My health story – an update

It’s been a while since I wrote a health update here. You can catch up with my health story here and here.

In a nutshell, it’s 12 months since I decided to get serious about my health.

I’d always been pretty good with my food choices. I’d made quite a few changes because of my Hashimoto’s auto-immune thyroid condition.

I was a bit hit and miss – more miss than hit – on the exercise front.

I didn’t really prioritise ME.

So what changed?

I was offered a contract to write a book, that’s what.

Amid the excitement and champagne-cork-popping, I realised that if I were to deliver the manuscript, keep my blog business running and my family fed and watered, then I’d have to keep myself as healthy as I possibly can.

Health to me equals energy.

It’s been a very long time since I’ve sprung out of bed full of energy and ready to take on the day. Hashimoto’s will do that to you.

I’d even forgotten what having energy and a clear head had felt like.

I can’t say that I feel that energy buzz every day but I can say that I now have days when I do have that normal, re-charged-from-a-night’s-sleep feeling.

When those days started to happen this year, it caught me by surprise. It was such an unfamiliar feeling.

Unfamiliar but good. VERY GOOD.

Lately, readers and followers of my #everydaystyle posts have noticed too, commenting on how well I look and asking for my “secret”.

Nikki Parkinson | Styling  You | Health Story 2013-14

The secret is a pretty boring one.

It’s something that my friend (and designer of this blog) Kelly Exeter wrote about this week in her email newsletter.

“Consistency is everything. Showing up is everything,” she said. “Time and again life shows me: consistency is so boring, but it’s bloody effective.”

For me, it’s consistency that has helped me feel more healthy than I’ve felt in a very long time.

It is boring, there is no quick answer to finding and feeling good health.

In the past, the biggest stumbling block to my finding that consistency was finding a health formula that worked for ME.

If you’re struggling with consistency in your health efforts, my hot tip is not necessarily to follow what I do but work on finding a formula that works for you.

Play with different food/eating plans and exercise regimes and find a solution that you can stick to. Not something you start and finish one, three or 12 months later. Something that you can feasibly keep up for the rest of your life.

I’ll share my formula with you below. Like in my other health update posts, I stress that these things might not work for you. My quest for health has always involved the advice of health professionals – and I suggest you seek out your own advice before implementing major changes.

What’s worked for me

1. I don’t use scales. This won’t work for many people but with my condition it’s quite possible to put on three kilograms in a day without doing anything different from the day before. In the past, the number on the scales would determine my mood for the day. When 9/10 times that number worked against me, it was a massive de-motivator. My GP weighs me at each appointment and I can tell you I’ve lost only 6kg in 12 months. Thank goodness I calibrate my mood based on my energy levels. And how my clothes feel when on. And how strong I feel.

2. I follow the 5-2 way of eating. Most weeks. I started this after reading this book in August last year. My GP endorses it as well. Everything I read in the book about how eating less on two days each week would help stabilise my insulin levels and reduce sugar cravings has eventuated. I think I want to eat something sweet, go to eat it and stop after a mouthful. I just don’t feel like it. I also eat less on the other five days because I don’t feel like eating the same amounts as I did 12 months ago. I still avoid gluten – the times that I’ve taken a “gluten schmuten” approach to what I put in my mouth has only ended in toilet tragedy. Let us not speak again of the pork bun I ate on Monday night. Exquisite going down; explosive coming out. Too much information? I’m sharing it because there are many who who believe that all people who ask for gluten-free options are just following a fad. I wish it were a fad. One product that has really helped me bridge the gluten gap is Protein Bread from The Protein Bread Company in Sydney. Yes, I order my bread online and have it sent via courier. Not only is this bread gluten free but it’s incredibly filling thanks to its high-protein, low carb content. I buy three loaves at a time, slice them up and freeze them in ziplock bags of six slices each. Worth every cent.

