When People Comment On What You're Eating
As a person who suffers from inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), I have received a wide range of comments that honestly piss me off. I know that is the case for most of us who suffer from either Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis. We get advice that we never asked for, comments that are unnecessary and questions that can make us feel uncomfortable. I do know most people are well-intentioned and are trying to help, but I personally don’t appreciate it.
Comments and questions about food and diet
For about ten years, my parents (mainly my dad) would have tons of comments and questions about my way of eating. I understood it because it wasn’t what he was used to, thankfully did not have the disease himself, and I knew he was just trying to show caring. He also hated when I would lose a lot of weight so I know concern crept in there as well.
However, something as seemingly innocent as “are you sure you can have that?” can make a person feel like their loved one doesn’t trust they are doing what is best for them. It can also make someone feel awkward or like they are being watched while consuming food. It also implies that the person knows more than the patient about what is best for their body.
I have a tendency to eat a lot at night since it is hard for me during the day. I do suffer from disordered eating, although I am in a constant state of trying to improve upon that. When I am spending time with my dad at night, he will almost always have something to say about what I am eating or how much.
Foods that we love that will hurt us later
For example, I know that if I am going to eat pizza, I will pay for it. Not because it will cause a blockage but because I know the next day I will feel awful - and then that feeling will dissipate. I know we all have foods we love that on occasion, we are willing to pay the price because it is hard to restrict ourselves so much. What my dad never understood is that if I am going to have pizza, I might as well have enough of it to make it a meal which usually means two-three slices.
I also have the mentality of, “if I am going to pay for it anyway, just enjoy it since it’ll be a while before I have this type of food again!”
I do understand that is hard for someone to swallow if they are not in my shoes. But, with my body, I either eat “correctly” or I don’t. That doesn’t mean if I have one negative thing, I just go crazy the entire day. It does mean that if I am going to do something like go to an Italian restaurant or order in (which is better for my stomach,) I am going to enjoy the bread on the table. And if I am really hungry and the food is taking a while, I will probably have three or four pieces of bread. My goal at that time is to enjoy, given I know I will be paying for it regardless.
This is my personal decision for how I eat with UC
I know that is not how everyone, or even most, people who suffer from a form of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) think but it is how I personally do.
I guess the point of me sharing this is because I hear so often from fellow IBDers that they get unsolicited advice about mostly everything related to inflammatory bowel disease. From supplements to special diets, to certain creams, the list goes on. You aren’t alone if you get frustrated when people comment or ask you certain questions. Just try to keep in mind that it usually comes from a place of concern. I have learned to completely ignore and not internalize any comments people make about what I am eating or how much. My weight, on the other hand, is a different story :)
It takes practice but after years and years of knowing my body and doing so much trial and error, I know what works and what doesn’t. So, anyone who can’t understand that or still feels a need to comment, I cannot stop them. I can’t change anyone but myself.
And now, I choose to adopt the mentality of “no one lives in my body so who cares what others think or feel related to the foods I eat or don’t eat, how much of it, and when. They are not me and I know myself better than anyone.”
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