“Drop Gluten and Drop a Few Pounds”
That is the subject line from a marketing email I recently received from a local gym.
The email message itself was worse. To its credit, the message did include information about Celiac Disease and gluten intolerance. However, it also said this:
“Just 10 years ago, barely anyone knew what the word gluten meant, let alone gave any thought to avoiding it. But now gluten-free menus are all the rage, and high-profile stars such as Gwyneth Paltrow, Rachel Weisz, and Victoria Beckham have been linked to the gluten-free lifestyle, which is said to contribute to increased energy, thinner thighs, and reduced belly bloat.”
I cannot even begin to explain how upset I felt when I saw that email in my inbox. It felt like such a mockery of my experience living gluten-free.
When I started living gluten-free, the gluten-free “fad” had not quite started—it was a lot harder to find gluten-free products in the grocery store, but there was also no assumption that I might be going gluten-free to get thinner thighs.
Now, when I meet someone new and my gluten-free status comes up in conversation, I find myself feeling like I need to justify why I live gluten-free. I have no problem answering genuine questions from people who don’t know much about gluten-free living. I have no problem with people who try out the gluten-free lifestyle to try to improve their health or just see if they feel better without gluten.
I do have a problem with the people who assume that I choose not to eat gluten only because Victoria Beckham is rumored to be gluten-free or living gluten-free happens to be “all the rage” this season.
My solution to this problem is this blog. This blog is my way of starting a different kind of conversation, one that discusses the (sometimes unpleasant) reality of living gluten-free with confidence, grace, and maybe even joy.
I did not choose to live gluten-free, but I can choose to live gluten-free with positivity and purpose.
And, hey, maybe I’ll get thinner thighs in the process.