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Thyroid and Low Motivation

By Lucy Rose Clinic

July 31, 2020

Are you too tired to exercise?

Or too busy to focus on yourself?

Maybe you set intentions before bed, but in the morning just get a croissant and coffee instead???

We can unintentionally put up blocks to our wellness, or life throws so much at us that self care goes out the window.


If you have a thyroid issue, then getting out of a funk is especially hard – and today I want to show you why. PLUS I share my top 10 Motivational Boosting Tips!

Thyroid and Motivation: What is the Link?

Hypothyroid symptoms affect everyone a little differently, but ALL people with a thyroid imbalance pointing to low thyroid hormone will have fatigue, lethargy, weight gain and low motivation.

This combination of symptoms can lead to depression, comfort eating, alcohol addiction, obesity, and isolation.

Many people will stop exercising because they are tired – even if they report that they feel better after doing it. And this is a catch 22, because not exercising also leads to lower moods and energy.

When someone with hypothyroid symptoms makes up their mind to lose weight, they are putting in 2-3 times MORE effort than everyone else. And if they don’t know that they have a thyroid problem, all that effort doesn’t give big results, and they can even end up with adrenal burnout.

Thyroid must have testing: TSH, fT4, fT3, rT3, Anti-TPO ab., Anti-TG ab., SHBG

To get a complete picture of the thyroid story, other factors to check include; inflammatory markers, methylation status, detoxification status, nutritional testing and cardiovascular risk factors.

Can it be something other than my thyroid?

Incorrect diet, nutritional deficiencies, low physical fitness and a number of prescription medications and environmental pollutants can also slow the metabolism down and lead to hormonal problems. To understand the driving factors to any health imbalance takes sensitive functional pathology that explores the driving factor behind the imbalance.

Adrenal fatigue

Low motivation is also a common factor in adrenal fatigue caused by chronic stress. In fact, many people placed on anti-depressants actually have adrenal fatigue, and this medication doesn’t treat the root cause of the mood changes.

Symptoms of adrenal fatigue vary in people, but include:

  • Fatigue mid-afternoon
  • Low motivation
  • Can fall asleep easily anytime anywhere
  • Irritated very easily
  • Senses become more sensitive – eg noise, smell, vision.
  • Emotionality
  • Digestive problems
  • Feel the cold more
  • Sweat more – arm pits and hands

To assess adrenal status, we prefer a 3-point saliva cortisol test. This tracks your daytime (diurnal) pattern and shows what stage of adrenal stress you actually are in. The test result below shows the 3 stages, which I will explain as well.

Phase 1. High levels of cortisol. Symptoms include high energy, trouble getting to sleep, waking in the night, feeling racey, feeling wired and tired, shaky in the body. High cortisol can catch T4 (the inactive thyroid hormone) as it flows around the body and misdirect it to the inactive reverse T3.

Phase 2. Fatigue with bursts of energy usually initiated by coffee or stimulants. The glands function is dropping but it still has some reserves to respond to stress for a short period of time. Continuing in this stage leads to eventual adrenal damage and HPA (hypothalamus pituitary adrenal) disfunction. In this stage we often see sub-clinical thyroid test results, and the combined effect of a slow metabolism as well as low adrenal energy output leads to more severe symptoms, weight gain, stalled weight that won’t respond to diet and exercise, and exercise endurance starts to fail.

Phase 3. Adrenal burn out, chronic fatigue, HPA-d. In this stage the thyroid hormones have trouble entering the tissues due to chronic inflammation, resulting in severe symptoms. High Reverse T3 may be a separate issue impacting metabolism, inflammation and function.

Tips to make your Motivation SURGE!

Like I said earlier, if you have a thyroid imbalance, you need to put 2-3 times more effort in than everyone else. That means that you really need to make a pact with yourself to give yourself time to self care, seek out motivational support, take your supplements, and check in with the quality of your thoughts.

Here’s some tips to get you started!


  1. Identify one small task and do it now. This could be painting your nails, or cooking a healthy meal, or giving your feet a massage with some essential oils. Make it small, achievable, and do it now.
  2. Breathe. Any moment in your life, you can STOP, close your eyes and take a few deep belly breaths. This will instantly calm anxiety and stress. Go ahead and try it now.
  3. Focus on something in the room and marvel at it’s uniqueness or beauty. Bringing this type of intention to your thinking will raise the feel good hormone dopamine.
  4. Go for a walk or do some jumping jacks. Any movement will shift your energy and boost your mood. Especially if you sit a lot.
  5. Call a friend – choose someone who is not going to unload on you, or gossip. Maybe connect with an old friend and say Hi!
  6. Eat some chocolate. Organic, dark chocolate with 90% cocoa or more will lift your mood, as well as having some great nutritional properties.
  7. Spend a few hours once a week preparing and freezing healthy meals. The benefits of this are massive! It will reduce binge eating, buying unhealthy take-out and keep you focused on your eating goals.
  8. Stretch. Even if you have chronic fatigue, you can do some yoga or stretches. Stretching moves the blood and oxygen around the body, reduces aches, and boosts energy.
  9. Say a positive Mantra. We often have a negative mind reel going putting ourselves down – I’m not good enough – I’m sick – I’m no use to my family – I’m fat – I’m old… Toxic thoughts are just as bad for you as toxic chemicals, so saying a positive mantra is a good start to turning this around. When you pick up on a negative self projection, simply make it the opposite, and then say it back to yourself. If you caught yourself thinking “I am so fat” your mantra would be “My body is amazing”. Say your mantra out loud, looking in the mirror for potent internal change.
  10. Just do it. Some people are better at this than others, but sometimes you just have to stop thinking about it and DO IT!

>>> If you need help with your health and weight loss goals, book a free consult with a Lucy Rose naturopath to find out how we can support you.


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