Today I have a very special guest post for you! My dear friend Joyce from thehungrycaterpillar blog is not only a FABulous writer – clear, relatable, open, honest – but has also paved her way as a “go to” in the world of IBS and low-FODMAP eating. She has shared her journey through the elimination phase of the low-FODMAP diet in order to heal her struggles with IBS, and now continues to help others going through the process by sharing recipes, research and her own well documented experiences. In addition, Joyce adds another level of personal experience by sharing her history of disordered eating. Recovering from an eating disorder whilst struggling with IBS is no joke. It requires a great deal of complexity, both physically and mentally. What she has been able to conquer and all that she’s learned amazes me.
As you may know, I’ve been experiencing my own digestive issues as of late – for the first time in my life – and thus have been wading the difficult world of balancing food triggers/eliminations and not giving into a restrictive mindset. I’ve been working hard to eat (and live) intuitively, but when physical stressors come into play, it kind of takes the rug right out from under you. It’s such a tough world to navigate!! Glegh. No doubt, when it was first suggested I try the low-FODMAP diet, Joyce was who I ran to.
I am grateful that Joyce has agreed to come to you guys and speak a little more about her experience with Intuitive Eating whilst managing IBS. I have many thoughts and things I want to say in regards to the points she makes, so I will look forward to doing so in a follow up post. But without further ado, I turn it over to Joyce!
As I write, I’m sitting at the airport waiting for my flight to take me back home after long weekend visiting family. As I checked my bags and went through security, I noticed a very uncomfortable feeling in my gut.
I have severe IBS, so I’m used to uncomfortable feelings in my gut. Cramps, gas, bloating, nausea are everyday occurrences for me, although I’ve learned to manage this over time through a combination of making sure to eat enough, limiting some high-FODMAP foods, and taking probiotics.
All this is confused by the fact that I also have a high metabolism, meaning I get hungry about every two to four hours despite whatever bloating or cramping or nausea I might have going on.
So as I found a seat at my gate, I thought, “What is this feeling? Am I hungry? Am I still really full from lunch? Is my stomach cramping? Am I nauseated?”
For many people, these may seem like absurd questions, but for someone with GI issues and a history of disordered eating, it can be really difficult for me to tell these feelings apart.
Intuitive eating is hard enough to learn when your brain is full of stupid cultural interference about weight loss, calorie counting and the like. It’s even harder if your GI system makes it hard to identify fullness and hunger.
But learning to eat intuitively despite GI issues is possible. I’ve been doing it—or doing my best at it—for a few years now. Here are a few strategies that work well for me:
Don’t think you’re quite ready for that level of self-trust yet? Don’t worry. Here’s my final tip.
So how did my pre-plane-ride internal hunger debate end? I decided I was hungry and ate a piece of leftover cake I had packed. Yum!
Thanks, Joyce!Strategies for Intuitive Eating with IBS! #IBS #intuitiveeating #recovery #useyourbrain Click To Tweet
So tell me,
Have you learned any strategies for balancing intuitive eating with IBS, food intolerances or digestive discomfort?