Have you ever had one of those moments where someone told you something and for a split second you had built it up to be so magnificent in your mind, only to drop down about 14 levels of joy once you figured out what it really was? I had one of those moments yesterday.
I have come to accept the fact that I probably won’t be able to eat (with any confidence anyway) at most places. I no longer throw the early-diagnosis-esque tantrums like I once did if the menu doesn’t have a gluten-free option.
Yesterday was no different…I was going to a cornhole tournament/football watching function at a local bar…where yes, everyone does know your name. I had confirmed that there would in fact be Woodchuck Cider available (my favorite GF beer!) but since I hadn’t been there since my diagnosis, I already expected that there would be nothing ‘safe’ for me to eat. My pre-diagnosis trips had included quick glances at the menu to find the greasiest menu item available in an attempt to soak up a portion of the beer that I was undoubtedly ingesting, of course none of the items being gluten-free.
Right before I walked into the door after setting up cornhole boards, the girl that was in charge of the function said something to me about being gluten-free. Then she said, ‘I have something for you to eat.” What?! I about wet my pants. Had I hallucinated that I’d have a safe food? Could it be that I wouldn’t have to sit there for hours without something to snack on (i.e. something to soak up the alcohol)?! I was in disbelief. I felt like Charlie Bucket discovering his golden ticket!
I wondered what it was…a GF dip of some sort…a burger without the bun…a delicious salad with GF dressing. It was a bar after all, so the food running through my mind was not exactly all diet friendly. What could it be?! What was in store?!
She turned to reach in her bag to pull out my GF surprise…my mind was running like a slot machine….Chips…Fries…Chips…Jackpot!!!! She reached in….oh I can’t handle the suspense anymore…hand in her bag…I’m salivating…she grabbed the bag…stop the madness already, I’m starving…and she pulled out my treat…
A perfect peach.
Trust me…I am more than grateful and so incredibly humbled that she thought of me and thought enough to even offer me something to eat. Her kindness to someone she had only just met meant a great deal to me. And trust me, I know that a peach was a far, far better choice than what I might have previously ordered. And for that, my waistline thanks you, Tricia.
But amongst the smell of burning grease, beer, and hot dogs…I was momentarily deflated. This is what my ‘cheat days’ have turned into: GF beer and fruit.
I didn’t eat it there because I tend to end up looking like the child below when I eat peaches…half my makeup dripping off the bottom half of my face but sticky and smelling like summer. I did absolutely destroy it when I got home and it was delicious!!!
I do want to mention that it is not a requirement for me to eat when I go out. However, being able to have a little snack while the rest of my friends are indulging on Eat This Not That’s worst offenders does allow me to feel a slight sense of normalcy…something I haven’t felt since I was diagnosed. I can’t hide in my own kitchen forever. I know I need to suck it up and deal with it.
I’ve become that girl that restaurants hate. I’m the one that walks in and the kitchen staff instantly starts whispering “There’s the girl with all the demands…There’s the girl that is adamant about salt and pepper only on her salmon and absolutely no other bulk seasoning…There’s the girl that requests that we change our gloves and utensils so we don’t contaminate her food…There’s the girl that proclaims that if we accidentally give her something with gluten that she will get violently ill on the spot and run off all the other customers.” (Ok so I won’t exactly get violently ill the second it hits my tongue but I do say that if I feel like the waiter/waitress isn’t listening to me. You’d be surprised how well they pay attention if they feel like they might to have to clean up vomit if they don’t comply.)
I feel at times I need to wear a t-shirt with my demands. I need a nametag with my requirements. I should be sporting a scarlet letter of my own. There’s THAT girl….the marked girl…the different girl…the girl with the scarlet G.
But, THAT girl lost weight this week….
I’m slowly learning not to sweat what I can’t control. And that my body is much happier in the long run. I may have had beer and fruit at the bar…but by God my stomach didn’t hurt afterwards! And for that I did truly hit the jackpot.
And you better believe I’ve got peaches on my grocery list…
“Be not afraid of growing slowly; be afraid only of standing still.”
~ Chinese Proverb