Self Discovery with Jaclyn Steele

Hashimoto's and health at any size with Alex Rae

July 14, 2021 Jaclyn Steele Season 2 Episode 77
Self Discovery with Jaclyn Steele
Hashimoto's and health at any size with Alex Rae
Show Notes Transcript

After being diagnosed with Hashimotos in 2010 and a lifetime of trying to find what works for her, Alex Rae came to the realization that being well in all aspects is SO much harder than it needs to be.

Now she's on a mission to help decode Hashimoto's and empower others to feel well no matter their size.  Alex Rae is SUCH A TREAT and I know you are going to love this episode!

CONNECT WITH ALEX RAE:
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Jaclyn Steele

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Unknown:

I just think, in general, I mean, we all know that diet culture is so toxic, right? And there is definitely a fine line between. I don't even want to say going on a diet, but like when your health is at stake because of your weight, and maybe there's other issues going on. Maybe that's something that you need to do. But I think for the most part, most of us just focus on wait only. Hi,

Jaclyn Steele:

I am Jaclyn Steele, and welcome to self discovery. Howard Thurman so beautifully wrote, don't ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive, coming alive. That, my friends, is what self discovery is all about. Were that man. Alex Ray, is a blogger focused on helping women with hashimotos build sustainable eating habits and gain self confidence. She's led Tina, she's an advocate for health and every size, and she is a force to be reckoned with. And I'm so excited to have you on the show today. Thank you so much for being here, Alex.

Unknown:

I know I'm so excited. We finally get to connect. It's been like the universe has been like pushing us towards each other now it's finally happened.

Jaclyn Steele:

Oh, totally, totally. And I feel it. Okay, so I met you on Instagram. And we immediately connected and then I joined one of your clubhouse hashimotos focus chat rooms. And you are empowering women on the daily to share their stories to be their own health advocates. And you are debunking the myth that healthy equals skinny. And I adore you and your message. And I'm hoping you'll share a little bit about your journey with hashimotos. From around your diagnosis time until now.

Unknown:

Yeah, that well, I could give you the short short version because anyone who has heshy motos or any audience in disease knows that the journey is never ending. And it's a long one. But basically long story short, you know, to be super honest, I always struggled with my way, I was very athletic, though, growing up played every kind of sport. It wasn't really until my parents divorce that fast food was really introduced into my life. And that's primarily because my dad didn't really know how to cook. And, you know, that's all he could do all he could provide at that point in time. And so, you know, weight was kind of always an issue for me. And I really developed a lot of poor eating habits, but also disordered eating behaviors and just body image self esteem issues from very young, I remember, probably around fourth grade is when I really realized that I felt for the first time like bigger than my friends. And it just happened to be that all of my friends were just very fragile women, and I just ended up being like, a curvy woman my whole life, but I thought that meant I was like significantly bigger. Um, and you know, obviously, like, when you're young and having those kind of like thoughts, they can really be detrimental just to your overall self esteem and just anything. Yeah, it's just and I don't think I mean, I think people now are starting to realize that but I definitely think that's something that wasn't really talked about, like, introducing people so young to like, dieting and like being so focused on body image, you know what I mean? versus health. So, so fast forward kind of to turning 21 is when I really started noticing a lot of probably around Actually, I would say 1920 is when I started noticing a lot of symptoms. I was gaining weight significantly, even though I was like working out. I had done every diet on the book. I think I was on like Nutrisystem at that point in time. And basically long story short, I was, you know, sleeping 12 hours a day, which I've always been a big sleeper. I love naps. Still, to this day, that's just core who I am. But I was significantly sleeping more at this point of time and nothing could like make me feel energized, I would wake up so lethargic. My just whole body felt weak and tired. And so I finally went to the doctor, and that's when they diagnosed me with hypothyroidism, which who have hashimotos hypothyroidism is a symptom of hashimotos. But at that point in time, All I knew is I had hypothyroidism. And basically, I always say even though my health journey technically started probably in fifth grade when I first went on like my first diet

Jaclyn Steele:

My first time in fifth grade too, and it's ridiculous now like thinking back, you're like, what? 1112 years old? Yeah, I mean, funny. Oh my gosh, I feel my heart hurts for the little losses, you know, Danny putting that much pressure on ourselves so young.

Unknown:

I just like, I recently looked back at a photo album. And I saw a picture of me when I was probably around that age. And I started crying. Because even though I'm 30 now, I looked at that photo from when I was 10. And I could still feel what little Alex felt, oh, you know, as far as like, how much she like, disliked herself, and wish she looked different, or whatever. And it just made me start crying, because I'm getting emotional thing about it now. But like, it made me start crying because I looked at that photo. And I was like, there was nothing wrong with you, you look perfectly fine. But lately, I've been very healthy little girl, literally, like, You look fine. But like, I could still feel what she felt back then. And it was so like war, you know. So anyways, I mean, like, that's a whole topic in itself, like introducing dieting culture. And just like as a parent, if you have children, you know, what you're introducing to your kids early on through what you're setting an example of. But basically, long story short, you know, that diagnosis really kind of spearheaded my journey that I'm currently on now, which is more holistic healing, trying to really figure out food, and nutrition and how that really supports me and my health goals. And it's been a journey, I've had to, you know, find new doctors, fire them because they didn't agree or they just weren't supporting me enough or weren't really aligned with my values. And now I'm at a point in my life, where it's like I, you know, I know this kind of, probably, we'll discuss later, but I'm at a point in my life where, you know, health is so much more than weight. And for so long, I associated skinny equals healthy, or thin equals healthy. And now even though I mean, ideally, everybody would like to feel more confident, I know that there's more aspects to my health than just my weight. So many, so many No, like, naturally, wherever you're supposed to do or wherever you're meant to be, will happen once you have all these other things aligned with your health. So that's kind of where I'm at now, and, and my journey?

