A long time ago in a land far away (America) a 17 year old girl went through a long battle with doctors on her search for answers. This is the story of that girl:
Until a few months ago I didn’t know how to share personal things with strangers online. Recently, I have received many messages on Instagram from people opening up to me and asking for help. I have seen the way others have been open about their struggles with celiac and I am so inspired. It’s incredibly touching that people find me to be approachable and that they have turned to me for advice. I believe that if people are willing to be vulnerable and open up to me I should be open and share my struggles as well.
In honor of Celiac Awareness Month, I want to share a bit about my diagnosis in hopes that someone else will feel a little less alone in the fight.
The left photo is me 5 years ago when I became extremely sick just before my senior year of high school. I couldn’t keep any food down. I was afraid to eat at school because I didn’t want to miss class. I was terrified I would need to run out of class to puke or even worse, get sick in the middle of class. I dropped from 148 lbs to 112 lbs in just a couple of months. My strongest memory from the time was the moment my brother looked at me and told me I looked emaciated.
Oddly enough, it was during this time that I started getting tons of compliments for the first time in my life. I got compliments on my thigh gap, people asked me for my weightloss secrets, and boys were suddenly interested in me. I felt beautiful for the first time in my life and yet I was literally dying.
At my lowest weight, I stopped getting my period. I had no energy and was quickly sucked into an unhealthy relationship with food. It was ironic because originally the doctor assumed I had an eating disorder (simply because I was a teenage girl). In the end, it was his inability to believe something was wrong and try to give me a diagnosis that led to my eating disorder.
The photo on the right is me now. When I finally got diagnosed and started eating again, my weight boomeranged I couldn’t stop gaining weight. I began to eat gluten purposefully because I knew it would make me sick and thought it would keep me skinny.
For the last five years I’ve struggled with this. With finding comfort in my body and realizing eating gluten is toxic. I have finally gained control of my relationship with food and realized the importance of being properly nourished.
Society has ridiculous standards for bodies and you do not need to fit them to find happiness. If you are struggling to cope with this disease or your relationship with food please talk to someone. Don’t be ashamed like I was and don’t try to get through it alone. (New to Celiac, I’ve got some tips for you!)
If you need me, my instagram DM’s are always open.