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littlesista

Coping with others who say they're gluten-free but eat gluten

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I know this will all seem silly:

But I work in a fairly small office (15 people) and some eat "gluten light."  I have celiac and have been gluten-free for years and I'm really strict.  A few years ago a new employee started and she said she's stricter than me (it's not a competition) because she eats grain free to avoid inflammation. After a while, it was obvious she ate grains, so now she says gluten free.

I don't know why, but it irritates me that she says she eats a strict gluten free diet when I've seen her eat gluten many times.  Twice I tried going out to lunch with her and she didn't even ask about gluten free food.  She picked the restaurant so I thought it would be okay to eat there.  No gluten free choices; they tried, but I got sick.  I've never eaten out with her again.

I think it wouldn't bother me so much but she sits near my desk and I hear her discuss it a lot... how she's strict and eats gluten free.  (I don't talk about it at work at all unless for some reason I'd have to.)

Wish I could just let it go.  I don't ever say anything, because where would it get me?

Guess I'm just venting about it.

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Welcome, @littlesista!

I understand, hearing people say one thing and seeing them do another thing can be pretty irritating, especially when it comes to diseases and health. I think you're smart in not eating out with her anymore because it sounds like she does not take gluten free eating seriously.  If she does not have celiac, I can understand why. 

That said, I once heard someone say she has celiac but can have gluten once in awhile as long as she takes Benadryl, and then she proceeded to eat plenty of it. I definitely said something such as, "What? You have celiac and you eat gluten?"

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12 hours ago, littlesista said:

I know this will all seem silly:

But I work in a fairly small office (15 people) and some eat "gluten light."  I have celiac and have been gluten-free for years and I'm really strict.  A few years ago a new employee started and she said she's stricter than me (it's not a competition) because she eats grain free to avoid inflammation. After a while, it was obvious she ate grains, so now she says gluten free.

I don't know why, but it irritates me that she says she eats a strict gluten free diet when I've seen her eat gluten many times.  Twice I tried going out to lunch with her and she didn't even ask about gluten free food.  She picked the restaurant so I thought it would be okay to eat there.  No gluten free choices; they tried, but I got sick.  I've never eaten out with her again.

I think it wouldn't bother me so much but she sits near my desk and I hear her discuss it a lot... how she's strict and eats gluten free.  (I don't talk about it at work at all unless for some reason I'd have to.)

Wish I could just let it go.  I don't ever say anything, because where would it get me?

Guess I'm just venting about it.

littlesista,

You are NOT being silly!  The vast majority of people have not been educated about Celiac Disease.  Each time this coworker spouts incorrect info about being gluten free, it puts doubt into others's minds about how you need to be in order to REALLY be gluten free.  It makes your job (which you never asked for) that much harder when you do need to explain your gluten free requirements.  It is more than annoying.  It can negatively affect your very life.  That said, however, your only option is to maintain your position at every opportunity.

It's just one more example of the unfair stuff in life that we need to endure while maintaining our own strength and truth.  Stand tall in your truth!  Hopefully, over time, your coworkers (at least the ones you respect) will come to see your position as more "true".  I have found that if a person always stays true to themselves--no matter what--respect is always the result.  Take pride in your integrity and others will also--maybe even eventually the "offender" will come around to your quiet tenacity.

Hugs, hugs, hugs!  (I've been where you are.  You can do it.)

P.S.  Do NOT engage in a confrontation with the "offender".  When it is necessary to explain how you need to be in order to be gluten free, do it in a calm & quiet voice.  Others will listen.

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2 hours ago, manasota said:

littlesista,

You are NOT being silly!  The vast majority of people have not been educated about Celiac Disease.  Each time this coworker spouts incorrect info about being gluten free, it puts doubt into others's minds about how you need to be in order to REALLY be gluten free.  It makes your job (which you never asked for) that much harder when you do need to explain your gluten free requirements.  It is more than annoying.  It can negatively affect your very life.  That said, however, your only option is to maintain your position at every opportunity.

It's just one more example of the unfair stuff in life that we need to endure while maintaining our own strength and truth.  Stand tall in your truth!  Hopefully, over time, your coworkers (at least the ones you respect) will come to see your position as more "true".  I have found that if a person always stays true to themselves--no matter what--respect is always the result.  Take pride in your integrity and others will also--maybe even eventually the "offender" will come around to your quiet tenacity.

Hugs, hugs, hugs!  (I've been where you are.  You can do it.)

P.S.  Do NOT engage in a confrontation with the "offender".  When it is necessary to explain how you need to be in order to be gluten free, do it in a calm & quiet voice.  Others will listen.

I agree with everything Manasota and SLRunner said (and it was well said too!) 