Jaclyn Steele:

Well, I'm so glad that creating a safe space for women to feel healthy, and accepted and experience and encourage them to have self love, at any size is so important. And I know for me, when I was diagnosed with hashimotos, last year in August, and I had gained about 15 pounds very quickly, but I was still eating the same diet. It was so frustrating, because I'm like I'm eating, I'm exercising yet and my weight I've gained this working Yeah, nothing is working. And I think, you know, in the beginning, before my diagnosis, I was having conversations with a couple of my friends, like, I feel tired all the time, I'm, I've gained weight, and I just I don't feel good. And I remember one friend, and he didn't mean it maliciously, but he was like, maybe you just need to work out harder. And, and that's like that's one of the triggers of hashimotos. Two is overdoing it. And so to create a safe space where women can heal, and like you said, our bodies will reach an equilibrium to the weight our body naturally wants to be at whatever that is. But it's so important to create a safe space to heal and we can't heal. If we are constantly judging ourselves and berating ourselves, or feel like the outside world around us is consistently judging us, especially with a condition like hashimotos, where you don't necessarily have full control over your weight. So I love that you are really honing in on this topic specifically because there are so many women who are hurting so deeply. And I can't imagine a better person to be speaking with them on this. You're so beautiful. You're so loving and kind and inviting. And you naturally create a very open safe space for people to be talking about these things. So thank you for spearheading this work. I'm so honored. I'm like, do I do all that? Yes. Yes. And I don't think you even realize how beautiful the work that you're doing is that makes me get so it's so true. And it's so, so necessary. Alex, there's so many women who are hurting and suffering in silence.

Unknown:

Yeah, you know, a couple of things like to what you said, One, I just think, in general, I mean, we all know that diet culture is so toxic, right. And there is definitely a fine line between it don't even want to say going on a diet, but like when your health is at stake because of your weight. And maybe there's other issues going on. Maybe that's something that you need to do. But I think for the most part, most of us just focus on weight only. And I definitely was in that circumstance where I was eating like 600 calories a day, I kid you not, oh, your body's in starvation mode all the time. Exactly. I was like working out like, you know, no other and I'm like, Well, I must eat less, because nothing else is working. And then I got to a point where I was working out too much. I was working out maybe like three hours a day. And it got to a point where it was like, I couldn't even enjoy life because I was so caught up in the fact of like, I ate too many calories yesterday, I can't eat that many, I have to eat less today, I can't go on a last minute happy hour with my girlfriends or like go out to eat because I didn't go to the gym this morning. I have to go tonight. And it just honestly started like imposing on my quality of life.

Jaclyn Steele:

It takes over your life disordered eating any kind of, yeah, any kind of eating disorder. And I've talked about this a little bit on the podcast, because I had an eating disorder when I was in my late teens and early 20s. And the amount of time I spent thinking about what I would eat and what I would not eat, that was the obsession, the obsession, and it Yeah, heals your joy. It totally still.

Unknown:

Just like even little things of like, you know, going over your grandparents house and then making you a meal and being like, No, I can't eat it. And that's like, quality time with your family, you know, and your elders like things that I mean, granted, if you have like, a celiac disease or whatever, you literally cannot eat the food I that's completely understandable. But like, where I was at in that point of time, it was just so all consuming. And I just, you know, got to a point where I was like, I'm so tired of like, feeling shame around my size. And yet for some reason, no matter what I do, nothing's working. If ignore, I don't want to say normal, but like if an average everyday person probably ate the way I did and worked out the way I did, they would be in great shape. But because I have this like autoimmune issue, you can't really see my results reflected. But I can tell you that my brain fog is clear that my joints don't ache anymore, that I have more energy when I wake up. And to me it was like, why aren't those factors just as important as my weight? Like, why do you only judge me like, oh, you're not doing a good job just because I'm still plus size. And it's like, okay, maybe that is the case, but I feel a heck of a lot better. We just as important

Jaclyn Steele:

it is it is we have to change the conversation from what people look like to what is in their heart. Because that is truly what matters. As simplistic as that sounds. That is the essence of life. It doesn't matter what we look like on the outside, it's all going to fade away, it's going to wrinkle, it's going to change as we get older, right? What's really important is what we have to say and what we have in our hearts. So we have got to consciously shift the way we speak especially about women and women's bodies. And this is something that I actively do, in conversations with others, even, you know, casual conversations where somebody will mention a celebrity. And let's say they're like, oh man, she's aging. I consciously am like, I think she's so beautiful. Because I don't want to engage in any kind of conversation where I am basing somebody or It feels like I'm basing somebody's value on value look like Yeah, because it's just not real. And for that person saying that negative comment. Well, guess what? We're all still going around the Sun too. And we're getting older and we're changing. I mean, it's gonna happen backwards, let me know. Exactly. And while I want to take great care of myself, I also want to allow myself to age gracefully and not beat myself up in the process and suck all the joy out of my life because I don't look now at 34 like I did when I was 20. Yeah, that is unrealistic expectation.

Unknown:

No, I love what you just said right there. Because I think that's such an important thing. Like, for me, I feel like I always compared myself to when I was at my fitness and I actually got to my fitness when I was around like 21. And there's a lot of shame that happened around that, even though I felt confident and felt great for the first time in my life, because I will say it was so nice going into a store and knowing that everything will fit me that I want to hear, you know, I'm not gonna lie and say that that didn't feel great. However, what people don't realize is that I was literally eating 600 calories and working out to three hours a day to achieve that. And it was not sustainable. And there was nights I would go to bed hungry because I'm like, I over ate today. or the next day I would underneath because I over ate the day before. But yet people would congratulate you on this weight loss. So good.

