FODMAPs week six: everything I like hurts me

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Ironically, better for me than lentils!

Six weeks in to the FODMAP diet and I decided I was bored.  I’d got my IBS basically under control, but I was finding eating rice and rice and more rice really dull.  So I decided to start reintroduction a bit early.  A sneaky croisssant here, a slice of bread there. No, it wasn’t very scientific.

And then came yesterday.  Monday, the day I should have written this post.  And the reason I didn’t: because I was at work until 11.15pm (and then in a scary cab for another hour).  I was busy, I was shattered, and when it came to being offered free food at work, how could I resist?  I stuffed my face with mushrooms, onion, dairy, and gluten.  And I felt terrible.  Literally awful for the whole night.  When I got home, I was worried I would be sick.

Time for some hard facts: this diet isn’t about doing eight weeks of strict eating and then going back to my old ways.  This is about figuring out what I can eat in the long term.  And clearly, it’s not thick wedges of brie on crusty bread.  I know this; any fool on a diet knows this.  So why can’t I get it together and start eating the things that are good for me?

The difference is so remarkable, after all – today I had salad and porridge and gluten free pasta and I just felt a million times better.  My stomach didn’t hurt, I didn’t feel sick, and I didn’t have to worry about bloating.  When I talk about treating myself, I should be talking about the foods I am eating today – the things that work with my body.  I shouldn’t be talking about croissants, which only ever make me feel worse.

I guess the idea that these carby, greasy foods are “treats” is very ingrained in our society – by the people who produce the foods, their advertisers, magazines, celebrities, friends and families even.  It’s hard to break that mindset and think actually, eating something that’s going to make me feel ill isn’t a treat.  This isn’t about losing weight, or looking hot, or feeling like I’ve “earned” the right to eat greasy carbs.  This is about the fact that my body simply won’t accept them.  If I want to be unhealthy, I need to turn to chocolate (which I don’t like half as much as cheese croisssants!)

So that’s what I’m going to focus on this week, as I begin the slightly more scientific process of reintroduction.  When I automatically reach for cheesy unhealthy foods as a treat, I’m going to remind myself that making myself ill isn’t a treat.  And if that means eating a tube of fruit pastilles a day until I can get used to the idea… well, so be it!

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