The holiday season is a wonderful time of year because it gives us an excuse to eat more cookies and hang out with people we don’t see often. Everyone loves a good excuse to eat more cookies but when you are disabled with food sensitives it can be kind of stressful to be surrounded by so many sugary treats because you can’t go to town on them like everyone else can. Many people struggle with gaining weight during the holiday season but as a disabled person who has many food sensitives that is the least of my problems and if my only struggle was gaining five pounds I would throw a party! My ACE (stoma connected to my colon) does not like sugar of any form and whenever I eat even a small amount I have a whole world of problems that could last anywhere from hours to weeks or even months in some cases. I still can eat some sugar but because of my disability I can’t eat nearly as much as someone without my disability can and not suffer for it. Stoma issues are quite annoying and there is only so much you can do to control them and sometimes people don’t understand why I can’t have a lot of sugar. In this post, I am going to talk about what I tell people that pressure me to eat more Christmas cookies when I don’t want to.
I am lactose intolerant– I am not actually lactose intolerant but I am not beneath telling someone I am that won’t stop giving me chocolate I already said I didn’t want. I do have some sensitives to dairy and often will have some problems if I eat it in excess but it’s usually the sugar in the milk not the milk itself. It won’t stop people from giving me gummy bears but that is okay because I don’t like fruity candy that much and I have a much easier time pacing it. Chocolate is my weakness so it’s harder for me to pace because I always feel like I need to eat it all in one sitting which can be dangerous for me because too much sugar all at once can cause major constipation that lasts weeks or even months at a time. I may actually be lactose intolerant but it’s better if people think I am so I don’t get a bunch of chocolate that I shouldn’t be eating. It’s the perfect cover and as long as I am not drinking a glass of milk in front of people I have told that I am sensitive to lactose it will be believable every time.
I get constipated easily– It is true that I do struggle with constipation and that some foods make me quite bloated. If I know someone well and am comfortable talking about my gut issues I might talk about my constipation struggles to educate them becuase even people I know aren’t always that knowledgeable. I don’t tell every single person I meet about my bowel issues because some people will not care or are just rude and do not deserve to know about anything that personal. I am the only one that should be telling other people about my bowel issues because it can be personal and in my experience, some people can give out way more information than I would want you to know. If I talk about my own health I can be as detailed or as vague as I want whereas someone else may not know when they drew the line or said too much.
I just had lunch- When I go to a family or social event that will have a lot of food I don’t like to eat a lot or anything at all if possible to minimize the amount of stoma issues I will have. If someone brings me a plate of carbohydrates that I know I shouldn’t eat when I am out I often will say I just had lunch to avoid having to eat it. Sometimes it is true because I do often eat before I go places but sometimes it’s not and it’s just a nice way of me saying I don’t like what was offered and will not eat it.
I have dietary restrictions- I don’t techically have foods that I am allergic to and need to avoid and there are just things I do because it causes hours of stoma issues. If I wanted I could eat these things and my health would not be in any danger and I just avoid certain foods so I am not in the bathroom all day every day. I never tell people that I am on a specific diet because people know I don’t believe in diets as I think they are temporary and I am more of a lifestyle changes kind of girl. It wouldn’t be believable if all of sudden I changed my mind and said that I started a diet for no apparent reason. I sometimes tell people I have food restrictions because of my migraine pain which is true but it’s mostly because I don’t want people to give me a bunch of junk food.
I don’t like being dishonest with but sometimes you have no choice because some people will not quit until you take what is being offered to you. If you are abled you can cave and take something you don’t really want but when you have a disability it’s not that simple because a lot of disabled people can’t have what you insist they do. When people ask me why I am not eating more cookies I don’t ever tell them I don’t sugar because no one would believe that and there would be more follow-up questions. I stick to things that may not be totally true but are pretty self-explanatory because people don’t generally ask a million uncomfortable questions that I’d never answer. I eat cookies and I am not annoyed when people offer me, sweets, because that is kind of you and I am only mad when you make me feel guilty for not taking it. Sometimes I will reject chocolate because I am having a bad day and can’t eat any sugar but other times you may see me eat four brownies. My days are always different and you don’t have to understand why I am making certain food choices but you shouldn’t question something that you don’t experience. Sugary food is not as enjoyable for me because there is always the stress that something will set off my stoma but I still have them except in moderation. I don’t think that is necessarily a bad thing because in helps with weight management which can be a struggle for abled people. What do you tell people that are pressuring you to eat your trigger foods?