What Does Your Gut Tell You?

I can’t count how many diets I have tried.

My diet craze didn’t come out of nowhere. I was 16 when I started feeling nauseous or bloated after I ate. I visited the doctor frequently for advice, tried different meal plans and gave over the counter medicines a shot.

I remember listing all the foods that upset my stomach to multiple professionals, including bread, yet it was still recommended I try whole wheat toast for breakfast. Did they not hear me rant about my bread symptoms?

I thought I should trust the opinion of anyone with more experience, so I ate the bread. And, about 6 hours later my mother had to pick me up at college in her minivan because the pain was so severe I couldn’t move.

By the age of 21, I had enough and ate what I thought was best based on my own trial and error. When people joke about my gluten-free diet fad, I simply explain that it feels like someone stabbed me in the stomach after consuming a few bites of bread.  

It took me being uncomfortable many times to finally listen to my gut. I’d rather say no to that toasted Italian sub with melted provolone cheese from the deli than feel like I want to throw up. And, I’d rather fit into my pants without the bloat than consume those sautéed peas and mushrooms.

So why should that differ when it comes to a job? 

I have been in the room during an interview and felt I should not move forward with a position, yet I did. I took the advice of former classmates, colleagues, friends and family who said “it is a good opportunity, take it” or “it is a bump up in pay, you have loans.” Then I found myself sick almost everyday. That time, it wasn’t the bread.

I’m applying my gluten-free diet lesson to my career. If my gut is telling me no, I’m telling the hiring manager “no.”

If there is a job you are caught up in and it is making you feel sick to your stomach, you don’t have to consume it every day for the rest of your career. Listen to your gut, you might be right. 

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