October 20th, 2014 was the day my endoscope results came back to confirm I had Celiac Disease, I was always intrigued on how to build back my gut—literally. I spent an extensive amount of time and research talking with a nutritionist named Jackie Caul over at St. Joe’s Hospital in Elgin, Illinois. Jackie gave me a packet full of helpful documents, scholarly journal references and websites to read. First, I was blown away by the amount of information she knew, and time spent putting all the material together to help me gain back my health. But then I thought… “Crap…how am I going to interpret all this?”
Every page I read. Every website Jackie referenced I went too. Everything she gave me I looked into (and continue to research) because Celiac Disease affects me everyday. Since being diagnosed in October 2014, gaining back my health has always been my main priority.
One things for sure, building back your gut (aka villi on your small intestines to absorb nutrients from the food and drinks you consume) takes time. Long time. Depending on how severe your diagnosis results are, and how seriously you take living a “100% Gluten Free Diet” restoring your gut can take anywhere from 6-months to several years. I am on year 2 1/2, and can finally say I am starting to feel human again (Hallueijah). Without taking action, I would not be anywhere close to how “Healthy” I actually feel. A year ago I thought I was finally starting to feel healthy…HA! Not even close.
Did you know…
Sharing my story about Celiac Disease gets personal, real personal. It’s scary to come out and start talking about something you deal with daily. I am not one to go to a restaurant and be like, “Oh look at me I have Celiac Disease take extra care of me.” Hell no. I will research several options to reference to others on where we should eat before hand, ask server if they offer any gluten free options (If I do not see it on the menu), then when time comes to order my food I will state I need to get my dish gluten free (with a please, thank you and smile); done end of story. If server asks questions I laugh and say, “trust me I need it gluten free. I would eat the damn bread if I could, but I do not think you want me too.” Lightening up the mood makes me feel better, and lets the server know I am not one crazy gluten free chick (Post on how I feel dining out gluten free) my main focus (my push goal). Seeing my own self transform from sick to healthy made me realize just how much I need to share my story and advocate more for Celiac Disease. Like I said, the past two years was to build back my health (Full Goal Setting Document in Member’s Area).
November 2014: All time low weight at 122lbs and determined to build back my Gut Health. Prior too being diagnosed, I weighed 138-144lbs in February 2014. Building muscle and increasing my lean muscle mass were my goals when I first started working out and eating “healthy”. When my body started to reject gluten I lost an abundance of muscle strength and fat that I did not want to lose.
I thought to myself back in October 2014, “If I do not build back my health I will dwindle away. I will not be able to accomplish the goals I want too.”
Thoughts controlled my brain for if I do not “cure” this disease how can I accomplish my goals and dreams? How can I help others achieve the body of their dreams if my insides are dwindling away? Why would someone want to work with me if I looked sick and frail on the outside? How am I going to start a family in my future? Do I really want to be diagnosed with another autoimmune disease if Celiac is not cured?
So I made it my priority to change. Change for my body, health and my future. Now I am willing to share my experiences, advocate for Celiac Disease and how I survive living with Celiac Disease.
Don’t let anything stop you from achieving your dreams! It’s amazing how many of you reach out to me that deal with stomach issues, IBS, gluten sensitivity, other autoimmune diseases, etc.! I am eager to continue to learn and grow within this field to better our health and link between our gut and the brain.
Back in October 2014, I was frightened for what the future had in store for me. I can honestly say being diagnosed with Celiac Disease was a blessing in disguise. I may have looked “healthy” on the outside (well…not really towards the end), but on the inside my body was diminishing.
I am here to build back my strength and help you in the process of doing so! Here are some of my highlights from the past 2 1/2 years from constantly trying to improve and accomplish my “push goal” gaining back my health.
Highlights since being diagnosed and my determination to never give up.
October 20th, 2014:
Diagnosed with Celiac Disease
October 10th, 2014:
Completed and Earned my NASM Certified Personal Trainer certificate
Photoshoots with Ben Brignola and Maria Mola
Getting “Glutenized” while on family vacation.
Feeling healthy, strong, and courageous at the IDEA World Convention where I had the pleasure to attend #BlogFest represented by Sweat Pink and Fit Approach!
(Wearing Amp Up Fitness tank and Mia Brazilia Baseball Legging Pants).
Shooting with the man, the myth, the legend, Don Bersano.
Today, March 2017
These are more “highlights” then anything else. What you don’t see; fighting cravings, stomach randomly bloating up, foggy mind, weak/tired, and so much more. This is not for me to showcase, “Oh poor Haley”. NO WAY! I want this to show you that everything in life happens for a reason. We go through struggles and can let them tear us down; but it’s what we do daily that can change us into the human we’re destined to be.
In the future, you will see me write about how I currently deal with Celiac Disease: travel, school, getting “glutenized”, dining out, work, my favorite products, etc. Gut Health and link between my gut and my brain (how gluten affects my brain and way I feel). Getting comfortable with being uncomfortable (telling people “No” when gluten containing ingredients are in the meal(s), and much more! If you have any questions, like me to discuss/address certain aspect from my journey or seeking workout program, nutrition plan, or challenge please let me know!
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