Blogger's side-by-side photos show the harsh realities of living with IBS

With more than 20,000 followers on Instagram, Alyce Crawford is used to showcasing her daily fitness routines and meal plans to her followers. 

Her various photos show the stunning personal trainer on her local Brisbane beach, erging at her gym, snacking on her favorite smoothies and her worldwide travels. From the likes of her pictures, it seems that the beautiful and fit Crawford boasts quite the enviable life -- but then, she posts a picture to show her reality behind the scenes. 

BELOW👇 My 30 minute South Coast holiday workout at home👊 Excuse the beach hair in the above photo btw #holidaymode🌴 . In regards to exercise, my nutrition & managing my IBS over the holidays, I kept it quite simple. When I felt like exercising, I did. When I didn't feel like exercising, I didn't. I ate healthy nutritious low FODMAP food 80-90% of the time so I felt well & didn't get too sick, then ate whatever the heck I felt like when I really wanted it (Thai, fish & chips on the beach, ice cream, wine etc.) #balance . I lived my best holiday life the exact same way I live my regular life & that is through BALANCE!!! . I truly could not have asked for anything more over the holidays. I literally had the biggest smile on my face every single day, & that is all thanks to my amazing family, my amazing friends, & my amazing boyfriend. Believe it or not, I am so looking forward to going back to work this week, organising the exciting year ahead, & just getting back to my normal routine #2018baby . THE WORKOUT: __________ -50 seconds on each exercise -10 seconds rest -Repeat each circuit 3 times -15 rounds (of each circuit) altogether -I use a free boxing interval timer app __________ -10 high knees + 4 X jumps -10 shoulder taps + 2 push ups -10 jump lunges + 2 burpees -4 plank jacks + 6 mountain climbers -Half burpee tuck jumps __________ -Squat pulses -Reverse burpees -4 jump squats + 10 jumping jacks (as fast as possible) -Plank -Sit ups (as fast as possible)

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In her honest post, Crawford gets real about living with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), a common condition that affects nearly 15 percent of the world's population. The disorder, which causes cramping, pain and bloating, amongst other issues, is most common in women. 

While all ages can be affected by the condition, Crawford was diagnosed with IBS only three years ago. As explained on Instagram, her bloating has had a "severe negative impact" on her mental and physical wellbeing. 

BELOW👇 A very honest & very personal post that I am sharing in the hope that it can help someone else. *NOTE* This story has a positive ending so if you read it, read it all! For the last 3 years, I have suffered with IBS. The symptom I suffer with specifically is severe bloating. It began literally overnight while I was living in America. I woke up one morning, my stomach was extremely bloated & I was experiencing sharp stabbing pains. From that day on, my life was never the same. This illness is often very misunderstood & overlooked a lot by medical professionals & the general public alike. No, it is not life threating, but it is a condition that has caused & had a severe negative impact on my mental & physical health. To me, that alone is enough to be considered an illness. There was never 1 day in 3 years, that I ever felt completely well or healthy. The repercussions of feeling this way not only effected my mental & physical health, but effected relationships & my work as a model. For those of you reading who suffer from IBS or a similar condition (or know someone suffering) will understand & know exactly what I am talking about, & others may scroll past this post. But this is real, it hurts & I am sharing my experience & how I came to get better so it can possibly help someone else. The above photo on the right where I am bloated was the stomach I put up with 90% of the time for 3 years. The photo on the left is my stomach NOW 90% of the time (+ 4kgs of body fat down compared to the photo on the right). No woman or man is ever going feel good about themselves, while physically looking like the photo on the right. Looking this way was just one of the battles, the other was how I felt. Sick, nauseous, sore, unmotivated & very lethargic. Feeling like this often made the smallest thing in my day a struggle (getting dressed for example). All I wanted to wear, was my pyjamas & not move from a laying down position, as sitting upright hurt too much. *CONTINUED IN COMMENTS

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"For the last 3 years, I have suffered with IBS. The symptom I suffer with specifically is severe bloating. It began literally overnight while I was living in America. I woke up one morning, my stomach was extremely bloated & I was experiencing sharp stabbing pains. From that day on, my life was never the same. This illness is often very misunderstood & overlooked a lot by medical professionals & the general public alike," she explains. 

On the left is how Crawford's body is almost 90 percent of the time. But the intimate photo on the right, which shows Crawford's bloated belly, shows how her stomach was before she took to fitness and dieting to manage the pain.

"Looking this way was just one of the battles, the other was how I felt. Sick, nauseous, sore, unmotivated & very lethargic. Feeling like this often made the smallest thing in my day a struggle (getting dressed for example). All I wanted to wear, was my pyjamas & not move from a laying down position, as sitting upright hurt too much," Crawford detailed.

The young model is hoping her post brings awareness to the condition and shows others suffering from IBS that it can be controlled with a healthy lifestyle involving exercise and smart eating. "I did my best but unfortunately, I was still battling a minor bloat but hey, that's life and it's not always smooth sailing," she explained in her most recent post. 

*IBS BLOATING UPDATE* Two weeks ago I posted a photo during an IBS flare-up where I showed my bloated stomach. The following week, not only did I want a settled, flat stomach that wasn't nauseous and sore for my own sanity, but I had photoshoots (the above photo) + castings, so obviously didn't want to look bloated/pregnant let's be honest. I did my best but unfortunately, I was still battling a minor bloat but hey, that's life and it's not always smooth sailing. . BELOW HOWEVER👇IS WHAT I DO WHEN I EXPERIENCE A FLARE-UP . 1. EAT LOW FODMAP FOOD When I'm feeling really awful, I will ensure I eat nothing but healthy, nutritious low FODMAP food. When I eat low FODMAP food consistently, the pain and bloating I experience slowly begins to ease and eventually goes away completely (it can take a few days-to few weeks depending how bad it is). In my mind, I understand that the only way to feel better is to eat this way so it's important to me to treat my body well and take action. I'll otherwise get nowhere and stay feeling horrible. I also ensure I fuel my body correctly at this time with nutritious food because that is how I feel best. . 2. EXERCISE I exercise for the physical yes, but the mental benefits are magical!! I can say with complete certainty that I've never finished a workout feeling sad or stressed. I only leave feeling strong, proud, accomplished, fit and healthy (even if my big bloated stomach is underneath my exercise pants😂👍👌)!! When my abs eventually return after a bloating episode, it's a great bonus haha. . 3.TAKE IT EASY AND JUST GO WITH IT Being patient really is a big part of the feeling better process. Even if I eat low FODMAP food, it can take weeks to feel better again/become symptom free so patience is key. There are days that are more frustrating than others when I'm not feeling well. Sometimes I completely feel like giving up and have "why me" moments, BUT this is when my strength kicks in!!! When you are at your lowest remember how worthy you are, how tough you are, how capable you are, and how these times are mini tests that will make you stronger in the future 👊👊👊👊

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Crawford then details how she manages her IBS flare-ups, including her diet of FODMAP food, exercises and more.

And since it's gone viral, the photo has been putting other IBS suffers at ease. "These posts are saving me mentally since I can relate to every single word you say. Thank you thank you THANK YOU," commented one user on Instagram.

"You are incredible woman, I'm very glad that I found your profile!" wrote another.

RELATED: Common symptoms of IBS 

9 PHOTOS
9 Common IBS Symptoms in Women
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9 Common IBS Symptoms in Women

1. Abdominal pain

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2. Cramping

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3. Bloating

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4. Excessive gas

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5. Diarrhea

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6. Constipation

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7. Indigestion

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8. Anxiety or depression

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9. Loss of appetite

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