It is allll fun and games until I do not feel well. I turn into a miserable human being. It’s something I am working on not affecting my life as much as it does, however, 9 times out of 10 I can’t help it.
When I eat something I should not, eat too much, or just overall forget my stomach is a fragile organ and over do it, I pay a price. My stomach turns into a balloon, I am fatigued, constipated, and have stomach pains. I am also either really hungry, like the kind where you want to eat anything and everything, or the thought of food makes me sick- there is no in between. It’s very bizarre.
This often happens from alcohol and the food I eat when I’m drunk or from the hangover food the next morning. I try my best to choose wisely during these times and not eat a whole bag of chips or a bucket of french fries, but sometimes I indulge because my drunk self says otherwise.
I often find myself getting more upset over the fact that I am so exhausted from living my life constantly thinking about what I am putting into my body, more so than the actual pain I am experiencing. It is a full time job being my own chef, nutritionist and doctor. I am at the point where no other doctor can really help me and I don’t think there is a “cure” or anything wrong with me that can be cured. I’ve been tested for everything under the sun, have a bucket full of old prescriptions that most definitely made matters worse and another bucket full of supplements and herbs that have helped in many ways, but have not fully cured me. I can’t tell you the last time I ate without taking some sort of pill beforehand. First it was Betaine HCL (AKA fake stomach acid) because I did not have enough acid to break down foods. Then it was Atranil, which did help with bloating and digestion. Next were digestive enzymes to help break down food even more, and now I take ParaPro before every meal to help reset my gut. It’s been over two years of nonstop concern over what foods I eat, what the ingredients are in them, and if my stomach can handle it.
In a way, it is crippling because I am only 20 years old and would love to be able to enjoy life freely and not have the thought of dining out cause me stress, but it’s the hand I was dealt and I’m doing my best to figure out how to enjoy my life without fear. I constantly wish I could be a normal college student and drink and eat whatever looks good to me but wishing for that life helps nobody. And I know there are far worse things in life and people who are living with life altering illnesses probably envy me for my fear of food being my biggest issue and scare.
So with that being said, let’s chat about the bad days. The days where I overdo it on a weekend and eat and drink foods that aren’t water, zoodles, or kale. Okay, I’m being a little dramatic but it’s not far from those three foods. So I overdo it on a Friday and Saturday and go from being a skinny legend that has felt good all week leading up to the weekend, to being sort of bed ridden Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, and sometimes longer. My stomach is HUGE, everything I eat for those next three days or so causes a “flare up” (which essentially means I so much as eat a carrot and my stomach bloats to that of an eight month pregnant woman), I am beyond exhausted because my body is working so hard to figure out what is going on and break down those french fries that probably were not my smartest move, and I am constipated for a couple of days (or dare I say more).
There is no magical cure or fix and this first tip is not helpful in any way, but after years of this, it really is true.
Usually by Wednesday or Thursday I am back to my normal self and feeling like a semi-skinny legend. I’ve tried all the pills and supplements to help my stomach but it really just does take time. It will ALL pass and I’ve learned that you need to give your body time to recover and revive. Lots of people are able to bounce back quickly, but my body takes a lot longer to process anything.
Ginger tea helps soothe and by no means is meant to cure but I find that anything with ginger in it is great when my stomach is upset.
This one is AMAZING. So what you do is lay down flat on your back. Take the heel of one hand heel to the left side of your stomach and start up below your ribs. Press down on your stomach and slowly (but with pressure) push your hand down to where your hip line is. Then continue to move your hand straight across over to the right side of your stomach (this line should be below your belly button), drawing a backwards L (or maybe upside down, I don’t know). This helps move the food in your intestine over to where it’ll exit your body.
If you follow my stories, you’ve probably seen me heating this up and drinking it. I drink it to help reset and heal my gut. Bone broth is literal liquid gold. Bone broth has SO many benefits. It has tons of vitamins and things that are good for you. Most importantly, it is great for healing a leaky gut.
It is so easy to make (recipe linked here) and all you have to do is throw a handful of vegetables, pepper, and some chicken bones into a big pot and cover it all with water. You bring it to a boil and walk away for the day. When the night time comes around, you strain it all and you have a massive pot of goodness on your hands. I like to portion them into individual snack size bags and freeze them so I can take them out when I need a cup.
Again, so not helpful but water helps to keep everything moving in your system. Drink even more when you do not feel good, I promise it helps even though this is the lamest advice.
My favorite thing to do when I don’t feel good and just about the only thing I want to do is LAY IN BED. I am so exhausted and in general just do not feel like myself. Laying in bed and hibernating from the world is one of the only things I can do to help myself.
Sometimes I feel miserable for a day or two, sometimes it’s a week or two. It really depends on how much I overdid it and how easy I am able to go on my body while trying to pretend I didn’t over do it.
All I can hope is that one day I will be able to not completely fear food and enjoy it freely, although I’ve sort of come to the conclusion and realization that this is most likely going to be a huge part of my life for a long time.
In the words of Lisa Rinna (who sums up my life PERFECTLY), “If I feel better, I’m nicer. If I’m nicer, my life goes better because if I’m nicer then you’re going to be nicer to me. And if I’m nice, everything runs smoothly.”