Dicipline and Allergies

Posted On September 2, 2008

Filed under self, The Spin Cycle

Comments Dropped 9 responses

(Welcome to this week’s edition of The Spin Cycle!)

Many people in my live have asked me how I managed to lose weight and live everyday with my various allergies.  I lost roughly 85lbs and I am allergic to sulfates (and just about everything else, except peanuts and dogs).  Sulfates are found in shampoo, soap, laundry detergent, reprocessed wheat, dairy, some seasonings, toothpaste and certain lotions and deodorants.

To me losing weight was the easy part.  Changing my diet (no more half gallons of ice cream on weeknights), my life (leaving my ex-husband) and my exercise habits (changing the channel apparently doesn’t count as exercise) is all that it took.  I don’t eat the same as I use to; where I would eat a large pizza by myself, I now only have a slice or two and I am stuffed.  I know that losing weight isn’t easy, it took me nearly 2 years, but compared to what I do now, it just wasn’t as hard.

I have to order my laundry soap on-line.  I have to make sure that I have enough so the weekly laundry gets done.  If I run out, it takes 3 days for it to come from UPS.  My shampoo and toothpaste can be bought locally.  It costs about 6 times the regular stuff, so I have to plan my budget really well.  When it goes on sale, about once every 2 months, I try to buy as much as I can afford, so that I don’t run out before it goes on sale again.

Because it is in food, planning to go to someone’s house for dinner is way more than packing the kids in the car.  Nothing that has sulfates (or any of my other food allergies) can touch my plate, utensils or food.  Everything must be cooked separately and have different spoons.  If they touch, I can’t eat it.  Generally, I will eat before I go and pack some safe snacks in the car.  Going to a restaurant or out of town requires even more preparation.

Sulfates are also in certain medicines.  I have to pack my own for a trip to the doctor of ER.  They are not the standard allergy/asthma medication so they might not have it.  I usually carry everything in my purse with rescue medication, like my Epi-pens.

Remembering everything everyday takes a lot of planning and discipline.  I can never just say, “Oh, screw it, it will be fine.”  I am not even sure how I can do it everyday.  I just know the consequences are something that I don’t want to deal with; a trip to the ER, days in the hospital or worse.  It’s hard to do everyday and can sometimes be exhausting.  I know if I didn’t have Bear, the girls and my family it would be so much worse.  In part, because they just accept it as life and nothing more.  But mostly, because they pick me up when I am feeling down.

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9 Responses to “Dicipline and Allergies”

  1. Heather

    I thought you might be interested in this website that I started, http://www.spewdfree.com
    All of the recipes are free of soy,peanuts,eggs,wheat and dairy. I started it because my son is allergic to all of those things and I was having a hard time finding recipes.
    Thanks
    Heather

  2. Sprite's Keeper

    Wow, you really ARE disciplined to be able to control exactly what goes into your body? Amazing. Great spin on a topic I really thought was going to go a certain way! You’re linked up now and again on Friday!

  3. Tricia

    WickedStepMom, congrats on the weight loss. It takes a lot of conviction to make it happen.

    Have you always had the allergies, or is it something you developed as an adult?

  4. awickedstepmom

    Tricia,
    Its actually a little of both. I had seasonal allergies growing up but the other stuff came later. The food and sulfates came only in the last few years.

  5. Tricia

    I can’t imagine all the challenges you face daily. My little guy has developed seasonal allergies, which is a piece of cake compared to what you’re talking about. One of my best friends has a little boy with severe food allergies, but he can have pure maple syrup. We keep a stash of maple candies in the house so he can always have something special when he comes over.

    Since I know you love chocolate and coffee, if you’re ever in the Metro Atlanta area, stop by and I promise to provide a bounty of each, contaminate-free. :o)

  6. Tricia

    The cross contamination of dishes makes me think of a kosher household. But if a kosher family messes up, a Rabi can re-bless everything. If you mess up, an ER visit just doesn’t sound all that appealing.

  7. Debbie

    Bless your heart. I managed an allergy/asthma office for 20 years and I know the struggles you are going through.

  8. HeatherPride

    Wow – my aunt suffers from a terrible food allergy as well and no matter how hard I try to prepare a meal when she comes over, I always end up screwing it up somehow. It’s no fun for her, I’m sure, and I always feel terrible about it. Luckily she has learned to pack her own food, like you – although it doesn’t make me feel any better as the hostess!! I feel for you, truly!

  9. Attack of the Face Suckers! « Life and Times of a Wicked Step Mom

    […] night out.  We had a great night out with a few friends.  We went out to dinner before hand (see: food allergies) with a couple of friends.  After dinner, we made our way to the reception.  The week prior, […]

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