Jaclyn Steele:

You look so skinny, you're so big.

Unknown:

Right? Exactly. And little did they know I achieved that all so unhealthily. So I think there's like, so many things with that. It's just like, one commenting. And I think this is just an overall society issue that we need to learn because I definitely still myself sometimes catch myself thinking that and I'm like, you know, it's just so ingrained in society of like, just like how when you meet someone for the first time, it's like, the first question is, what do you do for a living? Now? Who are you as a person? Yeah, right.

Jaclyn Steele:

What are you into? That's what I want people to ask me like, what are you into? What's like, let's go deep. Let's stop with all this topical,

Unknown:

like, what do you make for money? You know what I mean? But like, I think in like a diet, culture, society terms, we always are like, compliment on body first, right? And that creates a lot of shame for people who may have intentionally or unintentionally gained and or lost weight, because it's like, you don't know why, or how they did you know what I mean? And I think like, one of the biggest things I heard one time, as someone always said, anytime, like, when you're talking to children, specifically, we tend to be like, you are so handsome, you're so beautiful to like the young child, or, you know, whatever they are, and instead being like, you are so smart, like giving them actual, like positive compliments, that define them as a character versus what they look like. Because when you focus compliments based on somebodies external appearance, it makes them create this like, anxiety of like, it can't change. My value

Jaclyn Steele:

is based on what I look like, rather than who I am. It's like you have to unlearn it. As you age. Exactly. Yeah. So dangerous. Oh, I agree with you there.

Unknown:

So that was something that I always took into mind. Like, let's say I saw like a friend who had lost significant amount of weight. And maybe that was something that they really were trying to work for, because they wanted to get their health in order and their blood pressure was high. And that was something that they needed to do. And that is great, because you're doing it for health reasons, not because you're trying to fit into what society says you should look like. But I really tried to make it a point where it's like, I am so proud of you for the dedication that you, you know, did this versus like, you look so great. What's your secret? Because at the end of the day, it's like it, I am proud of them. And I'm glad they're healthy. But it is true. It's like I don't want to create that shame of like, you look so great now versus like, wow, you were so dedicated. And you inspire me. Yeah. So yeah, I always try to keep that mindset every time I think about like, compliments or anything like especially when it's something where it's like people, someone has gone through like a significant change like that. Sometimes it could be a little hard to address, you know, because they may be proud of themselves, but I know what it's like to feel that shame when maybe you're not maintaining that or maybe they got that way like I did in a very unhealthy way. So it's a tricky, tricky, tricky line. Just complimenting on people's bodies in general. Oh, I

Jaclyn Steele:

I totally agree. We need to focus on the heart. Beautiful friends, I want to share something with you that I am so excited to share with you and something that has been heavy on my heart. And it is this. It is my belief that we are currently living in a self worth epidemic. mecc low self worth is the root cause of so many of the issues that rub us raw, continuing to stay in a relationship where we are treated poorly or undervalued, this is a self worth issue. Spending money, we know we don't have an unnecessary consumer goods, because it will make us feel better for just a moment. This is a self worth issue, playing it small at work, even though we are killing it, because we are afraid to advocate on our own behalf. This is a self worth issue, refusing to share our writing, or our art, or our voice or our talent with the world because we are afraid of how the world will react. This is a self worth issue, having an idea or a work that lights us up, and then hiding it in the closet or on a hard drive or under the couch. Because we don't know how to label it or create a system to bring it to the public. This, at its root is a self worth issue. Wanting to start a business that offers a product or service that feels so aligned with our souls that our first instinct is to sing it from the mountaintops. But then self doubt creeps in and steals that voice that was on the verge of singing. This is a self worth issue. I have struggled with self worth issues for much of my life. I've shared many of them in this very podcast. And now, because of the experiences I've had, and the work I've done around healing, reclaiming, and empowering my own self worth. I feel called to offer services that can help you do the same. Understanding my own power has radically changed my life from the inside out. And my beautiful friends, we need your voice. We need your ideas. We need your business. We need you to make big bucks, you can do big things in the world. And most of all, we need the fullest version of you. As I've mentioned many times in this podcast, what the world needs is people who have come alive. And if we are living in low self worth, we are not fully alive. This is an invitation to work one on one with me in a safe and sacred container, where we will work on healing, reclaiming, and empowering your self worth. So you can grow that business usher in healthier relationships. Take leaps Your soul is longing for and live a life that feels like your own details can be found in the show notes below. Feel free to reach out to me directly. If you have any questions. I'm sending you so much love. Now back to the episode. So can I ask you another question? Yes, of course. How has hashimotos affected your mental health? And what advice do you have for women with thyroid issues that are struggling with depression and anxiety, etc? Man, um,

Unknown:

you know, to be honest with you, I feel like hashimotos for a really long time changed who I was at the core of who I was, it made me feel inferior to a lot of things that my childhood self was very, like confident and like, you know, loud and just like friendly and outgoing. And I think as I got older, and I think this just comes with age in general, but I feel like I couldn't get out of this like cycle of not really imposter syndrome, because I wasn't going after everything. But I just, it made me feel like I wasn't good enough for anything, that I had no value, that I was going to be sick forever and feel terrible forever. So what was the point? And I honestly think just really forcing yourself to have to try to get out there even though you know, getting up when you're in a depressed state. Getting up out of a bed is even an achievement because there's some days where you're like, I can't even get out of bed because there's there's no point. So I think really just like focusing on the little wins. You know what I mean? And really focusing on you and your journey. Because I think a lot of times, especially back in the early days, not so much now even though I still do it now. Because I think it's just such an ingrained habit that you have to try unlearn. But I compared myself a lot to people, whether they were at successful at my age or more successful or, you know, they had a great body or were taught to

