Thinking out Loud 1/21/16: Bloating

January 21, 2016 in Recovery

“Oh my goddddddd, I am so bloated. I feel so icky and my stomach is just gross right now! Okay, time to cut back on what I’m eating today. I am just feeling flat out disgusting.”-16 year old Alyssa.

“Lol, I’m bloated.  Whatever, though. Everyone gets bloated. Especially girls, so it’s just my body digesting food. And it’ll pass.  But I’m not going to let it get to me, I’m going to refocus my thoughts.” -19 year old Alyssa

Crazy how time can really change a person, right?? I am so thankful for 19 year old Alyssa because wow, she is a lot wiser and smarter than little 16 year old Alyssa who would only focus on whether her stomach felt bloated or if she was a tad full because OMG-if she was, there would be restricting for her, you could count on that.

So as you can already tell by this Thursday’s thinking out loud, we are going to be talking about bloating. As always, thank you Amanda for allowing me to share what’s on my mind this Thursday. 🙂


Bloating is common in eating disorder recovery. Bloating is also common when you are fully recovered from an eating disorder and are at a healthy weight: heck, I bloat from time to time still. And while it may not be the most comfortable feeling in the world, there are ways to deal with it rather thank exercising for an extra two hours or restricting your intake. Those are unhealthy coping skills: why punish yourself just because your tummy might be a little more bloated or icky feeling one day?? Why punish yourself when every other bloated human being in the world isn’t restricting or exercising a ton?? You don’t deserve to do that to yourself. You just flat out don’t.

During the weight restoration process, I can tell you that I was far more bloated than I am now though. And that is due to the fact that you are re-feeding your body and organs and getting yourself back to a place of health; back to a place where your body can function. After years of restriction, your body is going to be like, “What the F***?! All these nutrients are great and wow I can’t remember the last time I actually had enough nutrients.” But your body is also going to have to learn how to digest them all and take in all those nutrients again-it isn’t used to it! So you may get a more bloated tummy- and that is just part of the process friends. And you just gotta push through that process, because the bloating feel will lessen in time.

The bloated feeling can arise from so many different things. I get more bloated when I am on my period. Sometimes after a weekend out or a weekend with not enough sleep I just feel more icky in general. But sometimes I am just bloated for literally no reason at all, maybe I’m just more gasy one day or something is digesting different. You don’t have to discover the reasons behind bloating because quite frankly it is just something that happens to our bodies; just like cramps in our muscles or watery-eyes from the cold.

How do we cope with bloating though? How do we push through it without using old behaviors? Well for me, I do NOT body check on days I am bloated. That will just lead to no good. At all. Another coping mechanism? I wear comfortable clothes. No jeans-maybe yogas or leggings and a loose shirt. Something that I am cozy in and that isn’t very tight on my body; something that won’t remind me of my tummy feeling bloated and something that isn’t squeezing to my body as that’s not too comfortable for me. I shift my thoughts. Yeah, I might be bloated-but I remind myself that is OKAY. It will pass just like it passed every other time. I still have every right to eat and relax if I want to relax and enjoy my day. I don’t need to punish myself in any way at all just because my tummy is bloated one day. Recognize that you deserve more than that; treat yourself and your body kindly, it deserves nothing less. So basically- no body checking, which means avoid mirrors if you can or avoid staring at yourself in a mirror for long periods of time; comfy clothes, and shift your thought process. Also- engage in conversations and go about your day as you usually would. Don’t focus too much on something so insignificant as a bloated tummy-life is too short for that! Focus on more important things, allow yourself to live and be happy regardless of something as silly as bloating. 


“Realizing I deserved better changed everything.”

This quote helped me so much and continues to help me on my bad days. You don’t deserve thoughts of disgust about yourself and your body just because you are bloated one day, you don’t deserve those thoughts everEVER! You deserve thoughts of peace regarding your body. You deserve to recognize that some days you may have a bloated tummy but heck you deserve nothing but self-love that day and EVERY day- and you do NOT have to restrict because you aren’t feeling 100% about yourself and you have a bloated tummy. You deserve more than that. Please recognize that for yourself. Realize that you deserve better, you deserve infinite love from yourself and to feel freaking amazing and confident about your body and who you are as an individual. Give yourself a big ass hug today because you are just amazing. I want each and every person reading this to recognize that.

