Tuesday, June 18, 2013

For me, gluten free is the way to be

Having Celiac disease isn't all that bad, I mean you have the occasional person who forgets that you can't eat gluten and provides a meal chalk full of it.  I'm not the type of person to pass down a free meal so I graciously eat it.  I'm also very passive-aggressive.  If I have something to say it takes the jaws of life in order to open my mouth so that I'll say it!  This though, leads to a lot of repercussions.  I'm constantly battling that full feeling in my stomach.  I think I've been "bloated" for a long time.  It seems that every time I'm finally not someone sneaks a little gluten into a meal prepared for me.  I'm constantly trying to use the restroom to no avail.  I know, you didn't ask to hear that, but I'm telling you anyway.  I'm taking metamucil now in hopes that it will help with the plumbing a little better.  I have constant red bumps all over my head, arms, and legs.  They itch like crazy and sometimes they even burn.  What makes it even worse is when I'm getting a haircut and I have bumps all over my head.

There are however, some actual benefits to having it.  I'm forced to eat healthier than I have in probably my entire life.  I think in the past 3 years I've eaten more vegetables than I have in my entire life combined.  My palette is changing and the things that used to dislike, such as mushrooms and fish, I'm starting to gain a better appreciation towards.  I'm learning to like fruit.  It's a hard road, but I'm getting there slowly.  I just can't stand how slimy and sweet it is.  I'm losing weight.  It seems that all of the bread products that I had been shoveling down my throat had helped me keep the weight on.  I'm feeling better, which is the best benefit of all.  When I don't slip in the tiny bit of gluten, or it doesn't get slipped in by someone else *cough* granny *cough* I feel amazing.

I think the biggest difference between me and some other people I know who have Celiac is that I don't let it control my life.  I don't go out of my way to purchase the products that are specific to those who can't eat gluten.  I don't force myself to buy the disgusting breads, sweets, and other things in order to remain as "normal" as possible.  I've created my own gluten-free bread mixture, which is pretty darn good if I may say so.  I don't need the disgusting cookies and crackers because they taste like a paperback book and I am not a big fan of eating one of those.  Eating gluten-free is eating healthy, that's all it is.  It's almost as if people with the disease are trying to eat all of the same crap they ate before so they can remain as unhealthy as they were before.  Gluten-free products are also pretty pricey.  You have to either be on government assistance or be making pretty good money in order to purchase a regular supply of food specific with the tag gluten-free on it.

 I read one time that those who have Celiac Disease let the disease define who they are as a person, saying that they are a Celiac, not that they have Celiac.  How can you be a disease?  It's like someone who has diabetes going around saying they are diabetes.  You don't hear them saying that.  Celiac Disease can be very hard for some people to understand.  It can hit you at anytime in your life.  But, you aren't defined by it.  You are still you, you just have to watch what you eat.  You have to be healthier.  Your body is now telling you it wants to be healthier, it doesn't want to be sick anymore.        

I'll admit, when I was first told that I had Celiac it was hard for me.  I didn't want to give up the pizza, pasta, cookies, and other sweets that I absolutely loved.  It took me a few years, a few doctors visits, and a lot of pain, to finally tell myself that all of this stuff that I was putting into my body was not helping.  I was making myself sicker.  It's hard to go gluten-free but it's worth it.  I'm not going to sit here and tell you that I don't crave a good oreo cookie now and then.  Cookies were my favorite past-time sweet.  Whenever I want one though, I just have to think about what it's going to do to my body and then the craving goes away.  I'm also not going to sit here and say that I don't slip up occasionally.  I'm not perfect and I don't expect myself to be.  My wife and children don't have this disease and I don't expect them to live like they do.  They occasionally have treats that I can't have and I sneak in a bite or two.  Do I pay for it later?  Yes!  Am I good 99% of the of the time?  Yes!  And, for now that's what matters!


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