I am a celiac, diagnosed at the age of two, gluten-free is my way of life.
We met at Burning Man (BM). His gift to the citizens of Black Rock City was hand-made fresh and hot bread. He served the bread, to whoever was nearby, in an apron and nothing else.
It was not love at first sight.
(Not because of the bread.)
It was more of deep admiration of who the other human was, we respected each other from day one.
As BM ended we both decided to rearrange our post-BM plans to spend more time together, we road-tripped around California in his Westi’.
Our Gluten Dance
It was during this time that I discovered his love for bread. His stories of his breadmaking.
His ’76 Westfalia was covered in flour, gluten flour, I backed away slowly.
I shared with him my gluten issue, his jaw dropped.
He cleaned up the flour particles while I watched from some distance.
As we continued making meals in campgrounds, I continued teaching him about gluten and all its disguising forms.
I could see him struggling to digest the far-reaching implications of being with a gluten-free girl.
If I had met him a decade before I probably would have made my gluten thing smaller, lied to myself (and him) that it was not that big of a deal, maybe even eaten a little bread or said that the crumbs were ok.
I had done this many times in my life.
But I knew better.
I knew the consequences.
I was committed to taking care of myself by not making my gluten-free thing smaller and being real.
…even if it was challenging, and even if it meant that he might pull away.
I was 100% me, flaws and all.
I was fully okay if he didn’t like all of me.
I was done trying to be someone different than me.
A large part of my gluten journey has been about accepting my diagnosis.
I spent a lot of my years arguing with reality.
I never won.
I don’t argue anymore.
This is me, these are my cards.
In fact, I see a lot of positives about my diagnosis.
I have the best excuse in the world not to eat bread.
As I have honed in on the diet that fuels my body, I have come to see that because of my diagnosis I have prioritized my health and therefor I am actually extremely healthy now.
Decision fatigue is a real thing.
Never having to control myself around bread is a blessing in disguise.
The decision is permanently made, no wasted energy arguing with myself.
Gluten-free bread is delicious from time to time, you know they did not make it when I was a kid.
But honestly, I prefer to not eat flour.
My body feels far better without it.
Life is great without bread, gluten-free, or other.
Accepting myself for who I am is the best.