I've been a fairly bad boy this past month. I cheated and ate things I haven't eaten in years. So many people have asked, "...but a little bit of this wouldn't hurt, would it?" recently that I felt compelled to actually test it out. I'd be lying if I said this was entirely altruistic. While I was apprehensive, I was more excited to break this fast than worried.
I did set some ground rules for myself so that I did not put myself in the hospital, I.e. at most, only one meal per day for cheating. I really wanted to see for myself just how much one cheat would affect my Crohn's and my overall health. I am not going to detail every poor decision I made. What I will say is that every small item I ate during an otherwise legal day usually had a noticeable effect on my body.
My biggest cheats were cupcakes and dinner at an Italian Restaurant. I haven't eaten cupcakes in years. I found this little cupcakery and tried one and then another and another. I gorged myself on more than six cupcakes before I stopped myself. I experienced such a decadent sugar rush from the sweets. Within the hour I was experiencing the after effects. As much as I loved the flavors of the cupcakes, I doubt I would make them a habit.
I don't eat at many Italian restaurants due to the preponderance of noodles and breading in most of them. I decided to wave all inhibitions away and had a traditional Italian-American meal on a Thursday night. I had chicken noodle soup, fried mozzarella, garlic bread, baked penne in a tomato-cheese sauce, and hazelnut cookies. Again, things that I haven't had in such a long time. It was amazing just how much I enjoyed the flavor. I didn't feel wonderful the next few days, but I figured that proved I should stay away in the long run. On the following Monday I was in such pain that I couldn't eat the entire day. It took two days for me to recover.
Two weeks later we returned to that Italian restaurant and I ate the same things. This time it was on a Friday. Lo and behold, the same thing happened with my health. I have never experienced a delayed secondary response like this before, but the fact that the same thing happened both times only proved in my mind that pasta, bread, processed cheeses, and sweets are anathema to me. This experience also showed me that there can be multi-tiered and delayed responses with the secondary responses being much worse than the primary.
All of my experiences during this past month only helped to solidify in my mind that diet truly is important to making certain that my life doesn't spin out of control. I can also answer the question, "...but will just a little bit affect me?" Without a doubt, that answer is, "Yes!"
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