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Living with IBS – Willpower vs. Temptation

Every day, I am in a battle with my IBS. I am constantly dealing with the daily pressures of eating unhealthy and skipping exercises. Think about it: it’s so much easier to choose fast food over cooking a healthy meal because it’s already prepared and made to order. It’s also easier to lay around and not do any kind of physical activity because it doesn’t require much energy. Granted, as IBS sufferers, we do deal with extreme pain and discomfort so taking it easy is necessary sometimes. Personally, although I am almost always in pain, developing the willpower to fight through it seems to be the only viable option if I want to lead a healthy life while having IBS.

A strong adversary

When I succumb to temptation, such as eating unhealthy or not exercising for a long time, I suffer a whole deal of consequences. My stomach pain would intensify, I’d use the toilet a great number of times a day, my body would feel weaker, and my willpower to change my habits would diminish. Just recently, I hosted a party and I decided to purposely throw my willpower out the window. I was partying like I was in college again, except I didn’t get drunk and hungover, but I was drinking and eating more than I had ever done in a long time. I drank a handful of shots, guzzled down a couple of brews, and actually ate mac and cheese, which is one of my greatest weaknesses. I love mac and cheese so I had to get just a tad bit more than one serving. Needless to say, the following days after the party were a living hell, but for me, it sure was worth it.

IBS is a very strong adversary and it puts up a great fight every time. I feel that in order to weaken my IBS, I have to constantly work on enhancing my willpower. I must do things on a consistent basis that helps me fight off any temptation. For instance, it takes willpower to exercise, but if I actually do just a little bit of it at a time, then it will become a lot easier to do. The same thing can apply to eating healthy meals. If I were to incorporate healthy sides into my meals, then I would eventually adopt the habit and eat healthy regularly. My point in doing this is that I have to make my willpower goals into small measurements of success. The more small goals I meet, the easier it will get to improve on my willpower and fight against temptation.

Keep fighting

The reason why it is so important to me that I improve on my willpower is because I know it is currently the only way I can effectively manage my IBS symptoms. Training my mind and body to constantly be in a state of control is a challenge, but a challenge I am forever willing to face. I am not perfect, and I know sometimes things are easier said than done, but I refuse to let IBS control my life, so I’ll do whatever it takes to keep fighting.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.


  • KatieM.
    2 years ago

    It is very frustrating trying to figure out what to eat. I try to eat healthy with fruits and vegetables and always end up with cramps and many trips to the bathroom. Especially when working full time, I absolutely can not eat vegatables of any kind at work and am very limited on the fruits I can have. So I try to eat them with dinner and end up miserable all night and then sometimes through the next day. I am overweight because the only thing that doesn’t seem to bother me are carbs. Anyone have any suggestions? Oh and I have anaphylaxic reaction to any type of nuts and peas and also allergy to eggs and shellfish. Limiting me even more.

  • Chris Hall moderator
    2 years ago

    Thanks for commenting, KatieM! It’s definitely hard to nail down which foods will be safe for you to eat, especially with food allergies. I feel you on that! I have been in anaphylactic shock before due to a nut allergy.. not fun. Have you heard about the low-FODMAP diet? This is diet strategy is commonly used across the IBS community. We have more information on that here: It also might be worth locating a registered nutritionist near you that can help you navigate starting a diet like this. We have some more information about that here: I hope this is helpful! – Chris, Team Member

  • Drupysmom
    2 years ago

    What exercises work for easing pain ?

  • Chris Hall moderator
    2 years ago

    That’s a great question, Drupysmom. We do have some information on exercise here: Another possible exercise is yoga! I hope this is helpful. – Chris, Team Member

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