Tried It Tuesday – Brutal Honesty

Good morning everyone, and happy at least it’s not Monday day! Also known as Tuesday. I’m linking up with Sara from Lake Shore Runner for her Tried it Tuesday! LSR-Tried-it-Tuesday-500x499 Now it’s about to get real in here. I know I’ve alluded to the fact that I’m a picky eater, and have mentioned I was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease last summer. However, it’s definitely not a topic that is fun to talk about, or something that I’ve felt the need to explore on this blog. But if I’m going to have a blog about running and exploring my picky eating habits, I might as well get right to it. I’m currently experiencing the beginning of a Crohn’s flare.

Unfortunately, this is not the post I planned on publishing today. I had a very excited re-cap of the Paleo-ish (read: anti-carb) challenge my boyfriend and I were experimenting this week. But as of right now, I’m not eating Paleo, I’m definitely not eating carbs, and to be honest, I’m not really “eating” much. I spent the majority of my evening awake, and therefore this post is the result of that. As a fair warning, this post is relatively long and somewhat wordy, and 100% fueled by my lack of sleep at 3am. But I think that it’s important for me to share this part of my life.

After our delicious, and beyond fabulous if I do say so myself, homemade pizza Sunday night – Carbo loading for a carb free week, makes sense right? – I started to feel not so hot. Now if you’ve read my weekly workout recaps from last week, you’d know that I’ve been feeling quite fatigued. At first I thought it was due to my sinus infection. Then I thought maybe the reason I wasn’t feeling so hot, specifically on my runs, was because of the humidity. But last night, I’m pretty positive I started to have a full blown flare.

I’m still new at this whole “Crohn’sing” thing so only time will tell. But if I’ve learned one thing, the constant fatigue, intense stomach/digestive cramping, and the nausea I get when I even do so much as think about eating, I’m pretty sure I’m experiencing a flare. Oh. And the night sweats. Because that’s cute and fun for everyone to enjoy.

I’m hoping this will pass quickly. I’m due to see my doctor in two weeks, but have a strong feeling that I will need to get in before my regular appointment. This disease has been extremely difficult for me to deal with. What frustrates me more than anything else, is I never know when I am going to have a flare. I also don’t know how long it will last. For someone who likes to plan, this disease is far too unpredictable, and in turn, extremely frustrating.

I have had signs and symptoms for most my life, however that is what I perceived as my “normal“. For whatever reason, and I’m pretty sure I’ll never know, last summer I experienced my first full blown “flare”. I’m still trying to adapt and figure out a diet that works best for me. I tend to track what I eat, at least mentally, and have written down most of my “pre-flare” meals.

I don’t eat meat. I prefer organic foods. And try to consume whole foods rather than pre-made or pre-packaged ones. I’m almost completely dairy free, with the exception of limited amounts of cheese.I also try to limit my sugar intake, as I find sugary foods sit longer in my stomach and lead to more digestive pain. I limit the amount of wheat and heavy carbohydrates as those too are difficult for my body to digest and process.

I try my very best to plug on and see the positive in each day, but it is hard. A lot of people may see this and think it is an “extreme” way to eat, but to me it is pain free. Whenever I start to feel sick, I tend to wonder what I could’ve done to initiate the flare. Sometimes, it’s absolutely nothing. But I think this time, part of the reason is the lack of regimen I’ve had with my eating since Boston.

I’ve indulged more than ever, and have been less aware with my diet. That fear of needing to stop mid-run, not being able to train due to a flare, and not being able to finish a race because of my GI issues is gone. I’ve been more relaxed, and while I’ve been enjoying it, I think it has unfortunately caught up with me.

In the past year, I’ve learned that as someone who suffers from Crohn’s disease, I have to find a balance between enjoying foods, and what my digestion can handle. While the occasional frozen yogurt or pizza can result in slight bloating or digestive discomfort, eating those items on a regular basis is not okay for me. I think this may be one of the most frustrating aspects of the disease.

Many people who do not know or have experienced the discomfort have a very difficult time understanding why I opt out of eating certain things, or why I no longer enjoy day drinking all day long any more. In college, heck yes. But looking back, maybe that’s why I was unable to leave my sorority house for 24 hours after a day long drinking binge.