Jaclyn Steele:

do that in our Western culture, we're taught to do that and to measure ourselves

Unknown:

all the time. Exactly. It's like, you're not as valuable. If you're not, you know, up to here with your peer,

Jaclyn Steele:

sister. And when you have hashimotos on top of that, and you're exhausted all of the time, and it's affecting your mental state, it just makes it so much harder to dig out of that place, though. For the listeners listening in. I don't want to falsely paint this picture that living with hashimotos is all difficult bad, because it's not, you know, and I feel like for me, it doesn't have to be Yeah, it doesn't have to be. And I feel like something that I've been really thinking about is how hashimotos is my illness, but it's led to my wellness, because it's teaching me how to love myself in a way that I never would have learned had I not experienced this difficulty in this challenge.

Unknown:

And oh, it's so crazy that, sorry to cut you off. But like, literally, I always say this. And that's so funny, you say that, like, I feel like being diagnosed with hashimotos was my it's my superpower. Because it's the thing that one put my health in check and made me realize all the changes that I need to implement to live my best life. And it like, if I didn't have that diagnosis, you would just be living life feeling terrible all the time and not knowing why. So getting clarity helps you to get one step closer to feeling optimal. I totally agree. Because I feel that same way where it's like, who knows where I would be now what kind of eating habits maybe I would be or lifestyle or what would be like a priority to me in my life. Like now, a priority to me is, you know, I probably spend more than I should on groceries. Because quality to me is super, super important. And that's where I make a lot of my investments versus like shopping or whatever you know, be although there's nothing that either, but I would

Jaclyn Steele:

definitely one of my largest investments every month. Yeah, yeah, exactly. Well, and for the listeners too, I also want to, again, pour on hope here that your hashimotos diagnosis is not the end of a beautiful life. It can that life can be achieved. But what I didn't want to say is create a space for yourself in which you give yourself so much grace, and also time to heal. This did not happen to your body overnight. And so it's probably not going to heal overnight, though I do believe in miracles. And I don't want to say that's not possible. I think for me, after I was diagnosed, I was like, Okay, I'm going to give up gluten. I'm going to give up dairy. I'm going to get on the medication, and then I'll be good. I feel Yeah, yeah. And it wasn't overnight. I do feel so good now, especially compared to how I felt last August. But it did take some time. And it took a lot of unlearning for me specifically around driving myself to be productive and achieve. I had such a resting problem. And they still do at times. But give yourself if you are struggling, especially if you are in the first stages of understanding that you have hashimotos give yourself so much grace and so much space and time to figure it out. And you can figure it out, and most likely you will figure it out. Yeah, it does take a little time. And I feel like the faster you learn to love yourself in the process, the faster the healing takes place. And for me, I think the self love piece was pretty much as important as the medication and giving up gluten and giving up dairy.

Unknown:

I 100% agree I how you said about like giving yourself grace. Like I think for the longest I I felt the same way you did where I'm naturally like I feel like I need to be productive all the time. I

Jaclyn Steele:

really do. And I have very similar baseline personalities

Unknown:

just like very high achiever energy. Like I feel like a piece of crap if I don't do anything all day, you know, but like, honestly, like, I got to this point where it was like the one you have to stop caring what people think because they don't know your life and how you feel you know what I mean? I definitely would get those comments of like, Oh, stop being lazy and it's like I'm not being lazy. I'm listening to how I feel. And I'm telling you like my body just does not feel well. So that was one thing but also like excited What you said just like, knowing that it's a long journey to healing, and honestly, there's going to be some days where it's like, it works until it doesn't work. And then you have to find like a new route or route to go. But you will, you can and will feel good one day, and eventually, it's not gonna happen overnight. And there's going to be changes that we have to make. And you can have small implemented changes, you know, you don't have to like flip your life upside down. But definitely give yourself grace in the sense of like, you have a different path than other people stop comparing yourself to other people. And oh, you will achieve on your own time, you know, and yeah, and I definitely think that aspect of like, once I started probably about two years ago, I really, I don't know, I got to a point where I was like, I'm tired of like, feeling like, I can't eat salmon today, because that's not what it says on my meal plan. And even though I know logically, salmon is so great for you like wild Alaskan salmon, what's wrong with that, but I just got to a point where I was like, I'm so tired of my life feeling so regulated, and like, oh, hating myself why the joy sucks, right? And I was like, why can't I just try for once owning my size, regardless of what that is? intuitively, eating how I feel, makes me feel best. And just really learning to love and cherish myself. And honestly, like, once I made that decision, honestly, like everything just kind of like fell into place. It was like, I don't know everything. I don't know, everything just kind of like clicked for me. And it was. It was like, it was like, why haven't I done this? I know,

Jaclyn Steele:

long, especially as women to learn to love ourselves. And for the people that are listening, like, imagine what it would feel like even if just for one day, not beating yourself up and accepting yourself as you are. And letting that not only be enough, but be something you're excited about. I feel like, I feel like this is my take on all of this. Our minds are so powerful. And our consciousness has the ability to overcome and do so much metaphysically so much. However, one of my greatest teachers said to me, your body is honest, and it will always tell you the truth. So for the women who are struggling with, let's say somebody else, calling them lazy or somebody else saying, Why are you always tired, you know, drink a cup of coffee, or go workout or whatever. It's so important that you tune those voices out and allow your body to be the guru, because our bodies know. And when I pay attention to what my body needs, like I told you, before we got on today, I didn't want to go to the office today, I brought the office to my house. And I needed that because I needed to be home I needed to be grounded, that makes a difference. Even if they are small, tiny shifts, listening to our body is absolutely vital in the healing process. And we can't ignore that. Yeah, we just can't, it would be to our own detriment. And like, to your point, it's

