Gut Issues: The Healing Journey

Last year I told you about my stomach issues and my attempts to figure it all out. And then I even received some amazing help and if you read any of those blog posts then you know it’s been one bumpy ride. What I haven’t done in a year is share how it’s all been going. And, more importantly, answered some of your questions! Many of you have wondered exactly how I have been able to do Pilates given my stomach pains. Others, how I traveled with digestive issues. This week let’s discuss how I was able to do Pilates given the constant roller coaster of pain, bloating and discomfort.

  • Author: lesley.logan
  • May 27, 2018
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gut issues the healing journey thegem blog - Online Pilates Classes

Last year I told you about my stomach issues and my attempts to figure it all out. And then I even received some amazing help and if you read any of those blog posts then you know it’s been one bumpy ride. What I haven’t done in a year is share how it’s all been going. And, more importantly, answered some of your questions! Many of you have wondered exactly how I have been able to do Pilates given my stomach pains. Others, how I traveled with digestive issues. This week let’s discuss how I was able to do Pilates given the constant roller coaster of pain, bloating and discomfort.

My stomach issues didn’t reach a breaking point until about four years, maybe five years ago. Before then, starting in 2007 I was able to try different tactics to help me get a break from my digestive issues. Everything I tried would work for a little bit and then it wouldn’t.

Have you ever experienced that? I first tossed out dairy, gluten, and soy. WOW! The feelings of energy, better sleep, and fewer stomach problems were quick to appear. I thought I had it all figured out and would just have to avoid those few things. This new found strength and energy made doing Pilates easy and fun! Plus, I had way less inflammation so my stomach problems didn’t cause me troubles during Pilates. In fact, I often felt better after having done Pilates!

Over time the effects of being dairy, soy and gluten free started to wain. My stomach issues became more frequent and causing problems in my life, including Pilates. I had such a hard time “feeling” my center because my center would often be working its way towards distention. I became really good at trusting the method and the movement. And, I know that doesn’t make a lot of sense, especially if you are a potential Pilates student or a regular Pilates practitioner. But, Pilates was my distraction from the pain.

Pilates isn’t something you can do mindlessly and its also not something you should do too slowly, too micromanaged. It’s a movement that requires you to be present on what is moving where and what your body is connecting to or flowing through. And, while I would walk in thanking the universe for baggy pants and loose fitting clothes on some of my worst days I would leave and realize that for about 50 min I didn’t even think about my stomach. I couldn’t even feel the pain.

Pilates became my retreat! And, I made sure that I almost never missed a day. As time went on and my digestive issues grew to be more than I could bear and more than doctors could figure out I started to lose strength.

The thing about digestive issues is that they rarely just mean embarrassing moments of bloat. When you have gut issues it’s not just your appearance that takes a beating. It can affect you hormonally, nutritionally and mentally!

Last year, after feeling like I was losing all the strength and stamina that I had gained in the previous 9 years I found out I kind of was. The levels of metal in my system from our water and living in a city of smoke was causing my brains messages to my body to be blocked. I was no longer digesting proteins properly, vitamin d and b12 were almost non-existent.

I could go on and on! But, after years of the doctors not figuring out the issue my body was starting to fail me. And, not only did that mean it was affecting my day to day life it was affecting my Pilates practice too.

What used to be my solace from my digestive turmoil became the place where I could clearly see I was getting sicker.

A year after I finally got results that made sense and started the journey of healing my body I still am in repair mode. But, wow! Let me tell you that as I sit here sharing this with you I am a hundred times better. I am not in daily pain. I also have the energy and will to workout and that means my Pilates practice is back on and at a level that challenges me.

I have no idea the cause, I wish I did. I wish I could tell you this is what caused it so that others wouldn’t have to go through what I did. But, what I can say is this, do not stop searching for answers. It took me leaving my doctors to get answers but that might not be the same for you.

