(The Rack is a weekly Friday column by musician, fit model, waitress and soon-to-be-former babysitter, Tammy.)

With The Consultation looming, (next Wednesday!) I’ve been paying more attention to my girls than usual. I know the only way my insurance will cover the reduction is if I meet the criteria that deem the procedure medically necessary. While I don’t have back pain, other than a bit of achiness in my lower back some mornings when I wake up, I definitely get grooves and broken blood vessels in my shoulders from my bra straps, as well as across my back where the band sits. I don’t know if the back aches are breast related, so I’m not sure that’s the way I’ll make my case.

Something I have been noticing, to my horror, is that my breasts themselves are pretty sore on a regular basis, and not just during PMS. Being the hypochondriac I am, I started to chart my symptoms so I could try to figure out the cause of the pain. I’ve been startled (but not really surprised) to find that on days I eat dairy, my breasts seem more swollen and tender. The same goes for really greasy foods, and alcohol. We can all attest to the general grossness felt after a night of drinking, or the bloated feeling after eating, oh say, a pint of Ben & Jerry’s . . . but for me, it seems the symptoms of bloating and discomfort extend to my breasts as well as my mid-section.

A year ago, because of a random but amazing part-time personal assistant gig, I found myself renouncing my carnivorous ways cold turkey in favor of an eco-friendly, plant based, macrobiotic & unprocessed vegan diet. Drastic, I know. After two weeks without meat or dairy, however, I had lost 5 pounds and looked considerably leaner, despite the fact that I hadn’t changed my lackadaisical workout pattern. After going months without dairy, (and then slipping back into it) I’ve become more sensitive to its effects, which is why I think I’m more aware of how it might be affecting my body now.

I am very curious to hear from you all on this–pay attention. When you eat a lot of dairy, can you feel it in your chest?