Paying the Price.

Wednesday March 16, 2016

I sit writing this with a tummy ache.

And it's all my own fault.

You see, yesterday we had a family celebration. There was sandwiches and cake. Delicious, soft white bread; brown granary bread with crunchy inclusions; creamy unctuous butter; crisp cucumber; sly smoked salmon; muscled beef growling with horseradish; sharply opinionated roast gammon with mustard. Oh and the cakes: lemon butterfly cakes so light they almost flew off the plate and into my mouth, decadently sensuous chocolate cake that invited my lips to seduction, an elegantly innocent Victoria sponge with an unexpected voluptuous clotted cream and jam filling...

I didn't even try to resist. Even though I know my system just doesn't like wheat these days.

And today I am feeling the effects.

I suppose it is a little like having a hangover. Except with a hangover I am usually saying, "Oh why was I so stupid? Why did I drink too much?"

Today I am saying, "Yes, I chose to eat those sandwiches and to devour those cakes. I knew full well what would happen and I chose to do it anyway."

It doesn't make the tummy hurt less, or the nausea to go away, but at least I'm not putting a two or three on the guilty card.

Maybe it's taking responsibility for my actions.

For every pleasure there is a price. Sometimes the pleasure comes first, as with the sandwiches and cake. Sometimes we choose to pay the price first, when we drag ourselves to the gym, resulting in aching muscles, or cook a healthy stir-fry when our taste-buds are telling us they'd kill for a Big Mac and Fries and – yes – they would like to go large with that.

It's easy to feel virtuous when we pay the price first. Like the child with the marshmallow Norman wrote about on Sunday, we expect a positive payback. Somehow, receiving the pleasure first doesn't seem quite right. Surely I should feel bad that I have inflicted wheat on my digestive system.

I think I would feel bad if I had expected to get away with it. But I was wise enough to have no such expectations. I knew it would hurt and I did it anyway.

Yes, every delicious mouthful was worth it. I'm still glad I chose to do it.

But I won't be doing it again any time soon.

A Moodscope member.

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