Oh, wow. I didn’t expect the response I got to my health/ body image/ food answer. I have a lot of messages about it — here’s just a small sample of what I found in my inbox. I’m not qualified to answer a lot of this, but I’ll try to point folks in the right direction.
This is not going to be an exciting text post.
1 - Don’t let anyone make you feel bad for choosing carefully what to put in your body, so long as you’re feeding yourself for health and not appearance. I don’t believe in dieting for weight loss. I believe in a food choices for a body that works great. And I will rabidly defend my decision to monitor what I put in my system. Once upon a time, it meant I felt bad for telling people no, I won’t try this casserole you worked on for hours because you can’t remember if you put ketchup in it and ketchup will make me feel terrible tomorrow at the very best and sick on your floor right here at the very worst so no. I would just eat it to be polite and then hate life later. Now I don’t feel like I have to justify my food choices, no matter how minor the consequences would be. The effects of food intolerances are cumulative, so that means every straw added will eventually break my back.
1a – That means that I often bring food from home when I go places, or I pre-eat before business dinners. I think part of being polite with my food strangeness is trying not to ask people to prepare something special for me. It’s nice if they want to. But I never expect it. And no. I never feel guilty. Don’t — don’t — don’t let anyone bully you on this. It’s your body you have to live with the next day. After a decade of living with food sensitivities, I’m really disinterested in hearing someone explain to me why I shouldn’t feel sick from eating x food or y food. I’m still not sure how it is people can’t believe a small amount of preservative can ruin me, but they will happily believe a tiny ibuprofen can cure a headache or a little SSRI can treat depression — magic with chemicals, people! It only takes a few parts per million.
Food intolerances/allergies are an enormous part of my life. On top of that, I’m a picky eater just naturally, but I swear, I’m not trying to be rude. I’m trying to be fair to my body.