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Ah bloating, our mutual enemy. Regardless of just how great your day can be going, when bloating rears its head, it’s not a fun time for anyone.

For some it might just mean an adjusting of the waistband, but for others bloating can be incredibly painful, unpleasant and the kind of uncomfortable that requires you to cancel all plans and seek solace on a couch as you remain horizontal until the bloating subsides.

Despite bloating being an extremely common complaint that can happen after eating certain foods, few talk about their issues with bloating openly. But thanks to Clara Guillem, a 24-year-old content creator from Nashville, gain and weight lamictal Tennessee, the world is starting to wake up to the reality of bloating and the fact that it’s normal to find clothes fitting a little differently after a meal. Guillem started a series on the social platform titled “outfits before and after eating,” and it didn’t take long for the series to go viral. 

https://www.instagram.com/p/COT1ktjLpgp/

https://www.instagram.com/p/COT1ktjLpgp/

In it, Guillem showcases her outfits as well as what her body looks like before and after a full day of eating, explaining that bloating is something that’s “normal and should be celebrated.” She also is sure to engage in positive self-talk during her before and after, saying: “My appearance is the least interesting thing about me. I have so many other amazing qualities, but those are suppressed when I’m hangry.”

https://www.instagram.com/p/CLhhKZjrXgo/

https://www.instagram.com/p/CLhhKZjrXgo/

The message is one that has hit close to home for many people, with the videos garnering more than 5 million views in some instances. Audiences around the world have connected with Guillem’s message and her positive self-talk, acknowledging that bloating is something that needs to be normalised, along with changing body shapes. One woman expressed that she felt insecure on a regular basis and thanks to Guillem’s videos, she’s come to be more accepting of her body. 

“I’m kinda crying because this makes me so insecure and someone telling me that it’s totally fine makes me feel so good about myself,” wrote one user on TikTok. In an interview with Buzzfeed, Guillem expressed that she was inspired to create the series because she wanted to see and create a “positive conversation around the changes our bodies go through when we eat.”

https://www.instagram.com/p/CGklfZ3nmJT/

https://www.instagram.com/p/CGklfZ3nmJT/

“So often in the media, you see bloating as a negative thing, as our society has such deeply engrained fat phobia. In reality, no matter what size you are, your body becoming bigger shouldn’t have such a negative connotation.” 

It’s an issue Guillem has struggled with in the past, having suffered from anorexia which, she says, “was perpetuated by the idea that if I DID eat something before an event/pictures/being in a bikini, I would look bloated. In reality, there was an ‘event’ every day that allowed my symptoms to progress. It took a really long time for me to start respecting my body, and the respect came before the confidence.”

She added, “At first I was like, ‘Alright, my body deserves to be nourished and taken care of,’ but it wasn’t until a while later that the dialogue turned to, ‘Wow, my body looks and feels amazing!’”

https://www.instagram.com/p/CNX5Ph6rUM_/

https://www.instagram.com/p/CNX5Ph6rUM_/

While Guillem has been overwhelmed by the response to the series, she’s incredibly grateful that such a community has presented itself online and are embracing their bodies. “There are a lot of conversations happening about body image/disordered eating, but I think a lot of people felt alone in the notion that bloating was one of the driving forces behind restricting (or purging).”

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