Queerly Beloved

Diets are garbage. I’ve always hated the idea of dieting. Though I understand why people moderate what and when they eat, I’ve never felt the need to, so I hate being told that I don’t have a choice in the matter.

Part of being chronically ill is having gastrointestinal issues. Between medication side effects and illness symptoms, some stomach upset is almost guaranteed.

Unfortunately, I have Celiac Disease, which means that when I eat gluten—wheat, barley, and rye grains—my immune system gets confused and tries to destroy my colon. It goes sort of like this:

Me: Wow, this bread looks delicious, I’m going to eat that!

My body: Great choice!

My body: Wait, what’s the difference between a gluten protein and the villi in your colon?

My body: There’s no difference, right?

Me: There are so many differences, what are you doing?

My body: I’m just going to destroy all of it to be safe.


After that, there’s a lot of pain and suffering and wishing for death. In order to combat all that, I just don’t eat gluten. It took a long time for me to completely adjust to that dietary change—about six years—but I’m now fluent in living the gluten-free lifestyle, and I’m surviving.

You’d think my dietary problems would stop there. You’d be wrong.

I’m now endeavoring to complete the “elimination diet,” which is possibly the worst diet to have ever been created. It involves removing certain foods from your diet for a month and then reintroducing them one by one to determine which food is causing gastrointestinal problems.

In other words, it means that for the next 30 days, I can’t eat dairy, eggs, soy, red meat, sugar, nightshades—a food group that consists of potatoes, tomatoes, and peppers—coffee, caffeine, or anything that makes people feel good and happy inside.

Pray for me, my friends. Pray that at the end of this, I’ll still be able to eat french fries.

Gem Sheps
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