Dude note: To help celebrate and promote Celiac Awareness Month, I will be writing 30 blog posts over 30 consecutive days (weekends excluded) with the theme “30 Days of Helping 30 Celiacs”. Each post will be aimed toward helping one specific person or group of people. If you or someone you know needs help, guidance, advice or a shoulder to cry on, please contact me and I will do what I can to help. On the 31st day, you’re on your own. Totally kidding.
Today’s 30 for 30 blog post is for: Those who continue to focus on the food they are losing instead of their health they are gaining.
I’ve always said that dealing with celiac is so much about your attitude. It’s quite easy to fall into the “I can’t eat that…this sucks” trap.
And while it’s ok in the beginning to mourn the loss of your old life (because it IS a big change), the best thing any newly diagnosed celiac can do is mourn then move on. The quicker the better.
I use the phrase “positive energy” with my kids a lot. I’m a big believer that positive energy brings positive results.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again…IT’S ONLY FOOD. At the end of the day, if you have to choose between a slice of pizza and feeling groovy, I’ll take groovy every single time.
Here’s a great email I received from someone who lost her childhood due to undiagnosed gluten issues and has turned her life completely around. And she wants absolutely no pity from anybody.
It’s a beautiful thing.
First of all, reading this blog has confirmed for me that I am not crazy. Gluten caused me to miss out on my childhood, because I didn’t even find out that I was allergic until I was twenty. The damage had already been done. Elementary school through high school was full of seizures, countless doctor visits and an extreme case of ADD. My immune system wasn’t working and I was highly malnutrition-ed. I had teachers who were convinced that I was anorexic. Graduating from high school was seriously a miracle. I have had every test done at the hospital, I was even in the hospital on 9/11/01 (an EEG test). They found nothing. I didn’t have a brain tumor and they couldn’t diagnose me with epilepsy. I was just a chronic sick kid with no hope.
…then one day a real miracle happened. I stopped taking my meds and turned my back on doctors. I went to a nutritionist who told me that it was all related to my allergy to gluten and dairy. So you know what I did? What any desperate person would do…I gave up gluten that day and never turned back. Everyone thought I was crazy and that it all had to be in my head…but after three months of detoxing the poison I had been eating my whole life, I finally found out what it felt like to not be sick. It was amazing.
Then I went for a month without being sick…and then two… and then three. I didn’t have anymore seizures. I went back to college and actually succeeded! I was able to focus. My life did a complete 180. Finding out that I was allergic to gluten was the biggest blessing I could think of. It knocks taking 13 pills every morning out of the water.
It is because of this wild journey that I get upset when people tell me my life must suck because I can’t eat this and that…and oh goodness…you can’t eat cheese cake? Yes…well, but I can function now! Take that!
Sure I don’t eat out as much anymore (and dinner dates are ALWAYS a bad idea)… but I have become a killer cook and I can make gluten free deserts that my friends think are actually better than the “real thing”.
I don’t want anyone to feel sorry for me, I want them to be happy for me. I can finally live my life now… and it is a beautiful thing. I am a Celiac, not a freak :)