I like food as much as the next guy. Actually, let me rephrase that. I like food MORE than the next guy. I love salty, crunchy, fried, greasy, smothered, carb-wrapped food. One of my most favoritist foods? (Yes, I made up a word) Jack in the Box tacos! I know, I know….but I do!
And… I can eat a lot of them. Do I? No. Why not, you ask? Because it makes me feel like crap.
Before I switched to eating paleo almost every time I ate I felt bad afterwards. My stomach would be a whole lot bigger than it was before I ate, my back would hurt, and I would have major bowel issues immediately following my meal. It wasn’t pretty. But…. I thought that was normal. I thought this must be how everyone lives, it’s just one of those things no one talks about. And, because this was an every day occurrence it wasn’t something I couldn’t handle. How things have changed!
After going paleo for a couple of months I decided to “eat what everyone else is eating”. Donuts. Haha! The joke was on me. Partly because I already had an issue with grains and dairy, and partly because I had not had eaten them in a while, my stomach BLEW UP! It’s almost funny now…but not really.
No, I am not making a baby announcement…this really is my stomach after eating a donut. Feels about as ugly as it looks! What is this? This is my body’s way of reacting to gluten, to dairy, to wheat, to grain. My intestines get so irritated and swollen they become enlarged and literally fill up every cranny inside my abdomen and force my belly to become painfully large. And yes, I did say PAINFUL.
This isn’t just a cool science experiment where my belly becomes large and it’s really funny and weird. No. This, ladies and gentlemen, is my stomach becoming large and feeling like a 15 pound baby with claws is trying to CLAW it’s way out of my non-pregnant belly. It is SO not a good thing.
So why eat the donut? Because I am human and sometimes I really want a donut!!! And it’s my party and I’ll cry if I want to!!! And because I’m a glutton for punishment!!!
Okay, got the whining out of the way. The truth is, even though I know exactly which foods are awful for me and which foods are perfect for me, I still choose on a rare occasion to eat the awful food. Is it bad to indulge on something really worth it every small once in a while? No. Absolutely not. Is it bad for ME, when it so badly messes with my gut and makes me feels so very awful? Well, YES.
I have also come to realize that the cleaner I eat, the farther away I get from grains and dairy, the worse my reaction to them is.
My body is healing from all the damage these foods have caused and when I eat a bowl of pasta, or some onion rings, or a taco, my gut goes on full monster crazy attack mode. The pain is not manageable, it knocks me out. My stomach is not just protruding a little bit, I appear to be on my way to twins. it also now carries over to the next day. I’ve known for years now that after dinner I would feel a little off but a good night’s sleep would make me refreshed by the morning. I would go to bed with a big belly, wake up with an innie again. Not any more.
Now, I go to bed feeling like I am very preggo with the stomach flu and I wake up feeling like I am newly preggo with a mild case of the stomach flu. It’s not pretty people. See the outie? I don’t have an outie!!!!
You might be wondering why I am decided to so “openly” share my big belly with you today. Well, I have a confession to make. Yesterday. For lunch. Well…
I ate a bowl of macaroni.
Aaahhhh!!! I said it!!! I can’t believe I said it!!! I can’t believe I ATE it!!!
I was feeling good, I was off my Whole30, I was wanting a bite of one of my most favoritist foods and since the closest Jack in the Box is an hour away, I made some cheesy, milky, peppered, homemade macaroni and cheese. And yes, it was good. And yes, it made me feel like CRAP. Quickly. Seriously. Within 30 minutes I was in bed with the familiar family “throw-up bowl” feeling like absolute garbage wanting to pass out.
A couple of hours later I felt decent enough to join the family for the opening of Levi’s birthday presents (He turned 2 today!) and to sing happy birthday to him. Thankfully it was then time for bed for everyone and I was the first to run back to it. Do I feel better this morning? Not a whole lot. I am dealing with the consequences of a very poor decision. But I’m learning. Ever so very very slowly, I’m learning.
One more big belly shot for you and we’re done. Seriously now, I share all of this as an accountability for me, and as a warning to you. I know what grains and dairy are doing to my body. I know I should not eat them…ever. How did I find out? By going OFF of them. Obviously, I am still tempted by these foods and I need huge amounts of self-control and support to say no and then say it again. It’s hard, it’s difficult, it’s not always fun, but it’s the only way I can feel my best.
My old normal isn’t what my true normal should have been. Is your normal your REAL normal? Does any of this sound familiar to you? Are you living with gas, with bloating, with pain, with a gut that is not pleased with how you are treating it? Have you become so disconnected with your body that you’re not even sure what you feel? How do you get back on track? Give it up.
Obviously I am not perfect. I mess up even when I fully know the awful consequences. I am not a nutritionist or a coach. I am a wife and mom trying to feed myself and my family good, healthy, real, whole foods. When I mess up I get right back up and get right back at it. And I encourage you to do the same.
Do you want to find out what your true normal is? Give up these gut-irritating foods for 30 days and see how much better you feel. Do a Whole30.
From one big belly to another.
Try it. Try eating real, whole foods. Your big belly will thank you. I know mine does.