Monday, 4 January 2016

Bad Bellies in the New Year

I hope everyone has had a good holiday and New Year! :)

I don’t usually make New Year’s resolutions, but this year I thought I’d make an exception.

In 2015, I continued to slowly gain weight, and by November I discovered that I was now the heaviest I have ever been. I am not in danger, but I do not feel good about myself, and don’t feel healthy either. Therefore, I have decided that my New Year’s resolution for 2016 is to prioritise my health!

There are three parts to this resolution: more exercise, more cooking for myself, and more focus on understanding my belly.


I have already started working on this part of my resolution. In November, I realised that while it was good for improving my fitness in the long term, swimming twice a week was not intensive enough to help me lose weight. I was very conscious of not pushing my body too hard, as this can put extra stress on the body as previously discussed, so I decided to add walking to my weekly routine.

I first started with a gentle 10 minute walk to and from my local public swimming pool on my swimming days, and after a few weeks, added a 30min walk on Monday evenings. After I was comfortable with this, I started trying to jog some parts of my walking route. At this point, I am now going for a walk/jog twice a week on top of swimming twice a week, and have already lost 3kg!

To help me with this, I have also invested in some good quality running shoes and comfortable clothing, and borrowed my partner’s old GPS watch (see photo below). My partner has been running regularly for a couple of years, and he has been very helpful and encouraging in this, which has really helped with my confidence and motivation! 


As I have mentioned previously, I am not the best cook. I can cook basic things, but have no instinct or creativity for it, and often no energy either. However, last year I started living with my sister who is a very good cook, and she has helped motivate me to try cooking new things and experiment with making things that are more suitable for my belly. :) I have decided to put much more effort into learning how to cook more for myself this year, which will hopefully help me to both improve my health and decrease my symptoms.

I am also looking forward to trying out the below cookbook, which was a Christmas gift from my family. Sourdough bread (particularly when made with spelt flour) has been confirmed by Monash University to be better for those with fructose malabsorption and IBS in general, as the long fermentation process seems to use the FODMAPs in the flour, thus making it easier to digest.


I have also realised that while I now have a much better understanding of UC and fructose malabsorption, I still have a lot to learn about my belly and its trigger foods. Therefore, I have resolved to put more effort into testing my tolerance levels for different foods, and working on my diet in general.

The first step in this was creating a new food table card (see photo below), which has a more up to date list of good and bad foods based on fructose and fructan levels (using the Monash University Low FODMAP Diet and FODMAP Friendly apps as guides), and it is now colour coded – including putting the best and worst foods in bold, based on what I currently understand about my trigger foods. I have also given copies of this card to my family and others close to me, to help them better understand my situation with food, and work as a guide if they are cooking for me.

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