We Shall Have A Magnificent Garden Party, And You’re Not Invited
Posted on November 19th, 2010 in Are You Gonna Eat That?, Budge That Pudge
WARNING! This post is bound to contain descriptions and imagery that are normally reserved for awkward visits with ones family doctor. Certainly nothing a person would dream of sharing in casual company. Please skip over this post and check out something a little sexier if talk of colon-related catastrophes is too much for your delicate sensibilities.
For quite some time now (ok, we are talking several YEARS here) my gut has been trying to tell me something, and I have diligently ignored it. I’ve chalked up it’s plethora of issues to all manner of excuses, including stress, a “stomach bug”, and simple irritability.
Over the past month, it has become increasingly loud and obnoxious in it’s cries for attention. And by cries of attention I mean constant stomach pain, accompanied by mucous-filled stool the consistency of sand, topped off with what can only be described as an oil slick, left lingering on the surface of the water after every visit to the bathroom. And did I ever visit often! Usually four or five times before lunch. Generally I lost count after that.
It isn’t *always* this bad, but I would say that over the past few years, anything resembling “normal” bowel movements have been few and far between.
During my most recent commitment to clean eating, I noticed immediately a change in the way that my body processed food. The stomach pain ceased, and after three or four days, I was having totally normal visits to the toilet.
I had expected that I would feel better once I began eating more healthfully, but it wasn’t until Aiden and I spent last weekend celebrating the anniversary of our collaring, and I indulged in a couple of meals that included refined grains and processed foods, that I really realized the connection. Even though I only ate TWO meals that were on the indulgent side (brunch at Denny’s and a tasty chorizo cannelloni at The Old Spaghetti Factory) and I was back in the bathroom, where it looked like BP had another “woops” moment, right in my small intestines.
After our weekend, I got back on my clean eating plan, and things began to normalize again. As of this morning, everything coming out looks like it should and I feel great.
While all of this back and forth has been going on in my digestive system, I’ve been reading and fretting, wondering if perhaps I have Celiac disease or something wrong with my pancreas. Through a bit of dietary trial and error, the only real conclusion I’ve come to is that I have a sensitivity to refined grain products, processed foods, and foods with high fat/oil content. It could be some sort of malabsorption problem, or irritable bowel syndrome (I’m thinking the latter, since I have all of the symptoms). While I certainly DO intend on doing some follow-up with my doctor, for the time being I am sticking with whole grains, and avoiding fast/processed food.
For some reason, finding (or at least speculating) that this problem I have is an actual medical issue, makes it infinitely easier to stick with my improved eating habits. Even if it’s just a self-diagnosed label at the moment, I feel like it gives me something valid to tell others and myself when it’s difficult to stick to clean foods. My family is particularly bad for pushing foods that are far from healthy, and so with the holidays just around the corner, I feel that putting up the “I have _______ and can’t eat that” wall will make it much easier to decline gracefully.
The changes in diet and my increased exercise habits have had the delightful effect of shrinking my waist, and making me feel stronger both physically and mentally. I’m fitting into smaller clothes, and plenty of people have remarked that they can tell I am losing weight (or at least inches). It feels great to be headed into the holidays with a commitment to sticking to my goals and lots of support behind me (thanks boys, I couldn’t do it without you). I know I will be a better, and fitter me, going into 2011.