The Protein Bread Company Protein Bread

3. I am working with a GP who understands my health condition. I cannot express how amazing it’s been to see a doctor who not only understands my condition but wants to help me feel WELL. I’ve had to settle for feeling below par for too many years because my thyroid blood tests have fallen between the medically designated parameters. My new GP looks beyond those pathology numbers. I take both Thyroxine (T4) and Tertroxin (T3) and have done so for about 12 years – except while pregnant. I’m on my third re-jig this year of my medication combination and my resistance to Thyroxine has drastically lowered from 12 months ago.  In conjunction with my medication, I’ve also been prescribed vitamin and mineral supplements to support the thyroid and adrenal glands. It’s a chicken and egg situation with these two glands – a dodgy thyroid will put your adrenals out of whack and conversely overworked adrenals can affect thyroid function. My adrenal function in the morning is now in the normal “bounce out of bed” range (my first blood test back at the end of February recorded an adrenal function on par with a 3pm slump). The thyroid supplement includes iodine – a vital supporting mineral for the thyroid and something that most modern diets don’t contain. There is some great information about iodine and the thyroid in this podcast.

4. I have fallen in love with yoga. That consistency thing I talked about earlier is responsible for this love. I’ve consistently done two classes of yoga (most weeks) since January. It’s become so much a part of my life that I seriously miss it if life or travel gets in the way. I’ve never felt stronger and more toned. I stand and sit taller. I have arm muscles. My tuckshops are still there but they’re lacking the flap-ability of 12 months ago. I do a mix of relax and basic classes and yesterday morning I did my first power class. I not only survived but did ok. I’m by no means a yogi pin-up girl but I love the physical and mental benefits that my practice bring. I’m sending a big shout out to Cue Yoga – I can’t recommend this studio enough.

Yoga Vie Active tights from Shop Elsa

5. Walking is part of my life. I’ll be honest with you, I’ve not been as consistent with my morning walks as I have with my yoga classes. I blame winter mornings. I’m not beating myself up about this though as I have got out there on weekends and where we live it’s much easier to walk to cafes, shops and restaurants than it is to drive and find a park. I do so much more incidental exercise than I did 12 months ago – so much so, it’s a habit and I actually seek it out. And hills no longer scare me. Yes, I don’t know who I am either.

6. I aim for four alcohol-free days a week. Aim is the word – and most weeks it is a reality. Other weeks, life might offer up cause for celebration. On those days, I drink a champagne and don’t feel guilty about it. The upshot of not drinking during most weeks is that I don’t feel like drinking as much on the weekends.

7. I visit my Bowen therapist every month. Apart from helping with an ongoing shoulder problem, I hang out in her infrared detox box. The detox box makes me sweat up a storm but just 30 minutes inside gives me an energy boost that can last for days.

Over to you … have you made health changes in the past 12 months that have helped you to feel fantastic?

NB. It’s important that you talk to a health professional before making any drastic changes to your diet or exercise routine. I’m not a professional – I’m just sharing my story.

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  • Yertle Turtle

    Thanks for sharing these updates, Nikki – it is so encouraging to see your progress. I am just two weeks into 5:2 and finding it quite easy to manage the ‘fast’ days. However; my mood has been really foul throughout the second week. I am super irritable and cranky. I am hoping this will pass as I get used to the new way of eating but wanted to know whether you had any problems with your moods when you began eating the 5:2 way? Looking at various forum conversations on the topic, a few people noted they were moody on their first few fast days, but my bad mood has lasted a solid week! I’d love to hear from you (and any others who’d care to weigh in – no pun intended).

  • http://keeplifesimple.com.au/ Annette Spanski

    You looking healthier ..why dont you now Keep Life Simple.com.au

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  • Natalie Carter

    Awesome work Nikki, you look fabulous. Hope you keep up this healthier lifestyle and keep reaping the benefits

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      Can’t see me giving it up any time soon – feel so good!

  • TravelGenee

    Nikki, glad to read you are looking after yourself. They best type of selfish to can do as your family benefits from this. Fran xx

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      It is the best type of selfish Fran x

  • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

    Glad it’s worked for you. Herbalife includes ingredients that are not good for people with my condition.

  • http://shewhorambles.com Reannon @shewhorambles

    You really do glow with good health Nikki x

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      Thanks Reannon! X

  • Tanya

    Hi Nikki, I no longer have a Thyroid after Radioactive Iodine Treatment for a Toxic Multinodular Goitre 12 years ago (that’s a mouthfull) and are also on T4 (as I cannot produce anything myself) and only after begging have included T3 in the last 12 months…which has left me with Chronic Fatigue, Adrenal Fatigue (Flat lined cortisol levels all day and night) and now Liver problems. I have been reading STTM (Stop the Thyroid Madness) and following the groups on FB and there is a wealth of info and support there for us sufferers. I have recently found an integrative GP who can help with my condition, have started Hydrocortisone and many other supplements, gone Gluten, Caffeine and Sugar Free and recently taken up meditation and Yoga. I have made a huge improvement in 4 months but still have such a long way to go. My ultimate goal is to get on Natural Dessicated Thyroid (the original treatment that works very well before the Pharmaceutical companies cashed in on making a synthetic T4/T3). Well done for taking control of your health…knowledge is power (unfortunately I waited until I was very very sick before doing my own research and taking control….wish I knew then what I know now! :)

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      Oh Tanya what a nightmare?! Glad you’ve found someone who can help. My goal has been to get on the natural to but not stabilised enough as yet.

