Glenn has kindly shared his IBS story, which I know some of you will be able to resonate with…
April 2003 and it just seemed like another crazy day in Az Zubayr, Iraq. 40+ degrees heat, no shade and sleep deprived. I was a section commander of an infantry team consisting of 8 men and we had just returned from a vehicle patrol on a southern route between Az Zubayr and Safwan. We had left at 0500 that morning, drove to a building complex to check for weapons of mass destruction, which funnily enough were not there.
What we found instead though, was a mine field and worst still we were stuck in it for hours until we could select a safe route out. It’s a strange but stressful feeling when you’re not 100% sure where to stand and if you might lose a leg or worse. And then poking the ground to find a way around a mass of anti-personnel and land mines.
We had been out in the blistering heat all day and because of the drama in the minefield, we were dehydrated, hungry and extremely tired. This was the third full day of working hard and only managing to catnap during that time for 20-30 minutes in between the mortars, artillery and machine gun fire.
That night we were stood down and after doing a patrol report for the company commander, we all had the best shower ever and hit our camp beds. As I drifted off to sleep the sound of helicopters, tanks and firing became less noticeable and slowly faded into silence. Thoughts of what had happened over the past few days were replaced by memories of my children and family back home. As I drifted into a much-needed deep sleep, I was woken up with a sharp pain in my stomach and feeling of nausea! What the hell was this now. I had only just got over the horrible side effects from our Anthrax jabs and taking nerve agent pre-treatment tablets!
As I lay awake, I could hear a few beds being dragged into the corridor of the Iraqi army barracks we had occupied. Some of the soldiers were throwing up, shitting themselves literally and in pain. I also joined them in this ordeal of emptying everything out in my clothes and on the bed and later found out we had severe diarrhoea and vomiting.
It was really bad and put over 30 soldiers on their asses. Many of us were commanders too and couldn’t deploy. In hindsight it was a good thing we weren’t getting attacked by the Iraqi Army or we would have suffered severe casualties.
Luckily, we all came back in one piece around July 2003.
A Decade on the Toilet!
Later that year I started experiencing more and more symptoms in my gut. Excessive wind that smelt disgusting was a new norm and mild pains with some gurgling. I also had bouts of diarrhoea, albeit this was not every day initially it seemed to get worse over the years.
I had no idea what was happening and nobody else seemed to understand either. My then wife used to go mad with me when I passed wind. I mean the verbal abuse got really bad as time went on. My stomach would pop out too with bloating and make me look and feel fat, albeit I have always maintained a healthy weight and kept extremely active. I felt disgusting and it really knocked my self-confidence. Going for a run when having the runs became a nightmare. I’ve lost count of the number of bushes and trees I had to dive behind and squat, praying that nobody sees me. I reverted to training indoors more in the gym as there is always a toilet near by and showers. But farting and looking at everyone else when the sudden toxic fumes wrap around people’s noses became all too obvious. But being a soldier, physical training was a huge part of my life and working outdoors. Needless to say, work became more difficult and am sure looking back that there were many years that others passed me with promotion and competitions due to my unhealthy gut.
I remember once I had my three children over for the weekend to stay, as I had split with my ex-wife. We had a lovely meal at a Chinese style buffet and went to the cinema. I would love to tell you it was a great experience but quite the opposite. I was in bits and needed the toilet so badly, my kids were really young so clearly, I couldn’t leave then alone in a packed cinema. Off we trundled to the toilet so dad could take a shit….and then sit pushing for ages with a really bad stomach. We cut the movie short and had to return back to camp, where I lived.
I have literally cancelled or rescheduled going to events, holidays and doing fun things for years. Time I can never get back. My three kids are adults now and I missed so much time with them doing things other than being indoors and worrying about having a flare up. Perhaps you can relate to this too?
A friend of mine said he had similar issues and was IBS. I thought ‘that’s it! It’s obviously IBS’
I then started searching the web for answers. All the answers are on Google, right? Over the years I spent a small fortune on products for gut relief, tablets to calm diarrhoea, probiotics, books on gut health, supplements, diets, you name it. Sure, I got some relief here and there and even had small phases of no flare ups or severe symptoms which was really nice…but looking back I had fallen victim of just cracking on and using my coping mechanism. This self-sabotage cost me 10 years of suffering and missed opportunities at work and in life. As the saying goes, ‘if only I knew then, what I know now’
A Chance Encounter
If someone asked me my top 3 in life, meeting my wife and business partner, CharlieJeane would be up there, having four amazing kids is another and finding my ‘purpose’ after leaving the Army to help people live their best life is the third and is also shared with CharlieJeane. Don’t worry this isn’t a ‘Dear Deidre’ column in the Sun. A fourth would be kicking my IBS’s ass! And actually, has helped me enjoy and develop the former three.
Let’s get back to it…
CharlieJeane noticed my symptoms and said ‘Glenn you may have IBS, but it could also be a whole host of other more sinister issues, such as IBD, Coeliac disease, bowel cancer! Gluten and/or dairy issues’…. the list is vast and quite scary and obviously creates a degree of fear.
I did what I should have done many years before and went to my GP, had bloods and other tests and investigations conducted. I was later diagnosed with IBS and more accurately had IBS-D (IBS-diarrhoea predominant). I was relieved that I didn’t have cancer or IBD and now knew 100% what my issue was and could go about the next step to success, seeking expert help.
Before we move on here’s a quick spin on fear, I found that I believe to be true.
