Be Tolerant of Intolerance

Like most of the world, I never liked to try new things and I hate change, but last year I began my “Year of Fear” project.  We’re not talking about bungee jumping and getting tattoos, but more like wearing plaid and keeping my eyes open during sex (not at the same time, cause that’d be weird).  It’s my baby-steps approach to trying things I would have never dreamed of before.

I’ve had some real highs points during my YOF.

  • I parallel parked
  • I bought the cutest pair of chandelier earrings (totally not me)
  • I joined CrossFit
  • I jumped off the high dive board at our town pool
  • I limbo’d at a wedding (I may or may not have been wearing underpants, it’s a little hazy)
  • I soared like an eagle on a trapeze (if the eagle froze and almost vomited on the way up the ladder and literally had to be pushed the rest of the way…but I ended up loving it.)
  • I started a website where I could be as filthy as I want to be! (subscribe now!)

A few weeks ago, a group of ladies at CrossFit banded together to form a holistic detox group and invited me along.  No sugar, no coffee (yes, no fucking coffee for 10 friggin days), no carbs, no dairy.  I was already vegetarian, so how bad could it be…it’s only 10 days.  When I told hubby about the plan he was somewhat less than enthusiastic.  “I don’t know what you’ve got left? If you also remove smiling and the use of your arms people might think you’re Terry Schiavo.  But if it’s what you want to do, then go for it…more coffee for me.”

I would have never done this before, but I wanted to learn what was in my food by forcing myself to read labels.  Yes, I read labels but I’m mostly looking for the organic seal or non-GMO logo.  I’m not checking out the amounts of sugar or reading the percentage of every ingredient which by the way turns a 1 hour food shopping trip into a 3 hour tour…a 3 hour tour…the weather started getting rough…

Whoops, sorry about that.  I’m back now.

I know this whole thing sounds like a pain in the ass and being the only vegetarian didn’t help matters.  I didn’t make it the full 10 days, after 6 I was ready to sell my soul for a sandwich and a glass of wine (sandwich optional) so I cashed out.  The YOF is about trying something new and learning something new.  Surprisingly, I learned that I may be lactose intolerant.  Yes I’m a doctor…of education, not medicine.  Throughout my research I have multiple times come across pretty knowledgeable people who say that most humans are lactose intolerant.  Once we pass the age of breastfeeding we lose most of the ability to process lactose.  I’m not going to bore you with the hardcore science but basically they say dairy will probably give you diarrhea.  I started getting angry and would grumble under my breath as I walked down the dairy aisle in the grocery store.  “Intolerant?!  I’m the most friggin’ tolerant person I know.  Milk does a body good MY ASS!”  Eventually once I got over my dairy disloyalty, this wasn’t much of a shock at all.  Yes, dear readers…I’ve been in dairy denial.  Since I was 17 the big joke in my house was when we went out for ice cream I needed to take mine home so I could eat it on the can.  Were the stomach cramps after all those cheesy casseroles coincidence or was I just destined to punish the toilet on those days?  Don’t get me wrong, I love being able to drop a few pounds every now and then, but seriously I could have done without some of those gas station bathrooms.  I’m glad there wasn’t a blacklight in there, lots of fluids if you know what I’m saying.

So all these years…dairy.  It was the fucking dairy all along, it was my kryptonite.  It ended a couple of dates quicker than I would have preferred, ruined a couple of pairs of pants, and forever changed a 1997 Honda Accord.  I’m a smart girl, how did I never make this connection before?  Well, when I don’t want to blame myself…I blame my mom.  “Dr. Mom” as some TV commercials referred to our maternal parental unit.  My mom watched a ton of medical dramas; Marcus Welby, M*A*S*H*, Quincy, Trapper John, St. Elsewhere, even Doogie Howser.  Apparently watching multiple seasons of these shows were the equivalent of actual medical school credits, so congratulations on your degree from Bullshit University (Home of the BSU Yetis, whose imaginary football team went 13-0 last season).  So thanks TV, now our moms feel qualified to give actual medical advice when in fact they were about as knowledgeable as Doc from the LoveBoat.  I grew up thinking I had a “spastic colon” because that’s what mom diagnosed.  My last colonoscopy included an endoscopy and luckily I had a doc with a sense of humor.  I joked if he was going to use the same tube for both procedures (recycle!) and he actually said, “You’ll know if it tastes funny.”  Who says doctors don’t have a sense of humor?

Well, I’m happy to announce another year-long extension to my YOF project, so stay tuned for more of my adventures.

So what have we all learned today.

  1. I made it almost to 3rd base with my first detox.
  2. The Television lies
  3. My mom owes me a ridiculous amount of money for toilet paper and dry cleaning over the years.
  4. I learned not to say Doctor Mom around hubby or he gets all excited and chases me around telling me where it hurts.
  5. Listen to your body, if you have the same reaction every time you eat dairy it may not be a spastic colon. Tell your mom you’re going to Doctor Heathcliff Huxtable for a pretend second opinion and to call the police if she doesn’t hear from you by the end of the day.


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