Succumbing to Temptation


Written Tuesday…

I shouldn’t have dairy or gluten.  This is nothing new for me.  I was diagnosed with celiac disease in 2005.  For anyone who doesn’t know, it’s an autoimmune disease.  Basically what happens is that damage is done to my intestines when I ingest gluten (a protein in wheat, rye and barley and an ingredient used as a binder in many foods).  I also don’t feel well if I have gluten.  The dairy issue is a bit newer, not rearing its head until 2009.  I have no diagnosis to go along with the dairy issue, but due to the symptoms I end up having it’s pretty obvious that I have an intolerance (and no, it’s not just the lactose that bothers me).

I’m usually very strict with this aspect of my diet.  Rarely I'll have a little bit of something I shouldn’t, often cheese of some sort.  Between what I make at home and the specialty foods on the market these days I don’t generally miss the gluten products anymore.  I’ve served gluten free foods many times to people who didn’t know they were gluten free and they’ve enjoyed them.  Some even ask me to bring a certain favorite of theirs when we get together to enjoy a meal.  Dairy is a bit harder to replicate and though I have good alternatives for many of the dairy products I used to enjoy, I do miss cheese from time to time.  While I have a brand of alternative cheese like product that I prefer to the others available, it’s just not the same. 

Well, on Sunday I threw caution to the wind.  I indulged in foods that I clearly should not have.  I had gluten and dairy…not much, but any is too much.  Michael shook his head and asked me if I really wanted to do that, but he didn’t stop me.  This is an area I’m normally quite good with on my own and also, he figures I’m the one who has to live with the consequences of my decision.  That is, if I have gluten and/or dairy I’m the one who’s going to feel horrible.  Well, it’s Tuesday evening (as I’m typing this) and I’m still not feeling well.  It takes a few days for the offending proteins to clear my system.  It isn’t like an allergy where there’s often an immediate reaction that you get over pretty quickly.  No, I imagine my whole system is out of balance now and though I will feel better soon (hopefully within the next day or two) it will take awhile for my body to fully recover (remember, an autoimmune disease means that damage, internal in this case, takes place).

Ugh.  Why did I succumb to temptation?  What was I thinking?  I know what happened.  I was out having a good time and I just wanted to have the yummy hors d’oeuvres like everyone else.  I threw caution to the wind and allowed myself to indulge in a bit of denial.  And now I’m paying the price.

When Michael asked how I was feeling I admitted that I wasn’t feeling well.  He wasn’t surprised of course.  And honestly, neither was I.  It would be great to eat whatever I want and not suffer afterward because of it, but that’s just not possible for me at this point.  It’s something I usually accept and take in stride.  There’s much more to life than gluten and dairy after all.  Though so much in our culture revolves around food and if you don’t read ingredient labels, you’d be surprised just how many products out there contain gluten or dairy or both.  Anyway, I don’t remember exactly how the conversation went, but Michael said something about the fact that he could help me, motivate me to avoid temptation in the future.  I was taken aback and said thanks, but no thanks.  

I was hoping to feel better when I woke up this morning, but as it turned out, I felt worse.  I won’t go into detail about my symptoms though because for one thing they can differ from person to person, and besides, some things would certainly fall into the TMI category.

I wrote Michael an email this afternoon telling him how awful I’ve felt today.  I also admitted that maybe I could use some help avoiding temptation sometimes and asked him if he had any ideas.  I almost didn’t say anything because I was afraid I’d find that I had just asked for a new rule. 

His response was “Oh, I can work on that!” with a wink emoticon. 

That had me worried and I said as much.  And then I asked “You’re not thinking of making it into a rule, are you?” 

He replied “That WOULD solve the problem, wouldn’t it?”

Oh dear.  Now how do I respond to THAT?  “But…but…but…*sigh*…yeah, it probably would.  But, do you really think it’s necessary?”

I haven’t heard back from him yet.  I’m wondering if he’s thinking about it or if he’s busy and just can’t email me back yet.  Perhaps he plans to just talk to me about it when he calls to say goodnight later.  *sigh*  So, for now I guess I wait and wonder.

Written today (Wednesday)…

We talked about it when he called last night.  He said that he doesn’t feel the need to make it a rule at this point because he’s pretty sure I’ll be motivated to stay away from gluten and dairy on my own.  He did say that if it becomes a problem he’ll revisit that decision.  I agree, I don’t think I’m going to be tempted in this area for awhile, at least not enough to actually succumb to it.  I don’t know what I was thinking.  I guess I really was in denial.  I’m feeling better this morning, but still not 100%.  It was SO not worth it.  Sometimes I wish our culture didn’t revolve around food the way it does.  If people are getting together, no matter what the occasion (work, pleasure, etc.), there’s often food involved.  Thinking about it, if that wasn’t the case I imagine it would help solve the obesity epidemic too.

Anyway, what this is really about is my health and I need to take better care of myself.  I’ll be tempted again; I know that, I can’t help that.  But, I need to make sure that boundary, that guardrail, is firmly in place so that I avoid actually indulging.

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