Breaking Up with My Food Triggers
If you would’ve told me two years ago that I would have quit drinking soda, stopped eating meat, with the exception of pork, no longer craved fast food, and fell in love with sushi, well I probably would have laughed and walked away.
Over the last 2 years, I’ve made drastic changes to my diet because of my eczema. Soda triggered it and pretty much all fast food does too. Packaged foods always trigger it. Meat either upset my eczema or made me horribly sick. This wasn’t an easy change, to be honest, it’s still not easy. I still crave soda and fast food every now and then. Yet, it’s one of the best things I have ever done.
Breaking up is hard to do
I had the hardest time trying to accept changing my diet, I thought things like, “Why should I quit drinking soda? Everyone else drinks it!” and “How can I stop eating fast food? What am I supposed to eat when I go out with my friends?” I constantly came up with excuses, because I didn’t want to give these things up. I couldn’t imagine a life without them.
What really pushed me into healthier eating was realizing that all of my soda drinking, all of my fast food eating, and all of my carelessness resulted in my body breaking out with eczema, everywhere. I had small rashes on my eyelids, on my neck, arms, legs, stomach, face, etc. Every bit of my body had some tiny small rash, every bit of me was itchy, every bit of me was red, every bit of me was dry, all because of my careless eating.
Seeing the truth
Eventually, I realized this wasn’t healthy. I started slowly by limiting my intake of soda, fast food, and processed foods. Although slow, over time avoiding all these things became easier. I started eating more fruit, starting my mornings with a smoothie bowl, enjoying sushi when going out for dinner. My dietary changes caused my eczema to change drastically. How many rashes I had decreased and the severity of what I had was far less than what it had been when I wasn’t watching what I was putting into my body.
Just say no
I still crave soda every now and then. To satisfy that craving, I drink sparkling water. Instead of eating fast food, I make my own pizza and shrimp dishes or grab a sandwich from Subway since I haven’t noticed much fall out from eating there. The longer I go in between flare-ups, the easier it gets to say no to the foods that trigger them.
I know I can’t control or stop every flare, but being able to reduce their severity or how often they occur by making better nutritional choices give me a sense of control. I could give up and just eat what I want, but it isn’t worth the pain, the burning, and itching. Now that I know what foods make it worse, I can’t in good conscience knowingly cause harm to my body.
Have you been diagnosed with atopic dermatitis?