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February 3, 2013

Why A 15 Year Old Started GlutenAway

I'm 15, a teenager in high school, live in a society where partying, eating junk food, and not really caring about what happens in life is typical at my age. So a lot of people are probably wondering why the heck I chose to be different and am trying to make a difference in the "Gluten-free World". After thinking for a while about this topic, I knew some people were probably interested to know why I chose and continue to do what I do.

I knew I was Different
When I go to school and see the people around me, I don't avoid the obvious. I know I'm different from everyone there, I know I'm not normal, and frankly I just feel more mature than the kids I see everyday. But why? A lot of the reasons I think have to do with me having Celiac Disease and my Adrenal Disorder. I know I'm a lot more mature then the kids close to my age. I've had to make a lot more life changing decisions and experienced a lot more than most people my age too. I think a lot of kids with Celiac Disease obviously have to deal with a lot more than any other kid. You have to worry about what you are putting in your mouth every day when most kids don't care and just eat whatever they want. I found that this was one of the many things that would probably be really relatable to most of you while reading this, even if you're an adult.

                                                        My story and how it helped
With my story of Celiac Disease and my Adrenal Disorder, I felt like I had something on almost every level that someone could relate to. Having Celiac Disease and learning all about it along the way is something I think everyone goes through when they first get diagnosed. Since I am so young I knew that my age was something I really had going for me. There aren't many other teenagers that I feel are so passionate about this topic and go to the level that I do. I've just always tried my best to be a resource for anyone that's gluten-free. What I really want to do is include more things about my life as a teenager with Celiac to give a more open feel to my blog. To be honest, I'm usually pretty reserved about things related to my health but I'm learning to open up more about it.

Seeing a need for teens with Celiac
The one thing that couldn't bother me more is when I see other kids my age act so miserable while on a gluten-free diet. When I see comments and posts about how terrible their life is because they can't eat anything it really just makes me mad. Not mad because I think their ignorant or because I just don't get it, but mad because no one was doing anything about it! I saw a need for someone to show other teenagers, no matter what age, that living on a gluten-free diet doesn't mean it's the end of the world! That living on a gluten-free diet isn't something that should be looked at as a burden but rather something to embrace. No matter how much people hate or mope about having Celiac Disease, it's not going to change the fact that you have it.

When your a kid, who did you relate to most? ....Probably other kids right? Parents are great to look up to when it comes to certain things. But when it came to Celiac Disease and what I eat, I felt I would much rather look to someone else my age that's going through the same thing rather than an adult. The only thing was, there wasn't anyone else my age to look to! With seeing this every day and seeing nothing being done about it I thought, "Why couldn't I be the first to do so?" I had the knowledge, I had the resources, and I definitely had the motivation to be able to be that role model for other teens. I just had to take action and put it all together.

My Mom
I have always looked up to my mom whenever I needed anything. One of the biggest reasons I felt like I could go the distance and get my blog going is because of my mom. She is a web designer and marketing director so obviously I had a lot I could learn from her to help with my site. But the main reason is my mom's dedication to my health and always getting me the food I needed. My interest in food and nutrition all started from reading labels with her from when I was a much younger kid. From reading the sugars and calories in a yogurt smoothie to now knowing the basics and origin of every ingredient I read, it all started from being inspired by her.

Conclusion 
Overall I felt like I had all the pieces and all the things I needed to get my blog going and actually make it something real. Out of all the reasons I had to start my blog my biggest one was simply just the urge to help others. I feel very passionate about each thing I write and each thing I do because I know it can possibly help a family or person in a positive way. To me there really is no better feeling than knowing you helped someone out, even if it was in a very small way. That's truly my favorite thing about doing my blog and the main reason why I started GlutenAway.


Question for you: Would you of found getting through Celiac Disease or a gluten-free diet as a teenager easier if there was someone closer to your age to look up to? I'm really interested to know!

13 comments:

Kai said...

Your passion for sharing your experience with others is evident. It's such a help. You're so right that it is what it is and accepting that gets rid of a lot of the emotional pain about it. We do need to encourage each other. It's really a question of whether we want to be cruel to our bodies or listen to its signals. It tells us what it needs or wants, and we can choose to listen or not.
Thank you for the good work and reminding us to be kind to ourselves.

Taylor Miller said...

Thanks a lot for your words! I definitely know that listening to what your body tells you is what matters most on how you live. Thanks a lot for your comment and for being apart of the group of people that follow my blog. I appreciate it!

amanda schebler said...

I've been looking for another celiac person my age ever since I was diagnosed last year. It's easier to get through things when there is someone else supporting you and who you can relate to.

Taylor Miller said...

I completely agree! I haven't been able to find anyone close to my age in person either but I thought even if I could be that person for someone else online, it could make a difference. Thanks for your comment!

Anonymous said...

You might consider trying to set up an in-person gluten free support gathering for local gluten free teens. I know my thirteen year old daughter will be happy to learn she's not alone. I'm sure there are others.

Taylor Miller said...

That actually was my initial idea when I first created this site. It was actually called Gluten Free Teens, but I changed it since the demographic was such an extremely small amount. Once my site gets more popular and once I start doing more things with GlutenAway, making a Gluten Free section for teens to just support each other is one of my biggest goals since it's really needed. Thank you for the comment! It's definitely something I will work on soon.

Mathias said...

Great blog! I really like it and I can relate to much my self. Keep up the good work!
Mathias, Norway

Taylor Miller said...

Glad you can relate to some of the things I've gone through. And thanks for the compliment!

celiacandallergyadventures said...

You're inspiring :) I also feel I had to grow up more quickly than my peers (though instead of Celiac and Adrenal Disorder, it was severe food allergies, asthma and eczema for me back then). It does make you different, but in a good way!

Taylor Miller said...

Thanks you! And yea, I agree it does make me different in a good way! I like being different from everyone else and never really liked just being normal. Gives ya something to set yourself apart from the group. Thanks for commenting!

Maya said...

I am 16 years old and found out a few months ago I was seriously gluten-intolerant. I was just reading around on some other blogs and came across yours and have been reading all of your posts. It's so great to hear someone your age that has gone through the same problems you have. You are an incredibly inspiring person that I feel I can relate to so much and I love hearing what you have to say. (I could go on forever, but I'll stop here.) Keep it up, please. And thank you!

Taylor Miller said...

Hey Maya! Glad you could relate to me and have liked my posts! If you ever want to talk or want someone to relate to you can message me on my GlutenAway Facebook page or email me through the Contact Me part at the top of my blog. Happy to talk or help with whatever!

Anonymous said...

I'm 30. been dying from bizarre undiagnosed illness for 10 years now... about 4-5 years ago started getting really bad cramps/gas/pains that we all know as gluten intolerant people. i admire your attitude, but personallly i find i cannot fully avoid gluten and gmos and still enjoy my life. i eat much healthier than i ever did before but by the time i figured out what was killing me (gmos/gluten/etc) it was probably far too late. I hate the world and I long for justice against the fact this is going on. Regardless, I admire your idealism... as I suffer and struggle with my own allergies/disease etc I will just continue to die in rage... while trying to seek any relief (or escape) that i can. peace

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