  • JoD

    I totally identify with what you’re saying as I have Hashimotos and Rheumatoid Arthritis and am raising 4 children…very tired!

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      Oh it’s so tiring. Hope you can get help to manage the tiredness.

  • Miss Daisy

    Thank you for sharing your journey Nikki! Your hard work and commitment to your health is incredibly motivating. I’ve recently got back into yoga myself after a brief hiatus, and man it feels goooood!!
    Daisy xo

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      It so does!

  • Miss Daisy

    Thank you for sharing your journey Nikki! Your hard work and commitment to your health is incredibly motivating. I’ve recently got back into yoga myself after a brief hiatus, and man it feels goooood!!
    Daisy xo

  • Annie

    You are spot on when saying one should go with routines which suit their personal situation.
    As of last spring I have followed the low fodmap diet for IBS which will be a forever way of eating for me because the results are fantastic. However there’s no cutting corners and consistency is key. If I do let my hair down I pay for it.
    Once September hits, our pool solar heating will be re activated and I’ll be diving in every single day doing water walking and aerobics. I dislike winter and am really missing my daily plunge, the energy and positivity this low impact exercise routine gives me is fabulous, my body feels toned and healthy and for me it’s the best method of exercise I’ve tried.
    Occasionally I go walking during winter though not as often as I should.
    Bring on summer!

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      Bring on summer, yes! More motivation from me too x

  • http://www.mdkaos.blogspot.com/ Mummaducka

    yes I have made changes! I’ve gone low carb high fat and feel absolutely fantastic for it. I haven’t had any flour or grains or sugar since january- so gluten free, and haven’t had any sugary stuff since jan either. I’ve dropped about 13 kgs and am a bit stuck there, but when it warms up I’ll be out in the garden which will shift things again, I would be happy with another 13 off! I’ve had less headaches and haven’t gone flat when a bit sick with a cold, it’s just hung about, but not bad. Exercise isn’t on my radar- I don’t enjoy it at all! Plus where I live it’s impractical. I did plan to wander the paddocks with my camera in hand taking baby calf shots this weekend, then my 11 year old broke his ankle! so that’s off, perhaps my regular woodcarting may be more beneficial for me! Living in the bush I get plenty of incidental exercise in carting bags of chook feed and woodcarting so I’m happy with that.

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      I would think your incidental would be way more than most of us! Great with the low carb/high fat and 13kg! x

  • Anna Franklin

    Thanks for the update. It’s always inspiring to read someone health success and most important to me, too, is that consistency. I do find it a bit of a struggle when you girls are away at their Dad’s in the holidays to cook for myself. However I’ve felt much better having done Sarah Wilson’s I Quit Sugar and taken up running at 40!
    Just the other day I saved this little morsel of wisdom. Coincidence? :-) xx

    • Guest

      Whoops!

    • Anna Franklin

      Damn! I can’t see that image I posted. Oh well…

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      That morsel of wisdom is from Kelly Exter’s email newsletter that I linked to in my post – so not a coincidence but part of the reason why I wrote what I did. And good on you for taking up running!

  • http://myyellowheart.com Carla @ My Yellow Heart

    Yes just recently I’ve started exercising. I’m following an exercise program and am surprisingly loving it. I completely agree with you, consistency is the key. It’s been great seeing my body start to change and tone up but what’s better is the way it has made me feel, I simply feel so much healthier and better in myself. The first thing I noticed was how happy you looked in your after shot, not the difference in your size x

  • Dianne

    I too have fallen for yoga… Started in December. I do a warm class 32 degrees. It’s a far infared heat & I can’t stop raving about it. First time ever I have been hanging out for an exercise day. Have lost a couple of kilos & am really toning up. Like you I go 2 days a week. I’ve also made a personal pact to lay off foods that have a lot of preservatives, flavours etc & try to give lactose a miss where I can on the advice of a naturopath last year… With just a few minor tweets I feel healthier than I have in a long while… Great news because I have a rare disease that can zap every ounce of energy so I am happy with the results of my persistence… Yes you are right it pays off!

