While Christmas is arguably the best time of year for foodies, all the excessive amounts food and drink consumption, plus lying around on the sofa all day (watching Disney films of course) does little to aid our waistlines and stomachs.
It can be particularly difficult at this time of year to not feel guilty when you're scrolling through social media. Whether you want to or not, you'll definitely find yourself looking at fitness bloggers flexing their bulging biceps while you're holding your third mince pie.
The fitness bloggers that really annoy me are the ones that eat the tiniest plate of turkey and Brussels sprouts on their toned abs while they caption the post something like "no days off". Christ. With annoying accounts like these almost everywhere, it can be nice to see someone who shows that this is not always the case.
Meet Michelle Middleton, a YouTuber, bodybuilder and figure competitor who has racked up more than 102,000 followers on Instagram. As you can see, Michelle is pretty shredded, having an incredibly lean physique and flat stomach - the goal of many a gymgoer.
While she is more than happy to flaunt her muscles online, Michelle is also aware that she doesn't always look that toned. Michelle says she suffers from extreme bloating when she consumes certain types of food and often shares the photos on her Instagram account.
She does this in order to reassure her followers that even the buffest people experience ballooned bellies after eating and drinking even the best of foods. She says, "When I say I’m bloated... I’m bloated. I do these bloat posts every now and then but people still get surprised at how big my belly gets."
In the post with the picture below, she writes "I pretty much know which foods are going to do it (high FODMAP) but sometimes I will eat it anyways. Like earlier I had Greek yogurt and I got bloated within a few minutes but the bloat only lasted for a few hours and now I’m back to normal."
Michelle follows a low FODMAP (sugar) diet, something which is recommended for those with IBS and other digestive disorders. The fitness guru says that this is a massive help in her tendency for bloating. "The foods that make me the most bloated are yogurts, protein powders, apples, pears, watermelon, broccoli, cauliflower and asparagus," she says.
While the diet aids Michelle in her quest to fight bloating, it doesn't stop it entirely. The bodybuilder says that she will prioritize a food that she wants to eat over how flat it will make her tummy look.
"I pretty much know what foods are going to bloat me so it’s just a matter of if I care or not. I followed #fodmap in the past to figure out what works or doesn’t work for me and it helped immensely. That’s why I recommend girls who tend to get bloated to try a low Fodmap diet."
She adds that if you're a balloon belly sufferer "Don’t freak out if you’re bloated. It’s only temporary and will go away." Unsurprisingly, Michelle's posts are awash with people thanking her for showing them that's it's normal to bloat and that you won't always be a lean, mean, fat-fighting machine.
See? Bloating is normal. So now when you've eaten so much turkey you've eaten so much turkey and roast potatoes that look like you're pregnant on Christmas Day, you can simply convince yourself that you're a fitness blogger and no longer worry about it.