Having grown up being taught to “try everything once” I have never been a fussy eater, and with a chef for a Dad I quickly learnt to love cooking, and love eating even more.
In 2013/14 I began to feel very ill on an almost daily basis – it started with bloating and nausea but soon developed into being physically sick at least once a day, which I soon linked to eating. My love for going out for dinner quickly stopped; worrying that people would hear and talk, or family and friends would notice and think the worst.
After putting up with it for months I finally went to the doctors for multiple tests and the doctors diagnosed me with a hiatus hernia and IBS. I was told that both were common and could usually be managed by following a strict FODMAP diet.
After trying to fight following what I thought was the most restrictive diet in the world I soon gave in, and found that my symptoms were relieved within weeks. It wasn’t easy in the slightest, and one slip up put me out for days, but nearly four years in I have finally managed to almost master having a happy tum!
My life has always revolved around food (constantly thinking about when my next meal will be!) so I haven’t had to adapt too majorly there, but having to miss out on my favourites like cheesy garlic bread, spag bol, fish and chips (I could go on) has been difficult and frustrating to say the least.
My tummy still is by no means perfect – I have good weeks, and even months, to then be met with the bad times – suffering with bloat, sickness and dizziness for days/weeks/longer, for no apparent reason, which is frustrating and really demoralising.
…But that’s why I decided to start the tummy diaries. I’ve learnt that although there can be some real lows with living with a restrictive diet, the gain in health and happiness that you can achieve by looking after yourself and understanding your body definitely outweighs the “going without”. It isn’t always the smoothest ride even when you do figure out your triggers but hopefully sharing my own experiences and tips will help others along their own free-from journey!