It’s day two of my three day detox and I’m happy to report I haven’t keeled over through starvation. Yet. Though that’s not to say it hasn’t been a mighty (and frankly superhuman) effort staying away from those bloody Crunchie ice creams in the freezer, not to mention resisting dipping into the ‘drawer of goodies’ at work. By dinner time last night I was more excited about consuming soup than I ever previously fathomed it possible for a human to be. And remembering I was allowed to have a chamomile tea before lights out elicited an actual squeal of delight.
What is happening to me? I’m not at all sure I like this version of myself, who spends her days wafting dolefully past trays of cakes in the office, and was so pathetically grateful for this morning’s coconut and spinach smoothie it nearly reduced her to tears? This afternoon I was even overjoyed to remember I had left the eight raw almonds out of my lunchtime salad, and subsequently ate them hunched over my desk like a starving savage.
But worst of all is the guilt. Yesterday I had eaten my salad before it dawned on me I’d made enough for two portions (according to the person who came up with this plan-who must, in my opinion, actually be a stick insect), then at dinner I crumbled after eating my allowance of ONE CUP of soup (ridiculous) and ended up having at least twice that (what? It’s only got vegetables in it for God’s sake, and I’m not even allowed any bread!) Today, too, I over-catered, albeit accidentally because my colleagues expressed a mild interest in trying my Mean Green Smoothie but, when it came to it, decided it smelt too much like pond scum to imbibe it. Nice.
It’s now 7pm and I’m attempting to wait until 8pm for my poxy ‘cup’ (read: at least two bowls. I no longer believe in conformity) of soup, as I don’t think I could bear watching the Great British Bake Off without some food (though even with the soup there’s a strong chance I’ll have gnawed off my own leg by the time the programme is over, or at the very least launched myself at the freezer and done away with every Crunchie ice cream in it).
I’d be rubbish at proper dieting. When you’re not allowed to eat things those things are all you can think about. It’s pure torture. Thank God there’s only one more day standing between me and all the ice cream, chocolate, cheese and pizza I can eat. Not to mention the red wine. Yes, I know I’m missing the point of the detox if I’m not prepared to change my ways for good at the end of it, but one thing I’m learning with this experience is this: Life’s too short to detox.
I’ve never been a fan of beauty features, especially those interminable ones that harp on endlessly about the latest ‘miracle’ cream which most of us would have to sell a kidney to stand even a chance of affording. These days even girls in their early twenties are slathering on anti-wrinkle serum every night in the hope they will forever retain their youthful complexions. Whatever happened to growing old gracefully?
Lord knows I’ve done enough damage to my skin over the years through sunbathing and smoking alone. Fortunately I’ve now firmly knocked the smoking on the head, but I’m still partial to the odd high factor cream-less lay about on the Common, despite the regular health warnings we’re now subjected to (have the people making the announcements actually looked out of the window lately? It would be a miracle if the sun’s rays were able to penetrate the thick canopy of cloud that’s hung over us for the past few months).
But whilst many of my peers won’t use anything but the best on their skin to try and redress the balance of years of excess, I’ve always balked at spending over £15 on any single beauty product (with the sole exception of Boots No.7 Protect and Perfect serum, which is scientifically PROVEN to work, don’t you know). My mum, who’s in her sixties, still looks fantastic for her age and claims never to have used anything but soap and water, Oil of Ulay (as it was ‘back in the day’ – sorry Mum!) and E45 on her skin. So I’m praying to the God of Genes to keep me in good nick without a monthly shipment of Crème de la Mer.
What I have begun to fall victim to now I’m advancing further into my thirties is the latest tranche of fad food supplements. Only last week a packet of Spirulina powder plopped onto my desk (soon to be followed by a packet of Wheatgrass powder). Promising to “combat various forms of malnutrition, boost the immune system, protect against cancer, support detoxification, increase overall energy level, fight infections, counter obesity and relieve stress,” this is one SERIOUS super food.
The downside (because of course there is always a downside with these things) is that it tastes AWFUL. This morning when I mixed up my first dose with some apple juice and banana it smelt so bad I could hardly bear to raise it to my lips and take a sip. But I persevered, because if it does even half of the things it claims to do I might very well live forever – which will likely cost a fortune in skin cream, even if it is the £15-a-pop kind…