Unknown:

like, think of it this way, if you guys like feel that are listening, just feel like you do so much for your body to try to heal itself. Because I would be like that I'm like, I do so much for you. Like just work with me, you know, but it's like, you have to think of it. It's like, like, your body is literally working to try to bring it back to its best self. And that's why you have to listen to it so much. Because it's like, hey, something's wrong. I'm just letting you know, you know, and you have to think of it that way. It's like, Thank you body for telling me, you know, where I need to kind of focus my direction on to best serve you because I think that's something that is just like we don't realize, like every single day, like, do you know how much your heart pumps every single day just to keep you alive? Yes. You know what I mean? And it's like, it's just like the little things like, do you know how much your liver works and like your brain and all the neurons that fire and like, you know, I'm not a scientist, I can't get into all the technical things. I'm like, but it's like your body works so hard on a minute by minute second by second basis to try to just keep you alive and keep you as healthy as possible. It's like, all it's doing when something is out of alignment is telling you that something is out of alignment and you know, we just need to bring you back on track. So if you think of it in that sense, then it's like, at least for me, I feel like I'm more open and willing to like figure out what I can do to support it too, because I mean, it's you and your body. It's a two way street. If you don't treat it right, it won't treat you. Right. You know what I mean? So it's like, clearly some, there's a disconnect, and you just got to follow the leader and your leader, yeah, matter, it will never change, your body's going to tell you what needs to change. And in our culture, especially as women, we've been raised to feel like our body is the enemy,

Jaclyn Steele:

when our body is one of our greatest assets. But we have to befriend it and stop acting. Yeah, it's something to be squeezed into a certain shape or whipped into submission. So you and I have chatted offline about boundaries, and where we are placing our loyalty and not giving our power away. How do you think our emotional health affects our physical health?

Unknown:

I think it's like completely intertwined. I mean, like breathing, like, like, literally, it's like, they are the same, like, Oh, God, I mean, boundaries, in general is just, I think that's something that I've really had a difficult time with over the last probably three, four years, my whole life, I would say, it's probably been always an issue, because I am definitely a personality type that it's like, I wouldn't say a people pleaser, but I want to make everyone proud of the things that I do. So I definitely would strive for things because I wanted to make someone else proud versus make myself proud. And, you know, that just gets exhausting. And especially when you start doing things that you don't necessarily want to do, but you know that if you don't do what someone else suggests, it'll disappoint them and just having to learn like, my life is not your life. And because you have this disappointment, that doesn't mean I'm disappointed. You know, I I don't know, I just feel like when you start living life for other people, you just don't live life for yourself, and you can't fill your own cup. And honestly, I went through a period of time in my life where I just felt like my life was so revolved around so many other people besides the things that I wanted to do. And when I finally made the move, it just so happened to coincide with me moving away to college, because that was my opportunity. But like, when I felt like I finally got that opportunity to live life on my terms, the way I wanted, I just, I don't know how to describe it, other than there is like this sense of freedom. Were just like, you just feel so free. And and I don't know, it's like, I just was like, the happiest I had ever felt. Because when I was living life for other people, I don't know, I just had no like goals or aspirations at that point. And I just felt so like, be little, well, I don't have

Jaclyn Steele:

any room for goals or aspirations because everybody else is putting theirs on you. So it's not really even your fault. Yeah, you know, it's our responsibility to have those boundaries and to be self aware and go, I'm living for somebody else. But when you're in the middle of it, it zaps all your energy. So it's totally

Unknown:

understandable. Yeah, you're absolutely right. It's, you know, and boundaries are hard to implement. I'm not saying it's like an easy, just change it all of a sudden type thing. They take work. And even still, to this day, sometimes I'll set a boundary. And I'll immediately feel guilty about it after because that's just who I am. You know, I feel like guilty about it. But, you know, it takes practice. But once you start implementing those boundaries in place, that's when you start living life for yourself truly, and you start feeling more free and liberated and you can actually make time and space and have energy for all the things that you want to implement and do.

Jaclyn Steele:

And it's so funny because we talked about like, taking back your time and creating a life in which you are the center. But the irony in that is when we do love ourselves and create a space in which we can blossom. We end up giving back far more fruitfully than we would had we stayed in that position of feeling so over extended trying to help everybody else. Mm hmm.

Unknown:

Yeah, yeah. I that was like one of the biggest things for me was like, you know, how they always say like, no is a full sentence. Yeah, no period is a full sentence. Like, it's so true though. It's just like, not doing things. I don't I no longer want to do And like creating those spaces for myself. And once I'm able to really focus on what I want to do and implementing things in my life, you know what they say like on the airplane, you can't put on someone else's oxygen mask before your own, because how are you going to help someone, if you're lacking oxygen, it's the same concept. If you fill your cup and do everything in your life that you want to do, you'll have that much more to give, because your couple essentially be so overflowing, that you'll just willingly want to give. But if you're in constantly in a state of give, give, give, like, at what at some point, you'll be completely depleted, and then there's nothing left. Yeah,

