Body Acceptance, Eating Disorder, Lactose Intolerance

The Lactaid Commitment

Lactose Intolerance: 
The body’s inability to digest and absorb the sugar in milk.

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And the phrase of the day is….lactose intolerance!  You may be wondering why I am giving you the dictionary definition of something that is a fairly common issue in the United States.  Well, I am one of those people with this fairly common issue.  (Insert annoyed, and/or devious, look here.)  ….And I sometimes use it to fuel my eating disorder.  Recently I started to admit my eating disordered brain uses the “I forgot Lactaid” excuse quite often; even with my treatment professionals, prompting one of them to suggest writing about it.  Hmmm….that’s a good idea…

So, what happens when you eat dairy anyway? I start feeling sick.  My stomach hurts so bad there is no way I can eat anything else because I feel like I am going to throw up for several hours after eating dairy.  (see where I am going with this?)  You know that really full feeling you get when you have just finished up a wonderful Thanksgiving meal your wife/mom made?  That is how it feels.  Which is also how it fuels my eating disorder.  My eating disordered brain uses that full/sick feeling to its advantage.  If I feel sick and full I have a good excuse not to eat for hours.  Typically it takes between 6-8 hours before I feel like I can eat again.  Typically that is just enough to miss a snack and a meal on my meal plan.  My devious eating disordered brain exclaims, “Perfect!  Lets continue to ‘forget’ Lactaid and still eat yogurt, milk, etc.  No one will question your stomach if you have a good excuse like this!”  And my eating disorder is right, it works…until the treatment team and others catch on and start to realize it is becoming a frequent habit.  {PLEASE realize, if you are reading this and in recovery I am NOT giving you a tip about how to lie to those around you, or deceive your treatment team.  The Lactaid excuse is just that, a terrible excuse to continue living in a disease.}

What does Lactaid do?  Allows me to eat dairy without feeling sick afterward.  That is the simple answer.  The real answer is that Lactaid contains an enzyme, lactase, that helps my body break down the sugar in dairy.  When I don’t take it I feel sick and when I do I feel like I haven’t had dairy at all.  Which means I no longer have an “ideal” excuse for my eating disorder.  In the recovery world this is a win-win situation.

How does this help me appreciate my body?  In order to fully appreciate and accept my body that means everything about it; even its inability to break down dairy.  Accepting that I often use that as an excuse to avoid exchanges on my meal plan is part of body acceptance, too.  Knowing my body’s limitations and taking care of myself by taking Lactaid is how I can show appreciation for my body.  Not only that, but I have to accept that by eating dairy and not taking Lactaid will not change my appearance.  It will not instantly help me lose weight or make me smaller; all it will do is cause me to fill sick and continue to be sick in regards to my eating disorder.

My commitment to myself this week, and every week hereafter, is to take Lactaid when I need it.  To store it in my car, my house, my purse, and any other place where I could be when I need it.
This is my commitment to battle my eating disorder and eradicate the excuses. 

 With Body Love,

Lane

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