  • http://www.93frocks.com.au Emma Elizabeth Sutton

    I really love these health update posts – well done on the changes you’ve made – you look so glowy and healthy. I’m checking out that bread as that would fit really well with my diet.

    I’ve made some major health changes also in the last 12 (and a bit more) months, I’ve lost almost 40kg but still have quite a lot more to go. That consistency message – of just showing up – that you mentioned is so simple but so important at getting on top of the health stuff.

    Love that you mentioned Cue Yoga – I did a class there tonight! Burn Yoga! I can still feel the burn sitting here now… it was great though. Well done challenging yourself to move up to the power classes – it took me awhile to get the courage to do that but I really like the challenge now and have become one of those people who bang on a lot about the benefits of yoga, but try not to be too annoying about it :) My brilliant PT introduced me to it and the love of it has grown from there.

  • MeganBlandford

    You look really well, Nikki xx

  • Trish

    I’m glad to hear you are feeling better Nikki , you look stunning. Health challenges make us reassess a lot of things . I agree consistency is the trick and making things a [good] habit . I am happy to be running again finally after my surgery and radiation treatment . An less active lifestyle for 5 months saw me gain unwanted weight.
    The scales shape my mood too lately.

  • Marianne

    You are looking amazing Nikki – not just in your body shape, but in your smile and stance. I think the correct term is glowing – and it most definitely suits you!

    I am working on getting into a routine now that I have a new job, and fitting things in around a long day at the office is proving a challenge. I am parking my car further from the office than necessary, so I’m getting a decent amount of walking in daily now, and we follow a high protein low carb diet generally and it seems to he working. 2 weeks in and we are both feeling better already.

    Bring on the warmer weather though – I don’t like these cool Brisbane mornings!!

  • http://www.prettymayhem.com/ Pearl – Pretty Mayhem

    I hadn’t heard about the 5:2 way of eating before but it sounds very interesting, and obviously it works because you look great! I wish I was as dedicated to exercising as you – the most I can manage is a daily walk but I figure it’s better than nothing :)

  • Samantha Keogh

    Good for you Nikki. Well done. Thanks for sharing. And thank you for your honesty. Allowing for individual health needs the basis for good health and well being isn’t rocket science. A balanced. healthy diet; regular exercise, and a good attitude with occasional treats – culinary or otherwise ; ).

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      It’s not rocket science but finding something that works long term for me has taken me this long. Glad I’ve finally found it though. x

      • Samantha Keogh

        Didn’t mean to take anything away from your struggle by my statement. I was congratulating and commending you. Glad you found what you were searching for.

        • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

          I didn’t think you had taken anything away – sorry! xx

  • http://gabriellemaston.blogspot.com.au Gabrielle Maston Dietitian

    Great job! Just goes to show doing a little bit consistently goes a long way without needing a crash course diet or extreme exercise regime :) Love your work!

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      It does Gabrielle – just taken me a long time to find something I could consistently stick at!

  • Kathy www.yinyangmother.com

    What a great post and attitude Nikki – congratulations on a seriously consistent and balanced approach to your health. Glad that you love the yoga, I’m doing teacher training in September and yoga has become a huge part of my life – life-changing really.

  • Jill

    I am also giving the 5-2 thing a go. In no way am I diligent about counting calories, but even just 2 days each week of eating minimally has seen me lose a kilo or two. I couldn’t bear to constantly deprive myself of yummy stuff but somehow knowing it is only for a day here and there I find quite manageable.

  • http://www.smaggle.com Smaggle

    This is awesome I love how you’ve only lost 6 kilos but look like you’ve lost heaps more. That’s my struggle. I follow diets and expect weight loss and when I don’t see it on the scales I get cranky. I’m doing to 5:2 and I’ve lost 1 kg after three weeks but clothes are fitting heaps better and I’m looking way thinner than a 1kg weight loss. Have to keep remembering that! Great inspo!

  • http://soniastyling.com/ Sonia from Sonia Styling

    GO NIKKI, GO NIKKI, GO NIKKI!
    You’ve certainly inspired me to be more mindful when it comes to my food choices and regular exercise that I enjoy and that suits me. I’ve also ditched the scales! And I actually really want to give yoga a go. I’m waiting for the next Intro to Yoga course to start at a studio near my house.

