You done did it again. 31 year old you has zero minutes in the day for your crap (literally). Remember back when you used to party hard like a
rockstar struggling musician with 2 gigs a month? Yeah, those days were cool. You’d live a vicious cycle of going all out, waking up early, but still being too late, going to work in last night’s clothes, visiting the toilet a few times, swearing to never do it again, and by noon making plans with your bestie to do it all over again. Stupid, right? Thank heavens that’s over. Right?
WRONG, Claire, WRONG.
A night out with the girls turned into a different type of hangover. A gluten one. These types of hangovers will put those old puking in the toilet, head ready to split open travesties to shame. Well, maybe not, but these are definitely longer lasting with no quick fix. Before you could scarf down a poutine and hot dog or a bacon egg and cheese sandwich with mayo, hit the toilet, take an ibuprofen (or like 5) with a shot of Mountain Dew and call it good. That was easy. This is not easy. It is not. Don’t kid yourself, Claire. Don’t lie to yourself. This sucks. For days.
Okay, so let’s recap WHY you decided to put yourself through this- it seemed innocent enough. A night out with the girls. Who doesn’t love that? A place that has gluten free options. Perfect. You had a plan and all you had to do was stick with it. Easy peasy. Mussels, neked (not breaded) chicken wings, celery, and drinks. YOU HAD A PLAN. But the breadsticks. Oh the breadsticks. With the Alfredo. Oh the Alfredo. I think it went something like this (friends, if I’m remembering incorrectly, don’t bother telling me- this is my story and I’m sticking to it):
“Bethany*, your breadsticks look soo good,” said I.
“Wow, Claire, they are so amazing. You really need to try them,” taunted Bethany.
“B-B-B-B-But the gluten,” I replied sweetly.
“Seriously, Claire, what’s the big deal, it’s all in your head anyway.”
“I don’t think it is, I get really sick.”
“Well, will you die?”
“No. I’ll wake up tomorrow 3-5 pounds heavier. My joints will be swollen and will hurt. I’ll either have to run to the bathroom all day or be constipated for 2-3 days, then run to the bathroom all day. I will develop a migraine somewhere between 24-48 hours after I eat it. I will be bloated, my brain will be foggy, and I won’t be able to concentrate.”
“But you won’t die.”
“No, I guess not.”
“Claire, it’s amazing,” replied Bethany while waving the breadstick under my nose. She then proceeded to dip it in cheese and hold it to my mouth. “I’ll buy you a drink if you try this.”
So I did it. I took a bite. Then I took two. Maybe even four. It was heavenly. It was worth it (or so I thought then). The rest is history.
When I got home, I took a sliver of the fully loaded flatbread pizza I so graciously brought home for my husband. Which was also worth it (or so I thought).
Next morning: Not good, Claire. This is why you don’t eat gluten! Don’t do it! (I will not go into detail about the physical happenings, but you remember…)
That afternoon: Not good, Claire. This is why you don’t eat gluten! Don’t do it! (The physical happenings continue…)
That night: Not good, wait, what’s my name? What do you mean where are the keys? They’re in the freezer where they belong. I think I fed the dog… wait, huh?
The following day: If you keep your right eye closed, it doesn’t hurt… that bad. Just don’t lift your head. Ever.
Two days later: Huh? Do I know you? What do you mean you’re my husband? Who’s this kid and why is he calling me mom? Oops, I forgot to breathe.
Three days later: Writing a letter to myself because all I can think about is how yummy that breadstick was. But, Claire, the moral of the story, the topic of this letter, the theme of this manifesto (too far?) is that you should not do it. Not only are the effects painful, you also set yourself back. You didn’t exercise for three days, you were sluggish, tired, and ate all kinds of salty, processed foods because that’s what your body craves when you’re tired. You messed up big. You are 31, it’s time to grow up and smell the decaf coffee (just kidding, there’s no point in that). You must take care of your body and gluten does not help you. It hurts you. Badly.
So, Claire, it’s been great. Thanks for reading this. Please revisit this anytime you are tempted to eat something you know you shouldn’t. Like Oreos. Or (real) pizza. Or lobster rolls. Or homemade bread grilled with butter and apple jelly. Or turkey grinders lightly toasted with cheese perfectly melted. The temptation will always be there. But trust me (you have to because you are me) when I say that it’s not worth it.
I do love you,
*name changed to preserve the anonymity of the individual