Suddenly Celiac: A Letter to My Body

July 6, 2018

Dear Self,

So you've got Celiac disease. There are so many strange things (good and bad) going on in your body right now it's sometimes hard to keep your head from spinning. Doctors warned you certain things would happen: an increased sensitivity to gluten ("You'll know when you get contaminated," they said. Boy were they right!), food sensitivities would pop up (yep, but you're working diligently on getting rid of those - good work!), other auto-immune diseases might creep up (again, yep, but big deal), and weight gain.

Ugh, weight gain.

It makes you laugh when Kim Kardashian, Gwyneth Paltrow, and the like talk about how much weight they lost going on a gluten-free diet. Makes you want to slap them with a baguette, doesn't it? I know you didn't think it would happen because you've been eating extra healthily, not over-noshing on gluten-free packaged goods, so those extra pounds you seemed to have packed on overnight were naturally quite a shock. They said it would happen. It happens to nearly all newbie Celiacs, so why did you think it wouldn't happen to you? Because you eat well and go to the gym five times a week? Think how much chunkier you'd be if you didn't do that?!

Consider this, your body has struggled for so long - years, maybe your entire life even - to absorb the proper amount of nutrients and now that it's getting them it's cashing in a long overdue paycheck and hitting the all-you-can-eat buffet in a frantic Filene's Basement-style frenzy, grabbing on to anything and everything it can, whether it needs it or not. Can you blame it? Poor thing's been so deprived for so long. Rest assured, the pendulum will eventually find its center. In the meantime, your self-esteem has taken a one-two punch for sure, and right before swimsuit season! Grr, how unfair. But here's the thing: you are healing! - as your latest blood panel revealed (Champagne popping, fireworks erupting, hip-hip-hoorays all around!). You're now a "weak positive" instead of "off the charts severe" Celiac. Girl, you are almost there! That's amazing! And in less than a year! You've been working hard at it and your hard work is showing (maybe more than you wanted in your butt, belly, and boobs, but hey, think of it this way, your high school prayers of a bigger cup size have finally come true!). 

The important thing is to continue focusing on your health. Keep going to the gym, keep eating well, and let your body continue to heal. Then you can work on shedding those extra disturbing pounds. So cut yourself some slack. After all, healing isn't a beauty pageant.



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