  • Lisa Mckenzie

    I love your health journey and how it is turning out Nikki,I would so love to do some sort of exercise that is not a gentle walk or swimming which I hate! As you know I have a bad knee and now a very bad neck so I have to be very very careful about what I do do,only 10 minutes in the one position and I have to change positions ,hopefully after my operation I may be able to do something more,I also have a thyroid condition but it is in pretty good check I also take calcium to help with lost parathyroid glands and eat healthily and rarely drink alcohol.I hear you on the gluten thing but with me it’s lactose and dairy!
    You certainly look fanatastic Nikki and I’m glad you enjoy your yoga and feel much better Xx

  • http://www.theveggiemama.com Veggie Mama

    I miss bumping into you on morning beach walks! (and your choice of Chanel No. 5 as toilet spray is trés chic, haha) xoxo

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      Hee hee … desperate times called for it x

  • Charmaine

    After years if trying everything – have started Isagenix and it the best decision I have made. Can’t believe how awesome it is and how awesome I feel.

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      Great to hear Charmaine!

  • HootinTootin

    Forgot to add – for those looking for inspiration re the 5:2 diet I picked up a 5:2 recipe book by the same authors with pictures from an airport bookstore.

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      Yes, that’s a good addition!

  • HootinTootin

    Thanks for your inspiring update! I’m still trying to figure out what works for me. One thing that I have done is finally see an endocrinologist. He recommended the 5:2 way of eating also.
    I think my biggest challenge for the next 6 mths is to get some consistency happening. When I travel everything goes out the window. Given that travel (both for business and pleasure) is part of my life, it’s something I need to address.

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      That’s interesting that the endo recommended it as well – good interesting – he’d also deal with a lot of diabetic patients and it really does help to stabilise insulin levels.

  • Fiona

    Wow ! look at you.. I think you positively glow Nikki. I love how you have waded your way through everything and found what is effective for you. Consistency is definitely the key. I think it all begins with yoga, if it works for you – all that time on the mat gives you, I don’t know, an opportunity to stop all the ‘noise and interference’ and you can pay attention to your body. I’m not quite sure I will ever be able to not do yoga now. A fortnight ago I had an ayurvedic consultation which was an eye-opener ! I am currently doing a cleanse and giving my old digestion a big break.. this is working for me , where so many other things just don’t. I have bombarded myself with healthy eating websites and pages only to get frustrated with the competitive attitude of how many green smoothies you inhale. !! This is simple, thousands of years old and effective for me. Anyhoo.. that’s enough from me, but I would like to say I Lurrrvve your mat :)

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      Fiona, I know, the whole health “inspo” thing has got so noisy. I can’t imagine not doing yoga now either. Amazing. The mat is from Divine Goddess http://www.divinegoddess.net/

  • michelle

    Hi Nikki, I am also interested in trying the 5:2 diet after reading the book but really not sure what to eat on the fast days. Would you be able to share at some point what you typically eat on the fast days. That would be a great help! Many thanks!

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      I don’t religiously count the 500 calories – I have a late breakfast (pictured above with a black coffee) and then early dinner of small piece of protein and steamed veges – I add in carbs for the rest of the family so not double cooking!

  • http://www.sugercoatit.com/ Melissa Walker Horn

    Love it Nikki. Glad to hear you are feeling so fit and well. What I love most is that there’s no extremes here; no guilt and no focus on the number on the scale. To often this is a stumbling block for some many of us. But I don’t need to tell you that it’s the only way, the health and vitality shows on your face!

    Can’t wait to catch up in August. Twice now by the look of things, very exciting.

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      I can’t wait to catch up – and yes to double the fun there. Imagine if I were only focussed on the number on the scales? I’d have given up long ago – thank goodness the batteries went in them last year and I made this decision.

      • http://www.sugercoatit.com/ Melissa Walker Horn

        I worry sometimes how many women give up on health because they cannot bear that number on the scales. It’s a hard programming to leave behind.

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      I can’t wait to catch up – and yes to double the fun there. Imagine if I were only focussed on the number on the scales? I’d have given up long ago – thank goodness the batteries went in them last year and I made this decision.