Now tell me,

Do you get bloated some days?

What are your favorite coping skills to deal with bloating? 

Hope you all have a great Thursday. Thank you for reading! 🙂


Lyss <3


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  • Reply Lynne January 21, 2016 at 10:47 am

    Hi Lyss, 🙂 what a great post !
    I absolutely do get bloated….and I hate it !!! but I wait for it to pass, and wear loose clothing 🙂 Happy Thursday, hope you have a good day 🙂

    • Reply Alyssa January 21, 2016 at 2:19 pm

      Loose clothing is the best for bloat! Thanks for reading Lynne and I hope you have a good day as well! 🙂

  • Reply Jillian January 21, 2016 at 11:52 pm

    I’M SO PROUD OF YOU. You’ve come such a long way and inspire me to no end! Love you tons :))

    • Reply Alyssa January 22, 2016 at 12:40 am

      Thank you so much Jilly, you are the sweetest! Love you bunches <3

  • Reply Ellie January 22, 2016 at 12:57 am

    I’ve never gotten bloated once in my life so I have no idea what you’re talking about…said the girl who wants to get punched in the face =P I get bloated sometimes and mostly I try to ignore it and let it pass. I know that it’s probably from the fiber that was in my last meal or I drank too much with lunch. I try not to base anything on it other that reassurance that my body works 🙂

    • Reply Alyssa January 22, 2016 at 4:10 am

      That’s great that you don’t! And that is a good mindset as well, thanks for reading Ellie! <3

  • Reply Sarah January 22, 2016 at 3:12 am

    Bloating during refeeding is the worst! I still struggle with bloating from time to time (who doesn’t?!) But I think it is so critical for us in recovery especially to not fixate on it and just continue following our meal plans. I know for me restricting makes the bloat cycle so much worse anyway. Plus, the more you fixate on the “bloat” the more your brain will blow up the situation and your eyes start playing tricks on you and body image goes down the tubes! Drinking water and doing my best to ignore the bloat are my best tips for dealing with it.

    • Reply Alyssa January 22, 2016 at 4:12 am

      Exactly! Totally agree with you on not fixating on bloating and still eating regardless. Restricting makes my bloating worse too- restricting just makes everything worse!! Drinking water helps me too. Thank you for reading Sarah! Hope you had a great Thursday 🙂 xoxo <3

  • Reply Link Love 1/24/16 – Blissful Lyss January 24, 2016 at 3:22 pm

    […] Thinking out loud: bloating […]

  • Reply Marina @ A Dancer's Live-It January 24, 2016 at 8:52 pm

    This post came at just the right time for me!! I was feeling bloated yesterday after eating some cake mid-afternoon and I thought, “why did I just eat that? I didn’t really NEED it, did I?” I felt like being mad at myself but then I read this and drank some tea and shrugged it off. Then I proceeded to have a cookie and wine later last night 🙂 Bottom line, thank you for knocking some sense into me, this is SO TRUE! We just have to put things back into perspective. You’re awesome, girl! <3

    • Reply Alyssa January 25, 2016 at 1:50 am

      So proud of you Marina! I am glad you realized that there was no reason to feel any sort of guilt for eating that piece of cake. You deserved it and you deserved that wine and cookie! Life is too short to deny ourselves of that yumminess and give so much power to food. Thank you so much for reading! <3

  • Reply Cayanne Marcus @healthyezsweet January 26, 2016 at 10:58 pm

    I love the part that says “go about your day as you normally would”. See, that’s the key and that’s how you reinforce that bloating is natural and a part of life. Not a comfortable part of life, granted, but unavoidable from time to time! And to anyone currently recovering or becoming weight restored – it does get better bloat wise. You’ll start to bloat less and less as you eat more. Strange but true.

    • Reply Alyssa January 27, 2016 at 4:22 am

      exactlyyyy! Amen to that. Bloating is a natural part of life and it sure isn’t comfortable but we just gotta accept it and move on. So true that once you start eating more the less you bloat.

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