Tag Archives: Mentalhealth

Making conscious changes; Life with anxiety and IBS.

Hi guys, I thought I’d share some information with my general health and a recent diagnosis I’ve had after several years of discomfort and flare ups. It’s been a confusing ride and trying to read what your body is trying to tell you isn’t always easy, especially not when every symptom you have, Google seems to diagnose you with cancer or heart failure. Real nice, huh?

Anyway after way too many weeks of suffering and losing sleep over horrifying Google searches, I booked in to see the GP and get some answers. It was decided that I have IBS, something which so many others suffer with and runs through my family. My diagnosis really wasn’t too difficult as I have most of the tell tale symptoms of IBS so when going to the GP , I already had a good idea of what was going on but wanted to be certain so that I could treat this best as possible at home and make the necessary changes to help improve my situation.

A diagnosis meant that I could stop stressing uneccesarily over my health and perhaps be able to sleep at night rather than lay awake worrying if I’ve had a heart attack or have tumours growing, not exactly great for my anxiety levels and definitely doesn’t help with the fatigue I suffer. With a diagnosis I can now commit to proper plan of action to battle the bloat and improve my health. What was suggested was to follow a low fod map diet – avoiding certain fruits, vegetables and gluten and to eat a healthier diet. I eat well generally speaking but I am ready to improve myself and do better in order to tackle my stomach troubles. Anything to get rid of the dreaded bloating.

Around three years ago I was on a gluten free diet as I had trouble with bloating, stomach pains and cramps but I was never diagnosed other than by myself. I ate gluten free and mostly survived on porridge oats and fruits, salads and gluten free pizza. As a couple, myself and my Husband tend to eat well and excercise a lot through walking. Euan has recently been diagnosed as having a gluten intolerance so I suppose we are on a similar page with regards to health and at least we can help to guide and support one another through this and live a gluten free lifestyle together . I suppose this does make the weekly shop a bit easier (if only more expensive). When Euan first stopped gluten, I was curisng him as it was a run around trying to think of meals to have, foods to get in and then of course the making of different meals for each of us. Now here I am, on the exact same boat and kicking myself.

Don’t get me wrong, I love to care for and nurture my family and I don’t mind making meals and organising the breakfast and lunches but what I do mind is the time that is consumed by doing so. Trying to be health conscious and really consider what I am buying is time consuming and it is very well time I could have with Eleanor or reading a book yet it’s time I now don’t have spare. To shop for three different people’s needs and get healthy choices, prepare good meals and try to be on top of my game at all times while running around after my wee girl is not easy. To stay on top of everything while working and running a busy schedule is tough as everyone knows I’m sure. Life is super busy and every year just becomes even more so, as they say; life won’t wait.

We are a health conscious family and we really try to be the best version of ourselves both mentally and physically, making changes when required. We are rather fit and try walk everywhere and pass on good habits to our Daughter with regards to her health and fitness. We live for the outdoors and fresh air. To be so active and on the move non stop yet feel blaoted and unwell all of the time really does bring me down and plays havoc on my self esteem and body image. Not exactly what you need when you are crippled with anxiety as it is and over think, worry non stop. The last thing I want to worry about is how I look but with my IBS I really do worry about how my stomach appears, especially at the end of a busy day.

I hate to look down and see what resembles a pregnant tummy, to suffer terrible nausea and migraines each day and struggle with fatigue. A mixture of stress and anxiety and IBS has really taken toll on my health and most days I feel miserable right now and my mood low. With a New Year and a fresh start I’m out to get on top of my health issues and start over. I am going to make more effort to practice beginner yoga – I’ve dabbled with this before during pregnancy but not a lot and certainly not since birth and I am going to revise my eating habits while working with a therapist to ease my anxieties and try to take back control over my mind and body.

I certainly aim to work on my anxiety and try to improve life for myself , I’ve never suffered anxiety until after a few months post partum which ever since I’ve been crippled with horrible thoughts, worries at all times and real bad palpitations. I break out in a sweat, become clammy and panic often so much so that feel that i can’t breathe at times and melt down. I have terrible social anxiety and I dislike social situations, I become nervous and jittery and feel like I can’t cope, I become agitated and visually distressed and can become quite rude and snappy. I can’t deal with busy places and will either not enter to leave when I’m faced with a busy place such as the supermarkets.

