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Wednesday, August 26, 2009


I love eating food. Growing up, I could eat nearly anything - well, other than those weird stinky foods like liver and onions, brussel sprouts, and peas. Heck, one of my earliest assignments I remember doing in kindergarden was writing down what my favorite foods were, and at the time it was "Donkey Kong Cereal" or something like that, and my most hated food were "peas bla!" ;-) I had an iron stomach, a fortified constitution, and a metabolism that made me resemble a beanpole.
It used to be whenever I would go out, it didn't matter where I went - I'd just grab something that looked tasty. Fast food, breakfast pastries, dining out, no problem. Who needs healthy food when you're still a growing boy?

Two years ago, my mom told me she finally found out the source of her digestive problems. Something called Celiac Disease caused her body to be intolerant of a certain kind of protein in wheat and other grains. The intolerance was basically her immune system attacking the proteins her body was trying to absorb. That leads to malnutrition, intestinal problems, and a higher likihood of bowel cancer. Ew!

This isn't an allergic reaction, mind you - that usually causes things like respiratory distress which could lead to death by suffocation, etc. This is usually.... painful and annoying. Yes, painful to the point where someone could lose sleep, have bathroom problems, lack of energy, losing weight for no apparent reason, etc.

My mom pestered me to get checked out. I was like "nah!" because I'm a healthy guy, not having all the symptoms, and besides, I would miss my sammiches and treats. So I put it off - until I realized I had been working out for quite a while in the gym, and hadn't seen any real gains in weight lifting. I had noticed other gastronomical problems too, but I figured they're normal to guys, so I just ignore 'em.

In January of 2008, I hit up my doc for a couple of health tests, and just happened to ask him about celiac. They drew some blood and I completely forgot about it until he called me back in a week or so later. Yep! Positive for celiac's - it's genetic. No cure, only a lifelong abstination from gluten. Whoa. That hit me like a ton of bricks. How the heck was I going to cope?!

I've slowly been able to adjust my lifestyle to account for this. I rarely eat out, mostly only after I've researched what's safe for me to eat. Sometimes I get glutened anyway - fortunately, right now my reactions are mild, and I don't suffer much setback - but I do notice things like decreased ability in the gym for a little after it happens. It's in my best benefit watch what I eat.

However, it's been a good change in my life - I enjoy cooking where before I would do just microwave dinners and fast food. I've actually now made noticable gains in weight lifting and muscle mass, and I'm edging closer to my goal of hitting 180lbs. Note that I'm BELOW that weight still - I'm currently weighing the most I've ever been in my life, and that's actually a GOOD thing! I have zero problems sleeping at night, and I overall feel really really good.

I want to thank my mom for being strong, she's apparently suffered for many, many years and now she's much better, and that's helped me make sure I take care of myself. I'm just sooo mad neither of my 2 brothers have it. *grumble* ;-)

Some celiac resources:

Another thing I'm thankful for is that my friends who are close to me really are supportive of me with this. They check to make sure that whatever we do, I can eat with them, and I'm thankful they're understanding. It really means a lot to me.

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