What I do know is that movement helped me more than anything. Doing Pilates is what helped me realize I wasn’t feeling well. I went from having the strength to do anything to lethargy. Then, Pilates became a space where I didn’t have to be the girl with stomach issues. And, in time revealed to me that I was actually getting worse. I have no idea how long it would have taken me to realize that had I not be doing Pilates. Now, Pilates is showing me just how far along I have come.

If you are suffering from stomach or digestive issues and you’re cleared for exercise I do recommend trying Pilates. I know it seems like the last kind of workout you would want to do but Pilates really allows you to have your own growth and journey. You use your whole body in every session, not just your abs.

Next time we talk gut issues I’ll share my travel tips! Because, even if you have never suffered issues from the gut my travel advice will help you get anywhere you want to go and feeling so good!

xx~LL

PS if you have a story you want to share with me I would love to hear it! It’s so important to not keep it to yourself. One of the hardest parts of not feeling well was the loneliness it brought along with it. Share your story below or connect with me on Instagram.

By lesley.logan

Lesley Logan, NCPT, is the founder of OnlinePilatesClasses.com, the first free online catalogue of Pilates exercise tutorial videos, where you can also find weekly online mat classes and workshops. When not teaching from her studio in Los Angeles, Lesley can be found traveling the world leading Pilates retreats, or offering Pilates business coaching to studio owners and other instructors through her private mastermind group. Connect with Lesley on instagram @lesley.logan or through the contact page on this site.

Loving this Pilates exercise tutorial? Take weekly online Pilates mat classes with OPC Teachers.
Enjoying Lesley's teaching style? Willing to travel? Explore the world while maintaining your practice by joining Lesley on a Pilates retreat.

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eb 3 online pilates classes

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SUCH A TEASE

ONLINE MAT & REFORMER PILATES CLASS DESCRIPTIONS:

Teaser is probably one of the most photographed exercises in Pilates. Which makes people think it's a "peak pose." But, it's anything but! It's simply another layer to your Pilates practice. This week we will acknowledge how each exercise contributes to your ability to do Teaser (someday) and then how Teaser teaches you where to get curious in your practice.

On the Mat we will use light weights for one round of Teaser as they can be helpful for those still adding into their practice.
No props on the Reformer.

See you in class,

xx~LL

MAT EQUIPMENT NEEDED: Your awesome self, light weights and a Mat!

>> Wondering what mat I’m using? You can find out more here.

REFORMER EQUIPMENT NEEDED: Your awesome self and a Reformer!

>> Wondering what reformer I’m using? You can find out more here.

UP, UP, & AWAY

ONLINE MAT, REFORMER, CADILLAC & WUNDA CHAIR PILATES CLASS DESCRIPTIONS:

We are all going to feel like Super Humans after this month!!

Whenever I’m in a hard exercise (for me) where I’m holding myself up with my arms and reaching my legs away I picture myself with super human strength!!! I can do ANYTHING! It makes me smile and helps me stay STRONG.

This month our exercise is Up Stretch and when you think about it - reaching your legs away and staying strong over the carriage may feel a lot like flying!

We’ll be focusing on stabilizing our strong cores while staying equally balanced in our arms and legs. We are giving you some amazing building blocks by merging strength and stretch in all directions. You are going to get a little bit of everything that you can use to connect to your Up Stretch (and even your Roll Up and Knee Stretches Off).

Chair: Please have a foam roller and a balance pad available. We are going to challenge your balance safely.

xx-LL

GATHER ROUND

Online Mat & Reformer Pilates Class Descriptions:

We gather good things in circles…friends, flowers, pie! So let’s get our circles on! In this week’s Mat and Reformer classes we’ll be focusing on how the size and shape of circular work changes how we feel an exercise. We’ll even be adding some circular movements along the way! You won’t need any extra props and please, have your box for the Reformer class.

See you in class,
Tami

MAT EQUIPMENT NEEDED: Your awesome self, and a mat!

>> Wondering what mat I’m using? You can find out more here.

