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On Living With Ulcerative Colitis: More Food Woes

Posted Jan 06 2012 7:00am

Friends, I have a confession. If you know me in real life, you already know this about me. If you’ve read some of my posts that mention food, you may have gathered this impression. But today, I’m going to tell it like it is.

I am a picky eater. And that might be the biggest understatement that has ever occurred on Forward is a Pace.

I do like pizza. And, apparently, making weird faces when I eat it after races. Mmmm. Pizza.

I pretty much eat American cuisine — pizza, chicken, fries, that kind of thing. When I venture into other kinds of food, it’s in the most basic way possible. Mexican food? Sure, I’ll have tacos with just meat and cheese, please. Italian? You bet. I’ll have spaghetti and meatballs, or maybe I’ll be daring and have some cheese ravioli. Oh, um, you want to go out for Chinese? Can I have… um… some white rice?

When I got diagnosed with ulcerative colitis, my fear of food made my picky eating tendencies that much worse. Not only did I lose the ability to eat some of my staple foods, I was (and still am, a lot of the time) afraid to try anything new for fear of spending a day in massive pain and within a few feet of a bathroom at all times. In some ways, having ulcerative colitis makes it a little easier to be picky. Lots of times, people assume that my food issues are related to my illness, don’t push it, and accommodate my crazy food needs. (And really, thanks to chicken nuggets, I can find something I’ll eat almost anywhere people want to go.)

But while it’s pretty easy logistically to be picky, it’s time for me to be a grown up. I’m going to be 27 in less than a month (yikes!) and I think it’s time to expand my palate a little bit. Let’s face it. Many of the foods I don’t think I like, I haven’t even bothered to try. And it does get a little embarrassing to walk into an authentic Mexican restaurant and order plain tacos, or get chicken nuggets off the kids’ menu when everyone is ordering Chinese.

And so, I have one thing that I’m going to add to my 2012 resolutions . I’m not sure it really fits into my theme of chasing dreams, but it will help make me a little more brave, and you need to be brave to chase dreams, right? (Too much of a stretch? Whatever. It’s my list and I’ll take it.) When given the opportunity, I’m going to try new foods. I will make sure that I have the opportunity at least twice a month, but I’ll take it more often when it presents itself. It may not be more than a bite of a friend’s meal or trying a different sauce on my pasta, but little by little, I’m going to add things to my list of foods I’ll eat.

Who knows? Maybe one day I’ll be an adventurous eater.

Are you a picky eater? Do you eat just about everything? Fall somewhere in between? What’s something delicious you think I have to try?

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