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Sounds like a winning combination to me.

Actually, I should be honest. I began dieting last May because I was sick and tired of being fat, but I didn't think it would ever work. After all, I do have food allergies...how could a diet work when my food choices are already involuntarily restricted? And I had a nasty bout of hip bursitis a couple years ago. The only time I'd successfully lost weight in the past ten years was when I could walk. How would I lose without that as an option?

Details over the fold. Join me, won't you? But first, our obligatory warning.

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Christmas Quilt 1 by *Windthin on deviantART

Before Diet Allergywoman, standing in front of the quilt in her local UU church

I'd been exercising, but wasn't seeing the results I'd wanted to. So I started my diet with the following rules that I thought would best accommodate my disabilities.

1. I could eat any foods I wanted to, up to my maximum of 1500-1700 daily. Done for obvious reasons. If I started restricting whole categories of the foods I loved, I knew I'd fall off the diet train immediately.

2. No drinks other than my morning coffee with calories in them. If I was going to restrict my total food intake, I wanted my calories to be from food, and honestly I didn't mind giving up the drinks other than coffee.

3. Standing up whenever possible. My hip bursitis might have restricted my movements, but all my doctors and medically-knowledgeable friends (like the clever Nurse Kelley) said that standing was better for my joints than sitting. So I worked to stand up more and more hours a day at work and at my weekly roleplaying game.

And I gotta be honest. It was hard for months. I'd drag through my days at work, long to come home for dinner, and went to bed hungry more times than I could count.


Fourteen Years 1 by *Windthin on deviantART

Three months in, Allergywoman still has little to show for it

But it wasn't as hard as I'd expected. That's the odd part. I think it's because of the food allergies. Most of the diet plans I've read about say that the hardest part of a diet is maintaining it within the family, but since I have total control over what I eat (I have to), all that my diet required was my willpower to stick to it. And I was determined to give it a good try and did. I started giving my husband more food than I at dinner, asked him to cook less for us, and always managed my own breakfasts. I can't be tempted by snacks outside of home, as I'm allergic to so many things the chances they'll be safe are minimal at best.

Of course, it's always hard to see if a diet is working, especially from the inside. But by October, I could tell I had lost weight because my white jeans (in the picture above) were loose on me. They're a "small" size 20, so at this point, without walking as a bonus, I'd gone from a rough size 24 to maybe a large 18?


Rachel in Winter 3 by *Windthin on deviantART

Getting there, Allergywoman gains confidence and sticks to her diet plan

It has gotten easier over time to eat less. Still, sometimes I'm startled when I look in the mirror or see the new clothes I wear (down to size 16 pants!) ... is that thin woman really me? Could I really have done all this myself? It seemed so impossible before I tried it.


Owl - The Winter Queen 2 by *Windthin on deviantART

Newly slender Queen Allergywoman rules with an iron ... um, glove?


Sidekick 4 by *Windthin on deviantART

Another photo that shocks Allergywoman. Is this really me?

I added walking back into my routine in January. So far it's going okay, but I'm getting some twinges recently, so I've been doing my bursitis exercises as well as my weightlifting, standing, and walking.

Again, I think I can credit my food allergies for my ability to restrict calories and lose weight, simply because of the control they give me over what I eat. Have your "disabilities" ever helped you do something you never thought you could?

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