Tuesday, April 15, 2008

The "Soy Belly" is not a vegan urban legend

As a vegan newbie, I was confused about the factual validity of the "soy belly"--awkward tummy-excess related to mock-estrogen accumulations from too much soy.

I took on my own independent research project, but found no credible science to back this midriff mystery--and so I brushed it off. It must be like women who are unhappy with their bodies and blame it on birth control.

Even so, I tried to moderate my soy intake. The thing is, virtually everything has soy or soy byproducts in it--just look at the ingredients. Cereal, bars, cookies. And most vegan options are just exploding with soy (mock meats and the like). Plus, I like my cappuccinos, and it ain't like Starbucks is brewing with almond milk.

Sooner or later, I came to the realization that while my body has been toning up (yoga addiction), something funny was going on with my stomach. I am not going to pretend that you could have scrubbed your laundry on my abs, but they were still a fairly smooth operation. Except now my tummy was bulging from the moment I woke up (whose abs aren't flatter in the morning?), and I was a good three months preggers all day, everyday.

Enough was enough. I had to figure out what was going on--were all those lattes and vegan what-nots catching up with me, or was this just an exhilarating new change in my body?

So I cut the crap. And by crap I mean soy. Not like I have eliminated it--no, no...that would be impossible. However, I think it is fair to say that I have cut my intake in half, and a few weeks later, my abs are right back where I thought I left them.

So it's true; the soy belly is real--although each body will react differently to varying amounts.

Of course, I could write a whole other blog on why the degree of my stomach protrusion is so significant to me, and how discovering the truth of the soy belly has alleviated such a heavy weight on my chest (This can't be my fault; I work out all the fucking time, I promise). In fact, I even debated writing this post; why should I fuel damaging and unrealistic bodily expectations?

But my blog is about truth--and the truth is, like it or not, the soy belly is real--and like it or not, I care about how my body looks. I will still continue to explore and challenge my own assumptions and values, and share them on The Colonic, but all that oppressive female propaganda--I'm not numb.

I feel a follow-up brewing...

1 comment:

AEG said...

This is really interesting, because I have thought about attributing that to many soy lattes but then popped that bubble thinking it was a silly thought. I wonder where the science is behind this, because I took played the game of experimentation (cutting the soy for a bit) and definitely noticed a difference.