Life Before LEAP
The pain and bloating in my stomach started when I was middle school. It wasn’t too serious at first. The older I got, though, the more constant and persistent it got. I started having severe pain episodes around four years ago. As I look back, I can’t really remember a time when I didn’t have stomach pain. Simply stated: my stomach ALWAYS hurt!
And while my stomach always hurt, I did experience a variety of pain levels. One time, my stomach was bloating so much that I turned white and kneeled over into the fetal position, feeling a sensation similar to contractions. There were times that I had pain from severe constipation that would last a few days at a time. This was usually handled with some sort of stool softener and a ‘wait-and-see’ approach. I was becoming reliant on OTC meds to help relieve the pain.
I started having mental breakdowns because I felt it was so unfair, and I was sick of being in pain. Even when I thought I was eating “healthy”, I would still have painful reactions. Many times, I was so bloated others thought I was pregnant. People used to tell me “you’re so small, there’s not enough room in your stomach for your food so you end up bloating”. That didn’t make any sense to me! Other “small” people didn’t have these issues, so why me?
In addition to mental breakdowns, I was canceling events and outings with family and friends due to my stomach aches. I was hiding my pain because I felt like a broken record and thought people were sick of hearing me complain. I could only eat very small meals, such as only carrots or celery for lunch. I was telling my son I couldn’t play with him because I could barely stand up straight from the pain. This went on long enough and I finally decided to take the LEAP!
I’m not going to lie; I was nervous to try LEAP for a few reasons. I was worried about how I would cook meals for myself that were different than the ones I made for my family, how and when would I prep for my meals, how I would go out to eat, and of course, how I would go without wine for 6 weeks!!
I started feeling better almost immediately after starting the program. Feeling better was so motivating, my former worries were no longer concerning. Once I started phase 1 and the “bad” foods had filtered through me, I started to notice not only improvement in my digestion, but I was feeling better emotionally.
It was such a relief to be free of pain and bloating. Physically, I was exhausted!! It was similar to the first trimester of pregnancy. It was hard to walk up and down stairs, for example. But that just showed me how much bad stuff was in my body. Clearly, I was detoxing.
What I learned through LEAP
While going through the LEAP program, I was able to learn new cooking techniques, new ways to season foods that were better for everyone in my family, how to manage eating at a restaurant that didn’t result in pain, and much more! After completing the program, I was nervous to try foods that weren’t on my green list. However, I did realize that if my stomach was clean of what my bad foods were, I was able to have a taste here and there. It’s when I eat foods on my yellow list consistently that I experience pain.
One of the most interesting things I learned through this program was that just because a food is classified as a healthy food, it doesn’t mean it will be healthy or good for everyone. For example, I am not supposed to have green beans, which I have always loved! People always question me when I tell them. Yes, they are a vegetable, but my body specifically doesn’t approve of them. No more green bean casserole for me!
I love being able to control my pain now. Yes, I still have foods that are not on my green list, but I eat them knowing what the consequences will be rather than feeling frustrated and in pain! Mostly, I love the freedom that comes with being pain-free. I love playing with my son, enjoy activities with my friends and family, and appreciate feeling my best.
What is LEAP?
LEAP is an acronym for Lifestyle Eating and Performance. It is a protocol that specifically accompanies the MRT® (Mediator Release Test) for food sensitivities. The dietary management strategies used in the LEAP program are not the same as those found in other fad diets. The LEAP program is an individually tailored dietary wellness program designed to heal the gut and improve immune system function. The knowledge and skills learned through the LEAP process become an integral part of a person’s long term eating and health management plan.
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