It is only six weeks since I was diagnosed with Celiac Disease. Wow. Seriously, wow! It quite honestly feels like months. I can not believe how much information has been crammed into the part of my brain filing cabinet section labelled ‘food and nutrition’. Obviously, I have also had to start a whole new draw in that filing cabinet called ‘gluten free’.
On the emotional side of things, acceptance is still all good. I’m still happy that it was this diagnosis and not something worse. I do have days where I think how lovely it would be to just grab a sandwich for lunch, or pizza for tea, but I’m learning that these are no longer options in my reality. I have no doubt that the more I do this, the easier it will become.
There have been a few changes that are obvious to me since I became gluten free:
- I spend a LOT more time thinking about food. Mostly what’s coming up, not like, obsessing over what I can’t have or anything (most of the time!).
- I no longer wake up with my hands, feet, knees and everything in between aching everyday. This started easing within days of giving up gluten. I’m very happy about this.
- The kids check ingredients on things for me, like salad dressings to make sure I’m ‘safe’. In reality I’ve checked EVERYTHING at the supermarket but it’s sweet that they’re looking out for me and I love them for it.
- I take photos of my yummy meals and post them on Instagram now – it’s like I have something to prove. Gluten free can be yummy and beautiful too!
- We go through up to four dish cloths a day in my kitchen now. I’m getting pretty finicky about cleanliness in there and it’s not like my standards were low to start with. My husband and kids are totally following suit and and mostly being so so so careful.
- I’m a lot more motivated to get myself out walking and keep myself generally healthy. This is very good.
- I can now go 2-3 days without a nap. Sometimes. This is huge progress from sleeping every day, up to 2-3 hours a day when I could fit it in.
So as you see, this doesn’t just affect me, my family have to be on board as well. I’m lucky they’re with me in this and willing to do what it takes to keep me healthy. I read about others in shared accommodation trying to maintain gluten-free-ness – I can imagine that would be more challenging.
One of the biggest upsides, aside from the fact that I’m starting to feel better, is that I’ve really connected with a friend who has recently started on a full auto immune protocol diet, also for health reasons. You think gluten free is brutal? Her road is a lot tougher to walk. Realising we’re both on a similar path we share recipes and ideas and can be very honest with each other about how we’re feeling (physically and mentally) and what’s really going on. This has, and no doubt will continue to be, an incredible sanity saver for me. God is good, He knows what/who we need and has everything/everyone perfectly placed ahead of us.
If you’re a newbie on this journey like me, hang in there and look on the bright side, there will always be a bright side. And find someone else on the same journey to share with (I’m here). We can do this!