Call of the bad belly

Sometimes it’s cheese, but never yogurt.

Sometimes it’s bread, but never peanut butter.

Sometimes it’s chocolate ice cream, but never Swiss chocolate.

Sometimes it’s carrots, but never cucumbers.

Always, it’s frustration.

Last week, for five straight days, I had a belly the size of a thumb-sucking alien baby, and I had no idea why. What did I eat? What did I do? Was I stressed? Was it the healthy energy balls, or the homemade tea latté, or the mid-week lunch date, or was it the upcoming pre-calc test I’d been studying non-stop for?

This scenario was not a new one for me.

For years, I have struggled with bloating, with a belly that juts out to the size of a five-month pregnant chick the moment it takes in something it’s decided it doesn’t like, tormenting me with gaseous, explosive pains that roil about and kick beneath the skin’s surface.

A cold might keep me off the pavement, but not a bad belly.

I remember constantly complaining about it in high school to the point people rolled their eyes when I said I didn’t feel well. I remember the first years of my career, like clock work, battling that volcano in my belly following every lunch hour I had. Running helped. Eating healthier helped. But sometimes, it still came.

Was it the food? Was it stress? Was it my broken body?

I’ve been tested for celiac more than one hand can count, all of which has come back negative. When I was a baby, they said I had an intolerance to dairy, but when I got diabetes, they backtracked on that one to ensure I got all the “healthy” food groups on the Canada Food Guide. (And to this day I still very much dislike milk (unless it’s flavoured) as a result!) I’m sure I still have a slight dairy allergy (I’m looking at you brie!) and maybe even a slight wheat allergy. But, unfortunately, I think more than any of that, I have a body that doesn’t like change or stress.

I’ve tried eliminating foods, but the thing is, I like food – a lot. And if I were to give up everything that I’ve suspected as a bloating culprit, I’d pretty much go hungry. And that, my friends, just would NOT be a fun life to live!

On the running front: I haven’t run in over a week 🙁 I got a nasty cold last week that kept me off the road, then Big Ring got a nasty flu that also kept me off the road. My work week has been crazy busy which has meant no time for a lunch time run. And guess who’s got her first race of the season this weekend? I do! I do! Eek!

Mind you, in my registration deets, I apparently estimated my finishing time to be within 2 hours – for a 10k run!!! Ha!

2 thoughts on “Call of the bad belly”

  1. Dear Katie , you may not have celiac disease but you could still have a gluten sensitivity. I am learning I am experiencing food sensitivities too. I never gave a thought of how food was affecting me until my eczema got so bad that what started as a rash on between my fingers on one hand spread to include my whole palm and was starting to show up on my other hand. I went to a herbalist, and she advised, no wheat, no oats, no dairy, no sugar. I followed her advise. My got hand got better within 3 weeks. Now the days I eat wheat products or dairy, I feel ill.
    I would recommend avoiding wheat and/or dairy for a while, see if it helps. The way our food, even wheat, is processed nowadays, I understand why it makes us sick.
    I hooe you feel better soon.

  2. The minute I read “sometimes cheese, but never yogurt,” I thought my goodness, we have the same problem! I eat yogurt daily with no issues, even cottage cheese a few times a week, but cheese and ice cream are so problematic (in both cases, the richer it is, the worse the… effect). Ditto bread. I wish I had a good solution but I don’t, so instead I’ll just say thanks for making me realize I’m not the only one. 🙂 (and I will totally continue to eat pizza regardless)

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