Monday, June 24, 2013

IBS: Icky Belly Syndrome

You always hear talk of people who exercise to 'get healthy,' not to lose weight.  They make their weight loss take a backseat to the simple pleasure of feeling better every day.  Truth be told, I used to roll my eyes at those people.  Now I find that I might just be one of them.

                 **I warn you-- this post is chock full of TMI.  Read at your own risk.**

I, just like millions of people, suffer from IBS.  As I have gotten older, mine has flip-flopped on me.  It's no longer the fear of not being able to get to the bathroom fast enough.  It's now the wonder at why I never need one at all.

For some time, I seemed to have my symptoms under control.  Now?  Every day of my life, I feel like that poor deer that has been lying on the side of the road in mid-August heat for a week.  Miserably bloated.  Just poking my tummy makes me wince in pain.  Trust me; this is no way to live.  My jeans barely button and only my men's XL t-shirts cover the 6-month-pregnant belly I'm sporting.  Not that there's anything wrong with that pregnant belly, IF in fact you are pregnant.  I, however, am not.

To help find a solution to my daily agony, I have been doing tons of research on IBS and most every article reads the same way:  keep a food journal (even though most doctors will tell you that food triggers are uncommon with IBS), hydrate, add fiber, and get in 20-30 minutes of moderate exercise 3-5 times a week.  I do most of these things.  I am getting in my 10,000 steps a day.  I drink water.  I take a fiber supplement.  But I am not losing weight and I am not controlling my symptoms of IBS.  Therefore, I am issuing myself the challenge of putting the exercise Rx to the test.  I vow to hit the gym a few times a week again, solely with the plan to see if my IBS will improve.

Currently, I find myself miserable more often than not.  I just want to feel normal.  Thus, I am becoming one of those people I used to roll my eyes at.  I am someone who is going to the gym to feel better- not look better.  Don't get me wrong, if a few of these extra pounds fall off in the process, all the better.