I mentioned briefly on Monday that I was starting a week-long detox regime with my colleague Flaminia. It’s a really mild detox because we still need to function in the office. Well, let me tell you, Flaminia has broken about 50 rules already! Turns out it’s hard to tell an Italian not to drink coffee.
I, on the other hand, have been (almost not really) faultless – until today when there was delicious Northern Thai Curry in the canteen. I think it was made entirely of food on the “must not consume” list.
Here’s the detox paradox. I’m beginning to feel pretty all right, but yesterday I could have killed an innocent bystander. I mean, how creepy is that! I just cut out a few things that I don’t think I eat much of anyway, and I go a bit crazy! And what’s even more twisted is that I suffered through yesterday only to erase the hard-won benefits with curry.
You know what I think, I think this “I don’t eat much of it anyway” idea is a falsehood. I think I (and maybe we all) overestimate the amount of junk I can ply my body with. There will always be someone (or in my case an entire office full of people) who is eating loads of crappy fake food, and always someone who’s drinking five cups of coffee a day, so you think, “I don’t come close to consuming what that person does, so I’m doing OK.”
It’s amazing how often, when someone offers me a coffee and I decline, it’s followed up with, “but one or two cups a day is OK.” Like it’s medical fact. Here’s the fact, all bodies are different, with different capacity to consume, and I use my tiny Thai colleagues as proof that size might count in this equation, but it’s not everything. These girls can eat.
If I can’t go a couple of days eating mostly vegetables without feeling like a pile of crap then something is not OK. But then, that’s considered standard process in a detox, Step 1: stop eating crap; Step 2: Collapse into a heap for a few days and pray that you’ll come out the other end.
Am I expecting too much? Is it just part of the deal that a normal diet contains some stuff that isn’t ideal? But wait, this is withdrawal symptoms! That’s not cool!
I think we should start “detoxing” not just to feel better after a week, but to remind ourselves of the evils of the food we think is fine. Imagine how much worse it would be after Christmas or some other period where you “relax and enjoy” without measure.