Gut Wars, A New (leave the house) Hope

“It’s not very rock and roll…”

Andrew Fletcher Depeche Mode

(talking about his depression)

If you feel unwell all the time and feel the need to be near a washroom when you don’t actually need it then know right now that you are not alone.

Three years ago I got to the point that I felt gross and nauseated no matter what, especially if I ate something which being someone who performs regularly was just unbearable.

It had started a few months before that, with me going home sick frequently from both work (luckily for me I soon when self employed for a year so I could focus on it) and at least one rehearsal where I had to leave half way (only to feel better before I even got back home. Ugh.)

I had been to my doctor, walk in clinics and the emergency thing to see what was wrong. They started with tests and then prescriptions that didn’t work. I did that test you do at home that nobody wants to have to do involving saran wrap…yeah, that one. I won’t go there, but it didn’t help either.

Anyway cut to beginning of the year and I tried some anti anxiety meds that not only didn’t work but had the warning of “may cause nausea.” Yeah, right. More like “You’ll pray for the end.”

I was lying on the couch not wanting to move, not wanting to not move…playing Angry Birds made me feel gross.

“Oh, for fu.$@$ sakes!”

I don’t remember the exact moment, but (after quitting those horrible pills) I got my things and went out.

I walked.

I felt like hell doing it but I couldn’t stand not being able to walk around Victoria’s Inner Harbor so I just went there, guts whinging the whole damn way.

They subsided a bit, long enough for me to do this shot…

Yeah, I’m a dork. Anyways…

I wanted more of this and less of the other so I kept going with this, researching my absolute ass off.

I had gained weight after 30 as my usual red hot adhd metabolism had left town so that was a first port of call. I used the Calm meditation app and actually subscribed (I promise I don’t work for them, that’s not what this is about) and did a ten minute meditation practice each day.

I started with a 10 minute walk, 10 min jog, 10 minute jog daily, which eventually I supplemented with the gym membership (Goodlife and the fit fix program. General health training at the Y would be as good)

I discove1red ginger everything. Ginger mint or ginger turmeric teas are my favourite. I quit smoking eventually and tried to cut out pop as it only adds air to your gut (even ginger ale which I was bringing to gigs) Also fennel seeds in tea is ace. Do that. They do that at Indian restaurants for a reason. I have a fennel seed shaker. It is, as Fatboy Slim would say…the Weapon of Choice…

I used the Alkaline app to try and lessen the amount of acidic food. I know this is difficult but one gain was the wonder of steel cut oats with frozen blueberries which are great for digestion, alkaline and a superfood.

And then back to that difficult subject to discuss, but I’ll just say regularity. I cut down cheese consumption and started drinking four of my water bottles a day minimum. I am still working on all this to this day, as I want to keep the weight down and find the best exercise for my gut. I’m not a muscle bound type but at the gym my best machine is now the ab-crunch one. My longest jog is now over an hour but the war ain’t over.

I have noticed how I can be constipated before a run, ran anyways, and my body just puts it aside to bug me later. Just wacky.

So my next thing?

I’m gonna blog about and it’s gonna be this… The Celery Juice craze. I’ve done the cleanse drinks with cinnamon and apple cider vinegar. Now it’s this…

Cheers 🍻,

Tom

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Lost 30 lbs, quit smoking and otherwise fought back

I didn’t know if or how to go about this one, because lots of people do these things, but maybe someone might relate to how it started.

Nausea and other worries about my gut, like fear of not having a washroom nearby.

Just that. Somehow back in mid 2015 it got to the point that food would make me feel just gross the entire day and the absolute worst was when I tried anti-anxiety medication that “may cause nausea”, so therefore for me, laid me out so bad that I didn’t want to move. I didn’t want to anything.

That’s really where I just got angry. No other way to describe it. Thank God by that point I was self employed so I didn’t have to specifically worry about rushing off to work (somehow). This isn’t an ad but I started using that calm app for meditation, which got me to focus on my breathing and this method actually helped me through gigs because of course I was still doing professional shows with the band (one show in October 2015 was probably the closest I came to walking off stage as I felt too gross).

Anyways, other than the smoking which I was worried I needed to combat sleep and constipation, I started on diet and exercise. First thing I did was I just walked straight out despite my body wanting me to not do that. I was over 220 lbs somewhere and was supposed to be creative and here I was finally doing things and being shut down by my own body. I wasn’t having that so I did the longest walk I could think of which was around the waterfront in Victoria.

I started with walking everyday, meditation and, from researching things, tried to eat more alkaline food. I’m not rich so going full Mediterranean Diet is nice but impossible. One thing I did add was my oatmeal thing which was steel cut oats, a healthy “breakfast topping” of cacao and other things in a mix, lightly over that and blueberries. Drank lots of water, drank Ginger Tea with fennel and listened to (I know he’s upopular now-I was annoyed too) all the Tony Robbins stuff I could find. There was a thing on “Body You Deserve” that mentioned a walking – running – walking 30 min pattern, which I got a heart rate monitor for, because on a doctor’s advice I was going to try and bring my weight down. I was never big, until my thirties where my metabolism cut out so much that in a band photo it looked like I was standing closest to the camera.

So everyday I was running after 10 minutes of walking, trying to stay in my target range. I was scared to let one day go. Eventually I got my first gym membership and started a Good Life Fit Fix program, which is essentially working on each machine to failure after a short treadmill warmup.

When I went back to work my walking went way up (work as a cleaner again) so I do the gym and running three times a week.

Things improved and my weight came down but it still wasn’t as good as I wanted and only one thing was left.

I quit smoking in November of 2017. I used the gum as I was scared I wouldn’t sleep and once I got past day three or so, I wouldn’t say it got easy, because that took a while, but it got more important to keep going…like I had never made it that far.

I’m still fighting my problems and everything but at last count I’m below 190 lbs and haven’t had a show as bad as back then. These days I’ve been doing running where it’s part cardio as well and over 35 minutes and I’m enjoying challenging myself with ones like running the entire inner harbour from Fisherman’s Wharf to the Esquimalt Westsong Trail entrance, which less than two years ago I couldn’t even walk.

Today’s music was Anastasis by Dead Can Dance, which I discovered while writing and, being a baritone, I like trying to sing to, lol! Not now of course, it’s early. 😂

Dead Can Dance

Cheers,

Tom