One thing that comes up for me over and over as a celiac is the feeling that I shouldn’t have to spend so much time and energy finding something safe to eat. Everyone else just reaches out, grabs something to eat, and carries on with their fast-paced lifestyle. Why can’t I do the same? It’s not fair. I have to search and search while everyone else gets ahead of me and I’m left behind, hungry and cranky and feeling like the victim of an injustice.
- Celiac Counsellor’s Corner* is a place where Sherry Scheideman, M.A., Registered Clinical Counsellor, responds to your questions about the emotional and social issues that celiacs face. Diagnosed with celiac disease herself in 2001 in Victoria, BC, Sherry draws upon personal experiences and a Master’s Degree in Counseling to support you in transcending this ‘life transition’ and turning it into an opportunity to live your best life – ever.
What to do when being gluten free feels unfair.
This is my reality: I do have to give more time and energy to my dietary needs. I do have to focus more on exactly what I’m putting into my body, and exactly what is going on in my body. If I don’t, I will be sick.
Maybe the problem here is not that my health requires time and attention, but that I have bought into the fast-paced lifestyle.
Look at the fast-paced lifestyle that our society prizes as the road to success: we shoot from place to place in loud and dangerous vehicles that spew out stinky pollutants, we’re desperate because there aren’t enough hours in the day to do everything we have to do, we can’t give our full attention to anything because we’re always doing several things at once, we scarf down sugars and fats, we perk ourselves up with caffeine so we can keep up the pace all day, we slow ourselves down in the evening with alcohol, and we lie awake at night in dread of the next day.
Have I bought into this fast-paced lifestyle? Do I equate “success” with quickly having a lot and quickly doing a lot? Do I see my life as a race?
It’s hard not to see life as a race when the world around us is increasingly paved like a racetrack, lined with fast food pitstops.
But celiac disease gives us another perspective. It says, “This fast-paced lifestyle is unsustainable.” It forces us to slow down, become aware of our food, become aware of our bodies, become aware of our health.
And when we slow down, focus our attention, and become aware of what’s happening in our own bodily experience now – we accidentally open up to the beauty and mystery of life as it is. We don’t need to race to get more or do more. We realize that we have what we need. Our actions then arise from love and respect and gratitude, rather than from desperate competition.
So, if you notice that you’re feeling like life isn’t fair because you have to take extra time to find something safe to eat, let that feeling remind you to slow down, focus your attention, and become aware of what’s happening in your own body right now.
This message about the dangers of the fast-paced lifestyle is vital for everyone these days, but as celiacs we feel it on a physical level that is impossible to ignore. Maybe that’s why celiac disease seems to be on the rise – it’s one of Mother Nature’s ways of giving humanity the message to SLOW DOWN.😉
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“Life happens! Why not love it?”
“Being diagnosed with celiac disease and going gluten-free has challenged me to develop inner resources that I never knew I had, and I’m grateful for that. As a counsellor, I love to help other celiacs find their own gifts within the challenges of the disease, and to facilitate healing. Why not let your celiac disease motivate you to be your best self?”
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- *Information and perspectives provided in Celiac Counsellor’s Corner are intended to provide general information, without independent verification on the part of The Celiac Scene for the accuracy of the information provided to it. The information is specifically not intended to be a substitute for medical diagnosis or treatment by your physician or other health care professional. You should always consult your own physician or other health care professionals about any medical questions, diagnosis, or treatment, especially before trying any diet. The Celiac Counsellor’s Corner does not accept any liability for any injury, loss or damage incurred by use of or reliance on any content contained herein.