really. And I got diagnosed with mono. And they just said go home, go to sleep. There's nothing we can do for you, you know? And so I did that, that was fine and then I started feeling a little better but then last year, I started seeing really weird symptoms like my cycles were off. And I gained 10 pounds. Like, out of nowhere, I wasn't changing the way I was eating or the way I was training. I got really, really bad anxiety and depression, which I feel like after trauma like that's kind of normal. It's been kind of normal for me since um, you know, some crazy things have happened in the last 10 years. But, you know, I've done so much self-work where I figured I know like, how to get my mental state out of this like I have the tools to do this. I practice this. I do meditation. If you know, like this, I remember telling my husband like this is beyond mental. This is physiological I feel. And I was sleeping like 10 hours at night. I would go to the gym and there's nothing more that I love besides food and my family, then waking up and like, just sweating. Like, I love it so much. I wake up to workout. And I didn't have the desire to do that, like everything I loved. I didn't want to do, I didn't want to hang out with friends like I didn't want to do anything. And then I would kind of do like, just an okay workout and come home and sleep till my kids would come home from school. And it was just this constant like, sleep like can't get like, feel rejuvenated. Like I was just tired non-stop. And my hair was falling out. My skin was like changing texture. Just like all these weird things that I was like, Okay, I haven't checked my hormones in like two years. Maybe I should go back. But I'm like, Who do I go to? Like? I've been to like every doctor like I'm, they don't know what's wrong with me, you know? And I had tried like testosterone shots and like, try this and try that and nothing really was like making me feel better. So I just kind of like stopped doing everything all at once.
Until I found this doctor and I just asked her to do like a full-blown panel of like, autoimmune disorder. Like testing, you know my thyroid like it not just like your T2, T3, T4 but like, I mean the most extensive thing you know, and I said well she can't give me answers like I don't know I guess this is how you live but like, I felt like I have gone from the best shape of my life in 2018 to like, feeling like I was 80 and I remember just crying to my husband and saying like, this is like not possible that I feel this horrible just in two years. You know, like work has my fitness, like my fitness level has gone down just like everything just felt so out of control. So I went and she sat down with me after all the blood panels and went through like you know, all my like deficiency, there was like vitamin D deficiencies. Like she started seeing all the things that pile up to the symptoms of Hashimoto's. But the main thing that um, marks Hashimoto's is your TPA levels are extremely elevated, which TPA is inflammation in your body and your white blood cell count drops really, really low. So that's the main markers of Hashimoto's. So I guess a regular person has around 40 to 60 of inflammation that's normal and I think mine was almost 2000. Um, and so she sent me straight to go do an ultrasound of my thyroid because a lot of people have like, they call it a goiter like an enlarged you know, thyroid so your neck looks kind of fat and big, swollen. And then some people actually have nodules too, um, which I was praying that I did not have that but so I didn't have nodules, but I did have, I have an inflamed thyroid, but you know, we can deal with that. So yeah, that's how I got my diagnosis.
Amber B 17:11
Yeah. And so what was your initial reaction? Like, what were some of the things going through your head as you sat down with that doctor and got that diagnosis?
So, I honestly wasn't surprised, just because of family history. And I think I just had a hunch that I had this that I had been living with this for a while. And to me, like a diagnosis is not who you are, you know, like, this is something that my body has to deal with, but it doesn't like limit me, you know, so I just thought, Okay, well, now that we know what it is like, how do we fix it? You know, or how do we live with this a more like, sustainable, like happy lifestyle, you know?
Amber B 17:58
Absolutely. Yeah. And for somebody who's listening who is like, I've heard of Hashimoto's, but I don't really know anything about it. What are like some of the basics about Hashimoto's that you would tell somebody who's just learning about it.
So Hashimoto's is basically your immune system attacking the wall of your thyroid. So it basically thinks that it needs to kill whatever's attacking your thyroid, and it's, there's two so you can either under produce or overproduce
Amber B 18:35
thyroid and your thyroid regulates your hormones, your cortisol levels, your adrenal glands. So that's why there's like this weight gain and I mean, hormones, like regulate your, your mood, you know, kind of like your personality really like your sleep and your cycles. Um, so yeah, does that answer your question?
