Carb your enthusiasm
was Jacqueline’s stodgy diet the yeast of her problems…
The smell of warm, buttery toast wafted from my plate. But will a couple of slices be enough?
Glancing round the kitchen, I spotted the perfect addition to my breakfast. Croissants!
Some people are veggies, some are carnivores…
Me? I was a carbivore. While slimming clubs, celebrities and magazines demonised bread and other carbs, my daily intake consisted of nothing but.
My dicky tummy couldn’t handle anything else.
It started in 2008, with a bout of the runs. I went to my GP, who stuck cameras up my bum and made me drink a foul-tasting barium liquid.
Afterwards, I was diagnosed with diverticulitis – inflammation of pockets in the bowel – and irritable bowel syndrome.
‘That means you are prone to inflammatory bowel disease,’ my doctor added.
Back home, I read up about IBS and diverticulitis, and how diet and stress can affect them.
I downed peppermint tea and experimented with various foods to see which ones agreed with me.
But it was like having a constant tummy bug. I had explosive episodes on the loo, too, and sometimes I just couldn’t hold on.
I could only go out if I knew I’d have easy access to a toilet.
On a rare holiday from my nursery teaching assistant job, that year in August, I went for a stroll from our hotel in Turkey.
Suddenly feeling the need to go, panic set in. Rushing into a little clothes shop, an assistant offered a tiny toilet at the back.
But it was already too late... The shame.
Tying a sarong over my ruined shorts, I sobbed to the shopkeeper, ‘Thank you,’ as I shuffled out.
I refused to leave the hotel for the rest of the holiday.
Back home, doctors suggested I try to lose weight. With my carb diet? Fat chance.
Before, I adored cooking for my hubby, Andy, and our daughters Lucy and Jessica when they were younger.
Chicken casserole, pasta bakes, curries… we loved everything.
But now the only foods that didn’t send my tummy into a spin cycle were starchy carbs. In other words, stodge!
So I lived on baguettes, jacket potatoes and crisps. And all that stodge meant my weight crept up from 12st to nearly 18st – far too heavy for my 5ft 1in frame.
Fast forward to September 2016 and I was still no smaller. And to make things worse a low, deep pain rumbled in my abdomen. Thinking it was a urine infection, my GP prescribed antibiotics. When they didn’t have any effect, I was sent for further tests at Colchester Hospital.
I’d just got home when my phone went. ‘Can you get to A&E?’ a specialist asked. ‘Is it something bad?’ I gulped. ‘They’ll take good care of you,’ the doctor reassured me. There, I was put on an antibiotic drip for 24 hours.
I’d developed a diverticulitis colon abscess, which had grown dangerously big and put me at risk of septicaemia. ‘If it happens again, we will have to fit you with a stoma bag,’ the specialist warned. Terrified, I scoured the internet for help. I read about a probiotic supplement called Alflorex, from Boots, which claimed to relieve IBS symptoms.
At £25 for a month’s supply, it wasn’t cheap, but after taking it for three days, I could already feel a difference.
And when I did a solid poo for the first time in a decade, I cried with happiness.
Feeling brave, I started eating high-fibre foods, like fruit and veg. I was free from my stodgy carb-cage!
‘I can’t believe the difference in you,’ Andy grinned, as I served pork steaks, sprouts and swede. Now, the only thing that sets my tummy off is too much wine. Even better, I’m no longer bloated and my weight has gone down to 14½st.
I’ve been given a new lease of life now my big beige diet is toast!
Now I can eat a healthy diet At just 5ft 1in, I was seriously overweight