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Open Letter from a Food Intolerant

Thursday, November 01, 2012

NO Dairy – NO Soy—No Gluten—No Pork—No Tuna—No Chamomile—No Cranberries……….blah blah blah…….and everything else it seems.

Living with food intolerances can be very frustrating! Here’s what I’d like to say, but rarely do:

To my friends:

Yes! I’d love to meet you for lunch! However, my restaurant choices are limited and I’d really appreciate it if you didn’t tease me when I spend a crazy amount of time checking on ingredients with the server and tweaking my order.

Yes! I know 6 months ago I enjoyed a big pile of BBQ pork with you, but now I can’t eat pork. That’s the way it works, food intolerances change over time.

I appreciate your party invite, but please don’t take offense when I eat ahead of time or bring my own snacks & drink. I want to be sure I can enjoy your company and I can’t do that if I’m stuck in your bathroom all night.

No, I’m not ALLERGIC to these foods. Don’t fret, you aren’t going to have to stab me with an Epipen (even though you may actually like the thought of that! Ha ha)…..but the consequences are still severe enough to stop me in my tracks and ruin my day or week.

To my co-workers:

Yes, I eat. Yes, I love food. Yes, it bothers me there are only 3 of us in the office and you bring in donuts. I’m only human. If I give in, you like seeing the joy on my face as I eat something I love and miss, but you’re not around when I’m in agony 8 hours later. So please stop tempting me on purpose. Yes, even “one small bite” will mess me up. Seriously, it will.

Your jokes about me only eating air, grape skins and celery strings were funny for a while but I’d rather hear some positive reinforcement when you see me drinking a green juice for breakfast. For once, can you just PRETEND you’d rather be enjoying my toxic green drink instead of the breakfast burrito you’re shoving in your mouth?? (And yes, the juice really does taste better than it looks!)

To my husband:

Thank you for all of your love and support and for being willing to eat whatever I cook, even if you don’t have my restrictions. You are a saint. Thank you for not making me feel guilty when I weaken and eat things I shouldn’t. You know I will pay the price later, but you let me enjoy my craving in peace.

But…..please stop asking me if I want “a bite” of something you KNOW I can’t eat. All it does is make me sad and remind me that you get it and I don’t.

Please stop asking me how my stomach feels every time you talk to me. I already spend, what seems like, every waking minute thinking about what I’m eating or how I feel…… I’d rather you didn’t bring it back to the forefront of my mind. I’d rather be focused on you.

This is me!

I’m not on a diet.
I’m not a freak.
I’m not high maintenance, only my stomach is.
I didn’t do anything to cause this. God chose these challenges for me and it is with His strength that I can deal with them day after day.

I love food, it just doesn’t have the courtesy to love me back.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    So good to read! I can relate...and because of other people's words or actions, I have sometimes made choices that I regret later...ice cream, a burger on a REAL bun. And then suffered the consequences.

    It does bother me that people don't understand or tease, but it bothers me more that used to be able to eat whatever I wanted without the wrath of my GI tract. I guess that I need to come to terms with my digestive issues, and then I might be better equipped to just let other people's remarks and attitudes roll off my back.

    Thanks for posting and good luck!
    1810 days ago
    1839 days ago
    You are admired for doing what is right for your health. It can be difficult but you're worth it! emoticon
    1842 days ago
    Wow, Melissa! emoticon

    I'm sure you know, I can identify with ever single word here! Thankfully, my coworkers don't tease me, though. In fact, they are fairly supportive. Of course, there are still the insanely tempting doughnuts and leftover Halloween candy and such, but such is life. And my boyfriend doesn't ever offer me something he knows I can't have, and generally I have learned to detach, but every once in awhile it is SO HARD to watch him thoroughly enjoying the flatbread that is made fresh daily at our favorite neighborhood restaurant. It's what made me fall in love with this restaurant in the first place! *sigh*

    I agree that you might need to find a way to share this with those people in your life. This blog is perfect I can hear your frustration but also your kindness and honesty loud and clear, and so should they!

    In other matters, I think I owe you an email. I'm so sorry! I've been super-swamped for weeks. Meanwhile, nice job with this blog and I hope your tummy, etc., are rewarding your hard work with pain-free living!


    1842 days ago
    Great. Now are you going to share it with your friends/co-workers/spouse. It's great to get it off your chest but somehow you have to make them understand how you are affected by their behaviours. You'll just be dealing with it forever if you don't.
    Good luck. I have trouble speaking up for myself sometimes too.
    1843 days ago
    GREAT letter Melissa!!!
    I am sorry it is so difficult for you, I hope everyone around you supports you and tries to understand.
    emoticon emoticon emoticon
    1843 days ago
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