Guilty of Eating Trigger Foods
“Order in the court! Order in the court!” the judge yells while slamming his gavel repeatedly. “The jury has finally reached a verdict regarding the case of Hess P vs. IBS, determining whether Hess P is guilty or not for the consumption of illegal trigger foods, which can lead to serious charges of self-inflicted assault and battery.” My imaginary lawyer puts her hand on my shoulder to console me before the jury reads the verdict. The imaginary head juror stands up, unfolds a piece of paper, and without hesitation states, “we the jury find Hess P GUILTY for illegal consumption of macaroni and cheese on Thanksgiving Day and therefore will be charged with 10 counts of self-inflicted assault and battery.” Shrieks and gasps overwhelm the court as my guilty verdict is read, and the judge slams his gavel again to regain order. When the courtroom is silent again, the judge states “Hess P, due to your conviction you are ordered to serve a minimum of 20 hours on the toilet, while suffering from intense hemorrhoids.” I look back at my wife with tears in my eyes, regretting my decision to eat one of my worst trigger foods, knowing I should have listened to her. “I’m sorry” I whisper to her as the officers drag me to my impending doom, becoming chained to the porcelain throne once again. [End scene]
Trigger food temptations
Okay, maybe I’m being a bit dramatic with the courtroom scene, but it’s true! I, Hess P, am guilty of eating trigger foods every once in a while knowing good and well what they do to my IBS. I wish I could say I never slip up, that my willpower allows me to resist some of my favorite foods because it hurts me to eat them, but I can’t. When moments like this happen, I tend to blame myself and get frustrated at how weak I am when it comes to food choices, especially on holidays. I am not perfect and it’s a struggle for me, and I’m sure many others, to stick to a healthy diet forever.
No perfect diet for IBS
Speaking of “healthy diet”, what does that even consist of anymore? In our health classes as teens we were always taught that well-balanced meals with loads of fruits and vegetables was the way to go. Can’t go wrong eating your daily dose of fruits and veggies, right? Well unfortunately, living with IBS means that is no longer true. In fact, many IBS sufferers are severely triggered by what many consider “healthy foods”, such as apples, greens, onions, garlic, broccoli, eggs, and so much more. Even though the “Low-FODMAP” diet exists, which tells us which food are less likely to trigger IBS symptoms, at times I’ve found the diet to be hit-or-miss. As I’ve said and have heard many others with IBS say, “a food that doesn’t affect me one day might affect me the next." This proves that there’s no “perfect diet” for treating IBS and finding a consistent diet that works for me is going to take a long time or is damn-near impossible.
However, I still find it important to try and listen to my body and continue to avoid what I know are trigger foods, like mac and cheese - as much as I can. I’m calling myself out for not being on my best behavior last year with my diet because I want to do better this year. I want to be as healthy as I can be for my family for as long as I live. My baby boy will be here soon, and I want to enjoy as many moments with him as I can without being chained to the porcelain throne. Therefore, I feel its important to admit that I’ve been making bad food choices lately, because I have to hold myself accountable. As a result of my poor choices, I have had more frequent IBS attacks which makes it difficult for me be or stay productive when I need to. Not to mention I have gained some weight to which I am embarrassed to share the amount of pounds/kgs. Nonetheless, I must make better choices with food for the sake of my health, family, and ability to do more in life.
Can any of you relate to my story? Have you had a time in your life when you’ve been guilty of eating too much trigger foods, and therefore causing a flare up? Please feel free to share below in the comment section. Thank you for reading and I look forward to your responses!
Do you think there is enough awareness of IBS?