  • Debbish

    Thanks for sharing and I love your moderate approach. As you know I’m one for extremes and struggle with moderation but you’re a great example of how it works and (while making healthy choices) life can be liveable and even enjoyable!

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      I would say I was one for extremes too but I kept on getting short-term fixes and then undoing those fixes. I don’t know what’s clicked this time but I think it’s finding the balance that doesn’t make you feel like your depriving yourself. x

  • Cheryl

    What is the 5:2 book you used? Clicked on link but came up blank!
    Thanks!

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      Will fix link when I get back to the office – sorry

  • Janelle@awhitefarm

    Oh yes…that “showing up” thing really is key isn’t it?!! Looking fab there!! xx

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      it is Janelle, it is! x

  • http://www.edenriley.com/ edenland

    How did I not know you had Hashimotos? WOW Nikki. You always look good but you really do look extra, extra good lately.

    I’ve had to start exercising and eating well out of sheer desperate to feel better. And going off all medications was quite scary, so I wanted to give my body all the best nutrition and care it needed.

    Less shitty foods + walking and going to the gym = feeling better. Who knew? xxxxx

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      Thanks Eden – years of frustration and fluctuating weight and health – finally think I’m getting somewhere for long time. You will find a balance that works for you but what I’ve learned big time is that we need to be kind on ourselves otherwise we stop doing the stuff that makes us feel good xx

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      Thanks Eden – years of frustration and fluctuating weight and health – finally think I’m getting somewhere for long time. You will find a balance that works for you but what I’ve learned big time is that we need to be kind on ourselves otherwise we stop doing the stuff that makes us feel good xx

  • Hayley Ashman

    This is fantastic! I love that you did your research and have also been working with health professionals. Such a smart approach!

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      Thanks Hayley – good health support has been vital to me!

  • http://www.lidsschofield.com/ Lisa Schofield

    I’ve had to give up a long relationship with running forever due to a knee problem, so now I do cycle classes, weights, swimming (when it’s warmer) and a long ride on my road bike once a week’ish. I’ve also started yoga (ok, it’s on a dvd at home until I learn the moves and feel brave enough for a class), which is such a huge transition for me. I can’t say I feel fitter, and I still absolutely grieve for my running, but I feel more balanced and as a woman in my 40’s, I think my body was telling me to stop thrashing it so much and to find a little zen and kindness. And I still look the same, which was my number 1 fear when I hung up my marathon running shoes. I just walk a little less like a 70 year old now!

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      Oh Lisa, the big key is listening to our bodies and finding a balance that works for us right now. Good luck with your new regime. x

  • http://minsmash.wordpress.com/ MinsMash

    I love that you are sharing your health story Nikki! Thank you!! I have the same condition as you (with extra’s) and am still struggling to get myself feeling well. It’s that lack of energy that makes it hard but reading about what you do really does inspire me and fill me with hope that I can get to where you are if I just try a little harder! By the way – you are looking so beautiful. It’s not just that you are slimmer, you look healthier (your skin and hair) and happier! Well done you I say! ;-) xo

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      It’s the feeling more than the looks definitely – and I totally get your frustration. I have been so frustrated over the years but I’m determined to live my life so have channelled that into a working solution.

  • Jaala Dyer

    Thanks for the link to the Protein Bread Co. I’ve been looking for something like this for ages. And I enjoy & appreciate your openness with sharing stories, and tips that have worked for you. This is how we learn and explore. :-)

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      It so is Jaala … the bread is the business!

  • Pru

    Such a wonderful, honest post! I’m enjoying my coffee while reading this post and smiling and nodding as I go! From a 6 day a week yogi 10 years ago to not much at all and health issues while trying to fall pregnant (now the exhausted but blessed and exhilarated mum of two boys aged 2 and 1 with another bub on the way), I know how healthy eating and living and consistency is the key . It’s very inspiring to read yours and others’ stories and I’m committing myself to yoga again. Now more importantly, where did you get that beautiful yoga mat ;-)

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      Ah Pru, you’ll find your way back to yoga I know you will. The mat is from Divine Goddess in Byron Bay http://www.divinegoddess.net/

  • http://www.msmysterycase.com/ Mystery Case

    After 18 months of ongoing health issues, I’ve finally been diagnosed with Hashimotos (just last week) plus a 2nd autoimmune condition which is still to be confirmed. I’ve hardly been able to function this last six month and apart from the blog have pretty much been in hibernation mode and avoiding a lot of invites and events.

