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Hayley Madigan’s Tips for Dressing for Gut Issues & Staying Body Confident

We asked fitness and body confident content creator Hayley Madigan to share the tips she swears by for dressing confidently even when you might not be feeling it.

Have gut issues effected the way you dress?
Yes! Most of the time I live in activewear and due to the nature of leggings and sports bras being tight and often figure hugging, it used to really affect my gut and cause stomach pain. Therefore, I would always want to cover up, put a jumper round my middle or even a bumbag to cover up the bloated part of my stomach. I love tight bodycon dresses for evening attire and if I had plans for a Friday or Saturday night the old me would end up restricting what she ate so I didn’t get bloated in my bodycon dress – but luckily, I don’t restrict anymore and have a better relationship with my body!

How do you embrace an ever-changing body and remain body confident?
It is normal for our bodies to change throughout the day, throughout the week and especially over the month (especially for women!) – our menstrual cycles affect our bodyweight, water retention, bloating, how we see ourselves and much more. As a woman accepting the way our bodies are, is vital for our happiness, understanding that we may hold more water during our luteal phase compared to our follicular phase and accepting that bloating is a part of menstruation is the best way to embrace our bodies. Regardless of bloating, or our bodyweight changing – we are all human and we go through body changes – it is normal, and it is important to be more than just your appearance!

Can you share your three tips for dressing to beat the bloat?
  1. Wear loose clothing! I know that sounds obvious but if you wear restricted clothing you will further add to your bloat by restricting your digestion and this can cause further issues, pain and be very uncomfortable.
  2. Because I practically live in gym clothing, it is hard to not have tight shorts or leggings on so when I am feeling a little bloated, I make sure I choose my looser joggers but also, I put a bumbag on around my middle, this gives me that extra boost of confidence by hiding the bloat.
  3. Wear clothing with an elasticated waist band! This will help give your stomach the room to breathe, eat, bloat, and feel comfortable whilst out and about. Oh, and stay away from jeans!

What’s one thing to remember when dressing with gut issues?
Wear something that is comfortable! I can’t stress that enough, if you are uncomfortable then your gut is probably uncomfortable too! What’s the point in being uncomfortable and most probably moody because of it? Wear comfortable clothing that you can breathe in, and your mood will instantly improve and so will your day!

What’s your go-to outfit that always makes you feel confident?
I am a huge fan of the low-rise baggy camo pants at the moment – purely because they don’t press on my stomach when I sit down! High waisted bottoms were the favourite, but I was always finding I needed to undo the top button when sitting down and couldn’t wait to pull them off the minute I got home. Low-rise camo pants don’t press on the stomach, you can wear a longer top or crop top with them and dress them up or down to suit several styles.

Do you have any go-to exercises that help ease bloating?
Yoga is a fabulous way to ease bloating, poses such as Cat-Cow, Downward Dog and Childs Pose can really help your stomach feel better. General movement like walking and swimming will also help by getting the blood moving around the body – if you’re a fan of cardio then a light jog or 15 minutes on the stair master may help ease the pain.

Thanks, Hayley! 

Want more?

Introducing The Gut Couture Collection
Lisa Snowdon’s Tips for Dressing with Gut Issues 
Tips for Dressing for Gut Issues at Work 
Back to Gut Basics with Dr Chris George

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