Sigh. So with all my GI problems that I had mentioned earlier, I have had to cut most foods out of my life. This leaves very little left for me to eat — basically chicken, fish, other meats, cheese and yogurt is all I can eat. I know what I absolutely cannot have: vegetables, fruit, bread and rice (both white and whole wheat), oatmeal and all other oats and grains, anything containing fiber, etc etc, you get the idea… So in other words, NOT a fun life for someone who loves healthy eating and used to eat all the aforementioned foods.
But, I get hungry. More than that, I just want to be able to eat delicious, filling foods. And then I slowly start to bring in some foods that *maybe* won’t bother me. Maybe if I eat only a tiny bit. Maybe it’s not something that would affect my stomach after all. Maybe I can handle it. And then I bring it in to my diet. At first it isn’t so bad, because it is such a small amount. (Most recently, I’ve been adding these to my chobani: Peanut Butter puffins which have a small amount of fiber, EnviroKids Organic Peanut Butter Panda Puffs [omg. SO good], and small amounts of fruit). Very small doses, not so bad. But, me being me, that is never enough. Yesterday I had the cereals in my yogurt, snacked on some more after, had a banana and 2 persimmons. By the time I left work I was in COMPLETE AGONY. My stomach had blown up to the size of a 4-5 month pregnant lady. I was in extreme discomfort and pain. My plans for going to the gym after work were diminishing. I felt lethargic and slow. I couldn’t even figure out how I was going to walk to the subway feeling like this!
I got home and rested a bit, then pushed myself to the gym. Earlier in the day, I was planning on doing a 45 minute treadmill run (courtsey of Carrots ‘N’ Cake), but that was no longer an option with all the food moving around inside me. I hopped on the elliptical, programmed it for 40 minutes, and got going. I was not able to work hard at all. My heart rate didn’t get up to where it should be to remain in my optimum zone, and I had a horrible cramp in 2 places in my stomach, even though it had been awhile since I had eaten. I pushed myself to just stay on because even though the bloating was because of my GI problems, something in my brain still believes I was just fat. I felt fat, I looked preggers, I felt gross, therefore I needed to work out. I do know the problem isn’t calories (as I have said before), but there is something in me that just can’t make the connection.
But I don’t want to feel this way. I don’t want to force myself to exercise when I am not feeling well because of GI problems that cross wires in my brain with what looks like weight gain. I want to exercise when I feel good, because I want to. Not because I feel fat as a result of eating foods my body can’t handle. So I made a decision that I have made before, but now I am really challenging myself to stick to it: listen to my tummy. I have been having my GI problems long enough (and am having another test this week that should finally give some answers and set me on the path to the right treatment) to know that in order to feel good, I need to listen to my tummy. When I stuck to eating only the foods I can tolerate, I felt better than ever. I was able to exercise after work and feel great, even after a day of eating. My stomach was SO much less bloated. I had more energy. I felt healthier. I was happier.
I repeat: I was happier. Yes, it sucks to not be able to eat what I want, especially when I read food blogs all the time that show pictures and descriptions of all the great things I can’t have. But how happy can I really be when I am in constant pain and discomfort? Sure, the food tastes good at the time, but is it worth it? Of course not.
Today I had a breakfast, snack and lunch that my body can handle. So far, I am feeling good. And as I get more into working out, particularly running, I need to be able to have the energy to do it. I need to feel good in my own body — and that is what I am working on now. Hopefully writing more blogs like this will help me stay on track and listen to my tummy!