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My Gut Reaction: How One Fitness Model Overcame Severe GI Issues

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Steph Dorworth found a solution and confidence, and a supportive community.

INSERT_IMAGE_DESCRIPTIONErica & Jon Photography

Steph Dorworth didn’t know what was happening. She was having debilitating GI issues but couldn’t get an answer. Countless doctors visits, no resolution. Then her husband, a pharmacist, suggested a last-ditch effort: Invest in some good probiotics and see what happens. After a two-month reset, Dorworth—a model and health coach—found herself pleasantly surprised: her gut was rebalanced, her GI issues resolved. But it wasn’t easy.

“It was a slow process. It wasn't like one day immediately it was better,” the proprietor of the Beautiful to the Core blog says. “It took a few months for my digestive system to rebalance out, but I do credit the probiotics hugely for getting things rebalanced and feeling back to normal after two months.”

When Dorworth first started talking about her bloating and severe GI distress, she worried how her clients, the fitness community, and readers of her blog might respond. No one expects models to have distended stomachs and uncomfortable bloating. But she discovered that she wasn’t alone, that there was a supportive community willing to help.

“It wasn't until I first began struggling with the bloating issue that I realized what a common issue it was,” she says. “After doing research and talking about it on social media, I realized that I'm not the only one struggling with this. There actually are a lot of other people—especially the women I communicate with through my online business—that do struggle with bloating. It plays a huge role in our lives because it can lead to a lot of self-consciousness issues and self-doubt. It can really affect your happiness overall. It affected me on a deeper level than just the physical issues I was going through. It affected me emotionally.”

A healthy gut can help lead to a healthy life. And Dorworth’s gut was dragging her down. But the positive community she found online helped her deal with the mental struggles of bloating and GI distress. “Being able to open up about it with other women who were also struggling with the same thing helped me feel a little bit better because I knew, ‘okay there are other people in my boat and some things have worked for them,’” she says. “It was nice to get that support from other women.”

But as a fitness model and fitness coach, it was hard to deal with—at first.

“I wore baggier clothes and tried not to let it be seen as much,” she says. ”I had to remind myself to lead with my confidence. Sometimes, even if you don't physically feel your best, if you let your confidence shine, that is what people are going to see first. They're not going to be staring at my stomach. They're going to be staring at my smile and seeing how confidently I walked up to them. Changing the mindset that it's not just about physical appearance. It’s showing off I'm so happy and confident despite what I'm struggling with, that helped me personally try and cope and get over the struggle.”

Confidence restored, Dorworth set about getting control of her gut. A probiotic like Renew Life's Ultimate Flora Extra Care Probiotic 50B, a potent formula with 12 scientifically studied strains designed to re-establish digestive balance and promote digestive health, can help people in similar situations. For Dorworth, there was a direct connection between her mood and outlook, and her gut “Having a healthy gut affects you because overall it really affects your confidence and your mood,” she says. “If you lack confidence and you're in a bad mood, it's going to get in the way.”