Ever have a rough day of eating where your stomach basically looks a wee bit pregnant (but you’re definitely not)? That’s reality, folks. Bloating happens—even to fitness bloggers with abs.
Celena Kinsey posted a very revealing side-by-side comparison on Instagram about the state of her stomach after a “bloating episode.”
Wearing a sports bra and standing to the side, in one photo, her stomach appears as it normally does, flat and toned. In the other, her belly is rounded and she looks uncomfy.
“No I’m not pushing my tummy out, I actually have abdominal distention during these episodes, as pointed out by a doctor (and you can see I’m not feeling good),” she writes in the post. “For as long as I can remember I’ve suffered from these episodes of intense pain and bloating,” Kinsey continues.
And no matter how fit you are, when your body feels like it’s rebelling against you, it can really drag on your psyche. Though she says that doctors haven’t been able to pinpoint the exact diagnosis—and she tries to watch her diet and avoid trigger foods—bloating is still part of her life. “Sharing a photo like this is never easy because when you’re bloated you feel pretty down on yourself and you’re uncomfortable in your own skin,” she writes.
The lesson for anyone is that occasional bloating is normal. In fact, research points out that up to 25 percent of healthy people experience it. If it’s become a routine problem for you, certainly see your doctor to rule out a potential medical condition. The key is that you don’t have to feel ashamed or embarrassed.
As Kinsey admits, she doesn't walk around with abs 24/7. “So the next time you’re bloated, don’t think you look “fat or disgusting”—that’s unhealthy behaviour and you know that bloating comes and goes. Instead, make yourself a hot water bottle, drink water, turn on some Netflix and rest easy,” she says.
If that wasn’t enough girl wisdom for you, she ends with this: “Always remember your body responds best to positivity and love.” Can we get a "hell yes"?
This article originally appeared on Womenshealthmag.com.