Amber B 18:59
Yeah. Yeah, I think so, and for those who are listening and you know are just kind of learning about this for the first time, you know, hypo and hypothyroidism is a very broad general category. So like you were saying like you can be hypothyroidism which means you have low thyroid and you can be hyperthyroidism, which means you have high thyroid, and you can see how those would be different issues with Hashimoto's. So Hashimoto's is this unique type of hypothyroidism where the immune system attacks the thyroid, and so it causes hypothyroidism but the mechanism of which the hypothyroid is why it's low is because the body is attacking it. And so you can be hypothyroid without having Hashimoto's. But Hashimoto's is a common type of hypothyroidism.
Right. Yeah. Hashimoto's is um, like, it's what ties that autoimmune disorder right? to it.
Amber B 19:53
Oh, okay. A little more complicated.
Amber B 19:56
The other two
Amber B 19:59
Yeah. And I'm curious. So you know, you got the diagnosis, you know, sounds like you, you handled it pretty well. It wasn't a doom and gloom moment, maybe some like, you know, a little bit of relief of just finally having, I think once you finally have a term for it, right, you have like a diagnosis, there's some relief in that and now it can be like, okay, you're like I am, you're like, Okay, now what do I do? How do I
Okay! How do we tame this?
Amber B 20:25
Yeah, like, let's do it now. So, um, so then what were the next steps? What were some of the next steps for you, from your doctor and from a, you know, fitness and health perspective?
So, my doctor was awesome. Like, as I said, she went through like, the whole blood panel with me like one thing at a time, took like two hours to go through everything. And then she said, Okay, these are the supplements that are going to like help with this deficiency. And this is a supplement that will help with, you know, like, kind of like putting a bubble wrap around your thyroid, so you know, it's kind of like protected a bit more and then this is the medicine that will use you know, for to help you balance your hormones and then she gave me thyroid medication as well. So a lot of supplements actually. And then I'm only taking one-third medication, which is called levothyroxine. And then two compound creams that I use that are estrogen and progesterone, which levels out my crazy testosterone. And so but then everything else is just done. And yeah, just supplements and then she said, you should go off gluten. Gluten contributes to inflammation in your body. So you know, she's like, you don't have to go cold turkey like issues being so kind but I was like, No, you know what I do if it's not good for my body, and it's almost like if somebody has celiacs, right? Like when they have it there, it attacks their stomach lining their gut lining. And so that's why they're sick. So for somebody that has Hashimoto's, gluten attacks their thyroid wall, so it doesn't make any sense to keep eating it if it's not gonna help inflammation go down. And then she said, if you want this wasn't like, you know, do this, but dairy, so I tried it two weeks before COVID hit, and I was doing awesome. I'm so proud of myself. And then COVID hit my kid for home and I just need some ice cream, like, almond milk ice cream and all that stuff just didn't work. No, and I also know, like, Okay, I'm attacking the gluten one. We'll figure things out like as we go because we don't want to yank everything and not know like what's working and you're not you know, so
Amber B 22:58
So that's where we're at now. I appreciate that.
I'm like, you know, I believe in like balance and like doing things that make sense and not you know, having like, just like I believe in like having a healthy relationship with food. And so I think we're going to take it one sec, one step at a time, I get to go back and do bloodwork, you go back every three months to see where you're at to see if they set up your thyroid medication or lower it or, you know, see where your inflammation is at. So I actually don't know how well I'm doing, um, as far as like, my blood pressure, my blood looks, but I feel a lot better. Which I'm, like, so grateful for like, it's crazy how much and just three months like, I already see a difference, you know?
Amber B 23:52
Yeah. And, and I, I'm sure that, you know, I know things have changed for you in terms of COVID and working out, but I'm curious how your feeling now with your workouts, as opposed to prior to your diagnosis when you're saying you're feeling so tired and like not wanting to work out?