Jaclyn Steele:

and that's not, that's not the best way for you to live or for anybody around you. You know, that's not good that you're not going to be giving the best version of yourself. I'm going to do a podcast episode on boundaries specifically, and also protecting our energy. Because I think boundaries, not only are boundaries, a hot topic right now, but the problem is people get excited about laying boundaries, but then they nobody talks about the aftermath, and how uncomfortable it is, like foundries are essential. But when you are first starting to enact boundaries, and stick to them, it's going to make the people in your life a little uncomfortable, because they expect you to be a certain way. And so it's very important that as you are prioritizing your health, and yourself that you understand and give grace and space for those boundaries to make people a little uncomfortable. And letting that be okay. And one of my favorite ways to lay a boundary just like super quick, quick boundary workshop is to say, if somebody is crossing a boundary with me, I'll say, here is my heart. I love you so much. I want you to be so happy. And I would love to make you happy. But at this moment in time, I am feeling over extended or I had a long day, and I just don't have the energy to show up in the way that I would love to show up for you. So sorry, but I can't attend. Or I'm sorry, but I can't go to dinner, or I'm sorry. But I'm not going to be able to participate in that activity. But I love you so much. And if people misinterpret that, or they get mad at you for laying a boundary that is straight from the heart, then it's really, yeah, it's not on you. It's okay to protect your heart and to protect your energy. If people take nothing away from this episode. Other than that, please, please protect your heart. Oh,

Unknown:

it's so true. It's like, when you set those boundaries, it's going to be really difficult the first time you do it, probably even this next several times you do it because for so long, you've been doing things a certain way that people ask right? Or you answer a phone call that's like emotionally draining that you weren't ready for type thing. But you know, in order for people to learn, you have to keep setting that and then eventually people will will get it and understand. And if they don't, then it's like, maybe we just don't even go there. Because you already know how I'm gonna feel. I already know how you're gonna feel. You know, um, one thing that I wanted to add that I think was really interesting of something that I learned as well. I forgot what her name is, but I follow this like boundary expert, I have to send her to you. Because you know, that would be Oh, I would love it. Um, but she made a post one time and basically said, when you were asking, when you call somebody, let's say for example, like you have a devastating day or like break up with someone or whatever, something's super devastating. And you want to call one of your friends or family members, asking them first if they have the space for you, versus just like venting, because you don't know what the other person is like on the other side of that. Maybe they had a long day too. And they're like, I really don't have like you said, the emotional space where you have the capacity to handle this. Yeah, exactly. So like, I think it could be like a two way street, especially if you're really connected to your boundaries, understanding that other people may have boundaries, but they don't know how to communicate them yet. So being like, do you have space to talk to me really quickly, because I have something going on in love with that another time? Yeah. Oh, and I really think that

Jaclyn Steele:

it's essential. And I think to to piggyback off of that it's important to practice the kind of boundaries and the response that you would like to receive, know if somebody lays a boundary with you. To with me. Yeah, it's so important to allow grace in that space as well, rather than jumping to conclusions or being offended, I know with you and I, we had to reschedule this podcast several times. I had to reschedule, you had to reschedule. And honestly, Alex, it did not bother me in the least. Because I was like, it's gonna happen when it's supposed to happen. It's whatever. In the past, you know, podcast scheduling can get hairy. And there have been people who have gotten really upset about certain things. And I'm just like, I don't have the capacity to be upset. In a moment, I would so much rather be like, Hey, I trust that it's gonna get done when it gets done. And I want to come at this with joy. I don't want there to be any weirdness. When then I get on a zoom call with somebody and they've like, you know, tried to berate me for not being stick to their schedule, or, yeah, cuz it feels weird. It feels weird. So if you are beginning to establish boundaries listener, make sure that if somebody else is established about establishing boundaries, you respect that, too. It's so important to give what we want to receive.

Unknown:

Right. And I think it's something that it's like, I wouldn't necessarily take it so personal, I think like, especially probably when I was younger, I think people would set boundaries, and I wouldn't realize, but now that I'm older, and I want to set my boundaries, I'm like, hey, it's nothing really against you. Personally, I'm just telling you, for me, I need this for myself. So it's not really a reflection of, they don't want to do something for you, or be with you or be your friend or whatever the case may be. I mean, there may be some things where it's like, maybe you're just a crappy person, and I really need to set that boundary of I can't help you. Yeah, that's, that's not the norm. That's not, that's not exactly, but like, for the most part, it's like, you know, we're just taking ourselves into consideration and just being a little selfish, because we need to be at our best. And I think, for me, that was something that kind of like really shifted my mindset of like, Oh, it's not personal. I don't really take offense to it. So now it's like, you know, when people set boundaries, I'm like, Alright, cool. You know, what, we'll catch up whenever, or we'll reschedule like it does. You know, when we rescheduled, I was like, that's fine with me because I want this to be the best. And if you're not at your best state, I'm not at my best day and fluster then it's like, like you said, it'll happen when it's supposed to happen, you know,

Jaclyn Steele:

it takes the fun out of it. Like, I adore you, and I want to show up and be present. And I know that you want the same so right. I think there's such an element of trust to living a beautiful, well rounded life. Like we have to stop trying to control everything. It just doesn't work. So now completely agree. Yeah. This episode of self discovery is supported by living libations. I was turned on to this company after my hashimotos diagnosis. I've always always loved clean beauty products, but living libations is clean on another level. I'll explain a little bit about why their primary ingredients are plant oils, and plant oils are botanical miracles. When oils are skillfully combined, the mosaic effect of 1000s of plant compounds burst forth with an intelligence and a life force that defines every single living libations creation. This not only makes their products extremely effective, and I can attest to that because the first night I started using them, I noticed a difference the next morning one freaking night, but it also makes these products smell amazing like heaven. In addition, living libations products are cruelty free, they're Fairtrade and almost all the products are raw, gluten free and vegan. I cannot say enough about this incredible company. I have so many of their products I have their best skin ever cleansing oil and seabuckthorn I have their rose renewal serum. It's heaven. I have their soothsayer serum. If you feel like your skin is aging. This is a perfect serum for you the soothsayer serum I have their happy gumdrops for healthy teeth. I have their shampoo and conditioner, I have their Frankincense toothpaste, I have their deodorant, I have their love butter, I could go on and on and on about all the products that I have from them. And I am mindfully switching out all of my old products in exchange for living libations products because of the efficacy of their products, the mission behind them and The way that the company is run their commitment to diversity and environmental protection. Anyway, all that to say this is a company that I absolutely believe in and want to continue to support. If you are feeling at all overwhelmed by all of their high quality offerings, like I was in the beginning, I recommend starting with the best skin ever, in seabuckthorn It smells amazing, and you can cleanse and moisturize with it. Visit living libations calm and use code Jacqueline 12 for 12% off your purchase, living libations calm and Jacqueline 12 for 12% off your purchase. Links are in the show notes. And now back to the episode. So last couple questions. What tips do you have that have been game changers for you regarding hashimotos? Whether that be you know, your regimen or whatever you