It’s a tough lesson to learn and I’d be lying if it doesn’t make me feel sad/jealous/left out sometimes. Not being able to eat or drink foods I love is not something that I enjoy. But when I am doubled over in pain as a result, it’s just no longer worth it for me. Please do not judge me for that.

So if you do know someone who has Crohn’s or an illness which limits them in certain ways – please be understanding. Understanding in the sense that you probably don’t totally understand. My average day includes GI discomfort. Every. Day. My normal is not normal. And I think that’s very difficult for anyone who does not have Crohn’s to understand.

Now here’s the part that I’m sure I will get not so positive responses to. Will I still work out? Yes. Will I still run? Yes. I’m not looking to do intervals or track repeats, and I’m certainly not looking to run a 100 miles a week. But I will be running. Consistently. Now maybe some people will argue that I should be resting and relaxing. I will. But for my mental health and sanity, I need to be active. I am very aware of what my body can and cannot handle. And I plan on running relatively “watch-less”, not focusing on pace or distance, but just on the fresh air. Honestly.

While some may not understand it, it is an extremely difficult thing for me to deal with. I try my very best to continue on with normal life and see the positive in each day. I like to run and I love to hang out with my friends. I do not want to feel like this disease holds me back in any way, and I do not want to be treated any differently because of it. I appreciate the respect that my friends and family give me.

There is no perfect answer to living with Crohn’s disease, and there is no cure. This disease is difficult. Difficult for me to deal with, and difficult for those who love me to see. I wish this was a bit cheerier of a post, but again, I want to keep it honest. Right now, I’m doing my best to get better and heal the best way I know how. I hope you all have a wonderful Tuesday and smile because tomorrow is Hump Day and who doesn’t like camels? 0dce2d6b1d72b8f6c2860ed8052741788866e40ca27a51ee8cf35aa9057595a8


What is something that has made you smile this week?

Have you ever felt frustrated by others telling you what is best for your body?

And on a totally different note…Chips A’hoy or Oreos.. because when I can’t eat them, I just think about them : ) I’m a total Chips A’hoy girl… I mean let’s be honest I’ll eat both, but nothing beats a soft chocolate chip cookie !

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54 thoughts on “Tried It Tuesday – Brutal Honesty

  1. I don’t have Crohn’s but oh man I feel you on all of this! So sorry this is happening, the unpredictable nature just completely sucks. I know exactly what you mean about thinking symptoms in the past were “normal” and at least you know now they’re not and they’re part of this disease. I hope this is quick for you, take good care of yourself!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m so sorry you struggle with Crohns. I had a high school student that had that and I had a good rapport with him, so I knew a lot about his struggle. It was so sad because he loves food and wants to be a chef and would pin/make these amazing recipes and not actually be able to eat it! I think you SHOULD still work out and totally get it. Your body needs it – it’s used to that. I think it would be worse if you didn’t. I hate when people judge or try to tell you what to do about your health and working out. Everyone has an opinion, no one actually understands. I love that you called it “Paleo-ish” because that’s exactly what I tell people I’ve been for the past year now!!! And, I do full on pizza on Fridays…hence “paleo-ish” 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I don’t have Crohn’s but I totally empathize with you on the stomach issues. I have celiac and a sensitive stomach in general and people have a difficult time understanding why I eat/don’t eat certain things, even those that are GF. Sometimes I compare how I used to feel to now and am shocked that my body CAN feel this good at times and that my symptoms weren’t normal, even when I thought they were. It seems you have good experience in managing it and I hope this “flare up” goes away soon.