Yeah, well even just like, like I wake up and like, I'm so excited to go back to the gym, the hall as opposed to like, like, I guess I'll go and I'll try it and mainly like, I've not wanted to go I always show up. Um, but it was that like, like, I love intense like, just like breathless workouts, I crave those and not being able to, like do high box jumps or things like that, like I would beat myself up so much about it. It's like, what is going on, like, what's happening? So, I've been able to like, go back and, you know, try like powerlifting again, and jump some boxes again and like, I'm like, okay, I can do it. Like I my body can actually like my mind has always wanted to do it, but my body just wasn't following you know. And so now it is like they're working together again.
Amber B 24:59
That's awesome. Now I do want to talk a little bit about weight gain because this is one of the things that tends to be really hard for a lot of people and, and tends to be something where people are like when they have, you know, an unexpected weight gain. A lot of times they'll be like, well maybe I have hypothyroidism maybe I need to go get my thyroid checked. And so I'm curious about your weight gain that you're saying, you know, came out of nowhere has that gone off now that you've gone on the medication or like what happened with that weight gain? Or what?
The 10 pounds came on within a year? And I just noticed that like, you know, I would weigh myself like maybe like, every other month or something like that. And it was like, half a pound, one pound, but it was going up. It was increasing. And so I tried in October to you know, I was like okay, I guess I'll go back to tracking macros, you know because I did macros for all so when I thought I was getting sick, I did the paleo diet. And actually my name before was that paleo and then I changed to flexible eating, which was when I switched to counting macros. So I did macros for about two years, and then I was like, Okay, I kind of know how I need to feed my body now. So I'll just intuitively eat, you know, hmm. And at first, I was like, well, maybe I'm just like, just intuitively eating too much cake, you know, and that's okay.
Amber B 25:50
Um, but then I was like, okay, let's buckle down and get these, you know, this weight to come off and, and see how it goes. And when I track macros, like, I'm my weight, you know, 10 pounds come off within three months.
Amber B 26:39
And it wasn't, it was not budging, like at all. And I was changing my macros. I was like, upping my cardio a tiny bit. Um, and it wasn't so, you know, that's when I was like, Okay, let's figure this out. But since February, and um, I lost six pounds, which I feel like it's not the 10 but um, I'm not tracking macros cuz you know, I was like I'm not gonna check macros and then not equal in like I have to just to stay sane you know
Amber B 27:09
one more thing at a time.
Exactly. So um yeah I'm happy with the six pounds where I'm at right now I feel like if I really wanted to like have those other four or like six come off. I know what to do and I trust that like they would come off because I think right now I'm at a pretty good maintenance
Amber B 27:31
mm hmm, yeah well I appreciate you sharing that because I know that that is that's a big deal for a lot of women and that that weight gain like I said it you know, when it comes on suddenly a lot of people's I you know, thoughts go to hypothyroidism and then there's a lot of misconceptions to about you know, if you have hypothyroidism that it's impossible for you to lose weight and I what I think is really important and I tell my clients this all the time is like if you have a certain circumstance right. So you have Hashimoto's that is something that is like a circumstance like it's not gonna change, it's a fact. Then to go out and find other people who have the same thing as you and are being successful because you have been incredibly successful in a lot of ways, in your business, and your family, and your fitness. And yes, you have Hashimoto's, right. But you've been successful. And so what I really would love for people who are in that situation is to go out and find people like Karenin, who are being successful with the same circumstances that you have. So what do you think is the biggest thing that helps contribute to that successful mentality that you've been able to hold on to not let this hold you back from the goals that you've set or that you want to achieve?
Well, I think like your reality starts in your mind, you know, and so I think the way you talk to yourself and about yourself is already like what jump-starts like, where you're going to go with this, you know.
Amber B 29:00
And so when I got the diagnosis, I was like, okay, that's what I have, like, no big deal. You know, we'll figure it out. Then I think also, like, I never think of anything as, like, a crash course thing or like, you know, like, I do believe in goals, but I'm such a, like, maintainable lifestyle kind of a person, you know. So as far as food goes, like, I was like, there's no reason for me to like, already, like, stress my body more, you know, to like, do a 30-day crash diet, like, the weight will it took a year or two for the wait to come on. It might take a year for the way to come off.
