Dear Dairy

I hate milk.

I just feel the need to get that out in the open. It tastes nasty and feels slimy on my tongue and teeth. I am not a baby cow; therefore, I see no need to drink from a mother cow.

I detest milk. Everything about it.

So, you’d think it would be a pretty simple matter to give up dairy, wouldn’t you? And you would be wrong.

Let me backtrack a bit. My fiftieth birthday is just a few weeks away, and I’m dealing with the uncomfortable realization that I am tired of not feeling good. There’s the fact that I need to lose weight, and I really should be eating healthier. I obviously need to get more exercise and a lot more sleep. I drink too much coffee and not enough water, and I’m much too dependent on foods of the “comfort” variety.  

Someone close to me has begun to study Ayurveda, and she has sort of taken me under her wing. She’s got me taking supplements and drinking turmeric tea every day — which is delicious, by the way. I’m supposed to sip it slowly while meditating for at least five minutes. No reading, no checking my email, no playing Word Chums. Just sipping and meditating. I’m up to a minute and a half so far. For a fairly sedentary person, I don’t just sit well. I need to be doing, and trying to meditate totally stresses me out. Apparently, I do not have the ability to relax. At all.

I’m working on that.

In addition to the tea and supplements, she suggested that I give up certain foods for short periods of time to determine whether or not I have any food sensitivies. Since I have one sister with Celiac Disease (which she refers to as her “Silly Ass Disease”) and another with a milk allergy, it only makes sense that some of my health issues may be a result of a food sensitivity.

“Let’s start with dairy,” I told her. “I can give up dairy for 30 days. No problem. I don’t drink milk.”

Let’s take a look at how that’s working out for me, shall we?

Day 1.  Whoops, couldn’t have my cereal for breakfast. Or my scrambled egg whites with a splash of milk. Nope, none of that beautiful Swiss cheese sitting in my fridge, either. No cream in my coffee.

Oatmeal and black coffee.  Life sucks.

I work in a school cafeteria, so I made my own wrap for lunch: turkey with lots of veggies. Life began to suck a little less.

I ended up at Arby’s for supper with friends. No beef-n-cheddar. No farmhouse salad with roast turkey and cheese. I don’t even remember what I ended up with, but it wasn’t good. Life started to suck again.

The next few days were easier, but I was amazed to realize just how much dairy I really eat without realizing it. I had no idea. Even milk chocolate is a no-no right now. No iced coffee, no cheese pizza, no crispy bagel with melted, gooey cheese. Holy hell, I eat a lot of cheese.

Almost immediately, I saw that the unexplained swelling disappeared from my right foot. My heartburn vanished. Some of my random aches and pains lessened. Headache? What headache? A few other symptoms went away as well, although I’m not going to list them other than to say they were in no way ladylike and they often called for the burning of many aromatic candles in my home.

Last night, I caved and had a piece of pizza with a friend. Within an hour, I had a throbbing headache, puffy ankles, and plenty of time to practice my meditation in the bathroom.

Ladies and gentlemen, I think we have a pretty strong indication of a milk sensitivity.

I’m going to keep going for the full thirty days, just to see what happens. My sister has promised to give me her recipe for vegan Parmesan cheese, so that’s something to look forward to. She’s trying to convince me to try Yoga as well, but I’m just not there yet. I am a clumsy, middle-aged fat woman with a spine that is more metal than bone. Flexibility is not really my forte.

Baby steps.

Next month, I’m giving up red meat. Only for thirty days. I’m sort of praying that it doesn’t have any kind of effect on me because I am much more devoted to eating cows than I am to drinking their milk.

I’d like to hear back from some of you. What sort of food-related issues have you faced? Any allergies or sensitivies that surprised you? And if so, how have you dealt with them?

The Land of Bigass Denial

I’ve had a bit of a rude awakening over the past few days.   Rather unpleasant, really.

I saw a picture of myself.

I’ve been “heavy” for most of my life.  An overweight, pleasantly plump, zaftig, full-figured, big-boned, plus-sized, larger than life, big girl.

There have been some times when I was slimmer.  Weight Watchers, Atkins Diet, Richard Simmons, Dexatrim, Adderral, running, Pilates, Jazzercise.  Tried them all, and they all worked.  For a while, anyway.

But my perception of the way I looked was always skewed.  I thought I was the most rotund and disgusting thing on Earth when I was in high school, but that’s not what I see when I look at pictures from back then.  I was actually kind of hot.  I had a great ass.  A small waist.  An hourglass figure.

Okay, a large hourglass, but an hourglass nonetheless.

Not that anyone knew it.  I always hid in oversized clothes because I didn’t see myself as curvy or sexy.  I just saw myself as fat, no matter how many people tried to tell me otherwise.

Now, all of these years later, my twisted perception of my appearance has somehow twisted in the opposite direction.  I no longer see myself as larger than I am; instead, I have moved directly into the land of Bigass Denial.

I thought I was still just “heavy”.  I didn’t realize I had crossed that line.  When I looked in the mirror, I saw that everything was still proportional, just bigger.  I congratulated myself on being a BBW with a curvy, plus-sized, womanly shape.

Then I saw the picture this week of my son’s pre-school graduation party.  There I was, in my favorite lavender top – the one I always feel pretty in — standing in the back of the room.

Fat.

It wasn’t a bad picture or an unflattering angle.  Forget that the camera adds 10 pounds; there is no blaming the camera for that picture.  Or the photographer.  Or the outfit.

Fat.

So, breaking my neck two years ago has slowed me down.  It’s not like I was super active before that point, but at least it was my choice back then.  Now my exercise options are limited.  But that’s still not an excuse for sitting on my ass for the last two years and gaining so much weight.

Of course I covered the numbers!  I'm fat, not stupid!
Of course I covered the numbers! I’m fat, not stupid!

 

Just this morning, I read Fatty gonna lose some weight . . .  by don of all trades.   Great.  Just when I’m feeling really low about how fat I have become, along comes Don to make me feel even worse.   Here he’s got all of these plans to drop fifty pounds and have fun doing it.  And since he’s a guy, you just know he’ll succeed.  Quickly.

Damn it.

Then again, I’ve always had a competitive streak.  And I loved reading all of his plans because he’s looking at his situation with a sense of humor and a whole lot of honesty.  Maybe . . . maybe the secret of weight control is to have fun with it instead of beating myself up about it.

So Don . . . it’s on.  Fifty pounds?  Child’s play.  I can lose fifty pounds, too.

Who else is up for a challenge?