I have Coeliac disease, which means a life long, extremely strict, gluten free diet. Which has taken some adjustment, but on the whole has been a pretty positive experience. It has seen my health improve and taught me to give careful consideration to what I put in my mouth.
Yesterday I was in our local shopping centre when I ran into my sons best friend and his girlfriend. Two extremely nice young people, who I have all the time in the world for. My sons friend, David had in his possession some Lindt chocolate balls and he kindly offered me one. My first instinct was to grab the box out of his hands to read the list of ingredients on the label. Reading ingredient labels has just become such an ingrained part of my life now, that nothing goes into my mouth until I know for sure what's in it.
But I held back.
I was embarrassed to do so in front of my sons best friend.
I felt foolish. Different. Weird in doing so.
So I didn't.
Instead I gratefully took a chocolate. I thought that I could take it home with me and check the ingredients online before consuming it.
But then the others started to unwrap their chocolates and diligently put them in their mouths. Before I knew what was happening I had done the same.
I was nervous and a little worried, but I figured I had a 50/50 chance of being OK. There is a lot of chocolate out there that is just fine for me to consume. And anyway, how bad could it be, it was just one tiny little chocolate ball, right.
Well it turns out it can be very bad.
Lindt chocolate contains gluten and I was rewarded for my stupidity with a migraine headache that I am still getting over today. It wasn't he worst migraine I have ever had. It could have been worse. But I am not sure how much damage I have done to my body, or how far back I have set my already still tenuous recovery… all because I didn't have the guts to just say no.
Whatever your "gluten" is… be it cigarettes, alcohol, drugs, sugar… if you know it can harm your body… if you know it is detrimental to your health and your well being… THINK, before you put it in your mouth. Don't worry about feeling foolish. Don't cave in to peer pressure. Put yourself, and more importantly, your health first. Because, believe me… if you don't have your health, life can be very very challenging.