Issues from the Gut: My Breaking Point

I am days away from new test results that will hopefully give me answers, help and a new journey into my gut. I promise to share how it is going as I can.

  • Author: lesley.logan
  • February 22, 2017
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Hello, my name is Lesley, I often go by LL. I am a wife to a lovely man who rocks my world and supports me like crazy, mom to two Pitt Bulls Gaia and Bayon, a Pilates instructor, Pilates business coach, and a sufferer of digestive issues.

Last night I reached a breaking point. I went to bed with stomach pain again. It wasn’t my first breaking point around this issue. I have no idea if it will be my last. I certainly hope so…

I know, breaking points don’t usually happen over and over again within the same situation. But they can. I am witness to it. With every breaking point trying something new to “fix” the problem that no one has been able to identify.

This section of my blog will continue as long as I can. I’ve decided to write about my journey because I cannot be the only one who is dealing with this. After almost ten years of keeping it mostly to myself, I am tired. I don’t write this because I want anyone to feel sorry for me. I write this because if you are suffering, you are not alone. That might be the hardest part of this whole journey is feeling like I am the only one, not only do doctors not understand but it feels like no one around me does. However, in this big world I know that is not the case. That there are people out there dealing with the same thing I am or something completely different and my hopes in sharing my story is that you know you are not alone.

A few of those close to me have known about my stomach issues for as long or almost as long as I have had them; if we’ve traveled together or you met me recently, you may also have found out about my tummy simply because my diet has been so strange. I felt the need to explain or else in my mind you would think I had an eating disorder or something else.

So, my friends, readers here, I shall start off with when it all began in 2007 when I moved to LaLa Land….

I was managing a high-end women’s jewelry store at South Coast Plaza in Orange County, CA. My best friend had recently moved to Missouri to be with her now husband. I found a great new roommate and relocated to the beach. I hated my new commute and was feeling a bit stagnate. When my new roommate lost her job and said she was moving to LA, I jumped at the chance to make a change too!

It’s incredible how timing works out. I was able to transfer to another store for the same company. Not just any LA retail location either, I was going to be managing a store in the famously hip, beyond cool Fred Segal in Santa Monica, CA. Let the packing begin.

Two weeks later I was moving myself to our new apartment. I moved to LA on the 4th of July 2007. Fireworks were gracing the sky my entire drive north. I quickly settled into my new apartment and my new job. I had never lived in such a big city before. It was all so new to me. Paying for parking, looking for parking, a two-mile commute taking at least 30 minutes. I thought my biggest challenge would be making new friends or figuring out a new routine. Nope, I was quickly learning about life problems in LA. But, despite the daily annoyances of parking and traffic I was loving Los Angeles! There were many things to discover. I didn’t know how long I would live here, but I knew I was meant to be here.

Then one day after eating a meal with my roommate and some friends I was sidelined. Literally. The pain in my stomach had me laying on my side at the restaurant. Never, had I felt so sick before this night that I could remember. I could barely make it home. My stomach blew up to the size that I had only seen on a woman before she was about to give birth. I was twenty-four and wondering if I should be going to the hospital? Is the emergency room appropriate for major bloating? What would they do?

That was the night, the one moment that I can look back and say “it all started when…” Since that night I have had more nights, more post-meal pains that I can count. Usually, I wake up seeing and feeling the person that I am. Every day a new day, a new opportunity to go on “normal.” But, as I eat the issues of my stomach begin to reappear. Most times they wait until evening. But, appear they do. Not just in the form of gas pains but also like my first night in the form of bloating. One of my easier ways to describe it is that I wake up fitting in my skin and my clothes and I go to bed the size of a woman who is six-nine months pregnant. It’s an f’d up roller coaster ride of not just how I feel in my gut but in my body and my mind.

Back to the present: I am days away from new test results that will hopefully give me answers, help and a new journey into my gut. I promise to share how it is going as I can.

In my next issue, I will share my first steps in dealing with my stomach. The doctor who brushed me off and the nutritionist who helped me. Stay tuned for the next Core Issue.

xx~LL

Ps. If you are suffering from digestive disorders I feel for you. I wish I could even help you. There is nothing like feeling sick when you eat. You need to eat to live, but when eating makes life so painful, it truly becomes a core issue. It takes over. You are not alone and don’t ever stop trying to find out what will make you feel best. Life is so worth living, and I cannot believe that I will forever live in digestive pain.

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.

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10 comments

  1. I feel for you. And not only all the physical issues but mental as it takes a toll and you begin to self doubt and think it is just you especially when backed up by medical professionals. I eagerly await to hear the next gut instalment!
    One of the many reasons I turned to Pilates!

