Rumbly in My Tumbly Is Only Cute When Pooh Says It

You would think I would be use to digestive “issues” by now. Really, it’s nothing new. I’ve said before that I have an anxiety problem and always have. What’s the first reaction to stress and anxiety? Tummy trouble. Or at least historically it has been for me. I remember being a little kid and having to make the urgent runs (no pun intended) several times before some big event. As I’ve grown into adulthood, that’s improved some along with my ability to deal with temporarily stressful situations. At this point in my adult life I am over being embarrassed by bodily functions. I work in residential care. I’ve seen/smelt/cleaned a wide variety of bodily fluids. Everybody pees, poops, and farts. Get over it. That doesn’t make it socially acceptable to cut a loud one in a crowded elevator, but if you let one slip on a deserted aisle at Walmart and quickly wander off, it will be ok. (Hey, it is Walmart after all).

Lactose Intolerance is a family trait. I inherited it at age 19. I thought I was dying of bowel cancer. My Dad laughed out loud and told me to stop having the milkshake with lunch everyday and see what happened. Oh. Dad’s a smart guy. Thankfully, I don’t have a really severe case of LI, and it’s actually gotten better since that summer I was 19. I still avoid any real amount of dairy in social situations. Just because I’m not embarrassed by bodily functions doesn’t mean I should force other people to have to deal with them. But I’ve lived with limited dairy for so long now, it’s just part of life.

Part of life. Sigh. So is gas and bloating and indigestion any more. It seems to be creeping back up on me after years of dormancy. One day it’s complete nausea from the acid or indigestion and another it’s the after dinner bloat that makes me look 6 months pregnant. (Boy if that isn’t a downside to loosing weight! The “food baby”  bloat has no place to hide now).  I just know you love hearing about my digestive disorders 😉 But honestly, a blog about health and fitness (especially one written by me) is going to cover this dirty little secret sometimes. Diet is a huge part of controlling digestive disorders, so if you ever think my food choices seem a little off, just chalk it up to an off GI day. What goes in must come out, right? And, hey, I know you poop too. It’s ok. Relax.

I’ve had my GI system checked out and there is thankfully nothing seriously wrong. Stress is undoubtably a factor. I’ve not slept well at all the last 2 nights despite going to bed early and I can tell it in every system of my body (hello midmorning migraine). The only conclusion drawn is one I’ve heard before, IBS. I have to say that that is one of the worst names for a disorder ever in my book. Just says ewww. Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Can’t they call it something cooler? IDK what, Unhappy Gut? Alternating Poop Cycle Disease? Intestinal Displeasure? Something, anything, other than Irritable Bowel Syndrome! Don’t get me wrong, I am very, very, very, a million times very, grateful that I do not have a more serious condition. It’s just that Irritable Bowel just sounds gross. My bowels are not irritable. Old men are irritable. My bowels just need a little more TLC than some people (and something like 10% of the population has this BTW!) Irritable Bowel Syndrome makes me feel almost as old as when I write Miralax on the shopping list, or worse, get really excited over a coupon for the stuff. Old Age strikes again.

Public Confessions and Other Commitments

There is something about telling another person your sins that make them real and helps you to move on. That’s why the Catholics like confession I guess. That’s why one of the 12 steps is to admit your wrong doings and make amends whenever possible. Well, I have some confessions to make.

1. I eat WAY too much peanut butter. This is not a new love affair for me. It’s a life long love that only grows stronger. But in the last 3 months, I would venture to say it is really getting to be something I might openly admit to having an addiction to. I love PB so much I named my childhood cat after this my beloved snack food. And my hippie parents never batted an eye. Dad loves the stuff too 😉 Now, lets get something straight. I am a peanut butter snob. I really love natural, fresh ground peanut butter. Nothing but peanuts in my peanut butter please!

2. I really don’t like cooking. I especially don’t like cooking that involves a lot of work. I tend to eat the same things over and over just because they are easy and I know I can make them without setting the kitchen on fire.

3. I REALLY don’t drink enough water. This used to be the easiest thing every for me. I had no trouble getting in 8-10 glasses a day and 12-15 on exercise days. Now I barely get in the 8 on exercise days. I’m not sure what happened, but I have to improve the H2O intake for sure.

This brings me to the public commitment part of today’s programming. I’m here to say that I am committing to drinking 8 glasses of water a day for the next week. I will. I will finish off at least 2 before lunch and at least 2 more before I leave work.

I’ve confessed and committed. Your turn. What do you need to tell the world you’re working on?

Physical Stress

I don’t deal well with stress. I never have. I was a high strung kid who became an even more high strung teenager. As an adult, I have learned to relax somewhat, but I will freely admit that I have unobtainably high standards for myself. That leads to some internal issues to say the least. I’m also highly competitive. I play to win at everything, and everything is a competition to me. I’m letting go of some of that. I really am. I am not nearly the perfectionist that I used to be, and my control issues are improving. Maybe one day I will learn to share even…maybe.

The last year has been stressful for me. My brain has really done a lot of work to deal with the emotions of all of the change I’ve been going through. I’ve come a long way. But my body, that’s another story. My body has not handled the stress well at all. I’ve had stress related health issue after stress related health issue this year. A resolved back issue has flared up more than once, migraines have come back with vengeance, insomnia, I’ve even had adult acne get worse. And than there is the GI issues: heartburn, indigestion, inability to eat without pain sometimes. I feel like I’m 100 years old. No, make that I feel like a 100 year old hypochondriac. I really don’t go to the doctor much. It’s not as if I am there for every little twinge or burp. And I do not use the internet to self-diagnose.  Everyone of the issues I’ve had is as real as the dirt on the ground and documented, except the GI (ruled that out this week. I love being poked for nothing). That’s likely psychosomatic. I accept that, but for right now it doesn’t mean it doesn’t hurt and it doesn’t suck.

I try not to whine or complain. I say “I’m fine” a hell of a lot more than I mean it. But what am I suppose to do? Sure, there are plenty of days that I’m nauseous off and on or that my hands tingle from the side effects of the medications, and I seem to forget more things everyday (I’m convinced that’s a drug side effect; I can’t be that old yet!) That’s just life to me right now. I deal with it and move on. Get it together and go on. I’m not one to sit at home and feel sorry for myself either, and that’s not what this post is about either. However, it is my blog, and at the moment this is what needs to be said. I really don’t need sympathy from a lot of people. When you go through major life changes, you can tell very quickly who truly cares and who doesn’t.

Maybe what I want you to take away from this is a little perspective. Everyone is going through something. Some folks something is bigger than other folks. Some wear their pain and trials on their sleeves for everyone to see, while others tuck it inside. No matter how well you know someone, you can never know all of their something they’re going through. There are people in my life who probably think they’ve got me figured out real well and they know me pretty good. Maybe I’ve shared some of my life. But, the reality is, these people are probably very dangerous to me even though they think they are trying to help at times. So, I’m asking that you also take away a little request. Please don’t be that know-it-all friend to someone who is going though something. Maybe you know someone who had something similar or maybe it was even you. It doesn’t mean you know that person’s core. Be there for them, hold their hand, offer the occasional (read rare and well timed) advice. But don’t think you’ve been in their shoes. Compassion doesn’t include judgement. 

My physical ailments will eventually catch up to the healing that my spiritual and emotional side is doing. I’m sure of it. I’m doing my best to take care of my body. Now that I have all that off my chest, I’m off to the gym to sweat out any more negative feelings. Exercise is the best way to release whatever is bothering you. I’ll be back to optimistic shortly.