I once ran across the road without thinking while there was incoming traffic and nearly got hit by a bike, I was so wound up by this that I went to the local supermarket to grab some juice but the self scan wasn’t working, it wouldn’t accept the bar code, my heart was racing and in a midst of anger and panic I grabbed the juice and ran out of the store without paying. I had stolen a tin of juice while blinded by a haze of panic and palpitations, not a big deal on the grand scheme of shoplifting but I’ve never stole in all my 25 years u til this moment and I think I was always feel terrible for doing so. Anxiety got the better of me and continues to do so, so much so I avoid certain situations now.

I’ve only have anxiety since having my Daughter and I would really like to get ahead of the game and take back my life. This can become bad at any time, like everyone I’m only human and I have good days and bad days but lately most days are bad and I cannot sleep for stress plaguing my mind. My head races, my body aches and I am so run down I can’t be the best version of myself which is no good for me and feels like I fail my Daughter from time to time. I need to get on top of my health, listen to my body and get strong.

To aid my anxiety as mentioned, I have been to a session of cognitive behavioural therapy to help cope and have set out to have a session each second week to work on coping mechanisms for stress and find out what triggers my behaviours so that we can then learn how to prevent and ease behaviour. Between therapy, medication and my change of diet, I hope to see a Great improve with my mind and my health. I don’t expect miracles but they say that anxiety and IBS go hand in hand, if I can work on my stress and try to better my anxiety I would hope this would have a positive effect not only on myself but for my IBS, that’s the plan anyway. Fingers crossed, I’m real tired of having to feel so worried all of the time and have my moods fluctuate not even daily but sometimes hourly. It’s not easy to live in such a way where you lack control.

When I became pregnant In 2017 flare ups with IBS and bloat didn’t bother me anymore and my stomach was absolutely fine, no pain and minimum bloating. I assumed I was doing okay and allowed myself to eat most foods again, besides meat as I became a vegetarian. However neatly two years post partum, old troubles are creeping back, the bloating is fierce and the mood swings even more so. It’s time to say goodbye to all things gluten once again and try to replenish my stomach health.

I won’t miss gluten in honesty as I’ve done this whole diet before, I know what I enjoy and I know what I can and can’t have so it’s just revisiting old habits for myself and really trying to remain focused. With low fod map diets it is important to avoid certain foods that can trigger the IBS so as well as avoiding gluten,I will be skipping on certain other foods from each food group. It is always tough to change diet, especially while raising a young family but as mentioned Euan is too gluten free meaning we can share the same food and eat the same meals to save having to make three different meals, three times a day.

Eleanor will have most of the same food as we do, especially with the little amount she does eat but I won’t be giving her a gluten free diet as this could cause trouble with her body while it still develops and I’d hate to cause any disturbance with her health. What we have as gluten free such as pasta for instance, Eleanor will have with the gluten.

Has anyone else reading this suffered with post partum anxiety and IBS? The two go hand in hand as we all know but I’m looking to seek some help and advice from others who may be suffering too and to reach out to those of you who suffer in silence. I’m here to try to create a support network of possible and I’m available to chat all times, just send a message my way and I’d be happy to share more of my story as I would be happy to hear your advice and thoughts. If you happen to have gluten free meal recipes, coping mechanisms for IBS and ideas of what to do to aid IBS please do, fire away. I’ll always try to remain my most open and honest through my blog and if I can help someone reading this, that always means a lot too.

As always, looking forward to hearing from you all.


The weigh I am.


Now that world mental health day has passed it only seems right to begin to share my own daily battles with my mind. Now, my general mood is not the issue. I generally have a positive mind set and enjoy each day as best as I can. Of course it isn’t all smiles and rainbows but I have it good and I am more than aware. What my persistent problem is, is the battle with body confidence and most of all –  my weight. A battle that I face daily and struggle to get on top of. Some days, it seems I never will.

