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Food & Self Acceptance Part 2

Part one of this article can be found here.

This is the short version of my timeline with food. I can break it down even more, but I think you get the idea. There’s always been an unhealthy relationship there. It’s extremely hard for me to break some of my old habits, although I am constantly putting forth the effort, a lot of it goes to waste. The hardest part of it all is that because I am living with a digestive disease, my condition ultimately faces the consequences of my bad eating habits. A lot of these habits were created by my condition. Which is crazy to think.

The effects of steroids on weight

For example: If I would have never started steroids, I wouldn’t have seen such a large shift in my weight during such a short period of time. I wouldn’t have been so hungry nor would I have retained so much water. As far as the protein shakes during my surgeries, I think that speaks for itself. I never would have chosen that kind of diet on my own and honestly, I didn’t realize just how much of an impact it would have on my body. Taking on all of that protein and not being able to do any kind of exercise (because I was bedridden after surgery) really caused me to pack on the pounds.

I was not okay with these changes in my body

My condition has played a huge role in every aspect of my life, but especially on my relationship with food and weight. This has had a direct impact on my self-confidence and self-esteem. These are huge reasons why I believe people diagnosed with any chronic condition young, but especially with things like Crohn’s and colitis, should be referred to a mental health specialist. I needed someone to talk to when I was younger. I needed someone to explain what was happening to my body and why it was okay. Or at least someone to help me feel okay with it.

Although I have gained more strength, I still struggle with the confidence to this day. When I am eating dinner or having a snack with a friend, I’m constantly asking myself, “do I need this?” Partially because of IBD, but partially because of my body and how I see myself.

Self-confidence and body image with UC

My struggles have truly shown me one thing more than all: we are truly our own worst critics. While we’re criticizing ourselves, others are wishing they were more like us or had something we didn’t even realize we have. I guess the point I am trying to make is simple- our conditions are hard to live with. Especially on our mental health. It leaves us to forever wonder things like: will I ever be healthy? Will I ever be good enough? Will I ever be able to do or eat what I want? It impacts us in every way, but two of the hardest for me have been with self-confidence and body image. These are not things to be taken lightly. If you’ve been dealing with similar frustrations, I want you to know they are valid. These are huge concerns for even the healthiest of people.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.