Pay Attention To Your Gut

Aiding my digestive health as I recover from bulimia.

In the past, while having active bulimia, I never noticed issues with my digestion. It was always when I would try to start recovery and go without purging when I would experience issues. Each person experiences there own recovery side effects; for me, it was mainly bloating, gas, constipation, diarrhea, nausea, and cramping. The first month was the most challenging. I had never made it beyond a week into recovery before the destructive habits started back up. Eating anything would leave me feeling as though there was a weighted balloon in my stomach. My discomfort continued until I finally did some research. Bulimia can cause severe health consequences, physically and mentally. This knowledge was always in the back of my mind, but I never thought I would still be doing it five years later. I never thought I would become bulimic.

For five years, my body was subject to some harsh treatment from the continuous cycle of binging and purging daily. In the end, my binging was beginning to cease, but I was still purging nightly. I was restricting my body from its natural digestion process, while also ridding it of beneficial bacteria and stomach acid. My digestive system now has the challenge of adjusting to a healthy diet. I sought out to improve my digestive health and took action. I added nutritious foods with fiber to my menu, I ate kimchi and took probiotic supplements, drank water all day, and I stuck to a routine.

My diet was clean and nutritious, and I felt fantastic. I had newfound energy and state of mind. For the first time since I was a teenager, I was giving my body proper nutrients and enough calories to fuel my body. Fingernails started to grow stronger, my skin became less dry, my facial hair development even hit a growth spurt. I had never felt so alive. Alive but with discomfort, my digestive discomfort was still present.

My knowledge about digestion was limited, so I refreshed my memory. I looked at the basics and found out how digestion works. The breakdown of food first starts at your mouth. By chewing food properly, you are actively aiding your digestive system. I realized my chewing habits were incredibly poor, its no wonder my digestion had been struggling. I found something called mindful eating. It has improved my relationship with food as well as aid my digestion.

The nutritious diet and mindful eating were providing me just what I needed for recovery. My life still revolved around food. Any free time was spent planning, prepping, and preparing food, washing copious amounts of dishes, cleaning the kitchen, or grocery shopping. My mental health was suffering from this intense focus on food. I work to have money for living, but all I had was work and food in my life. I wasn’t living. I have since had to alter my routine to fit my current life circumstances. I have had to find a balance between recovery and life. Allow time to live my life and experience beauty. My challenge now is to evolve my balance, one where I can have the healthiest relationship with food and life.

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