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17 hours ago, SLLRunner said:

Welcome, @littlesista!

I understand, hearing people say one thing and seeing them do another thing can be pretty irritating, especially when it comes to diseases and health. I think you're smart in not eating out with her anymore because it sounds like she does not take gluten free eating seriously.  If she does not have celiac, I can understand why. 

That said, I once heard someone say she has celiac but can have gluten once in awhile as long as she takes Benadryl, and then she proceeded to eat plenty of it. I definitely said something such as, "What? You have celiac and you eat gluten?"

Thank you for the response, SSLRunner.  Yeah, I've seen that too.  I have relatives who say they probably have celiac disease and eat gluten free, but cheat all the time.  I just can do that!  

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7 hours ago, manasota said:

littlesista,

You are NOT being silly!  The vast majority of people have not been educated about Celiac Disease.  Each time this coworker spouts incorrect info about being gluten free, it puts doubt into others's minds about how you need to be in order to REALLY be gluten free.  It makes your job (which you never asked for) that much harder when you do need to explain your gluten free requirements.  It is more than annoying.  It can negatively affect your very life.  That said, however, your only option is to maintain your position at every opportunity.

It's just one more example of the unfair stuff in life that we need to endure while maintaining our own strength and truth.  Stand tall in your truth!  Hopefully, over time, your coworkers (at least the ones you respect) will come to see your position as more "true".  I have found that if a person always stays true to themselves--no matter what--respect is always the result.  Take pride in your integrity and others will also--maybe even eventually the "offender" will come around to your quiet tenacity.

Hugs, hugs, hugs!  (I've been where you are.  You can do it.)

P.S.  Do NOT engage in a confrontation with the "offender".  When it is necessary to explain how you need to be in order to be gluten free, do it in a calm & quiet voice.  Others will listen.

Thank you!  You're right, I just need to take the higher ground and stay true to myself.  Also, I will continue to fight the urge to confront her.  Thanks for the support!

 

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On 4/9/2016 at 4:19 PM, littlesista said:

Thank you!  You're right, I just need to take the higher ground and stay true to myself.  Also, I will continue to fight the urge to confront her.  Thanks for the support!

 

I have another person in my group at work who has Celiac, although she was never tested.  Her mother has it as bad as I do so she assumed when she developed symptoms that was it and went gluten free.......or so she thinks!  ;)

She is the one who will eat frosting off of a gluten cake so when that happened at a group birthday party at work, one of the secretaries in our office came to me privately afterwards and asked me why it was OK for this other woman to do that when I could not.  After all, we have the same disease.  I looked her in the eye and said....."Because so and so is an idiot."  Well....the secretary got wide eyed and then she laughed and said that she got that impression anyway.  She knows how hard I work to be absolutely gluten-free and how this other woman cheats.  I just couldn't resist saying that!

It is hard to listen to nonsense coming from someone else's mouth but if an opportunity arises where I can "correct" them with a fake smile on my face, I do it.  Those opportunities are so few and far between.  My sister also eats gluten-free and hasn't been tested but I think she really does have a problem.  Severe symptoms when she eats gluten but she still continues to cheat.  A couple of times when I was forced to eat out at a family gathering with her, she ordered something she should not eat as a Celiac and when asked if I wanted to try some, I just look at her and decline, telling her I can't because it is not gluten free.  That shuts her up.

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That's funny... I have a sister who says she's gluten free but wasn't tested and also isn't very strict!  We've gone out to eat with other family members and she finally picked up on my drill "can I have a gluten free menu please?"  "can you please be sure to tell the chef it HAS to be gluten free."  And yet, she orders items I would never order.

We just have to be true to ourselves and try to not let others get to us.  Some days it's easier than others! 

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What irritates me about this scenario is that people who say they have celiac disease and then eat gluten make the people who REALLY have celiac disease and have to be a MILLION percent complaint seem like worry warts and obsessive. I don't care if that's what I look like, but it's hard not to call them out!

My daughter sent me a cartoon from The New Yorker... two women having lunch and talking about another friend... "Oh, she thinks she's SO cool cause she has REAL celiac disease."  Ha ha ha!!

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I agree it's really irritating. There is a bakery in our village (I live in France) who make 'low gluten' bread. It's mainly made with buckwheat but it does contain some wheat flour. When I asked her about it, she said that a lady in the village orders loads of this bread to put in her freezer and she's celiac. When I said, well if she has celiac disease she wouldn't be able to eat it, she started arguing with me. I just let it go, but it REALLY annoyed me....

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What REALLY irritates me is when someone tells me "I have a friend who used to have Celiacs..." One - because they call it Celiacs, and two - because there is no cure for this disease. If your friend had Celiac, then she STILL has it! Ugh.

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