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Wednesday, October 15, 2008
Happy Gluten-Free Anniversary, KD
Two years back, I was "introduced" to a family member's extended family member via phone and email. We had met many years ago at a family wedding, but she was newly diagnosed with Celiac Disease and our mutual family member suggested that we speak with each other. That first phone call was over one hour long and now, two years later, we continue to email on a regular basis. This reader & friend has always given me wonderful praise and words of encouragement for my blog and my gluten-free lifestyle. She dove into her gluten-free lifestyle with gusto and has really learned a tremendous amount of information over the past two years. I am always impressed with how much she knows about gluten-free products and Celiac Disease. It took me over 25 years to learn all I know and here is a newbie teaching me. :-)

Today, I got a lovely email from "KD" in honor of her two year anniversary of being diagnosed with Celiac Disease. I am honored to be able to share this email (with her permission, of course) with my readers. I am also honored to wish KD a big:

HAPPY GLUTEN-FREE ANNIVERSARY, KD!

From KD:

"You do such a great job as ambassador with attitude for GF. You have made it habit to be GF ... and it can be easy but one has to be mindful, watchful.

You made such a nice difference, significantly, when I started out on my GF [Gluten-Free] adventurous lifestyle. With your positive input and my determination, I have never looked back. I wanted to be healthy again. So I am! This past week, [A.] and I celebrated my 2nd anniversary, Happy Birthday Gluten-Free Celiac diagnosis.

I think attitude for any positive adjustment one wants to be successful in starts with a positive attitude, a can-do one which should include a want-to approach. One must see the benefit of new choice as a discipline outweighing all else which must change. I see only what I can, never what I can't. I am empowered by watching vigilantly with what I fill my environment and my senses ... touch, inhale, taste, ingest, even my eyes. I can't think of much with gluten to put into my ears, except possibly a banana, but you get the idea.

I see how GF strengthens me. I don't ever think, "I miss ___ " because I know too well what ___ did to me. I choose not to have a repeat of that performance, if I can help it. We traveled this summer and met several Celiacs who said, "I only eat plain bread ... only a few pieces a day ... I can't ... I don't know who to ask ... it's too much trouble to ..." etc. I understand full well that there is no denial involved. I wouldn't care if 80% of the world eats gluten, I know it is not for me. I not only "can't" have it, I "won't" I choose not to ask my body to kill itself. After all, that's me I'd be choosing to kill. I love Life and intend to be here a long time and make the best of the time I have. Picture, if you will, a fine instrument of any kind ... car, turbine, ink pen, a fire. Now choose the proper fuel or ingredients to make it run well, efficiently. That's how I see these GF choices we constantly make.

It's a bit like deciding to quit smoking or any other habit. "Something" needs changing. It is my choice. It is up to me to change "it" not "it" to change me ... for the better, now. I see what is gained by being GF, not what I might have been used to. When change is due ... and nothing brings that on like a gluten intolerance diet ... you gotta go whole hog, full steam ahead! There is nothing to be missed when you change for the better. You don't keep poisoning yourself [with gluten, smoking] [just a little bit won't hurt, huh?] when you know [gluten, smoking] is unhealthy for you ... if you care about yourself and those relying on you. Who aims for 75% health or to only hit 75% of any target? 75% toward the bull's eye doesn't win anything. I am rewarded with my health with each positive decision I make, daily, constantly.

It is essential to see the change one makes is one's choice for improvement, change, and not a matter of giving up anything. There's nothing to give up. There is much to embrace! It consists of "going to" a goal and is not an "avoidance tactic." If one doesn't see the benefit, there's no use trying to explain health beyond that point. Let's see, I choose ... Life, not killing myself slowly. Seems like a no-brainer to me.

GF, I get to indulge in all sorts of products and grains, healthy for anyone, which most people haven't heard of, much less sampled. I am luckier than most. GF people's diet is much more varied than the "average individual" because it includes more healthy choices. It is rich, colorful many times, fresh, organic, flavorful, full of texture, contains exactly what I need to run well, to use a few descriptive words.

Too bad the "rest" of the world is so slow on the uptake.

Yup, I am Gluten-Free and dang proud of it!"

~KD

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2 Comments:

What an awesome post! How lucky you both are to have each other as "extended family"... I totally agree with KD's outlook. When I was diagnosed with Celiac Disease a little over three years ago, I quit gluten "cold turkey". There was no weaning off period or "just a little taste" here or there. And you know what? I feel amazing!! Happy Anniversary KD! Erin, congrats on helping yet another person with Celiac Disease :)

Great letter from KD! I love it.

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