‘Fear is going to happen. In fact, if you don’t feel fear, then you should REALLY be scared! Fear is simply a response to you pushing outside your comfort zone. Everyone feels it. Everyone (and if you don’t, then you might as well be dead–so fear is GOOD!)’. (Ruffino, R. 2020)
Being in a relationship with an expert on gut health and guru on IBS was a huge positive, funny how things work out in life. CharlieJeane told me that she had helped over 200 clients in the NHS with IBS get all their symptoms under control and live a seemingly normal life again. Clearly, I was intrigued to say the least and asked if she would help me with mine. She agreed, yes!!! Full time girlfriend (at the time) and part time personal dietitian, who could ask for more.
Over a few weeks of listening to her advice and applying the knowledge, I had over 80% improvement! I mean this was like the last 10 Christmases combined, I felt amazing again. My bloating had gone, wasn’t in any pain or discomfort and my life didn’t revolve around the toilet seat. But I will admit, I was still sceptical, it had only been a few weeks and I had tried so much stuff and as the saying goes, ‘if it’s too good to be true, it probably is’
But I had complete trust in CharlieJeane and had heard so many of the other dietitians say how amazing she was with her methods, I decided to stick with her teachings and be coachable.
Bottom line, after a few weeks of being a student again and then some continued mentoring, I knew exactly what triggered my IBS, was able to identify and eliminate the demons and live a normal life again. But really, I got my freedom back and felt better than I had in a decade. To have a tailored roadmap to control my IBS was liberating and having the continued support was important to me. I also believe, after working with loads of clients, this holds true for them too. I mean who wants to be passed a leaflet on a diet plan or info around IBS and told to ‘crack on’ or rely on good old Google searches and the so called ‘experts’ that seem to be everywhere nowadays.
Between 2013 and 2019, I became more present as a father, husband and was more productive, had more energy and grew in confidence. I quickly rose through the ranks in the Army from Staff Sergeant to Warrant Officer Class 1, the highest rank and appointment a soldier can reach. During this time, I helped raise a ton of money for various charities, helped my best friend raise awareness for mental health and suicide. I had no issues going on date nights and going on holidays with my family. In a nutshell, I got my mojo back! But it was really more than this, it was stepping out of my fear, having the courage to seek help and being committed to getting my IBS sorted, for life. So, I could be a better version than my yesterday and path the way to a brighter future.
Having been in some tough situations in and out of the Army, who hasn’t, life can be a slog sometimes and we all delve into dark places from time to time. If you’re reading this and feel trapped with IBS and depression please seek help ASAP, I don’t mind if you send me a message on Facebook or email, I will try my best to either help you or point you in the right direction. Taking the first step is deciding to act now and reaching out to a professional.
Our Mission and Purpose
Since 2016 and after the arrival of our awesome little girl, Macy, CharlieJeane has worked tirelessly to putting together a program to help people that have previously been diagnosed with IBS, get real results and the transformation I and hundreds of her clients had. Believe me I have lived with her for over 7 years and seeing how upset she gets over the amount of incorrect and on occasion, unsafe information there is, just drives her more to getting people the real outcome. Her passion and purpose are well defined and CharlieJeane will stop at nothing to support her clients with their IBS goals.
Having left the British Army in 2019, after a 23-year career, I decided it was time to stop fighting for Queen and country and to continue my passion to help others with their success. Today I have the absolute pleasure and am humbled to be a part of people’s journey towards their own IBS mastery and reclaim the freedom and life that I once did.
Together as fellow veterans (CharlieJeane also served as a chef for 11 years) we now combine our expertise into a proven, ground-breaking IBS Mastery Program with military mindset hacks and coaching. We do all of this with absolute integrity and our core values to create a unique and world class training package, whilst giving a service that not only works, but clients can trust.
If Only I Knew Then, What I Know Now.
Hindsight is a wonderful thing, how many times have you looked back and said if I only I knew then, what I know now? What things would you change or do differently with your IBS and health? What fear or belief systems are holding you back from success?
Seriously, if I could jump in the DeLorean from Back to the Future, get to 88 mph and travel back to 2003, I would obviously help the world out with some shit things that happened after then, but in terms of IBS I would tell myself this:
‘Glenn, you need to get this IBS sorted properly, NOW. First time and with someone that has a proven system that works. Don’t wait and hide in your coping mechanism and behind fear, it will cost you years of pain, suffering and missed opportunities. Don’t spend the next 10 years wasting time, money and other resources on products and services, they will fail to get you real, lifelong results. Because that’s what big health and drugs companies do, they want to give you a short term, quick fix. And once you stop buying them, you’re back to square one! You need to get to the root cause and tackle it head on. If you follow my advice and commit to the outcome, you will reverse the next 10 years of loathing and from suffering and frustration, into a life of happiness and fun and unlimited freedom’.
One Small Step Now, One Giant Leap Forever
Neil Armstrong would not have got to the Moon alone; he needed a huge team of experts and a tried and tested system. Equally you would never go into combat alone. You’d have a commander, and you’d have several other soldiers going with you for support.
The same is true when confronting your fear. Courage is a skill. And like any skill, finding someone to coach you through the tough spots is the fastest way to success. Add to that a community of like-minded people and you become virtually bullet proof. You can then go into any combat zone with the best chances of survival.
If you’ve been struggling to get past the fear and overwhelm to get your IBS under control, we might be a good guide for you.
I say “might” because we don’t know anything about you or if you’re willing to push through your fears. However, if you are ready to be courageous, then I believe we can help you apply that courage to the right strategy.
All you need to do is take the next best step today which is
Still not sure? Then let’s APPLY what you just learned. Ask yourself:
‘What’s the worst that can happen if I watch this webinar’
Seriously. Think about it. Write it out.
Then ask yourself:
“What’s the best that can happen if I watch this webinar?”
Let your future self, looking back and giving your now self some advice, answer this question.
If you have a diagnosis from a GP of IBS and just want to get straight on a call with me, then
I hope you enjoyed my story, and that this has helped you, if you’re not there already,
To your success.