My Dietary Restrictions Don’t Define Me

I’ve been gluten free and lactose/dairy free for the last 6 years.

I never really “felt” like I let my food intolerances define who I was. I always took my food with me everywhere I went, I have a boat load of lunch boxes and snack items.

I got used to it for the most part. Until this past year and I recently got diagnosed with delayed gastric emptying (most likely gastroparesis).

I’m involved with Cru at college and every year they have a Fall Retreat. I remembered hearing about it last year and automatically thought, “I can’t go. I couldn’t eat, I’d have to pack food for the whole weekend.” This year came around, and of course, with even more dietary restrictions and stomach issues, I thought the same thing.

But, I didn’t let it stop me. Not this time.

I could hear how excited everyone was for Fall Retreat and they talked about it at every Thursday Night Cru meeting. My small group wanted me to go. And I did too.

I decided that I wasn’t going to let my dietary restrictions hold me back. I wasn’t going to let it keep me from doing what I wanted to do.

So those weeks leading up to Fall Retreat I contacted Cru staff and told them my situation. I told them that I would need to take my own food and would need a refrigerator close by.

The week before Fall Retreat, I cooked up a bunch of food to take with me. I was determined. Stressed, but determined.

Once we got to Fall Retreat, I was able to take my food straight to the refrigerator. Our room was even in the same building as the fridge! I was also able to use the microwave to heat my food. It was great. I didn’t have to worry about being hungry, or getting sick.

Being able to go to Fall Retreat with my dietary restrictions proved that I have some control over them. I can control how I let them define me. And I realized that I should have went to Fall Retreat last year, the food obstacles would have been a whole lot easier then with only gluten and dairy to worry about! haha

The next obstacle I’ll be overcoming is studying abroad. This will be a much more stressful one,though. Hopefully, by next year I won’t be on such a strict diet. Hopefully, I’ll be able to study abroad and overcome my dietary restrictions even more. It may not be this year, maybe even next. But hopefully, by the time I graduate, I can study abroad. And overcome even more obstacles.

Don’t let your restrictions define you.

Ciara

fall-retreat-2

The theme for Fall Retreat was, “Break Every Chain”…how fitting 🙂

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