Day 9 of my cleanse. 33 more to go.
Year 3 of this recurring cleanse. Reasons for doing it? You can’t live in LA and not being touted the benefits of detox: clearer skin, younger features, weight loss, more energy, better sleep and the appealing list goes on.
While longingly and coquettishly coveting a Danish pastry, I had to ask myself at 3 o’clock this afternoon: “And I am doing this because?”.
Clearer skin and younger features would be nice but don’t believe the hype – to see dramatic results you must start from a fairly deep bottom of bad nutrition. I sleep perfectly well, I certainly don’t need to lose weight (if anything, I need to work harder during these six weeks to keep some on) and I don’t lack much in the energy department. And my cholesterol is the envy of my doctor. So again, why am I depriving myself of most of the things I hold dearest?
The first week without sugar was actually easier than in years past – it nearly created a high. Gosh, doesn’t this spinach taste heavenly? This poached egg is suddenly so delightfully “eggy” and, being allowed very moderate amounts of very, very dark chocolate, my cocoa addiction was semi-satisfied. Last Saturday, having to forgo macaroons and cake at a birthday party was not that difficult but today, in front of a pineapple Danish, something I wouldn’t necessarily crave on a good day, my left hand had to grab its right companion and prevent it from reaching.
This is the day I had to say goodbye to wheat too, next come coffee and dairy, soy and a host of other forbidden foods. 33 days. I tell everyone who would listen about my detox in an effort to gain more support for those times when I am badly craving chips for example – I count on good samaritans to stop me or, at least, I count on being too embarrassed to fear losing credibility. But nobody cares really and the question that invariably pops up is “Why are you doing this?” It would be simpler to say “Lent” but, as a former Catholic who made a fool of herself today by wondering aloud why an older lady had a giant black smudge on her forehead, I am clearly not credible.
Walking away from the Danish, I came to the conclusion that I perversely enjoy getting into a battle of wills: mine against all that is good and lustful in the kitchen. I need to prove my willpower to myself for 6 weeks every year. This theory also doesn’t hold water as, if anything, I need to learn to let go – only recently I have stopped accepting invitations from people I don’t care to spend time with or abandoned books in mid-read because they were boring. My commitment to people and things is sometimes overzealous.
Well, I don’t have an answer on why I do it and maybe I should stop trying to find one that makes sense and I should peacefully live with the knowledge that not making sense is indeed acceptable. I do vouch for the fact that, once all this goodness has been purged from my system, any food that touches my tongue tastes more vibrant and more nuanced than ever and the sensation gives me orgasmic pleasure. Ok, maybe not orgasmic but let me hold on to, at least, one prize.
A possible explanation is that I have been living in Hollywood too long. If I ever confess to pumping my lips, resorting to fake tanning or boosting my boobs, please do me a favour. Hit the unsuscribe button.