Did you ever feel that panicky feeling of needing a bathroom NOW after eating something that disagreed with you?
Well, I’m far too aware of the fact that there are people in this world who go through this every single day, seemingly for no reason.
Imagine, sitting there, minding your own business while looking for cat videos on YouTube and BOOM! It’s on!
Next thing you know, you’re running down the hall with your pants down like that scene from Dumb and Dumber where Lloyd poured an entire bottle of laxative in Harry’s drink!
I’m happy that I don’t personally have this issue but my sister Kate Watson, a registered Dietician in the state of Washington and more importantly, an INFP, has had digestive issues for over 20 years.
She has truly suffered from the pain and paranoia of not knowing if there was a near-by restroom.
I must warn you that I’m simplifying the problems a bit. It’s not just an urgent need to go. It’s also gas, bloating, nausea, constipation and other things. If you’re like me , you’ve experienced all of those things at one time or other and they’re NOT FUN! So imagine these poor souls who go through it each day.
Luckily for Kate, she went to school to become a dietician. So she had the tools and the skills to research and find medically-proven solutions.
Cut It Out…
Something I believe to be true is that you have to abstain from certain things to realize how bad they are for you. Just pick a vice and quit for a month to see what I mean. I’ve done it completely with alcohol and then on-and-off with caffeine and various foods.
Kate’s biggest win was along those lines. She found something called the “Low-FODMAPs Diet,” which is a highly restrictive diet where you have to eliminate certain types of carbohydrates from your diet (very common items cause digestive issues in people with food sensitivities – think of lactose intolerance PLUS gluten intolerance and throw a bunch of other common foods you love in, just to add insult to injury).
It’s not an easy protocol, but it’s better than being in agony and constant discomfort.
Finding her Mission…
Something I’ve been advising INFPs on for a long time is finding a mission or a higher calling. This is how you go from a mundane, meaningless, crappy job to something you love.
Well, Kate recently decided to devote her life to helping people with digestive issues. She was working in a dialysis unit and felt huge meaning in what she was doing, but patients died occasionally and as you can imagine, constant death takes its toll on sensitive people like us.
So she quit her day job to start her own private practice as a dietician.
Then, in an unexpected turn of fate a few months ago, her husband Jesse Watson (also an INFP) lost his job and they decided that instead of returning to their Corporate jobs out of fear, they would kick it into high-gear and join forces to do something meaningful for the world.
They launched a website called The Watson Center a few weeks later, which helps people with IBS and digestive issues to make dietary and emotional changes.
Through their work at The Watson Center, they discovered a common problem that people on the Low-FODMAPS Diet have; namely, not being able to buy food that they can actually eat at the store (nearly every packaged food has FODMAPs, so the people on this diet usually have to cook for themselves every single night). It’s very frustrating not to have the convenience of the pre-packaged foods that the rest of the world takes for granted.
But that’s where Kate and Jesse, in all their INFP glory, found themselves NEEDING to help people (remember what I said about being a super hero and needing to help people?)
They spent months designing and testing a ready-to-eat protein bar that is Low in FODMAPs, so that people who need to be super conscious of what they eat can have something when they’re running late or just too tired to cook!
The Mission Has Grown… Fast!
Early last week, Kate and Jesse launched a KickStarter campaign to allow them to make Low-FODMAP Protein Bars. This will be the first available protein bar in the US.
Their goal is to raise $12,000 USD by the end of November to allow them to ramp up production, create additional flavors and expand their capabilities.
This really excites the hell out of me because I’ve seen them go from desk-ridden wage-slaves like me to entrepreneurs in a matter of months. AND, more importantly, they’re doing something that will legitimately help others.
Why Can’t You be an Entrepreneur Again?
Call me side-track Sally , but I wanted to mention this. The number of INFPs who say “I can’t start a business, I’m terrible with numbers,” or “I need the security of an office job” really upsets me because those people are currently miserable in their jobs!
And what’s more, INFPs are hugely creative and idealistic, two traits that when combined, create a nuclear reactor-powered idea machine that can create solutions for the World’s problems! It’s just the FEAR and self-doubts that keeps us bound to our crappy jobs! More on this in coming weeks…
Ok, back to the story…
Approximately 10%-15% of the US population suffers from IBS and/or digestive issues.
With that many people suffering, you very likely know someone who would benefit from this.
It might be someone you love who’s too embarrassed to tell anyone else about it (fun fact, this is one of those problems that sensitive people like you and I get and our doctors treat us like idiots and tell us there’s “nothing wrong with us” when we actually get up the nerve to tell them, like when my doctor told me there was no such thing as anti-depressant withdrawal 10 years ago despite feeling like I was dying, going through heroine withdrawal and pointing out the numerous Internet posts about people feeling like their brains were being “zapped”. When your doctor makes you feel like you’re crazy, you tend to start doubting yourself and being generally embarrassed about the problem).
Sharing on Facebook Opened my Eyes
I truly believe that you know someone who is suffering from digestive issues, whether you realize it or not. I really want to help my sister and her husband find and help these people. But as I’ve said, they’re probably in hiding because these issues are embarrassing to start with. Then they have doctors who try to medicate the problems away or tell them they don’t know what they’re talking about.
So I want to ask you to do something that would benefit those people. Would you share a link on Facebook and/or Twitter for Kate and Jesse’s KickStarter campaign?
I know this can be a little uncomfortable for some people, but when I shared it on Facebook, I realized just how helpful this could be to people. A handful of people liked it and two of my friends posted that it would help them!
I didn’t even know that the first guy who commented had digestive issues and would benefit from this.
The second guy who commented used to be my roommate. He has Chron’s Disease, has had multiple surgeries on his stomach and intestines and was in constant agony, with occasional episodes where he was bed-ridden for a few days. It really broke my heart that I couldn’t help him.
Just knowing that this protein bar may be something that can ease his suffering a bit brought tears to my eyes. Literally.
I felt that feeling that I’m constantly chasing – the feeling that I actually helped people. Isn’t that what we’re all looking for anyway?
If you would consider sharing the link and/or donating, I would love you long time and I’m quite certain your silently suffering friends would be grateful for showing them a new tool to have at their disposal.
If you’re having trouble figuring out what to say, I wrote this up. Feel free to copy, paste and edit as you like: “This protein bar is being developed for people with stomach issues. They say 10-15% of the US population has stomach issues, so I started thinking it might be helpful to people I know http://nicerfoods.com/kickstarter ”
Part of saving the world is taking action. Another part is starting small enough to be able to achieve results. We can save the world with this project; one stomach at a time. I hope you’ll help.
Thanks so much!