ah I remember you too. I don't post on here as much either. Nice of you to give encouragement to the newbs.
It's been 7.5 years for me now. Within that time, I've only been "glutened" three times....and each of those times reminds me exactly what all this extra work and frustration is worth. I air on the strict side, and for me, 7.5 years of having to deal with other people's reactions, lack of understanding, eye rolling, confusion, lack of cooperation, backtalk... from friends, family, coworkers, waiters...well, it has taken a toll on me but....it is still worth it in the end for your health. You just have to stand up for yourself, and your own health, even though people will judge you for it and not understand. Definitely, 100%, body-wise I am better. For me it was an overnight change the moment I eliminated gluten. From daily pain, full blown 'gluten attacks' every 3-6 weeks, or more...and increasing...occurring with the slightest triggers like getting up early, stress. I still don't know how I would have kept a full time job if I hadn't gone gluten free. So frm that...to just evaporating overnight. No more daily pain, random sickness attacks...it was really depressing me before to be at the mercy of the illness. So, now, I control it. That's what the diet does for me.
Another plus is there are a LOT more options out there now...and awareness...than even when I started 7 years ago. A lot more products labeled as gluten free, more gluten free food even in non specialty stores...etc. So, that's a plus Not that I'm saying "oh it's so easy to be gluten free now"...just that, I've seen awareness build over the years and it gives me hope it will get better over time, too.