IBS and Getting in Shape

If someone had told me years ago that I would have a chronic digestive illness one day, I would have thought that at least, I would lose weight. But as it turns out, I don’t lose weight. On the contrary: getting in shape has been a struggle for me ever since I got IBS.

In need of energy

Even at the beginning of my IBS journey when I barely ate anything, I didn’t lose any weight. On the contrary, I gained some. The reason for this lies in what I ate.

Since I hadn’t figured out my trigger foods yet, I was experiencing flare-ups every single morning. I would go to work feeling dreadful, so I never ate breakfast. I couldn’t even look at food until around 11 am. But when it got to that time and I started feeling better, I got really hungry and light headed.

So in order to be able to concentrate, I would eat something sugary to get my concentration level up. I don’t think that I need to explain what the problem was. Eating sugary food all the time is neither healthy nor does it do anything for your figure.

Being afraid of vegetables

Once I figured out my trigger food situation, things got better. My flare-ups stopped being as bad and I was able to eat foods without having symptoms afterward. That was the time when I mostly lived off Japanese food because I knew it was safe.

But again – even though Japanese food is much healthier than sweets, it doesn’t exactly contribute to weight loss. At least for me. I tried to eat healthier so many times, but it didn’t work. As soon as I started eating vegetables instead of rice or potatoes, I got IBS symptoms right away and had to return to my safe foods.

It’s rather frustrating to not be able to lose weight because your gut doesn’t want you to eat healthy foods – or at least that’s how I felt.

Exercising with IBS

In order to get in shape, I decided to start exercising more. But I did it all wrong. Instead of finding something that I could do at my own pace, I signed up for classes. This meant that I had to be at a certain place at a certain time every week, which is something that my anxious brain doesn’t like. As you can imagine, my IBS almost always acted up. As a result, I was dreading these classes and they didn’t do much for me, either.

After a while, I quit and started doing yoga at home instead. This is something that I’ve been able to keep up every day since the beginning of the year, and I can definitely see the results.

Being healthy with IBS

Getting in shape while keeping my gut happy is something I still struggle with, but I’ve gotten better. For example, I figured out what vegetables I could eat without getting a flare-up, and I always balance them with foods that I digest very well.

Preparing my own food also helps with eating healthy. Instead of buying prepared granola, I’ve been making my own for quite some time. This way, I’m sure that I don’t add any trigger foods into it, it’s cheaper, and contains less sugar. The same goes for other meals: I tend to cook more foods myself because I’m able to cut down on ingredients that I don’t want to eat.

Getting in shape when you have IBS is a slow process and takes much more planning than for people with healthy guts. But I’m happy that it’s getting easier, and I’m proud of myself for trying.

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