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When soy and milk-free living is hard

There’s a benefit to being allergic to soy and milk (hey, we’ve GOT to see a bright side or else we will go crazy)…

What benefit could there possibly be to avoiding all our favorite entrees, snacks, and desserts?! …Your new diet will likely cause you to lose weight! I really am not on this diet to lose weight. In fact, I hardly think about that benefit, except that I’m suddenly having to pull up my pants all day long.

A year ago, when I learned my symptoms were caused by ingesting milk products, I lost 16 lbs over the course of several months. Mind you, I was also on the “divorce diet” so the stress kept off some weight too. Then, two months ago, when I learned I was allergic to soy, I more radically eliminated foods and lost another 5 lbs. Believe me – I eat three to five meals a day and mostly feel full after I finish eating my soy free and milk-free meals! Of COURSE I also want to eat all the bad-for-my-body stuff like ice cream, chocolate, cheese pizza, and fried foods…but I simply cannot. The motivator to resist is pretty strong: the consequence of falling off my diet means my body starts attacking my skin and then I’m miserable. Perhaps you have uncomfortable consequences too.

Surprisingly, I find myself at pre-baby weight (my “baby” is two and a half)…and almost pre-married weight too (ahem, I haven’t been that weight in 17+ years!). The trouble now is, people are beginning to look at me with concern – if I could hear their inner voice, they would be saying, “Go eat a sandwich.” Yesterday, someone I recently met said to me sweetly, “You have the body type of someone who can eat anything!” I wish! These newly purchased size 4 jeans were bought with a huge life change – diet, yoga (for the stress), and otherwise.

Like you, food has always been comfort to me. So, when I have a rough day…or even an overwhelmingly good day, I justify my choices to eat the stuff I should not. I think, maybe this one time, my body will not react and it will be ok. Or, I delude myself in thinking the reaction isn’t going to be as bad as I remember it will be. Next thing I know, I’m layering skin-numbing medication everywhere and because of it, I’m probably causing more damage to my skin in the process. I recognize my self-destruction when it happens, and really, in those moments I just don’t care. I’m pretty sure I’m not alone in this behavior!

How do we overcome these moments of cravings-turned-into-self-destruction? For one, we should make sure we have a well-stocked refrigerator with friendly and tasty alternatives and keep some snacks in our cars for when we’re out an about. I’ll be sharing with you my favorite snack finds soon!

I find myself breaking free from my former approach to food when I’m away from home, which was to only think about food moments before I get it. I would feel hungry and go on a quick mission to grab a meal, at the mercy of the closest restaurant I could find. Now, I think about my meals hours in advance, before I leave the house. I am educating myself about what I can eat at various restaurants to avoid allergic reactions when I go there. I often prepare my lunch at home.

Yesterday, I had an emotional trigger that caused me to make some dumb choices for dinner. I lost my iPhone in a public place…it’s not likely I’ll get it back. My whole life is on that thing! No worries, I activated an old phone and life will go on…but at that point I was tired from my earlier activities and extra emotional because I lost what felt like an appendage (and isn’t it though? Really, people. Some of us need an iPhone intervention – maybe this is mine). So, I searched for food near my phone company store and ordered take-out from a restaurant where I hadn’t looked up the ingredients for their entrees yet. I decided to take my chances on a chicken burrito – a mistake indeed.

Maybe there was another way to respond to my emotional trigger. I could have waited until I got home to eat and called a friend to vent on my newly activated old phone! Or I could have gone for a walk, pray, sing, paint, or anything that fills and comforts me and combats my rotten mood.

On the bright side (gotta see the bright side!)…it was a yummy burrito. I still fit into my well-earned size 4 jeans. It’s a new day, and I have forgiven myself. And, I have this blog.

In Wellness.

4 responses »

  1. Hmm..I have NOT lost any weight. Darn. I have learned to cook soy free and dairy free (and low fat, my husband has GERD!). I was amazed that soda crackers have soy! Almost any commercially available bread has soy as well.

  2. Wow, Rena. You touch on issues we all deal with–and can learn to deal with more healthily. Thank you for being so vulnerable!


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