REFORMER EQUIPMENT NEEDED: Your awesome self, box and a reformer!

>> Wondering what reformer I’m using? You can find out more here.

ROW ROW ROW YOUR BOAT

Online Mat & Reformer Pilates Class Descriptions:

This week we will focus on all things Rowing! How do the other exercises help our rowing series and how does rowing influence the others! Finding the arm/back connection throughout the class is how we will Row Row Row Our Boat to the finish line!

Light hand weights needed for the Mat class!

See you in class,
Mindi

    MAT EQUIPMENT NEEDED: Your awesome self, light hand weights and a mat!

    >> Wondering what mat I’m using? You can find out more here.

    REFORMER EQUIPMENT NEEDED: Your awesome self and a reformer!

    >> Wondering what reformer I’m using? You can find out more here.

    STAND BY ME

    Online Mat & Reformer Pilates Class Descriptions:

    The key to longevity is being able to get down to the ground and up again with as little assistance as possible. In this weeks class we are going to focus on how to stand in your feet no matter where they are in space.

    On the Mat we will have a playful ending that Joseph Pilates would do!

    The Reformer we’ll end challenging ourselves standing on our carriage. (Options to do the exercises off the Reformer too!)

    No props needed.

    See ya in class,

    xx~LL 💋

    MAT EQUIPMENT NEEDED: Your awesome self and a mat!

    >> Wondering what mat I’m using? You can find out more here.

    REFORMER EQUIPMENT NEEDED: Your awesome self and a reformer!

    >> Wondering what reformer I’m using? You can find out more here.

    LOOK MA, NO HANDS!

    Online Mat, Reformer, Cadillac & Wunda Chair Pilates Class Descriptions:

    We’re going to focus on the muscles that help us get up/down to a chair, toilet, in/out of a car, and to the ground without the use of our hands to help.

    As we age, we can lose strength, flexibility, mobility in these leg and core muscles which results in us using our arms and hands to get up and down.

    Let’s keep these bodies as young as we can by practicing getting up and down with only our legs, our center, and our strong back.

    Reformer: No props needed
    Cadillac/Tower: Reformer box
    Mat: Theraband
    Chair: No props needed

    See ya in class,

    xx-LL 💋

    HANG 10

    ONLINE MAT, REFORMER, CADILLAC & WUNDA CHAIR PILATES CLASS DESCRIPTIONS:

    Grip strength as well as upper body strength plays an important role in so many different exercises throughout the mat and all apparatus. Our grip can influence the connection from our wrists - to our arms - to our back. And building strength in our chest and upper back can help us connect more to our center in every exercise.

    All month long we’ll explore the feeling, the strength, and the position of our hands and upper body to see how our exercises change with a little extra focus. We’ll also play with ways to gain more strength and awareness in our chest and upper back to create even more connections to the exercises.

    Props:
    Chair - short pole* and a foam roller for balance
    *A thicker pole or roll down bar size might feel nice, but no worries you’ll find your connections no matter what you have on hand!
    Mat: a pole
    Reformer: No props needed
    Cadillac: No props needed

    See ya in class,
    xx-LL 💋

    I LOVE ROCK & ROLL UP

    Online Mat & Reformer Pilates Class Descriptions:

    Finding some love for Roll Up and Open Leg Rocker isn't easy! But, these two exercises unlock the potential for so many other exercises. And what we don't like we often need. So, let's dive into what we need to rock our Roll Ups and Open leg Rockers and see how that changes the rest of our practice in the meantime.

    Mat: Magic Circle, Pole or Theraband
    Reformer: have your shortbox pole near by

    xx~LL

    MAT EQUIPMENT NEEDED: Your awesome self, Magic Circle, Pole or Theraband and a mat!

    >> Wondering what mat I’m using? You can find out more here.

    REFORMER EQUIPMENT NEEDED: Your awesome self, short box and a reformer!

    >> Wondering what reformer I’m using? You can find out more here.