    I honestly think the blog has been the one thing that has kept me going. I’m definitely going to be ‘casing’ your other posts where you touch on your condition for inspiration and tips on how to cope. The complete lack of energy together with the 10 kilos I’ve put on in the last twelve months when I’ve been on a mainly fluid diet (due to digestive issues) has been the worst for me.

    I’ve been trying to pretend everything is alright and have for the most part kept my condition (not really knowing what it was) offline but had a bit of a mini meltdown via a blog post just last week. It was a long time coming and while I’m still wondering what possessed me to hit the publish button on that post (http://www.msmysterycase.com/2014/07/because-im-social-media-free-to-do-what.html) I’m rather glad that I did.

    Thanks again, for sharing your story and for being such an inspiration.

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      Oh Rach … I feel your pain, I really do. I’ve been so frustrated so many times over the years with living with this but something clicked in the last 12 months. My old GP from a few years ago on the Sunshine Coast who is really really good with this stuff is now in Perth – I’ll email you his details. Until I found my new GP in Brisbane I’ve been lost since he left!

      • http://www.msmysterycase.com/ Mystery Case

        Thanks so much. My normal GP has been on maternity leave and I’ve had more than a few moments where I’ve wanted to verbally punch her replacement who spends most of my appointments googling things and then increasing my fee because we run over time.

      • http://www.msmysterycase.com/ Mystery Case

        You’ve also reminded me that I should get back to the infra red detox booth and my local medi spa and use my free vouchers.

        I’ve also started walking again and found walking DVDS (Leslie Sansone) that I can do when the weather isn’t playing the game.

        I don’t do too well with yoga but hopefully once the latest meds kick in and I have more energy, it might be something I can put back on the agenda.

  • chile_chicken

    Great job Nikki, you seriously do look healthy and happy! I know what it is like to struggle with an illness (FAI, IBS, endometriosis, pseudopelade and other random things!) and recently had a health scare with a possible melanoma, and so I feel like looking after your and your health is one of the most important things you can do, not just for yourself but your family too. Lauren from SAHM I am.

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      So important for our families Lauren – we’re no good to anyone if we’re not in the best condition possible.

  • http://www.kellyexeter.com.au/ Kelly Exeter

    I love this so much Nik. I love that you made a conscious decision about your health and then followed through on it. And I love that you are now reaping the results. You do look fantastic – but I suspect that’s a lot less important than having the energy levels you do now xx

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      Thanks Kel – the energy levels are key. And your email really resonated with me this week, thanks x

  • Jo

    Hi Nikki, You look really good I have been doing the 5/2 way of life for 18 months I feel so much healthier than before and my weight is perfect for me.

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      That’s great Jo – I can’t imagine not doing it!

  • Andrea Haren

    Hi Nikki you really do look great! With your 2 days fasting, can you please tell me when you start, ie do you just do one entire day (breakfast, lunch and dinner) or do you start fasting the night before and then do the whole next day (so that would be 4 meals). When I say fasting I know you don’t exactly fast you just eat minimum calories on those two days. I’ve tried to get my head around it all and have read many conflicting ways to do it.

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      I generally eat a late breakfast and an early dinner on two days a week, so the fasting is during the day plus overnight from the night before if that makes sense?

  • Amee

    Hi Nikki…thankyou. I have been diagnosed with Hashimotos and have a 6 month old baby…not sure I will ever bounce out of bed again (unless you count the parts of my body that bounce!). Could I ask which supplements you are taking? My GP is very dismissive and just told me to remain on 100mg thyroxine indefinitely (I’m 29)….appreciate that you can’t offer medical advice but any suggestions would be gratefully received!

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      Amee, oh I feel for you, I really do. Not sure where you live but if you google thyroid GP specialist you might find one in your area. Also a naturopath would be needed (or GP) to prescribe the supplements. I’ll email you as don’t think it’s right for me to put here.

  • 26 Years & Counting

    I love that you’ve approached it with the aim of finding what works for you AND reminding people that what works for you isn’t what works for them! Two aspects of diet/health/exercise advice that are sorely lacking 99% of the time.
    Good on you!

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      I agree! I found out the hard way (getting sick) that a one-size-fits-all exercise plan doesn’t work for me and all it does it de-motivate you.

  • Michelle

    You look amazing Nikki – the before & after shot show just how far you have come & how much work you have done. On a side note I love your tights in your after shot – they look fantastic on you – where are they from.