I don’t know exactly when my weight became such a dramatic issue or when it began to consume my thoughts. It started off with daily weigh ins and cutting back on food,  which very soon increased to hopping on the scales almost every hour. I rapidly became. So obsessed with my weight and losing weight that I didn’t realise what I was doing to my body or mind.

I have always battled with body image and believed that I was too fat, too ugly, not good enough for anyone – the only person I wasn’t good enough for was myself.  I only wish that I realised this sooner.  It may have stopped negative thoughts from taking over my mind had I only just learnt to love myself as I was and appreciate all that I had.

My real battle began when I would look through photographs of a night out with my friends and for some reason, I was always the fat friend. The friend who didn’t quite add up. This started what was to become a complex and soon, I would hide away from any photographs. I didn’t want to look at any ugly pictures of myself any more. My friends were all so stylish and slim. I wanted this for myself. I wanted to be the skinny one. I decided to begin to do something about it. To try to contend with every other skinny girl. I began to lose weight.

I would start to walk a lot. Not one for the gym or anything crazy, I thought that I could get up off my lazy ass and walk. I took advantage of the fact that I had a dog. We began to walk miles a day. Getting faster and faster with each walk. Before and after a meal or what I deemed a proper meal,  I would walk with my dog desperate to burn calories and drop any  weight I may have just put on. I’d do light exercise in my bedroom morning and night. At the later stages, I’d walk and walk until at times I felt I was about to pass out and all I wanted to do was to lay. Making it home from a walk on those days was a challenge. I was exhausted.


During the stage where my battle became almost too much there was many times I felt like I would pass out from exhaustion, so much so that I started to keep little snacks on my pocket. Usually nuts and Raisins, the odd biscuit. Anything for a little boost and to stop my bleary eyes from giving up on me.

I frequented the scales up to ten times a day. After every time I would eat, or after a period of skipping foods. I had to know what my weight was, I had to see the scales drop. It made me feel good. I felt as though I was achieving something and making progress. Little did I know that I was well on my way to achieving an eating disorder, something which may always haunt me.

At the worst time of my struggles I was 22 years old, 39kgs and had little energy. I battled with mood swings and was abnormally tired for a young woman in her prime. I had the body and temperament of a child. I was surviving on porridge oats, reduced fat milk and yogurt, fruit, cereal and biscuits. I would replace snacks with coffee and drank up to twelve cups of instant coffee per day. Two heaped scoops per cup. No sugar. I consumed this right up until I would go to bed. Amazingly, I could sleep like a dream.

With poor habits and bad diet I became very bloated and started to frequent the doctor. I wanted to get medication to take the bloating away. The bloating only made me eat less as I hated to see anything other than a flat stomach and this only became worse. I used a gluten intolerance as an excuse, if I claimed to be intolerant to foods, I’d not have to eat carbohydrates and wheat, I could cut this completely. The bloating was due to no intolerance and I knew fine well. My body was malnourished and the bloating was the knock on effect. As well as bloating, my legs would swell at the end of each day. Unable to keep up with my pace. A pace I even struggled to keep up with at times.

My period disappeared around two years ago, still yet to return. People began to make comments and pass judgement only this time, it wasn’t to call me fat it was to question wether I was eating enough. This made me feel embarrassed and fragile. I didn’t like that people were making comments and I wanted to hide away from this.


When I fell pregnant at the end of 2016, I had no indication as I was not having a regular period. Will this return post pregnancy? I don’t yet know. I hope for it to return, as awful as they are, it’s a healthy part of a woman’s adult life and monthly cycle. It regulates the body and without it, I am all over the place with my ever changing moods. I am embarrassed to say that my eating habits have not yet changed greatly. My mindset is still suffering and I still weigh around the same as a thirteen year old. 44.5 kg – yes, I checked this morning. I am back to under my pre baby weight.

If I am to eat out now, I have to weigh this up and big myself up for the event. It’s not as easy as going out for a nice meal. My head is forever counting calories and wondering if I go out what will this meal do to me, how will my stomach look afterwards and what can I cut during the day to ensure that I don’t over do it. This even happens if I am to buy a shop bought meal, (rare).

