Angela and I

Angela and I

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Tummy Troubles.

Happy June!  I, for one, cannot believe it is already June 1st...I also can't believe that we open in less than 2 weeks (cast members, let's all just take a deep breath together).  I am having a blast here in Florida rehearsing for The Burnt Part Boys, and Frances is quickly becoming my favorite role I've ever played.

Pretty much everything about my first full week in rehearsal has been perfect except for one tiny thing...tummy troubles.  I'm gonna give you the option to STOP READING this post NOW if talk of gastrointestinal distress, bloating, and bowel movements freaks you out in anyway. that handy little X.  BUT, I for one would be in much worse state of mind if there weren't people in the online recovery community who were annoyingly open and honest in sharing their experiences with recovery bloat and compromised digestive systems.  I would probably think I was dying...hell, I DID think I was dying last September when I was going through a particularly bad period of stomach stress.

SO - here it is.  While recovering from an ED, you're digestive system is absolutely going to freak out. You have been treating it very badly with whatever behaviors you used (restriction, bingeing, purging, etc.) and therefore, it is extremely compromised.  With anorexia, you have to be very careful in the refeeding process, or else you can experience what is known as "refeeding syndrome" which can have fatal effects.  No matter what though, you are going to experience recovery bloat. You are going to experience bouts of constipation (sometimes lasting for longer than a's disgusting and uncomfortable) followed by bouts of diarrhea.  You just are.  It's going to suck. It's going to make you cry.  You're going to feel like you are a giant balloon animal.  You are going to hate it...but you have to go through it in order for your system to normalize.  You're entire digestive tract is trying desperately to relearn everything.

As someone who had a delicate system before she made it even more delicate (I'M AWESOME!), I have come up with lots of ways to make myself feel better when I feel like a blimp and what to cut a hole in my stomach for easier drainage purposes:
1. Drink, drink, DRINK.  The more water the better. Your stomach will feel like it's swimming, but it helps move things along.  Drink at least 3 times the amount you normally do.
2. KEEP EATING EVERY MEAL.  DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT restrict. It seems counter intuitive and it will be the last thing you want to do, but trust me. If you restrict, your body will think it's preparing for famine and therefore will hold on to any food you put in for dear life. Make sure to get plenty of healthy fats and oils, as this will make things easier to pass.  I find that it's better to eat dense food with less volume...that way you get the calories but not as much bloat (think nut butters, avocados, etc).
3. Take short, light walks.  Nothing too strenuous, just to keep things moving.
4. Wear baggy, comfortable clothes that feel good on the belly.  No tights or close fitting shirts...not trying to be a hero here, folks.
5. Try to stay away from pictures or body checking.  Do NOT weigh yourself.
6. Deep, juicy, yoga stretches.  This can help movement and just make you feel good!
7. Try to focus on other things.  This will be hard, but I believe in you.
8. If the issue persists, PLEASE go see a doctor.

You are going to be fine.  And just think, if you keep on truckin' with recovery, soon your system will work itself out and find a healthy balance.  This too shall pass....literally.


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