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      They are from Shop Elsa – Vie Active brand!

      • Michelle

        Thanks Nikki, you source such fabulous pieces, can’t wait to read your book.

  • Diana Proctor

    You look awesome Nikki, as always and have inspired me to make some changes….starting now!!

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      Hooray Diana!

  • Fiona @ Jackadaw

    Fantastic that you’ve been able to stick at it and are now seeing the benefits. The mental battle for leading a healthy life is the hardest part. I literally can’t remember ever jumping out of bed in the morning feeling refreshed and energised. I’ve been through thyroid problems post birth of my daughter but am now all clear. I’ve been using the excuses of having a toddler, working full time and my husband doing the majority of the cooking to just not bother even trying. But I’m so frustrated with feeling tired all the time that my goal for the remainder of this year is to change my habits and get on track to better health. For me that means exercising, walking to start with and we’ll see what comes after that, eating better, trying for a ‘clean eating’ 80/20 balance, and forgiving myself for not doing it sooner and the days when I won’t be perfect going forward. Thanks for sharing your story, it’s important to know that keeping it simple but consistent is the key.

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      The thyroid sluggishness really makes it difficult to overcome the mental bit and beat the frustration – I know!

  • http://ruby-rubymusings.blogspot.com/ Stephanie Ruby Feldman

    New fan here. Trying to reinvent myself and your blog is an inspiration. I have suffered with fibromyalgia for years, and all that goes with it, then to top it off I got fibroids and a monthly that would not end, that made me anemic. With all the health stressors I packed on pounds that would not come off and I stopped trying to eat healthy which just made me feel worse. So now post surgery ( total hysterectomy) I am down 12 pounds, eating better, and feeling better despite the continuing fibro issues. I walk, walk, walk.. I walk everywhere. Most days is 3 miles, and some as much as 8! I have started doing DVDs, lifting light weights and bought a glider for the days I am not up to going out. I have begun to change my clothing choices, my make up as well as started coloring my hair again, all of it keep me motivated to stay healthy. It is all about doing little things for me and my health, not forcing myself if I am “not feeling it”, but just stay consistant in my drive to do something each day.

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      That last sentence is so important Stephanie – don’t force it if you’re not feeling it on a given day. My body reacts badly if I do force it when what I really need is rest. Thanks for reading x

      • http://ruby-rubymusings.blogspot.com/ Stephanie Ruby Feldman

        Thanks for the reply! By the way will your book be available here in the US? Also, you are looking fantastic!!

  • merliyn

    well done! … you are looking great nikki!
    Kelly always has very good sound advice and sits nicely with my own belief system … and pressing my buttons if I’ve been slack! … love it! …
    i don’t use scales and i use my clothes for indicators … as i have had grave’s disease recurring in the past i have thyroid function tests regularly … all good! i am a disciplined eater, do yoga and i gave up the booze! … happy about it too! don’t even miss it! slimmer since! lol m:)X

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      I would be much slimmer if I gave up the booze completely but this is my compromise for now ;) x

  • sharee

    Wow your health story rings home with me! I too have hashimotos and I am also celiac . I feel my doctor prescribed Thyroxine and then sent me on my merry way . Some days it’s an effort just to get up but like you I try to do what’s best for me and soldier on. No more beating myself up . I realize I have to take care of
    myself and try to do so.
    Well done in your efforts to improve your health ,you look like the picture of health

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      Oh it’s not fun Sharee, not at all. I also became resistant to Thyroxine. There is a reverse T3 blood test you can get that shows that resistance. It it’s high you need to have a different mix of medication.

  • http://irismaystyle.com/ Bev | Iris May Style

    Yoga is on my list of ‘must-do’s’. I have a bad knee injury that means running/aerobic exercise is a big No for me.
    You look fabulous Nikki – well done for finding what works for you and making it a way of life x

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      Great studio near you Bev – Yoga Vida in Brisbane Road, Bundilla! Go for it.

  • http://www.pinkpixel.com.au Jennifer Mulligan

    Hi Nikki, thank you for sharing your story! It has given me some hope as I was diagnosed with an auto immune disease (spondyloarthritis) just a few months ago. I was starting to get scared that I’ll never feel ‘well’ again but it looks and sounds like you’ve done just that! You look fantastic! Congrats!!

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      Don’t give up Jennifer – I wish I’d done more to help myself many years ago!