Have you ever been a situation where you were minding your own business (like I was just coming out from my hot yoga class, feeling sweaty but on top of the world, and maybe a bit full from the weekend of indulging) and then have that someone you know come up to you and say
“Hey Sophie! Did you put on weight?" "
By the time I recovered from my shock, all I could muster was a barely audible “Yah! Maybe!” and made some small talk to detract from the shock that she said I looked fat. And after she left, I started daggers at her back and regretted not coming up with a good comeback line.
I don't know about you - but no matter how confident I am about my body, that kind of comment makes me shrivel on the inside and makes me all self-conscious.
What’s wrong with these people? I’m not fat, I ate too much so what? I don't know if they say it because they truly care about me, so they get brutally honest to get me to do something about it or they’re being catty, or they just have nothing else to say!
Many Reasons for Bloatedness
I’m sensitive to gluten and dairy. Beans, certain vegetables like cauliflowers, worcestershire sauce etc - makes my belly balloon like crazy. Of course there are days where I willingly ate my body weight of hot and spicy alaskan king crab legs and/or over-indulged with copious amounts of lychee martini the night before. I get constipated alot too especially on a holiday and I tend to get gastric when I forget to eat.
There are also other reasons for a bloated belly, which could be sign for more serious problems like overactive thyroid, cancer, celiac disease, liver disease, IBS and the list goes on. My body is thankfully not afflicted, so far.
Don't be quick to see the negatives
Then we have these silly people who are completely oblivious to the impact their words have on others.
I’m not fat, but you make me feel that I did something wrong and that I look fat!
DON’T DO THAT!
Don’t be an Auntie and Uncle who spend their day just commenting on other people. You are better than that. Stop judging others! If you want to say something, say something nice and positive! If you care about them, help and encourage them, but be mindful about your words. Yes honesty is good, but it's not good all the time.
I know what makes me bloat and cause indigestion but life is too short.
So I tried to find ways to manage my bloatedness and so far, these 4 rituals have stayed with me. (AND IT WORKS)
My No-Bloat Bedtime Ritual
1) Make a hot cup of ginger tea
I like the powdered ones from Gingen, and they are easily available from NTUC or Cold Storage.
No need to cut up gingers and wait for them to seep. You can choose from “No Sugar”, “with Honey”, “with Brown Sugar” and “Very Strong.” It’s S$5.80-S$6.20 for a box of 10 (3/1/17)
2) Take a probiotic
I used to drink Yakult every night, but the sugar level scares me a little bit. So whilst I do have a stash in the fridge for emergencies, I started taking the capsule version.
Currently I’m taking Nature’s Way - Primadophilus Original which I purchased from Super Nature at Forum Shopping Mall. I take one before I sleep. 90 capsules for S$31.20 (3/1/17).
3) Massage Young Living Peppermint Essential Oil on my belly
I’ve to thank my sister for introducing to Young Living essential oils. I’m not a big oil user but I’ve 1 or 2 that I cannot leave home without and Peppermint Essential oil is one of them. It, not only soothes my belly if I get sudden attack of gastric or indigestion or bloatedness or constipation, but it helps with motion sickness (when I’m in the cab with the crazy driver), when I feel nauseous, when I have a cold or cough, when I have a headache, when I am stressed or when I need a burst of energy before teaching, it soothes mosquito bite - and the list goes on.
A 15ml bottle costs S$35 (15/1/17).
4) Yoga In Bed (2 poses)
a) KNEES-TO-CHEST POSE
This is super simple yoga posture that relieves tension in the back and pressure in the digestive system. I love to do this pose at the end of my classes to remind my students to love themselves more by hugging their body tighter.
Be gentle to your body and hold as much of your opposite arm as you can without any strain. Or you can place your hands on your shins, with knees slightly part to make it work for your body. Only if its comfortable, you can gently rock side to side or circle the knees to massage the lower spine.
Hold it for 3 to 5 mins. Another ariation would be the wind-relieving pose or “Pavanamuktasana” where you hug one knee to chest and release the other leg down on the bed/mat.
b) SUPINE TWIST
There are a lot of versions to doing this pose.
Easiest would be just be to start from Knees-To-Chest Pose and drop both knees to one side and then switch. Or bring one knee to the chest and then drop it to the opposite side.
I love this version of crossing the legs over as it does a damn good job of multi-tasking. It not only massages the abdominal contents but it stretches the back of the hips, and releases tension in the spine.
And it feels like my spine is being rinsed out of the kinks and knots.
This pose is called “Twisted Roots” in Yin terminology, and could be called supine eagle pose, as the legs are set up like the eagle pose (“Garadusana).
Hold for 3-5 mins before Switching sides. Remember not to push into the twist plus you are getting ready for bed; there’s no need to work so hard. let gravity do all the work.
My Before and After Pictures
I took these 2 pictures over the weekend to show the difference. First is the night before and then next day. I remember I had chocolate croissant for breakfast, 2 bowls of pasta (of course not at the same time - lunch and dinner); I had a couple of cookies, drank sugary yakult and had an ice cream.
Okay, so what my body’s not perfect, I’m not stick thin, I’m just belly happy.
At the end of the day, I think its important to feel good about ourselves so that others can’t hurt you. That’s most important - how we feel on the inside.
Maybe I should thank these "super-honest" friends for forcing me to move towards a better me; but then again, we need more positivity and love in the world!
Why not we start by first loving ourselves more so we can love others, and in that way, we can better see the good and not the bad!
What’s your favourite debloat "must-do"? Write in the comments below.