How a Cruise to New Zealand Improved my Thyroid Health

Back in February Hubby and I went on our first cruise together.

A view from the North Star on the Ovation of the Seas.

A view from the North Star on the Ovation of the Seas.

We flew from our home south of Perth in Western Australia to Sydney and then boarded the Ovation of the Seas, a Royal Caribbean ship to set sail for 12 nights starting at the top of New Zealand, dotting its way along the coastline to the south and then back to Sydney.

The cruise was a celebration of a few things. First it was a belated 20th Wedding Anniversary from a few months prior. Second it left on Valentine’s Day which was the anniversary of our engagement, and lastly but clearly the most important, it was my birthday while we were away!

So how did it improve my thyroid health? Let me share…

1. I got fit

Getting fit prior was not actually a goal, nor was getting fit on the cruise, it just kinda happened.

  • I spent 3 months strengthening my dodgy right knee, bike riding and doing steps so that we could do a scenic bike ride as one of the onshore excursions. I did the strengthening and rehab with the help of my chiropractor.

  • We took the stairs most of the time on the ship (the lifts were so slow) and since we were on Deck 12 and many of the things we did was on decks 15 / 16 or 3/4/5 we did stairs many times a day.

  • We started each day going to the gym. The ship had a great gym and I was really surprised by how busy it was. In fact many days I had to wait to get a bike, and did something else instead. But don’t think because we started the day in the gym we didn’t have fun. Our mornings would be gym - breakfast - spa with a cocktail in hand 😂😱🍹which was usually a Pimms Cup… so it had fruit in it… that’s ok right at 8am???

  • After the cruise we stayed in Sydney for 3 nights. Little known fact if you don’t live in Australia, it is cheaper for us to fly to Bali for a week (we live in Western Australia) than to fly across the country and spend 3 nights in Sydney. So we have always gone to Bali. This time, since we were there anyway, we stayed at Circular Quay which is full of hills and stairs. Plus we climbed the Sydney Harbour Bridge… 1330 stairs!!

  • We danced ALOT! We were like teenagers again and several nights found us on the dance floor until the wee hours. This was the one activity that put my knee in jeopardy again and found me having to tape it up just in case.

2. I Lost Weight

Yesssss! Seriously I did!!! I lost 3 kg (nearly 7 pounds) which has not returned even though I still am not sure how.

  • Breakfast every morning was at the buffet. I had one plate only though cause that’s all I can fit in.

  • I always had the crispy streaky bacon… cause I love it.

  • I never had bread or toast…. cause I generally don’t reach for it anyway. But I did have some mornings an egg on a half english muffin with Hollandaise. It’s funny though, I always got it, but most mornings I gave it to hubby.

  • I discovered “biscuits & gravy” which is completely different in Australia to what it is in the southern parts of the US. I LOVED them… for us they compare to a scone and white sauce. Seriously! Yum!

  • I ate Pizza everyday. Yes I did. The Pizza cafe was only shut between 3 am - 5 am so it was always reliable, hot, delicious food if we had skipped dinner because we were dancing.

  • We didn’t eat desserts. We tried a couple of times taking a plate with a few little cakes back to our cabin, but we never ate them. We had reduced all of that and had stopped eating it 6 months prior to the trip and so we just didn’t fancy it any more.

  • We drank ALOT of cocktails. In case you missed the hint about the Pimms Cup at 8 am in the spa, that was just an example. But it was part of the fun, and I have to say for every cocktail I drank at least 600ml of water…. balance right?

  • Dinners were either the buffet or the dining room which was generally a decent meal of some kind of protein and veg for me.

  • I am not sure we ate lunch very often. Occasionally we did, but generally if it was only part of an onshore excursion or say the Sushi Rolling Class I did. But other than that breakfast kept us going till dinner.

  • Here’s the biggest thing about food: I didn’t limit myself, beat myself up about any choices nor did I force myself to get the healthy option if I didn’t want it. I didn’t search out the gluten free, dairy free, sugar free, restricted options. I just ate what I wanted. And I loved every mouthful!

3. I reduced stress

  • Cruising is like being in a bubble. You have no idea what is going on in the outside world. It’s so hard to remember what day it is that the lifts have the day of the week set into the floor and are changed every night at midnight.

  • We could do heaps or do nothing.

  • We slept more and had naps often. We had a balcony suite so we always left the door open and the sound of the ocean was our lullaby.

  • The ocean is a great source of negative ions, which physically reduces stress and inflammation.

  • We let ourselves be teenagers again. No judgement. We sang on the top of our lungs at the silent disco (best fun ever) and danced at the nightclub.

  • We took books to read, but didn’t get the chance! Go figure?! We were always happy to just wonder the ship, watch shows, listen to talks, have another drink and chat to people we have never met before while participating in quizzes. There were even health workshops in the gym on many days! Awesome!

4. I didn’t work

  • I took my laptop with me which I always do. I think I opened it maybe three times?!

  • At first I was stressed about not answering your questions on facebook but after a few days I kinda just relaxed and decided it was ok to actually have a holiday! That’s when I posted some photo’s and told you all where I was. Then I gave myself a break!!

  • The thing with me and Thyroid School is that I am never in off work mode. If I am not online answering questions, I am researching, writing a book, writing posts, and planning the next evolution of my business. It’s exhausting, but it's an obsession. I can’t help it. The cruise was the closest I have EVER come to not thinking about business and just focusing on us as a couple which is much needed when you are transitioning from parents to empty nesters!

  • I learned that the next big holiday I go on I have to allow an extra 2 weeks after it for recovery 💃🏃‍♀️😴 Many of you know I got Vertigo again on my return, so that kept me away from my laptop for almost 2 weeks. Luckily I was already coping with the absence so just shrugged my shoulders and on I went.

  • In future I will be less strict about the no work and maybe get more comfortable with doing more lives just to keep you guys in the loop! I know I say that alot, but it’s time I put on my big girl pants and actually do it!

That’s how I Improved my thyroid health!

We all know the fitter we are the better it is for our thyroid health, but stress is one of the biggest factors in thyroid disease.

I reduced my stress so significantly that I could feel a new beginning.

I know we can’t all go on fancy cruises, and who knows when the next one will be for us?

BUT… the take-aways from this trip will stay with me for a long time and has changed my mindset around many things, all of which will have a continued improvement on my thyroid health.

I am having my usual yearly check up soon including all my bloodwork. I am looking forward to seeing if how great I feel is reflected in the numbers.

Copy of Love & Hugs (1).png