You’ve probably heard the name Gena Lee Nolin—but how you heard, is likely to vary from person to person. Maybe you saw her on The Price is Right or Baywatch (like me) in the 1990s.
But if you had only heard her name in the last few years, you might know her solely for her activism work after she was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s hypothyroidism. Nolin now campaigns for regular thyroid gland checks and blood tests after the diagnosis helped her change her lifestyle and tackle the disease.
She even created a program called Thyroid Sexy to help others afflicted with the disease feel better about themselves while they fight it.
To learn about her work, I recently spoke with Nolin over email. I even had a chance to ask her about the potential of a Baywatch Kickstarter ALA Veronica Mars.
You were diagnosed with Hasimoto's Hypothroidism in 2009—what was going through your head when you first learned that you had it?
When I heard I was diagnosed with Hashimoto's disease, I was overwhelmed (with the name) and then relieved that I was finally diagnosed. I learned everything there was to know about the disease and found what worked best for me regardless of what others thought.
Some medications and conventional ways don't always work for everyone when dealing with this, so be open to try new things, especially with your diet & exercise.
What inspired you to created Thyroid Sexy and what's the goal behind the program?
When I was diagnosed in 2009, I started taking synthetic thyroid hormone, which did not work for me. I was deathly ill with flared up thyroiditis that came and went for 2 years. In July 2011 I decided to create a support page where I could share, get information or just vent about what I was going through.
I hear some very fortunate stories about people who sail through this on their synthetic medication without experiencing any major symptoms… I wasn't one of them!
I'm a very positive person who has always viewed the glass half full, so why was this happening to me? Instead of wallowing in it, I pulled up my sleeves and got educated.
The fact of the matter is, I didn't feel Sexy, I didn't feel well and I needed to talk to someone who got it! That's when "Thyroid Sexy" was born.
Is it hard keeping up with some of the people out there who try to connect with you on the Thyroid Sexy Facebook page, Twitter, etc.?
Yes, I can't personally email every person back—it isn't possible when thousands of them are coming in daily. I have help from my administrator Linda Adams who is my lifesaver!!
I'm on every day checking in, making posts when I can, but what's cool is that TS is running itself. The entire group is a family and we all chime in to answer questions and help one another, that's the best part of it.
It's not just my page, it's our page!
Do you have any TV or movie projects in the works right now we should know about?
Yes, I have my book [releasing on] October 8, 2013 "Beautiful Inside & Out.”
I'm in pre-production for a kid's cooking show and a few other things I wish I could say, but can't!
It's going to be a busy year.
OK—I gotta ask something about Baywatch. There's a lot of talk these days about long forgotten TV shows coming back thanks to Kickstarter. If there was ever a Baywatch Kickstarter or revival... would you want to be involved in it in some way?
Good 'ol Baywatch!
The only thing that would be kick started is me hitting the gym 5 hours a day!
No, seriously, I think it would be great and I'd definitely carve out time for a show that did so much for me. It gave me a career and a platform!
Just put it this way, I'm forever grateful to the Santa Monica beaches and of course "The Hoff!"