    1. My naturopaths validated me but I just wasn’t getting better on their protocols. The docs made me feel like a freaking crazy person. So crazy that even though recently I have been feeling more tired than I should be, weaker than I should be, losing balance and memory and suffering with GI. They asked me if I had an eating disorder! I mean…I actually started to wonder a whole hosts of things. I look forward to writing the next piece. It’ll come before I leave for Cambodia. Thank you for your support!!! xx

  2. Hi Lesley, I’m sorry it has been a difficult healing journey for you. I hope these next test results will give you the answers you are looking for. But if you still need more direction, PLEASE consider consulting a Naturopathic doctor. There are many great ones in your area, but if I can be of any assistance or when you are next in NorCal let me know.

    1. Hi Tara, thank you! I have seen some of the best Naturopathic doctors here. They got close! But, sadly even after years it just wasn’t getting better. However, I recommend them for everyone. They did better than the best Western docs LA has. I’m looking forward to writing the next part of this journey. The results I got are incredibly eye opening and my docs did more harm than good this last time around. But, I have answers! Yay! Thank you for reading and supporting xx

  3. Thank you so much! I have been suffering with digestive issues that cause terrible pain all over my body. I have been embarrassed as a Pilates instructor because I thought no other instructors were sick. The entire time at Equinox Iwas up and down with this. I’ve seen over a dozen docs and had tons of tests. My current doc is getting closer but I’m still sick. I got the sickest last fall and had to stop teaching and lost my business at the time (and broke my foot from fainting)
    If you need any advice or have questions, I feel like I’m an expert on gut issues but still nothing has helped me. My Buddhist faith is what keeps me going day after day. I admire you for writing this and I am grateful to finally be able to tell my story to you. Thank you, and I hope you feel well soon.
    p.s. I have an excellent functional med doc in WA state.
    Love
    Bess

  4. Thank you for sharing Lesley. I can’t say I’ve had it as bad as you, but boy, I can surely relate. I really feel for you though and think what a brave woman you are for sharing your journey about this condition. I hope you can find some relief and answers soon. I’ve had gut issues all my life and really can relate to how debilitating it can be. I did find a Naturopathic Doctor not too long ago that did some food allergy testing (blood work) and discovered what foods I truly am allergic to and those I have to be aware to rotate how many times I eat them in a week. I took wheat, gluten, dairy and eggs out of my diet and when I can truly stick to this diet, I have found a significant difference in how my gut feels. I’ve also noticed over the years how much the gut issues will effect my emotional state as well. It’s all connected. I don’t go to doctors much and end up trying to do a lot of my own research. I have found some of the Health and Bodycare staff at Whole Foods and Vitamin Cottage to be very knowledgeable and generally helpful too…learned a lot over the years just by asking questions. I do a lot of homeopathic and herbal remedies as well as Young Living Oils. Every now and then if I have a some kind of flare and can’t figure it out, I do have a Naturopathic Doctor that I like and can go to. Thank God! It took a while to find her. Good for you…reaching out. Hang in there. I know you will find the answers but I also know that it can be so frustrating at times and a lot to figure out. Take good care and best of luck!

  5. Leslie–
    I am so glad you’re speaking out about this. I never would have guessed you were dealing with this issue. Your abs always look amazing and flat!
    I was diagnosed with IBS in the early 90s, and it’s something I manage every single day, sometimes not very successfully. I never have a flat stomach, and often feel disconnected from my belly and low abs.
    I am a Pilates instructor of 9 years, and struggle with maintaining a certain body image against this dubious syndrome. Add perimenopause and fluctuating hormones to the mix, and you’ve got quite a little rollercoaster ride!
    This sounds like a topic to present on Pilates Unfiltered. I imagine there are more out there like us.
    Stay strong!
    Kim

    1. Hi Kim, thank you for reading. I am so sorry to hear about your diagnosis. I had many a doctor try to just brush mine off as IBS but my symptoms don’t really fit under that. I also had done a lot of research and heard that many people had luck getting rid of their IBS once they discovered imbalances in their body. My latest results are amazing and I have a lot of work to do but a lot of hope is on the horizon. As for my flat abs…some of the diets I have been on have caused me to lose too much weight, last year especially, and others to gain. I so understand the rollercoaster ride. Luckily Kim Pilates is not about flat abs. Pilates makes us strong and balanced. Sometimes that means flat abs but I think that people are starting to realize that Pilates’ ultimate goal is more than just a good looking stomach. Have you heard the Pilates Unfiltered with Anula? Don’t worry about the body image. You are awesome. It’s better to be a great instructor than to have a certain look. I know that on days I am bloated and feeling ill I’ve been known to be embarrassed and doubt because on those days I don’t look like the “Pilates body type.” But, you know what? It’s time more and more of us share that there is no certain image. We can only be who we really are. I promise to stay strong and I would love if you would too xx~LL

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pop up summer tour | online pilates classes

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

I WANNA ROCK

Online Mat & Reformer Pilates Class Descriptions:

When I first started teaching another teacher in the studio I was at who had 20+ years of teaching was struggling with her client. They kept wanting to lift their head to extend. In every exercise no matter what she said their head would lift before their chest. She said "the worst thing we ever did was call the neck the neck." Now, I don't think its the WORST thing. I have some thoughts on chairs and shoes. But, its up there! If you've been struggling with Swan, Swimming, Rocking and some of our other fun extension exercises this week is for you!