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  4. I am so sorry for your flare, discomfort, and unhappiness. I support you completely in maintaining exercise; only you know what’s best for you, and you’ll know when to go and when to stop. Best of luck, and I hope this passes quickly! Happy thoughts sent your way 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. My sympathy for what you’re going through. I have severe allergies (like, hospital-level if I ingest the foods) and it’s always difficult around people who think that everyone makes up their allergies on whims. But honestly, it was more frustrating when I got random flare-ups and awful reactions and didn’t know what the root causes were. Now that I know most of them, it’s so much better than constantly having headaches, stomach swelling and aches, and weird rashes… 🙂

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  6. nothing more frustrating then having to be “picky” because of stomach issues. I have been “letting go” and eating things that I regularly shouldn’t and my stomach has felt horrible but then you fear the “i hate being left out or not trying someone’s hard worked cooked meal”…Just take it a day at a time and do WHAT WORKS FOR YOU! if people truly care about you and love you then they will accept what you have to do to feel well! If not, tell them to not let the door hit them where the good lord split them 😉 I was in NC with Ty’s family and they make me smile as well as NC! and hmmmm oreo or chips o’hoy.. thats a hard one! Can I put them both together and eat at same time?! Love oreo but they get stuck in your teeth! and chips ahoy are amazing in a cold glass of milk! I used to nuke the cookie in the microwave pre GI issues!!!!!

    hahah xoxo

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Oh gosh girl I had no idea how horrible living with Crohn’s really was. My cousin actually just went through surgery to hopefully give her some relief but I never knew the extent of the disease.
    Reading this really opened my eyes to how fortunate I am to be able to eat half of the foods I can, and maybe should appreciate more instead of being as picky as I tend to be. I wish you all the best and believe that things will only get better from here.

    Something that made me smile this week was the big hug that I got when I returned back to Paris from my host sister. She always seems to put a smile on my face. In response to the second question, I feel like every single day whether it be online or in person I get some sort of criticism for my eating choices. I’ve learnt to try to let it fly over my head, but deep down it does still bother me when others think that they know me better than I know myself. For instance lately I haven’t been craving meat so I’ve been eating a lot more vegetables and carbs and what I have noticed is that I feel a heck of lot better. Changing my eating habits has provoked my family and friends to put their little comments about how I NEED meat or that I am RESTRICTING because of my changes… It’s annoying but there’s no control on what others say. Grin and Bear it.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I can only imagine how frustrating having Crohn’s is but glad you wrote this post. I don’t know much about the disease but it sounds like you’re going through a lot! What I can relate to is having exercise and running as an outlet. Some people will never “get” runners and that’s okay.. but what most of those people don’t realize is that running is not only good for our body but for our mind as well. Mad props to you. I hope your flare up clears up soon!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. So sorry that you’re experiencing a Crohn’s flair right now. While I don’t have Chrohn’s, I do experience a ton of stomach issues and like you, my normal isn’t normal. I hope you’re feeling better soon – sending lots of positive vibes your way!

    Making me smile this week – Ellen – I try to catch her show or DVR it as often as I can because she makes me laugh so much 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I’m so sorry this is flaring up for you. I can’t imagine how frustrating it is to not be able to eat “normally” and for every day to cause you pain. Fingers crossed that this passes quickly for you!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. ahhh so bummed to hear you’re feeling so icky. hope this passes quickly and you feel much better soon, girl — will send up a lil prayer for you right now. i don’t have Crohn’s but have crazy stomach/digestive issues (that i’m sure are nothing compared to how you’re feeling), so i can semi-empathize with feeling awful at times. i love that you still asked us something that’s making us smile this week, even while you’re not feeling well! i met some former coworkers out on a sailboat bar last night so that made me happy…although i’m still feeling like i’m swaying on a boat right now!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Oh jeez I’m so sorry! I hope you get to feeling better super quick!
    I definitely get frustrated when people try to tell me what is best for me, but honestly in my case they are usually right and I should probably listen more.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Girl, you know where to find me. I’ve been in your shoes many, many times. I’ve had people tell me everything that I should or shouldn’t be doing. I will never tell you what you should/should be doing, but I’m an understanding ear who knows the struggle, and maybe has some suggestions. But I think that the most important thing I can tell you is to be gentle with yourself–mentally and physically. Thinking about you.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Totally 100% can relate, as I have UC and am an Ironman triathlete/marathon runner. I am so sorry you are struggling with a flare right now. Stay as positive as you can and surround yourself with the best people you can. Hang in there 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  15. I’m so sorry you’re feeling this way. I seriously cannot imagine what you’re going through. I hope you can find some relief and are feeling back to yourself in no time!