Amber B 29:39
I'm only a month from, you know, so we'll say we'll talk in February to see if like, it's all 10 is gone, you know, same as business-like and I've had to hire more help because I just can't do it all. And that's okay you know. There are some days where I can do super hard workouts and feel like I'm on top of the world. And then the next day like, I'm just not and I need a nap and I'll, I'll take a nap, you know? So I think just like really like tuning in with yourself and knowing like when to push as far as like mentally, your body and that is like so key in dealing with something that you've probably got to deal with for the rest of your life, you know?
Amber B 30:25
Yeah, that's awesome. What is one thing that you wish more people knew about Hashimoto's?
I don't know. I guess. I just wish we knew more like, why do we have these autoimmune disorders?
Amber B 30:38
You know, I remember when my dad was diagnosed with myasthenia gravis. Like, we're just like, well, how do you get it? You know, it's like, it's like cancer. It's like why? Like, we eat the right foods. Like you exercise, like I grew up in like a super like, really health-conscious, like family, you know, and we all have these like crazy autoimmune disorders maybe we just need to chill out. Is it stress? Is it, it? We don't know. I wish there was more research out there that you know would help prevent it. But yeah, I guess I would say just whoever you know is struggling just go get checked, get the blood work done. And like don't be afraid to like hop around doctors like you are the advocate for your health, for your life. You know, and just because one doctor can't give you the right answers doesn't mean that another one will do the same. You know, you can go to an endocrinologist and go more like the natural way or the conventional way. And I've done both. I've gone more homeopathic too and try that too. And so yeah, just be open-minded to different methods, different… Just different ways to like to tackle it, you know? And then just know it's not like it's not a death sentence like, you can still, you're still you like you do whatever you want.
Amber B 32:09
Mm hmm. Yeah. So if there is someone listening who either has, you know, been recently diagnosed or, or is maybe going through that diagnostic process right now in terms of Hashimoto's, you know, what would you if you're just sitting down, you know, having a cup of coffee with somebody, what would you say to that girl who's going through what you went through, you know, four months ago?
Um, I'd say, Well, first, I'd ask them if they're taking their meds. Because I feel like a lot of people get a diagnosis and then they don't want to take the 32 pills that it takes.
Amber B 32:43
To feel better.
Amber B 32:46
You know, so I would ask if they're taking their supplements, are they being proactive with you know, like, their regimen. You know, And I want to If they have a support system because I feel like that's really important.
Amber B 33:04
Um, and then, yeah, I'd like just to be patient, I guess people. I don't know. I guess people have different reactions when this or different concerns when
Amber B 33:17
diagnosed with Hashimoto's, I would assume for most women, it's the weight gain.
Amber B 33:23
I'm just funny, because that wasn't even actually my main one. I just wanted to like not sleep 16 hours a day, you know,
Amber B 33:32
Um, but yeah, I would say like, don't focus on how you look like focus on how you want to feel. The look will come with it. If you feel better, you will perform better and you will look better.
Amber B 33:47
a result of it, you know?
Amber B 33:49
Yeah. I love that. Um, so we talked a little bit about exercise at the beginning, but I'm curious, you know, you shared that all the things that you've done and kind of how you are a jack of all trades. But if you had to pick one exercise and you could only pick one that you would do for the rest of your life what would it be?
Amber B 34:09
deadlifts, oh! Me too. Girl, I love deadlifts. That's one of my favorite parts of
They work everything, they work your shoulders, your back, your core, your butt, your leg.
Amber B 34:19
So good. Yeah, we did. Yeah, we did deadlifts today, too. So I'm feeling you're on that one. That's awesome. And what and I know, I know, because I see your lifting videos, but and so I know you lift more than just deadlifts. But what do you feel like lifting weights has done for you and your body?
Oh, I love this question, because I feel like most women are scared to lift heavyweights. Yeah. And
Amber B 34:46
That's why we're here to talk them into it.
