My disablity is not your diet plan.

Thanks to Zaftig Bianca for pointing out Dr. Mark Hyman’s article posted on HuffPo today. It got me thinking. I went gluten free last spring after testing done by my naturopathic physician indicated high sensitivities to gluten containing grains and beer (which also contains gluten). This means I cannot consume wheat, rye, barley, oats, and spelt in any form, nor can I have any food to which these grains or their derivatives have been added. After going gluten free, I soon learned that neither can I tolerate lactose, so I have also eliminated all dairy products from my diet as well. I have worked hard to avoid gluten and lactose as much as humanly possible over the past few months. This is a lot of work because, as it turns out, foods that come from places other than my home may or may not contain gluten and/or lactose in some form or another. This, coupled with my son’s multiple food allergies, has meant that we are no longer able to eat out. Ever. It has meant that I’ve become that crazy label scrutinizing lady in Trader Joe’s. You know, the one with a degree in food science in one hand and a magnifying glass in the other. It means that I cannot just pop into the drive through whenever I feel a little peckish. It means that I bring food I prepared myself  whenever I leave the house for more than an hour. It means that if it’s “company policy” not to allow outside food or drink, then I stay home.

Having food allergies and sensitivities turns out to be a huge deal. It sucks. It sucks huge fucking donkey cock. Yes, I am eating more healthfully that I have eaten for much of my adult life. And yes, I feel so much better than I have felt in a long time.* My mood is, for the most part, better. I have more energy, for the most part. But you know what? I would give anything to be able to think about food like a “normal” person again, to be able just hop in the car and drive over to McDonald’s for a Big Mac and a large fries, or down to the local chip shop (yes, there is an authentic, amazing, chip shop in my town) just once. But I can’t. Because if I do, I will spend the following three weeks in the digestive system equivalent of traction. And let me tell you, that sucks huge fucking donkey cock, too.

I don’t mean for this post to sound whiny or to diminish the experience of people with “real” disabilities,** but to just toss out “Hey fatsos, food allergies causes fatz!!” to the huddled, panicked, quivering OMGTEHFATZWILLKILLUSDEADERTHANDEAD masses is right up there with “Hack of a leg and lose 20 lbs!” as far as weight loss advice goes. Going gluten free represents a massive investment of time, energy (and money, people! You think rice/garbanzo/sorghum flour is cheap?!) and is a huge commitment, never mind having to deal with other food allergies like peanut and soy. It is not something to be undertaken lightly or without some degree of sadness. Having a gluten intolerance (or celiac’s disease or food allergies) isn’t the same as Weight Watchers. You can’t just stop going.

*I had a cluster of moderate to severe symptoms that have either mostly abated or have gone away completely.
**You know, the ones recognized by the ADA, although I would argue that having Celiac’s disease or a Gluten Intolerance or any food allergy would (and should) fall under the provisions of the ADA.

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