    Liked by 1 person

  16. oh no! i’m so sorry about your flare. i had no idea you had IBD? I do too — ulcerative colitis. i’ve been able to stay in remission through the specific carb diet which is like a more intense paleo. oh i feel for you, dear. hang in there. sending lots of hugs

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  17. I’m so so sorry that you are going through another flare! As I am only 6 months into my diagnosis and can’t seem to get to remission so I understand your pain.
    It is hard to have people tell you what you should and shouldn’t eat. Not to train hard. What will work for you. It is seriously so individualistic and frustrating. But continue to do you. It is your body and only you know makes you feel good. I get so annoyed at work being taunted when I won’t partake in the treats of the day or ordering fried chicken for lunch that I just start being blunt and telling them I will be in pain and in the bathroom the rest of the day if I do 🙂
    I’m smiling because I will be in Miami Thursday…just praying I don’t have to start prednisone again though while down there. Sigh.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah prednisone is the pits. I’m sorry you have to struggle with the same feelings – and it’s so hard to turn down that really delicious plate of nachos… but SO not worth it haha. Hope you have a fabulous time in Miami!

      Like

  18. Hi Jamie! I can’t even imagine how tough it is to live with an illness like this. And I totally support your want of your own “normalcy” and to seek exercise and a way to release some energy. Best of luck to you on this journey. Thanks for opening up, and I hope the flare subsides.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. I am so sorry you are dealing with this. I know what a tough tough disease it can be, and can only imagine what you are going through!

    Sending lots of positive healthy and healthy thoughts your way.

    Smile? I just saw the last Hunger Games movie preview on facebook. It made me happy 🙂 If you’re bored, you should look it up.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for all your positive thoughts ! : ) And that’s hilarious that you mentioned that because my boyfriend sent me that link and goes “this should cheer you up!” and guess what – It did!!! Hope you’re having a fab Tuesday!

      Like

  20. No no no! I’m so sorry you’re about to begin a flare. 😦 I hope it passes by quickly! I am not educated on Crohn’s disease, but I am hoping to learn more through you. This sounds like such a bummer to have to be so restrictive in your diet. I hope medicine progresses far enough to find better treatment for this!

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Wow! That was an honest post. And, for those of us not living with Crohn’s, thank you! It’s one thing to hear someone say “I have Crohn’s”, but it’s a completely different thing to understand just what that means for them and their loved ones.

    I’m sorry you have to live with this, but I admire your strength and courage. I don’t think you should have to give up running. YOU know what YOU are capable of.

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  22. It made me sad and happy to read this. Sad, because I don’t want anyone to have to go through what you are going through. Happy, because it’s so good to read that you refuse to let the disease dictate your life. I, myself, do not have a personal history of crohn’s, but I have a long history of it in my family. In fact, my mom’s kids are the only ones out of her 6 siblings, that have not yet been diagnosed. I have 5 cousins diagnosed, each with different symptoms ranging from mild to severe, also differing depending on the day, as I’m sure you know. I’ve been checked as I experience GI issues, and thus far, am okay. I will never fully understand what you and my cousins go through, but I have witnessed their pain and difficulties through life. I guess the point of this too long comment is: don’t give up, stay strong, and be you. Whatever you that makes you happy. And keep inspiring. Because you just inspired me again.

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  23. My coworker made me smile today when she made fun of my “fancy pants”. I have no clean clothes so I wore striped blue spandex 😛 Of course, being a vegan, I get tired of hearing people tell me that meat is needed for protein etc. That’s so old.
    I am totally OREOS! Eating some while I type 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  24. Crohn’s, Celiac, Ulcerative Colitis & IBS here! It’s just SPLENDID. Absolutely SPLENDID. And while I know what’s best for me, sometimes man friend tries to tell me what is best for me, but um, NO. HE DOES NOT KNOW what’s good for me, ONLY I DO!

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  25. Digestive disorders suck. Both because of the pain, uncomfortable-ness, and icky feeling they give you but also because it seems everyone has a theory of how to fix it. Sorry to hear you’re feeling rough and feel a flare coming on. Best wishes it goes away sooner rather than later. My last flare (gastroparesis) started last June and is still here. Ugh, but I ran through it…slowly with lots of walking, but I needed and wanted to run so I get it. We runners are dedicated in crazy ways. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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