I remember when my mom told me I had Celiac Disease.
She explained that I wouldn't be able to eat a lot of my favorite foods anymore. She told me that when I ate lunch at the school cafeteria, I'd have to go to the salad bar.
I was in 4th grade.
But, despite my disappointed face, I was excited. I was different.
All of a sudden I got to try all kinds of new foods and had a cool fact to share on the first day of every school year about myself.
But, as time went on, my relationship with Celiac Disease became strained and angry.
Why couldn't I eat a single fucking thing when I went out anywhere with my friends?
Why the hell was all my food WAY more expensive in the school dining halls?
And most importantly, why on God's green earth did frat-stars only have beer at their parties? But for real, what the hell guys.
You get the point, I just wasn't into having Celiac Disease.
I mean who would be? It feels like everything is just that little bit more difficult, and when you mess up it can cause serious damage.
I reached my breaking point. I was constantly sick and incredibly unhappy with the future not looking so bright.
But then, out of nowhere, I decided to take control over my own shit and get my life back in line.
Rather than play victim, I chose to go out and understand Celiac Disease. I began digesting research articles, blog posts, and anything else I could get my hands on.
As I continued to improve my understanding of Celiac Disease and the nuances of the more recent research, things began to change.
I began noticing the small things during my day where cross contamination was inadvertently occurring. As I noticed them, I began to cut them out one-by-one.
When I went out to eat, I wasn't quiet anymore about what I could and couldn't eat. I wasn't a snob, but I was told them what was up.
As time went on, I began experimenting with all sorts of new foods and recipes. I discovered that I love cooking, it's just the cleaning part that I'm not such a huge fan of.
Next thing you know, my entire lifestyle had changed. Being Celiac wasn't a difficulty anymore.
In fact, Celiac Disease opened my eyes to an entirely new way of life that I may never have gotten to experience otherwise.
Having Celiac Disease played a role in obtaining a nutrition degree in my undergraduate studies. Now, I'm able to read through all the new studies and decide for myself if they should affect how I continue living as a Celiac.
Celiac Disease is what spurned me on to start a blog and use this insane technology to connect with a community that surrounds the globe. And let's be honest, modern day technology is fucking crazy.
I understand how you can hate being a Celiac. I mean hell, just read everything above this sentence.
But I promise you if you decide to look at Celiac Disease as a strength rather than a weakness; an ally rather than an enemy, you will not be sorry.