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My 3 New Year's 'Resolutions' as Someone With Thyroid Cancer

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I don’t make resolutions. I prefer to think of them as lifestyle goals for the next year. Few people seem to stick to resolutions for any length of time, so I think of my goals for the new year as more of a suggestion, or a doorway to a better life, rather than big, fat resolutions.

So here are the three goals I’m hoping — maybe — to accomplish in the next year:

1. Love myself, extra weight and all.

Over the last year or so, my body has not felt like my own. This can be a common occurrence for people with cancer, an autoimmune disorder or other chronic illnesses. For a while, I was gaining weight uncontrollably and without an end in sight. It wasn’t necessarily a lot at a time, maybe a few pounds a week. But it was scary to see the scale keep creeping up and to feel utterly out of control. No matter the calorie restriction, exercise, and other lifestyle changes, the weight kept coming or would remain stagnant. Thyroid disease can cause weight issues, sometimes losing weight uncontrollably and sometimes gaining weight rapidly. The thyroid is the master of the metabolism after all. So, while many people may resolve to “lose weight” or “get healthy,” I will choose to love myself and my body as it is. It has gotten me this far, and it deserves some appreciation.

2. Let go and have fun.

Being consumed by doctors’ appointments, the latest research, and yes, writing about my experiences — on top of the regular stuff like family and work — I am not left much time in the day. Sometimes, I envy others who appear to “have it all together.” They seem to have tidy, organized homes; well-mannered, high-achieving children; and work/home balance. But I’ve found that is not possible much of the time in my life with chronic illness. For me, more important than a dusted home and mopped floor is making time for fun, silliness and playing with my kids. Some say stress may be the root of all disease; therefore, one of my goals this new year is to decompress and have fun, even if I must schedule it into my day.

3. Sleep.

As basic as this may sound, I really have been trying to prioritize sleep lately. In the new year, I want to take this a step further and commit to sleeping at least eight hours a night, which means going to bed by 10 p.m. I actually need up to 12 hours per night to combat the deep fatigue I experience; however, that is often not possible with all my responsibilities (see goal #2 above). I can get extra sleep sometimes on the weekend (thanks to my husband), however, I know it’s best to have a consistent sleep schedule and get enough sleep every night. Hearing my body when it screams “Sleep right now!” is where I’m currently at, but my goal is to listen when it whispers “I’m getting tired,” and to respond accordingly.

So there you have it, my goals for the upcoming year. This past year has brought many changes that were out of my control. I’ve walked through many doors that were not of my choosing. Change is a fact of life. But in the next year, I hope I will be able to choose which doors I will walk through. And that they will be bigger, better and more beautiful doors than I could even imagine.

Image via Thinkstock.

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Originally published: January 1, 2017
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