(I AM A NOTE: If there are any lovely food blogs you might like to share, please post away. I’m totally open to anything. The more things I try, the more likely it is that I’ll find something that works for me. Same goes for PCOS/Under-active thyroid blogs or friends. Send them my way. We can bond.)
Sunday morning, ahem, afternoon is habitually tainted by morning-after regret, which can only be remedied by gorging on a salty, mountainous breakfast, lots of tea and crappy repeats on telly. Lets face it, waking to the smell of a homely nostrum is an event in itself. Personally, I would drink anything if I could use it as an excuse to eat fruit bowls brimming with sugary cereal all day. Heaven.
Before I go on, I should alert you all: This post will be long and potentially a little gross. Consider yourself warned.
This mornings pain was not caused by a night of liquid delight; blame lies with a BBQ chicken Dominos pizza and me for being foolish enough to eat it. Hmph. The Dominos -vs- tummy saga has entered its third year and my tummy is losing. I could spend hours giving out about how unfair it is seeing friends devour pizza, consequence free, but I won’t. Dominos is my only guaranteed trigger food. Yes, Dominos. Not pizza, just Dominos. Even when I find the strength to say no, it’s drug-like aroma draws me in. Will power, are you out there? Inhaling it knowing it’s soon to be tummy goo is my own fault and I hate admitting this. I feel awful today and expect no sympathy; I did it to myself, after all.
While Dominos is the one food to guarantee me a date with the toilet, it doesn’t stop my bowels controlling me daily, even when I’ve gone for the healthier option. For the record, I don’t suffer from any intolerance, namely gluten or dairy, and I don’t have IBS, although my GP briefly thought I did due to my, um, toilet-bound symptoms. Having been tested for everything under the sun, gone months without eating specific food groups and relying on immodium and motillium to go outside, I hope you can feel, or at least understand my frustration. My medical complaints (PCOS/Under-active Thyroid) affect my weight but it doesn’t seem to matter if I eat junk or spend time cooking healthy at home, it all results the exact same thing: Mega tummy owwwwies.
A few weeks back, the PCOS clinic in Tallaght Hospital sent me for a glucose tolerance test, which was to see if I am in a pre-diabetic stage because of my weight. Drinking Lucozade at 9am is disgusting, as are blood tests. Bleugh. Thankfully, I am not a pre-diabetic, although it didn’t stop my GP voicing his concern about my weight and BMI. You can’t hear it over the internet, but I just said BMI like I had a mouthful of food. I hate BMI. I know I’m overweight, but my BMI and my GP’s obsession with it frustrates me because even at my smallest (11stone-ish) I was smack bang in the middle of my range. This would be a positive point had I of naturally been that size, but I swam competitively at the time, notching up 25+ hours of vigourous exercise a week. The minute I would stop training in August (everyone had August off) I would immediately pack on a stone, minimum, and bam…over my healthy BMI range. Most years, I spent August running on my Dad’s treadmill hoping to soften the blow, but my good intentions always fell short. When I eventually stopped swimming completely, within 2 years I had put on 7 stone. That is a lot. It is a person, albeit a small person.
While I will hold my hand up, shame free, and admit I took to my new found freedom after giving up swimming by eating all the sweets, it came to a halt when I realised none of my clothes fit me. Since then, I’ve been careful about what I eat, up to a point. Being aware of what you put in your mouth is half the battle. The weight gain continued even without the copious amounts of sweets for breakfast, which was hard to take especially because I knew I wasn’t entirely to blame. It was impossible to convince my family of this when I’d been known for my veracious appetite for years. Once I stopped swimming my appetite slowly died down and it’s quite rare that I genuinely feel hungry nowadays. Having said that, I often say I’m starving when I know I’m not. Eventually, my parents saw the difference between mine and my brother’s portion sizes and slowly came around to the idea that I wasn’t secretly eating, something I did when I swam because my portions were strictly controlled by my Mam. This is something I have serious issues with now. With hindsight, I can see she was only trying to help me, but it lead to me having serious body issues and a dangerously unhealthy relationship with food. I can see how far I’ve come, though. The simplest example I can give involves a bar of chocolate; had someone of been silly enough to leave one unguarded in my house a few years ago, the anxiety would have been too much for me and I’d have inhaled it. Now, it doesn’t bother me when there are sweets in the house. I know I can get them if I want and often forget about jellies that have been left in my car.
My palette wouldn’t know the old me if they were in the same mouth. The things I will eat now put my former palette to shame. I’d never had mexican, olives, peppers, most fish and red meat and up until I was 18, curry. I know, how did I survive? Still, I felt the need to put it all out there because these are problems that once controlled my life. Okay, my weird, non-irritable bowel syndrome is annoying, but it could be worse, right? Also, a few weeks ago after being honest about why I opt to stay home a lot, ahem, tummy issues, a good friend of mine introduced me to a lovely girl with the same complaint as me. I have no words to tell you how relieved I felt. Hopefully, at some point, someone else will stumble across this post and say hey, I have PCOS or I have an under-active thyroid and eating this really works for me. Until then, I’ll be trudging away with my food and sharing on here and Twitter.
My GP says I need to lose weight. Fine. I know it’s the right thing to do, but I’m also battling with this urge to accept my body the way it is because when I was smaller I never saw what I actually looked like. I don’t want to miss out on a dose of reality again. But then, the health issue immediately kicks back in and I think it’s more important to be healthy than accepting the way you look. Am I setting a bad example for other heavier women by promoting plus sized fashion when I’m about to try and lose some of the weight that makes me plus size? How can I connect with girls who have the same problems as me, if I no longer suffer with the same problems? (Chub rub/fatigue/finding clothes to fit.) Shut up, brain.
My next hospital appointment is at the beginning of September, so let’s just see what happens. Going gluten free, where possible, is my next plan. Apparently, it’s easier on your digestion. Fingers crossed.