Grab a magic circle for a fun warm up on the Mat and Reformer. Don't have one? No problem I've got options for ya!

See ya in class,
xx-LL 💋

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

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

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

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


UPTOWN FUNK

Online Mat & Reformer Pilates Class Descriptions:

Roll Up. Love it or leave it?

However you feel about it might change over the next week as we explore how to use our side waist and leg muscles to improve your Roll Up!!

It might seem like a funky way to improve your spinal movements, but by using different variations we’ll help you connect your legs to your center. And once you do that you can listen to your body and explore where you need to create more space or find more muscles!

By the way, if you took last fall’s BOOmerang class, you’ll absolutely LOVE the mat workout this week!!

Props Needed:
Mat: Grab a Barrel or Blanket
Reformer: Reformer box & Pole

See you in class,
Rachel

I DIP, YOU DIP, WE DIP

Online Mat & Reformer Pilates Class Descriptions:

I happened to hear an oldy but a goody the other day. One that when it came out my parents for sure would not have wanted me to listen to. But, I was curious about the lyrics and found an old music video. And it made me think about how we often tell you about what to do with your hip points, tailbone and even the crest of your hip. So, for a long time, we've been asking you to dip as we dipped. Ok, maybe not as dramatic or even something you'd do on a dance floor. But for this week, we'll be focusing on our pelvis, where it is in space. So you can dip wherever you are whenever you want!

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.

UPTOWN FUNK

Online Mat & Reformer Pilates Class Descriptions:

Roll Up. Love it or leave it?

However you feel about it might change over the next week as we explore how to use our side waist and leg muscles to improve your Roll Up!!

It might seem like a funky way to improve your spinal movements, but by using different variations we’ll help you connect your legs to your center. And once you do that you can listen to your body and explore where you need to create more space or find more muscles!

By the way, if you took last fall’s BOOmerang class, you’ll absolutely LOVE the mat workout this week!!

Mat: Grab a Barrel or Blanket
Reformer: Reformer box & Pole

See you in class,
Rachel

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

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

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

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


I DIP, YOU DIP, WE DIP

Online Mat & Reformer Pilates Class Descriptions:

I happened to hear an oldy but a goody the other day. One that when it came out my parents for sure would not have wanted me to listen to. But, I was curious about the lyrics and found an old music video. And it made me think about how we often tell you about what to do with your hip points, tailbone and even the crest of your hip. So, for a long time, we've been asking you to to dip as we dipped. Ok, maybe not as dramatic or even something you'd do on a dance floor. But for this week, we'll be focusing on our pelvis, where it is in space. So you can dip wherever you are whenever you want!

No props needed.

See you in class,
xx-LL 💋

WILD SIDE

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

Pilates is one of the few movement practices that focuses on our side body! And, our side body is what keep us from falling! And, it's also integral to our posture. So, let's nerd out with our Wild Sides!

Let's have fun focusing on twisting, side bending and the spine shapes in between that help and our helped by our Wild Sides!

Mat class: Magic Circle
Reformer class: No props needed
Tower/Cadillac class: A reformer pole and the reformer box, but both are technically optional!
Wunda Chair class: Theraband or an old pair of leggings!

See ya in class,
xx-LL 💋

HIGH FIVE FOR ALL

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

In Pilates we often talk about the 5 spinal shapes… do you know them? No worries if you don’t yet as this month we’re going to explore them all! How tall, round, extended, rotated or bent from our sides that we can be gives us more power & control during exercise. Let’s see what we can feel when we put the focus on working toward these particular shapes… And, lookout for combo shapes!"

On the Reformer, please have a ball, Magic Circle and your pole. A couple of pillows and a Swiffer handle all make great substitutes!
Mat, Tower/Cadillac and Wunda Chair: No props needed.

See ya in class,
xx-LL 💋

CAN WE KICK IT?

Online Mat & Reformer Pilates Class Descriptions:

Side Kick Series and Kneeling Side Kicks are great full-body exercises that require a lot of connections from front to back and head to toe. In your classes this week we will work on the connection of our upper back, glute/Thass®, and abdominal strength to help with these exercises and see how your practice links together. Single leg work on the reformer as well as side body work will give you more information to help you in your Side Kicks. No props needed for this class.

See you in class,
Mindi

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.


I WANNA ROCK

Online Mat & Reformer Pilates Class Descriptions:

When I first started teaching another teacher in the studio I was at who had 20+ years of teaching was struggling with her client. They kept wanting to lift their head to extend. In every exercise no matter what she said their head would lift before their chest. She said "the worst thing we ever did was call the neck the neck." Now, I don't think it's the WORST thing. I have some thoughts on chairs and shoes. But, its up there! If you've been struggling with Swan, Swimming, Rocking and some of our other fun extension exercises this week is for you!

Grab a magic circle for a fun warm up on the Mat and Reformer. Don't have one? No problem I've got options for ya!

See ya in class,
xx~LL 💋