“What defines us is how well we rise after falling”

A little bit about my story so far…

I’ve always suffered with bloating and stomach cramps after eating. I never really knew why it happened, it didn’t happen all the time but it was always extremely uncomfortable – the only cure I knew was curling up in a ball until it stopped (generally after I’d slept it off). It might sound stupid but I didn’t realise that wasn’t normal – it had always happened to me so I just didn’t think anything different.

Things really came to a head in the summer of 2014. It was a very stressful time in my life – I had just finished revising frantically for my second year university exams, a close family member had passed away and I’d also just made the decision to retire from elite sport (I was an international trampolinist).

About a week after my exams finished, I went on holiday to Spain with my family. On the third day of holiday, I started to get stomach pains during the day. I didn’t think much of it, stayed inside, had a nap and some painkillers. However, the pains didn’t really go away. By the time we were eating out for dinner, the pain by this point had intensified, and were a stabbing pain at the bottom right hand side of my abdomen. I felt extremely ill, and so Dad drove me home. The pain intensified throughout the night, and we thought it might be appendicitis. A doctor thought the same, and so I ended up in a Spanish accident and emergency department in the middle of the night, hooked up to a drip, having loads of scans. Quite a scary experience. I stayed overnight, not really knowing what was going on.

I didn’t have appendicitis (luckily!), but the extreme pain was because my body had stopped digesting food – my stomach was literally full to bursting. I was given something to get rid of all the food (not a pleasant experience…). I was finally discharged after about 20 hours in hospital.

The journey continued at home.

I went for blood tests and doctors appointments. The diagnosis came back as IBS (irritable bowel syndrome). I was referred to a dietician, as I had such a severe flare-up. I began following the low FODMAP diet in September 2014. This blog documents my journey, recipes and general life in living with IBS.

I’m an exercise fanatic, and so all of my food is focused on nourishing and caring for my body in the best way possible. IBS has completely changed my life and out of it has come a complete love of cooking and the power food can have.

It’s lead to me reapplying to study dietetics at the university of Nottingham starting in September – I truly understand the effect food can have on your body! It can be tough at times, but I believe you should always reach for the positives. I’m still learning to live with this and finding a balance. I’m very interested in healthy eating and living, but as a retired athlete I’m also learning that treats every now and again are more than fine!

My blog documents my journey to living with ibs, with loads of tasty, healthy low fodmap (gluten and lactose free too!) recipes. And my instagram posts a lot of my meals to give people ideas!