I love the high I get like, I love chasing the numbers. I love feeling strong. It makes me feel so confident and unstoppable.
Amber B 35:00
um, I just Yeah, I love it. Like, there's something about like, lifting something heavy that just like gives me like, superwoman powers.
Amber B 35:13
Totally. Yeah. And how much of a better mindset it is to chase a number on a bar than it is to chase a number on a scale, right? Like how much more empowering is it to like, shoot for a new PR than to necessarily be like tracking that number on the scale? It's one of the reasons that I love, love weightlifting, because there are metrics involved. I'm such a scientific metrics number type of person. So there are metrics involved, but it's like a performance metric, rather than like an aesthetic metric.
Amber B 35:44
I think that's so powerful.
Yes. And I just love how, you know, it's like, like, women do it. Men do it. Like,
Amber B 35:52
everybody can do it.
Anybody can do it. Um, obviously, you know, men are stronger and stuff, but it just makes me feel like so. Like, equal and like powerful. Yeah,
Amber B 36:03
yeah. And does your husband lift as well?
Yeah. So I bought him in CrossFit. And I haven't been able to sneak him out of there. He loved it.
Amber B 36:12
That's funny. My husband's the same way except it was with like, powerlifting like my husband and lift at all. And I finally got him into powerlifting. And now he's been powerlifting for like, four or five years, and I can't get him out of it, although I just started introducing him to a little bit of Olympic lifting, so I can't get into CrossFit. But at least I've introduced like we've done snatches and cleans.
Amber B 36:32
and stuff like that. That's super fun. So what are some of your current health and fitness goals? I know we're like in quarantine we're kind of coming out of quarantine. But you know, as you make it back to the gym, and even at home, what are some of the health and fitness goals you set for yourself?
Um, so right now because we just went back to the gym, I'm focusing on just like, trying to get my strength back to where it was. So you know, getting my deadlift, PR back, my squat, my hip thrust. I bench press basically like my main lifts, you know? And then, um, I think like COVID may be a little bit of a cardio junkie. I forgot how much I love to run. My husband gave me it was our 15 year anniversary in April and he gifted me a peloton and I'm obsessed. Yeah, the peloton bike is amazing, and they're out. So, um, but yeah, as far as like fitness, you know, just getting back my string, and then food. I'm just trying to stick to no gluten, you know?
Amber B 37:37
Yeah. So let's talk like we haven't really hit on that yet. And I know that there are some people who are listening to, like, talk about the no gluten because either they're doing it or they're wanting to do it. So what has been the hardest part of it and what is and we said, what are some of the tips that you've learned along the way?
Um, so the hardest part for me, is there something. I love bread, I love it.
Amber B 38:00
I can close my eyes and smell it right now. I love bread. Bread and doughnuts are like my love language. Whenever it's my birthday or something I get dropped off like dozens of rolls and doughnuts. But that's like that joy has been taken away from me. Not found bread. That's, that's it. But I've also realized how easy it is now to eat gluten-free because there are so many options out there, you know? Um, so it hasn't been as hard as I thought it would be. Um, but yeah,
Amber B 38:37
yeah. Do you have any tips? Any tips for anybody?
Amber B 38:41
Any tips for anybody?
Um, let's see, well, I feel like so. I already was eating a ton of like, just, I prefer corn tortillas or flour tortillas, you know, um, I can't have my wraps anymore. And that's kind of sad. I don't know how to substitute those, but you know there's rice, there are bonds that make these chickpea noodles. So you can sell pasta, you can have rice noodles, Blazes Pizza has gluten free crust, so you can go there, but most restaurants are actually really good with gluten free. So just ask for it, you know, like, um, I pretty boring I get I kind of eat the same stuff all the time. And so I choose to treat myself when I go out and have you know, like, like, I probably will never make a gluten-free dough. It's just too much work. I'll just go out and buy it, you know? So yeah, just like eat what you want at home and then find a place that you really want you to know, like you want doughnuts, find a good free donut place. Yeah. And go eat that. Or if you learn, if you're one in baking, knock yourself out too.