It’s a horrible way to think and feel, to have food consume your every day thoughts and run riot in your mind. This is sadly the daily battles that I face. The thoughts never go away. I calorie count relentlessly and have become very good at knowing how much calories is in any food or drink. I mean,I should be bloody good at it, I spent a lot of time on Google searching the calorie content of everything I was to eat. This is something that I still find myself doing.

If I want to snack I will tend to have just a bite from a biscuit before I’d put it back into the tin or into the bin, or open a pack of crisps only to find I can only eat a few, leave the rest to go stale. It took me the course of four days to eat a Yum Yum that my mum brought to me from the Baker. I was pregnant and had every excuse to indulge but I couldn’t.

Throughout pregnancy my diet consisted mainly of vitamins, fruit, Yogurt, Homous, vegetables and Bran flakes. I feel guilty that due to this and my poor diet my babies growth halted at week 36, she was born in the fifth percentile, smaller than average and this could have been my own fault through poor decisions. I allowed my mind to take over and risk the health of my unborn child.

The thing is, An eating disorder does not disappear even when a new life is taken into consideration if anything the inevitable increase of weight due to growing a life can make it worse. The mind works just as damn hard as ever to make sure that you give everything you out to your mouth a thought and riddles you with guilt if you dare step out of the comfort zone.

Pregnancy should be the perfect excuse to indulge and enjoy food, to nourish your body and the life inside. For me,  my pregnancy was a struggle, filled with worry and fear of foods. Even more so than usual. Everything I was to eat could lead to excessive weight gain and a body I’d never be able to recover to its true form. Not only was I thinking of the life inside of me I was thinking about myself.

We would frequent the cinema through my pregnancy and a cinema snack was always a scoop of ice cream however to work my way up to this to allow the calorie content from the ice cream, I’d often skip a meal. I was careless and selfish during my pregnancy due to my mind set and the thoughts that consumed me. It was foolish to allow my mind to take over and hold me captive, hold my body captive and to refuse my growing baby the full nutrients that she required.

I cannot eat hot meals, I feel myself get upset of I am to have a cooked dinner. I tend to stick to Bran flakes, fruit, Yogurt, Pancakes and biscuits as my daily diet. This rarely changes. Even with breastfeeding, I know I need to consume a lot to keep my milk from drying out.  I am trying.

I have increased my snacking habits and have went from reduced fat milk and Yogurt to full fat but I can’t yet bring myself to eat meat or proper meals. I can’t even bring myself to enjoy the foods I once loved. I don’t know if my mind set will ever change or if I can break away from the bad eating habits I have developed. It’s a unhealthy mindset and I know I am not consuming near enough for a grown adult woman. To be 44kg and 25 years old is of no good to anyone. I look at myself and do not like the reflection, I’m no woman. My body is in competition with a child’s and I have a gap between my thighs that makes my legs look knobbly and stupid. I have no womanly curves.

The desire to stay slim and have a flat stomach is strong yes, but my eating habits are so much more than just wanting to be slim. My mind challenges me daily and I am at a constant battle with myself.


I want to do better and want to become a healthy and normal woman again, I know that I must fight to have my period return and to fight this for my daughter. I need my child to be able to adapt a good body image and to be comfortable in herself, if she watches me eat Cereal for every meal of the day cutting out key nutrients and a healthy balance I fear that she will adapt the same habits that could have killed me. I will continue to fight this battle and try to work myself back to a healthy diet and a healthy mind.

I am six weeks post partum and back to my pre baby weight. I am now 44.5kg, this can fluctuate up to 47kg. I know that I must work not just to gain weight but to become healthy. I want to step away from the cereal box and opt for a more varied and balanced diet. To begin to cook meals once again and to introduce nutrients into my diet. To learn how to enjoy food. I aim to benefit not just myself but my body and my child. It’s no easy task and it’s certainly not as easy as just “eating a burger” though unless having been faced with a similar position you couldn’t simply understand

Hear me when I say this is a struggle and that each and every day I do struggle. I am trying to work to increase and to get better, to exceed myself for a better life and for A better me. I must be the Mother that my children can look up to.