I am hoping while writing this that I am not the only one … But here goes.
Falling off the wagon, putting that gorgeous gluten filled treat in your mouth, was it worth it? We all know the answer is a big NO!!
Researching for this blog I have come across many people with Coeliac disease cheating on their gluten free diets, even though it can cause Osteoporosis, infertility and even cancer. These are obviously very long term complications but why do some of us dealing with Coeliac disease put ourselves at risk?
So I will be the first to hold my hands up, I AM A CHEATER! Yes, a big fat cheater. I have cheated on my diet a few times over the years and the only answer I can give as to why is stress.
I touched on this a little in my first blog and I make no secret of the fact that I have had a tough time with depression through most of my life and this has taken me to some pretty dark places. The one constant comfort for me at these times is running back to my old comfort foods. I would have been having a bad week and the stresses that we all have to deal with on a daily basis, Money worries, Work, Life in general just become so overwhelming and I feel like my emotions used to spiral out of control, at which point I would jump in my car go to the nearest drive threw of my favourite takeaway and gorge myself on whatever I bloody well wanted because life sucked. Is stress eating a good enough reason? No it’s not, is it worth the weeks of pain that come after HELL NO! But in that moment it feels to me like the only level of control that I have, it’s my choice, my decision.
Luckily for me I’ve been in a good place for a while now, through a great support system and seeking medical advice on how to deal with those low days, but there are so many other reasons why we put ourselves through eating gluten. In the beginning when I first got diagnosed friends and family were a huge support to me and I couldn’t have got through this far without them, but at the time they were also the ones poisoning me on a weekly basis due to a lack of understanding (I love you guys), the amount of times I would just sit and carry on eating even though I knew that they had made a mistake, it’s so hard in this situation as you already feel singled out, different to everybody else and now with food that you shouldn’t be eating in front of you, we have two options 1. Explain that you can’t eat what they have kindly provided for you, risk the eye role from various people around the table and never get an invite back or 2. Sit and suffer in silence. Unfortunately, I always seem to pick the latter just to keep everybody happy and not make a fuss. Due to cross contamination at other people’s homes I now just take my own meals wherever I go, a quick call ahead to ask what cuisine they will be preparing and I try and make something Gluten free /Dairy free /Low Fodmap/ Low lipid to match, which is sometimes bloody impossible but give it a try to make myself feel included.
We’ve all made mistakes in the past, I am the worst for not reading labels properly and we’ve all been victims of companies who decide to change their ingredients without advertising this correctly, but there are still a select few that choose to eat ‘a little gluten’ now and again for no other reason than to eat something tasty, but what drives these people to eat something that eventually could kill them? Most stories I have come across are from people thinking ‘a little gluten won’t affect them which is dangerous as not all people with Coeliac disease show symptoms (Lucky them) but that little bit of gluten is still doing a massive amount of damage regardless of symptoms. In the same way that you can’t be a little bit pregnant, a little bit gay or a little bit vegan you cannot as someone with Coeliac disease have ‘a little gluten’. So moving forward I don’t intend to ever fall of the wagon, it is nobody else’s job but my own to maintain my diet and keep myself safe, and as much as I would love to indulge now and again it’s just not bloody worth it.
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