One thing you’ve probably heard me say a lot on my podcast is, “Eat the food! You may be gassy, bloated and uncomfortable at first but it will go away. It’s just your body getting used to new foods and it takes time to digest.”
Is this true?
But is it also possible that your body might not bounce back as easy as that? Is it possible that you may actually have long-lasting sensitivities to watch out for?
Yes, that’s a possibility too.
If you read my post about acknowledging my IBS, you know that I’ve come to terms with my tummy issues as something more than just post-orthorexia problems.
I assumed that my body would finally get used to eat different foods again, but it’s been a couple years and still no dice. Granted, I have done every diet under the sun in my 24 years of life. Paleo, low carb, ultra low carb, high carb, vegetarian, vegan, bodybuilding, Atkins, Mediterranean, Carb Nite, Carb Backloading, Ray Peat, you name it and I’ve done it.
Maybe my stomach issues started somewhere within those dieting days, or maybe it’s been longer. I’ve had to deal with the frustration of post-meal bloat and tightness for so long that it’s hard to put a date on it.
So here I am, a Body Image and Eating Disorder coach, who promotes eating “all the foods” and now I have to watch what I eat and stop eating “all” of the food.
To be completely honest, I think this is a blessing in disguise.
After I wrote that initial IBS post, I had so many people reach out and comment, message, email or ping me in some form saying, “Me too, and it’s so difficult! How do you have food freedom with food sensitivities?”
I can look at my digestive issues as a curse, or a blessing. The choice is mine.
Personally, I think it’s a blessing because now I can help all of you struggling with this issues as I figure it out too.
So many of us that have had orthorexia at some point in our lives are dealing with the post-disorder implications such as dietary sensitivities.
The question is, how do you “restrict” the foods that bother you without obsessing?
For the first time in my life, I think I actually understand what it means to feed your body what it needs and wants out of love.
Sure, I am limiting certain foods from my body. Sure, I have to avoid specific ingredients. These are the same actions I had when I was in the throes of orthorexia….so what’s different?
Orthorexia is an anxiety disorder. It’s a mental one. How you approach food, think about food and feel about food determines how this is going to go.
It can either be a self-care practice or it can be a self-demolishing one.
I always chose self-demolishing. Now, I am choosing self-care. I am choosing to not eat the foods that bother my stomach out of care for myself. I want the rest of my day to be full of fun and intuition, so I naturally choose foods that are align with the kind of day I want.
Yet, I am extremely pre-cautious about using phrases such as, “I can’t have that” and I am actively observing my attitude towards food. If I notice I start thinking about food in a restrictive “victim” kind of way, I have to remind myself that I’m doing what I’m doing only so that my digestion will heal.
Not so that I look differently.
Not so that I can validate my body, or food choices.
Nothing about my life will change because of the decisions I have to make about food.
I still rest all I want, go to pole, eat delicious foods, read books, talk about “eating the food” and walk my talk. And this is how I am experiencing food freedom with my current IBS-triggering food elimination.
I have been trying out some different food combinations to find out what makes me feel best, and I approach this as an experiment. There is no body image end game. I DON’T CARE ABOUT ABS, and that makes it SO much easier to eat food I think will provide the most nourishment and not obsess over it all day every day.
I know my body will stay the same on the outside, but even if it changed that’s fine too. All I want right now is to get my digestion on track.
I will soon be posting some of the things I have been doing and you can see if any are of interest to you. My hope is that my IBS struggle will be able to help you in some small way get your digestion back on track too!