Can You Cheat Coeliac Disease? It’s Not Shocking!

Can You Cheat Coeliac Disease? It’s Not Shocking!

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Cheat Coeliac Pinterest Pin

Want to know more about Coeliac Disease? Check out my post Diagnosed Coeliac: Learning the Gluten Free Life

Coeliac Disease is a huge change…

Being diagnosed with Coeliac Disease is a mind warp in itself. No gluten for the rest of your life? That’s not just a minor change to make. 

This is true particularly if you’re diagnosed later in life like I was. 

I wasn’t diagnosed until I was 26 years old. That meant that I had already had 26 years of eating whatever the hell I wanted, whenever I wanted, wherever I wanted. 

I could just pick up a packet of crisps, go to the takeaway after a night out. At the Maccies drive through I could order anything. I didn’t have to worry about what the labels said or making sure I had snacks on me at all times. (Though I often did have snacks because I’m a snack kind of gal). 

All it took was a phone call from my doctor and all of that disappeared. And my brain couldn’t understand that.

Being diagnosed with Coeliac Disease can be a huge struggle.

The Sound of Silent Coeliac…

I’m what is known as a Silent Coeliac. I go into what that means in a bit more detail in my [silent coeliac post] but it basically means that I don’t show the typical symptoms that come with CD. And that made it soooooo much harder for me to say to myself: You can’t eat that. 

My brain would argue with me and it made some excellent points. 

We’ve eaten this hundreds of times and nothing happens so one more time won’t hurt? Come on, just have it! You’ll be fine! You won’t even notice anything’s wrong!

Now, I’m not saying I wish I did have some of the more physical symptoms of CD. I know people suffer terribly with them and I really do feel for them. 

What I am saying is that because I wasn’t sick or dashing for the loo when I ate a bowl of pasta, it meant it was much harder to convince myself that I was not allowed to eat it. 

That meant that (cue shocked gasps) I would cheat on my Coeliac Disease. 

I would sneak a packet of Walkers cheese and onion at work when I’d run out of my Seabrook’s. Instead of causing a fuss, I would agree to get a takeaway with my family. I would cheat.

Am I advocating it? Absolutely not. Am I saying that it happens? Yes.

Build your strength…

Going from eating regular food to cutting out gluten entirely is a huge challenge and you need to be super strong to do it. 

People with Coeliac Disease are some of the strongest people I know. 

We’re constantly faced with temptation. Constantly have gluten containing foods pushed in our faces while gluten free ones seem to always be hiding out of sight. 

When I was diagnosed with Coeliac Disease, I was not mentally strong enough to take on the challenge. And that’s why I would cheat. 

Inner strength needs to be built up

You wouldn’t turn to an Olympic swimmer and tell them they’re competing in Weightlifting the next day and they have to win first place. Because they can’t do it. They would need to train, to build up those skills, their strength. 

If it takes you a bit of time to build up your strength, then so be it. Humans are not all made the same so if your Coeliac journey looks a little different to someone else’s, that’s not always a bad thing. 

It took me a while to build up the strength I needed to turn away from my old favourites and embrace what had to be done and that’s okay.

Pure Laziness…

Certainly, for me personally, laziness played a huge part in why I cheated. As much as it pains me to admit, I’ve always been a little lazy. Especially when it comes to food. This is in part due to my ARFID as it means I have less interest in eating in general.

I would get home from work and realise I had nothing to eat because I’d forgotten to do a big shop again. 

That left me two options:

  1. Get a bus to the supermarket and buy some gluten free food to get me through the week.
  2. Nip to the corner shop, hoping they have something gluten free but knowing that they don’t and coming home with a frozen pizza (definitively not gluten free).

You can probably guess which option I went with. While gluten free food is becoming a lot more readily available, it’s not quite there yet. So for pure convenience, I would tell myself it was okay because it was just one meal. 

I’m not saying it’s right and I’m actively working on fixing my ‘lazy’ attitude when it comes to food and cooking generally.

We’re failures to the community…

WRONG. If you have just been diagnosed with Coeliac Disease and you’ve found yourself cheating here and there – you have not failed. 

We can work out the struggle of Coeliac Disease together.

Like I said earlier, I’m not advocating cheating and eating gluten containing foods. Whether you experience symptoms or not, it’s damaging your body in ways you don’t even realise. Coeliac Disease can cause a number of other illnesses and conditions and each time you eat gluten you’re taking that gamble. 

I know a lot of others with Coeliac Disease also believe that it makes us all look bad and like we’re ‘faking it’ when people cheat, which of course doesn’t help when it comes to awareness and advocacy.

But, I want to show my support to those that are struggling – just like I was.

Making your diet gluten free is a feat that is not achieved easily. So if you find yourself saying ‘screw it’ and grabbing the Pringles off the shelf – please do not beat yourself up. 

You are doing the best you can and you are building up your strength to face the Coeliac demon head on. And that’s all anyone can ask for.

We’re all on this journey together and I think it’s important that we support one another and offer guidance to make it a little easier for all of us.

So can you cheat Coeliac Disease?

No, you cannot. 

It’s always going to be there, damaging your gut and your body. 

Does that mean we are the worst people in the world because we struggle to make the big changes that come with the disease? No, it doesn’t. 

We’re learning, we’re growing, we’re building and we’re going to get there eventually.

Cheat Coeliac Pinterest Pin

What are your opinions on ‘cheating’ with Coeliac Disease? Let me know in the comments!

Want to know more about Coeliac Disease? Check out my post Diagnosed Coeliac: Learning the Gluten Free Life

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