Amber B 39:50
Knock yourself out. It's a quarantine. There are so many people becoming bakers. Um, so I've been following you for a long time and I have a lot of other followers, but maybe what would something? What could you tell us that maybe it would be surprising to someone who's been following you even for a while?
Oh, I don't know. I feel like I'm like an open book. Um, so I think most everyone knows everything about me. But I'm, okay I think I know. So it's funny because one of the compliments I get the most is people think I'm really confident. Um, and I think I am besides, my biggest fear is public speaking. Which is funny because this is kind of blacked out, but not really because you guys can't see me. So this was funny when he emailed me I was like, No, I can't do that. Like, remember we're doing things that get you out of your comfort zone. We can, we can do this.
Amber B 40:55
I love it.
I honestly, I struggle a little bit with self-belief. Believe it or not. You know, I own my businesses and as I said, everyone thinks I'm super confident. So I must fake it pretty well but self-belief is really hard for me.
Amber B 41:12
That's good because I wouldn't have guessed that.
I know. But it's really hard. Not so much in like, I think I'm a pretty good mom and homemaker and all that stuff, but, um, maybe self-belief with money and business. And I think right now even healing like I'm doing some things that I'm trying to like, tells my mind that I will be healed from this. There's a little side of me and my back of my head that says
Amber B 41:42
that doesn't believe it.
Amber B 41:43
Yeah. Well, I think a lot of people listening to that can relate to that little voice in the back of their head, me being one of them. I mean, I think we all have that. So yeah, but it does surprise me like I would have said, Yeah, he's super confident, shows up and like, does all the things like successful businesses, has a beautiful family. Yeah, so that's awesome. Thanks for sharing that with us. Um, the last question is if people are wanting to follow you, they want to follow my advice and follow somebody who, you know, maybe has Hashimoto's and they have Hashimoto's or if they just want to like see your bomb awesome clothing line where can they follow you?
So um my fitness Instagram is I say fitness but it's really just my life I guess is flexliving. And I love to chat with people there. So just dm me and I have so many people all over the place that I call my best buttons and I've never seen him but we talk all the time. Yeah, and my clothing line is flexliving collection on Instagram. So,
Amber B 42:48
so good. Check out her stuff. She has such cute I was looking at your website to prepare for this interview and I was so impressed. I was like, this is like such cute stuff. She has such a good like a good shop. So Oh, it's exciting. For you. Awesome. Well, thank you so much for coming on the podcast and sharing your story with us. Any last words that you would like to know any words of wisdom you'd like to impart before we sign off?
No, I, thanks for having me. This was my, this was such a treat.
Amber B 43:18
Awesome. And I'm really glad that you did hard things and that you push yourself outside of your comfort zone. And if you're happy that she did that to go ahead and go dm her and let her know that you listened to this episode and that you're happy that she did hard things as well.
Amber B 43:32
I want to give a big thank you to Karenin for coming on the podcast and sharing her story with us. If you resonated with what she said or found value in what she said go ahead and go over to Instagram and leave her a message or direct messaged her and let her know what sharing her story meant to you. And I really encourage you, especially if you have something like Hashimoto's or some other circumstance in your life that maybe makes things a little bit different for you that you really go out and search for and find those people who are maybe dealing with some of the same things that you're dealing with and have the results that you want to have. I find it so inspiring to be able to look up to people who are dealing with the same things you are, whether you're a single mom, or you're a working mom, or you have 10 children or you have no children, or, you know, you're in your 50’s or you're in your 20’s being able to find people who have, you know, life experiences or medical history like you do, and also have the results that you want, allows you to start to believe that those results are possible for you. And I don't have to tell you that when you start to believe those results are possible for you. You show up and you act in a different way and you end up creating those results. So I think it's so valuable to surround yourself with people who and to you know, see on social media, people who are like you, and are dealing with the same situations and are able to be successful in the way that you want to be successful.
Amber B 45:01
That wraps up this episode of Biceps After Babies radio. I'm Amber now go out and be strong because remember my friend, you can do anything.
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