Unknown:

want to talk about there? Well, first and foremost, you definitely need to advocate for yourself. That is like by saying, like, when I first got diagnosed, advocate and educate yourself, I would combine those because you can't advocate if you don't educate yourself. And the reason why is because so brilliant. Yes. Um, the reason why I say that is because when I was like first diagnosed when I was like 2021 I honestly didn't know crap about hypothyroidism. I knew nothing. I was just like, Okay, give me this medication, whatever. Granted, at that point in my life, I was like partying a lot, and probably drinking more than I should and not living my best healthy life. But I was young and in college, so it is what it is. So pretty much. Yeah, like pretty standard for people. Um, but I definitely like didn't understand my condition. And it wasn't until things started getting progressively worse, I had gained a significant amount of weight, I was depressed all the time, I was exhausted all the time, that I started pressing my doctors of like, Okay, what does this mean? What does this do, and I expected them to provide me the answers. When Unfortunately, that's not the way it's going to work a lot of the time, you have to do your own research and ask these questions to them. And if you don't like what they say, or you disagree, or maybe your doctor has different values, or maybe is not as eager to try new things that maybe you really want to implement for yourself, you have every right to find a new doctor. So don't ever be scared to find someone new. There are plenty of people out there who are willing to help you. And I will say it probably for each person is going to take you at least two three doctors to find one that you finally feel listens to you connects with you understands where you're coming from, like, I'm probably my fifth sixth doctor, and I finally feel like, wow, I totally, like agree with what she's saying. And I love like everything that she's implementing, and everything is so aligned with what I want to do. And when you find that person, like, you'll know. Yeah, so I guess well, first piece of advice. Yeah.

Jaclyn Steele:

And let me jump in there and add to Dr. Mark Ryan, who you and I have both spoken to? Yes, he is. I have never known anybody more skilled at treating hashimotos he has two books about it. If you don't want to speak to him directly get his books. They're on Amazon. I think one is hashimotos healing the I forget what the other one is called. I have both of them. They're excellent. And then his website is hashimotos healing calm or hashimotos healer.com I think it's healer. Yeah. hashimotos healer. And he has been such a significant part for me for feeling better, because my endocrinologist was like, yeah, you can eat gluten. Yeah, you can eat dairy it fine. You can eat whatever you want. You just have the medication. So you and I both know that that's not really the solution.

Unknown:

And that's the thing. It's like I had a doctor before where I was like on Synthroid and you know, people are gonna react differently. Some people may be listening are taking Synthroid, and they're like, I feel amazing, and that's great. Some people like myself didn't really react well with Synthroid. And so when I told one of my doctors, I was like, Hey, I feel like I'm getting way more headaches with Synthroid, I feel terrible, my hair is falling out. And they're like, well, that's the medication that we have. And it was kind of like, well, it doesn't work for me. So what other options are there and it didn't take until me researching, like, all these other medications and coming back to a new doctor and being like, Hey, this is my experience with Synthroid. I don't Like it, I don't want to take it, I'm not going to take it. Here are some other options. Here are the ones that I'm probably leaning to the most. What do you recommend we do? And you have to just be like, very like, to the point direct, because, you know, a lot of the times these doctors, I'm not saying there's no good ones out there, but sometimes it's like, they only know what they know. And they're not going to bend over backwards to try to help you figure out what works best for you. So you have to advocate for yourself and through that, obviously, educating yourself on what your other options are. I would say another tip, as far as like managing my hashimotos has been sleep, hands down. I've always been a big sleeper. Like I said, I love naps. To this day. I still take midday nap sometimes because that's just who I am. Always since like birth, I've been that way. But honestly, I have to get seven eight hours minimum of sleep in order to feel great and if I don't I know if that means if I only get like five hours four hours of sleep I'm going to have to take like a solid three hour nap in the middle of the day because yeah, I know that sleep and our bodies heal in our in sleep. So yeah, not

Jaclyn Steele:

that they can't heal while we're awake. But they do so much healing were actually we're asked and just

Unknown:

yeah, we like when we are sleeping. Let us take care of you know.

Jaclyn Steele:

So important. So important. Yeah.

Unknown:

I think those are my two biggest tips honestly. And then I mean everybody knows this but like finding what works for you and nutrition wise you know, maybe for some people I just found out that I'm have a food sensitivity to kale, and like watermelon. And what else was I eating a lot pretty heavily. Oh, cashews. And I was eating cashews all the time. I would make like vegan cheese because I don't eat dairy really. And I was eating a lot of cashews. So just finding out what works for you personally, you know, and being really in tune with your body. I know. Anytime that I eat dairy, I'm going to be bloated for the next couple days. chickpeas oh my god instantly. I know that my body is like no girl. Really? Oh my god. I was actually on the road trip this past weekend and there was nothing around so we got a little like Starbucks box with like hummus and like veggies. And I was just so starving. I was like, let me just eat it. That was a mistake. Because like literally within an hour I was like, Oh my God, my stomach is like cramping. But guys listen to your body. Because I'm telling you, it'll tell you like you just have to be in tune with like, it will tell you what it laughter I ate Yes, yeah,

Jaclyn Steele:

exactly. And into a thing, it's important to note that just because you're sensitive to something now doesn't mean you're going to be sensitive to it for the rest of your life. Your body just might be overloaded on it and it needs a break. I've been really getting into gut healing.

