Sunday, 7 April 2013

Detox time

I tried to do a detox this week.

I met a woman that told me about this great detox product. It kept making me think back to an article I read where this group of people went on a two week detox in Thailand. It involved them doing enemas on themselves whilst fasting (yes, I misread that as farting too).

I remember them saying how weak they felt at first, their skin broke out, their breath smelt awful and that was just the trouble they had at the pleasant end of the body.

At the business end, all kinds of gunk was being expelled. Chewing gum, coins, Blue Peter badges (I'm not sure about the last two things) but as the week went on they all started to feel amazing. They lost weight, their skin cleared and that bloated feeling they'd become accustomed to had gone and despite the fasting, they weren't hungry at all.

I wanted to bit of that. Weight loss, feeling energised. I'm in.

The detox involved a special clay mixed with water which is used to bind and expel toxins from the body. In addition, you used ground psyllium husks mixed with juice to form a gel which help with expulsion, as well as organic laxatives. Fun, right guys?

This was going to be an interesting week.

The psyllium husks with juice was supposed to be your only nourishment.... for 7 days.

As is often the case with these things, I started with 150% enthusiasm. I went to Wholefoods and bought a load of juices and some fruit so I could make some smoothies (I couldn't do juice only for a week. I knew that would kill me).

Day one and two were tough. Like most people, a busy life as a self-employed bod means you're often supposed to be in several different places in one day.

On day three this really took its toll when I had to drive to four different appointments that were about 25 miles away from each other. By the end of the day, I had a splitting headache largely from hunger.

On the plus side, I've never paid so much attention to my 'toiletting' as I did these first three days. The combination of the husk, the clay and the tablets made things move pretty damn fast through the system.

Anyway.... day 4 came and by now, I was going to bed hungry and waking up feeling the same.

Smoothies weren't touching the side and I was actually starting to get really miserable.

By day 5, I was starting to go crazy and had some soup in the evening. I couldn't cope with eating more cold food in the shape of a smoothie.

Then I hit a wall. I was actually approaching insanity. All I could think about was McDonalds. I was going to go to a drive-thru because all I could think about was a quarter pounder with cheese. Every five minutes the image would pop into my head and how much I would be loving it. Hmmm Cheese. I was becoming like Homer Simpson.

Eventually I crumbled. I couldn't concentrate on what I was doing. I could stand it no longer. I got my shoes on and headed for the door. At the last minute though,  I decided to compromise and made myself a delicious fried egg sandwich.

Finally - bliss....

I needed salt, fat and carbs -  something I hadn't really had all week and suddenly the McRacket in my head subsided. I don't know how Carol Vordeman does it!

I felt like I'd failed at the detox. I was expecting a breakthrough in terms of my relationship with food but nothing came but then I realised, perhaps the breakthrough is seeing that I'm OK as I am and that I shouldn't negate that.

I'm a healthy person. I have good skin, an OK figure. I've really got nothing to complain about. I was motivated by trying to lose weight because I'd decided that I needed to lose a stone. Why? So I'll be happy. Then I thought, why don't I bypass the self-flagellation by going straight to happy by accepting myself for what I am. Oh, that was easy.

It's not like I'm going to have a super unhealthy diet from now on or stop going to the gym. But when I embark on these health experiments, I need to do it from the perspective that anything I'm doing is to enhance rather than negate what I already have and am.

After all, I've should be practicing what I preach and love what I've got!


  1. What you have to remember is that all those detox products really just do one thing: Push your poop out. Everything else is a combination of what would happen if you fasted for a day, plus the placebo effect. If you have 12 pounds of poop in your bowel, and you remove it without replacing it with anything, you will lose 12 pounds. Of poop. You haven't really lost any fat, unless you're become ketonic from not eating and your body is starting to break down fat as fuel.

    The reason why the stuff that comes out of your anus will look different on a cleanse has to do with my use of the word, "poop." Most cleansing products use a laxative in one form or another, and that can push stuff out that hasn't finished digesting in your small intestine. So it looks different. Because your body wasn't really done with it yet.

    Cleansing is fine if it makes you feel good. But when you do it too often, you might disrupt the bacteria that live in your guts that take care of you. We have a symbiotic relationship with these critters, and along with our tubes and bile, these little guys keep us from dying. With the help of these dudes, our bodies actually do a great job of cleaning themselves out, despite what any "cleansing" product suggests.

    I can prove this because I'm an american. And we have a tendency to stuff our gobs with some of the most hideous and repulsive dreck you could possibly imagine. Stuff that has too much in common with poo. I mean, americans are revolted by poo just like the rest of the world, but if you mold it into a disk, stick it in a bun, and stick the bun in a McDonalds and serve it with artificial flavors and a side of fries, americans will actually pay to eat it. That's how good our bodies are at cleansing themselves. We humans can poison ourselves on a regular basis without dropping dead immediately.

    Eat a good diet and get exercise. Maybe fast for a day, or half a day, once a month. It's the boring answer, but it's still the best.

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