“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 ever. EVER! 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! 🙂