Unknown:

Because of that, but I'm on right now. Yeah, exactly. And that, like we're always so aligned. Because we are always like struggling through the same thing. So true.

Jaclyn Steele:

Um, but there's such a connection between the gut and the brain and the thyroid. And they all regulate so much. And dairy can be an upset of the gut for some people roughage like kale beans, stuff that's super high in fiber, cruciferous vegetables, like broccoli, cauliflower, brussel sprouts, those can really be tough on the gut if your gut isn't in a healthy state at the moment, but it doesn't mean that you have to give that stuff up forever. You know, right.

Unknown:

I've acted personally to see if I have to give up gluten forever. Or if it's something where my gut will heal. I'm hoping that it's a situation in which my gut will help. We're gonna speak it into existence, but like, just like you said, it's like, even with your hashimotos diagnosis, and like food sensitivities, it's not a lifelong forever sentence. And I think when I first finally started researching into like, hashimotos, and hypothyroidism a little bit more in depth around when I was 23, because that's when I started feeling like my absolute worse. I felt like it was like, not to sound dramatic, but like a death sentence. Like, I'm going to be on medication forever. I'm going to feel like this forever. And you're not you just have to find what works for you. But it same thing with food sensitivities, you know, like, I actually found out I'm not sensitive to gluten, which was actually kind of exciting, but I'm also like, let me just like keep it out because I I don't want it to turn into a sensitivity. But also now I know I can have like, pizza, maybe with no cheese and be cool. Oh, you know, I would do bad things

Jaclyn Steele:

for a piece of pizza, my friend bad things. I want it so bad. But at the same time, like, I also feel like hashimotos is it's a wake up call to and a more gentle warning in that care of your body now, so that this doesn't come something that's more serious. And so I'm also grateful for that, that my body gave me this morning sign to say, hey, you need to you need to love yourself a little bit better.

Unknown:

Yeah, it's our superpower to just be like, Hey, you know, you could be you could feel even better.

Jaclyn Steele:

a nap now. Oh, and think of to the emotional, the emotional additions to our lives to more empathy, more compassion, more understanding, more love for ourselves and for others. More Grace? Yeah, I mean, I want all of those things. I asked God for all of those things. And they showed up in the form of hashimotos. You know, and other people, they may show up in the form of all kinds of other things. But everything that happens to us, it is my belief, it is an opportunity for a deeper understanding, and a deeper sense of who we are and why we're

Unknown:

here. Honestly, like, I feel the exact same way. Because like I said, like being diagnosed, I feel like one. My life's purpose is to help women like feel confident in themselves, regardless of their size. And that's why I started health is more than weight. Because I just truly am a firm believer that like weight should not be the end all be all for determining health, like there are so many more important things. But also I genuinely feel like, for so long, I question why I struggle so much with my weight and my health and everything like that. And I really truly believe that, that my purpose was to help people because I can empathize and understand where they're coming from. And, and especially having that hashimotos where I understand what you're going through. And I can help you get through that. Maybe not on a level of like an actual doctor, but I can support you through nutrition, I can support you emotionally,

Jaclyn Steele:

and then we on the level of the doctor. Because I mean, you know, I have so many experiences, who better to speak on and somebody who has spoken to all of these different experts.

Unknown:

That's actually like, it's funny you say that because the doctor that I have now her name is Nicole MacPherson. She's based in Texas. And the reason why I actually ended up going to her because she was the first endocrinologist that actually has hashimotos that put it in remission. And I was like, I want to work with someone who has this condition that understands and has been through it versus somebody who necessarily like has not, which I'm not saying they're not qualified either. However, it's a different experience when you're working with someone who directly understands what you're going through and like hasn't been there. So

Jaclyn Steele:

yeah, listen to your gut and you've got to trust those Inklings when you're with a doctor, like is this the right one for you? Or not? So okay,

Unknown:

yeah. And don't don't feel you know, don't feel like really quickly. Don't feel bad or guilty. If you have to find a new doctor like, no, they'll find it worth it. And trust me, you are. Exactly. Amen.

Jaclyn Steele:

Where can everybody find you online? Because I know that they're gonna want to connect with you.

Unknown:

Yes, well, and yeah, thank you so much for everybody listening if you're still, if you're still here listening to our conversation, I am Alex. My handle for everything is just Alex Ray Ray is my middle name. So he just Alex and then Ray ra he, that is my website, just Alex Ray, calm on Instagram, Facebook, everything is just Alex Ray. So you can find me everywhere. And I will link all of that in the notes as well.

Jaclyn Steele:

You are such a radiant human. And I'm so glad that we got to connect. And thank you so much for now, my podcast with your presence.

Unknown:

I know I just I just have to say like, since the moment we connected and met, which was like, I just randomly slid into your DMS one day inviting you to this thing I think it was I was like let me just shoot my shot. She seems like a really like great person. Let me like invite her and I feel like honestly, from the moment we connected, I don't know. I just feel like such a sense of peace and like calming with you and like such a connection. So I'm just like, so grateful. The universe kind of brought us together and we're here it was.

Jaclyn Steele:

So it was meant I feel the exact same. I just so Treasury lady. Same same thing.