With Valentine's Day quickly approaching, I find myself thinking about all the relationships in my life and really how much I appreciate and love each and every one of them.
The one that happens to be on my mind today is my relationship with my diet.
If I had to say one thing about my diet it would be that it's a blessing and a curse. Most days, I thank the Heavens that I am avoiding foods that cause me pain; but other days, I want to be a different person, free of this disease, and able to enjoy all of the wonderful foods that I'm missing out on by cutting out gluten.
But no matter what I do, having celiac disease and eating a gluten free diet is a fact that is never going to change. It is something I can't separate from myself and something that won't go away even if I simply pray about it. Being gluten intolerant defines who I am as a person. It simultaneously challenges yet delights, frightens yet calms, segregates yet incorporates.
You can think about it in two ways:
1) You can define yourself as having celiac disease and willingly choose to be separated from the rest of the gluten filled world OR
2) You can join all those in the celiac community who love and support you and even find people who don't have celiacs to hop on your diet bandwagon.
It all comes down to your mindset. Having celiac disease is not a crutch and it doesn't have to be a scary or negative thing. I like to think of it as your body telling you how to properly take care of itself. Your body wants you to love and nourish yourself so that you can reach your full potential.
I understand that having celiacs is a tough thing to deal with everyday. It's not something you can brush under your carpet or tuck away in your closet and hope it won't appear. It follows you everywhere and demands your undying attention.
But it doesn't have to be this way.
Embrace your diet and embrace yourself. My message to you today is to love yourself and every little aspect -perfections and imperfections. When you truly love yourself, others will naturally love you too (and this doesn't just go for food allergies!)
And so I encourage you to, during this week leading up to Valentine's Day, think about your relationship with your diet. Has it been one of positivism or one of neglect?
I actually want to take this time to thank everyone in my life who has supported me thus far from first diagnosis to present. It has been a tough journey, but one that is filled with love and hope.
Thank you to...
My family (my mom, dad and sister, Carmen) who has been with me since day 1. Thank you for all your love and support- I couldn't have done this without you. I also especially want to thank my mother for transitioning her kitchen to be one that is gluten free and for buying me all those gfree snacks that I love!
My best friend, T. You're my inspiration and guidance. You have always been there for me and are my gfree buddy. I love you and I can't wait for more food adventures to come!
My faith and God. It has been a hard road, but my renewal in faith and God's love for me has helped me tremendously in accepting myself and my dietary restrictions. I also thank all the wonderful people at my church who love and support me. I am so glad to have met them and am forever grateful for their friendship.
My blog readers! To all of you who have followed and supported T and I in our gfree ventures and haphazard posting, I thank you from the bottom of my heart. We may not have thousands of followers on facebook or millions of page views, but to me, all of you are precious and have a special place in my heart. Please continue to support and spread the news about celiac disease and gluten free diets! All of you are awesome! *virtual hug*
And so I end my post by saying that this was indeed a sappy one. But in the spirit of Valentine's day, I think you can cut me some slack and allow me to be sentimental just this once.
Have a wonderful Valentine's Day everyone! Love yourself and love life!
Until next time,