Thursday, March 3, 2016

Thinner Thursday and Living on Planet FODMAP

Previous Weight:  195.8
Current Weight:  194.4
Difference:  -1.4 pounds

After last week's disappointing gain, today I found myself almost back to my low 193 weight, so I'm pretty happy.  I've been really on point with food, exercise and tracking, so I have no complaints about myself.

So, the rest of this post may be TMI for some, but there's going to be a bit of an eating and health update that I wanted to share!  If you get the icks about poop talk, (though I promise I'm not going to be descriptive because I'm an f'ing lady) you may want to turn back now.

I've mentioned it on and off again, but I have suffered with pretty awful GI issues for the last year or so, and these issues kind of cropped up out of nowhere.  I am constipated all of the time, as in things may happen every week and a half to two weeks.  It's miserable, uncomfortable and stressful to say the least, and I have been terrified that I'm going to wake up one day and suddenly have some horrible cancer or something.  It has ruled my life for almost a year and I generally feel unwell on a daily basis.  It's manageable in the way any kind of chronic thing is manageable, you learn to live with it but I causes a lot of misery in the process.  I'm leaving out a lot of details, which you're probably thanking me for, but it's definitely not good.  I think the worst thing is when I've had a good food/exercise week but my weight is stalled or just down by a tiny amount because of constipation.

I have been to doctors to try to address the problem, several of them, and basically no one will help me and every single one has just told me to take laxatives and stool softeners.  That's it.  No one will so much run a test to see if there is a bigger issue.  It's the kind of thing that really tests my faith in medicine.  I am very pro-science.  I believe in science and really respect doctors, but I have been incredibly disappointed and angry at the ones I've seen, even my GP who I actually really like.  He's normally great and we get along famously, but during my last visit to him (after a disastrous visit to a GI specialist who I waited 3 weeks and paid $50 to see, only to be told to take Colace) we had a bit of words.  He was blathering on (and bless his heart, he thinks Goji berries will fix my issues) and I finally snapped at him.  I was feeling particularly unwell that week and was angry at the useless GI visit, and I'm not proud for snapping at him but I was at a breaking point.  I told him that my greatest fear I lived every day was that I had something serious like colon cancer, and it wasn't going to get caught because my doctors were too busy dicking around and not listening to me, and that I was going to end up dying.  He looked like I'd slapped him, which in retrospect makes me feel bad, he gave me a prescription for some lactulose nonsense that also ended up not helping and sent me on my way.  My life since then has been managing this as best I know how.  I take harsh laxatives 3 times a week, which has me going once a week, and I live with the painful discomfort and bloating that rules my life.  And yes, I know that taking laxatives that much is horrible for you.  It scares the shit out of me in fact (actually, it would be nice if it literally did scare the shit out of me), but all I can say is if you're faced with taking laxatives weekly or not crapping for 2 weeks, you will pick the laxatives every time.

This week though I had some escalation in symptoms that had me freaking out, just a lot of pain and bloating after every meal, so I decided to reach out to my doctor.  After some back and forth, he told me he wanted me to start eating on a low FODMAP diet plan for a few weeks, which if you are like me and don't know what the hell a FODMAP is, you can read more in detail here.  (Shockingly, FODMAP is not an evil alien overlord in a scifi movie, which is where my brain went when I first heard the term).  In a nutshell it's a type of carbohydrate in certain foods that causes issues for some people, mostly in people who suffer with IBS, celiac and colitis.  I have long suspected that my issue is IBS, so I almost cried from relief when he sent me the link about FODMAPs.  I'd honestly never heard about this stuff, but all I can say is, I'm down.

That Stanford thing I linked to above has a list of foods to avoid that I'm going to have to cut out, and unfortunately some of my go to favorite things are on it.  Apples, beans, cottage cheese, mushrooms, garlic and gluten, since God apparently does have a sense of humor.  The one thing that I'm most proud of myself about is that my relationship with food has changed so much that honestly, I am okay with it.  I'm especially okay that it's a 6 week approach and then my GP and I can go from there.  I'm not saying it won't be difficult at times and that I won't miss certain things, but no food is worth feeling sick and I do, I feel sick and miserable all of the time.  I have to schedule when to go to the bathroom, I have to take harsh laxatives that I am scared to take long term, and I am self conscious of my body due to the constant bloating I have.  Some days my clothes fit fine, then the next day I practically look pregnant and my pants are cutting into me from the bloating.  So I'm going into this eagerly and with an open heart, hoping that it helps and that if it does maybe I can be officially diagnosed.  And look, I don't WANT to have IBS, but I do want to have something specific I can treat.

The main reason I'm telling you is because my food choices will be changing for a bit, but I am still doing CICO and tracking my food!  I am still going to post my week of meals post on Sunday or Monday, but some things are going to look pretty healthy and seem contrary to my "eat whatever you want" logic since I've had to course correct mid-week with the FODMAP thing.  The diet isn't drastic, it will really be more about taking away certain things and upping the amounts of other things I already eat on a daily basis.  The hardest thing will be the no gluten thing, but even that is pretty manageable.  I'm already plotting going out and getting a new waffle iron so I can make corn waffles, because a turkey sandwich on a corn waffle sounds pretty legit to me.  :)

Once I have a handle on the diet and follow it several days to see how it affects me, I will probably do a bigger post in the future about FODMAPs and an update with 1) what I'm eating and 2) is it actually helping my stomach issues.  Again, I'm going into it with a positive attitude and the hopes that it will help.  I'm a good cook and have a handle on my healthy habits, so I'm excited to tackle this and hope it helps me!


  1. I am so glad that the doctor has finally give you something concrete to try. Fingers crossed that this gives you some relief. I can't wait to see what your food log looks like - you are so creative I know you will have some great options. Corn waffles and turkey sounds delicious. I love your last line "I'm a good cook and have a handle on my healthy habits" - your confidence in yourself makes me smile.

  2. Fingers crossed this works out for you. I agree with Anna, I think you're an excellent cook and you will make awesome stuff that works for you!

  3. I want "I'm an f*ing lady" on a t-shirt. :) Or maybe just a coffee cup.
    I really hope the FODMAP helps you!