For around 19 years and 7 months of my life, I lived in full-fledged denial of being lactose intolerant. I ate dairy products galore, refusing to acknowledge the fact that it was the reason I was felt nasty all the time. I finally decided to cut that sh*t out and become dairy-free, and I've learned a lot so far.

I No Longer Feel Bloated 

While this one may seem obvious, it was novel to me. When I ate dairy all the time, I felt sick and bloated. While you may think eating a small amount of lactose products doesn't affect you, it most definitely can. 

I've Lost a Few Pounds 

Dairy products often have a f**k ton of fat and calories. So without even trying, I've lost a few pounds and I'm definitely not complaining about it. 

I Have More Energy 

Along with feeling nauseous and gross all the time from my dairy intake, I also felt drained of energy as a result of these symptoms. Now that I'm listening to my body, I've realized that I'm feeling a lot less exhausted. 

As I've researched this unexpected positive result more, many other fellow lactose intolerant people experience chronic fatigue as a result of dairy intake. 

I Sleep Better

When I was eating things like cheese and ice cream, I found myself waking up in the middle of the night feeling super ill. 

It's a solid feeling to not wake up in the middle of the night feeling like WWIII is taking place in my stomach. 

I Don't Really Miss Dairy Products

I occasionally get a craving for a beautiful cheese platter or a bowl of Ben & Jerry's when I'm in the mood. However, I've realized that I've gotten into a habit that's hard to break. Just like when you make any major health-related change to your lifestyle, the beginning cravings can be real. You will adjust over time. 

Most Food Places are Accommodating

I've never had a big issue when ordering in a restaurant with my new dietary restriction. Just tell the waiter that you can't eat dairy and they more than likely will have your back. 

Also, ordering sorbet when your friends all get ice cream is not the end of the world. 99.99% of the time, I can find something to eat wherever my friends are eating. 

I'm not a dietitian by any means, but I'd recommend this dairy-free lifestyle to people who aren't lactose intolerant because of how amazing I feel overall. I feel like a whole new woman after waving goodbye to my old friend, dairy. RIP sudden bouts of nausea and feeling disgusting for half of the day.