After all, I am pretty much the last person on Earth who would ever recommend a detox diet as I am pretty much the last person on Earth who would ever go on a detox diet.
Or any diet for that matter.
In fact, six years ago, I had to swear myself off of dieting all together. I had just finished a big New Year’s diet with a friend, during which we didn’t drink any alcohol or eat anything with sugar or “white carbs” for three whole months, and I pretty much hated my entire existence.
I didn’t care that my skin was all glowy and that my pants kept falling off because I’d lost so much weight. I WANTED CHOCOLATE AND I WANTED IT NOW.
And then as soon as the diet was over, I went completely and totally insane. Like eating-an-entire-tray-of-Cinnabons-and-washing-it-down-with-beer insane.
So, yeah, me and diets. We are not good together.
Despite my vow to never ever do another diet again, I’ve found myself on something of a detox diet for the last three weeks. Except this time the diet is totally and completely against my will.
I don’t know if I’ve lost any weight yet, but my skin looks great, and I have pretty much lost all will to live, so I must be doing something right.
Want to know how you, too, can go on a detox diet even if you really don’t want to?
I’ve got you covered:
How to Go on a Detox Diet in 20 (Horrible, Awful, Cheese-Deprived) StepsStep 1: Develop mysterious chest pains.
Chalk it up to a pending respiratory infection, a malady you experience on a semi-regular basis thanks to that year-and-a-half that you spent in China that completely and totally ruined your lungs.
Ah, travel! The gift that keeps on giving!
Realize that you don’t have the hacking cough along with the chest pains like you usually do when you have a respiratory infection, so it can’t be a respiratory infection.
Start to wonder what it might be.Step 2: Go to the Internets.
Type “chest pains” into the WebMD “Symptom Checker.”
A pop-up will instantly appear that tells you that you are probably dying and you should seek medical attention immediately.
That is if you aren’t already dead.Step 3: Freak out.
Go to the local urgent medical care center.
Because, of course, this all happens on a Saturday.
Besides, this is urgent! You are urgently dying of mysterious, non-China-induced chest pains!Step 4: See a doctor who seems entirely unimpressed by your symptoms of death.
She informs you that you just have acid reflux, which is what happens when your sphincter malfunctions and stomach acid escapes from your stomach and starts eating away at the inside of your chest.
Because it’s not just China that hates your chest.
Your very own stomach acid hates it, too.
Your chest must be a really big jerk.Step 5: Be happy that you’re not going to die.
But also be kind of disappointed that you’re not suffering from something a bit sexier sounding.
I mean, acid reflux?
Gross.Step 6: Get a prescription for some drugs.
And try not to choke too much when your doctor tells you that you also need to lay off caffeine and chocolate and cheese and alcohol and pretty much every good thing on earth.
Surely, she’s joking.Step 7: Tell everyone on Facebook that you have acid reflux.
Isn’t that what Facebook is for?
To tell everyone you know about your unsexy-sounding illnesses?
And, you know, to post pictures of your cat.
Get comments from about half of your Facebook friends, telling you that they also have acid reflux.
Be kind of disappointed that you don’t have an illness that’s a bit more uncommon and unusual. Something that might get you a bit more sympathy and shock, rather than the “Hey, I have that, too” comments.
I mean, you don’t necessarily want Ebola. But, at least something with a fancy Latin name might be nice.Step 8: Start researching the foods you can’t eat.
This is basically ALL THE FOODS.
Because, apparently, your sphincter hates anything with alcohol, caffeine, fat or sugar in it.
Basically, your sphincter is the complete and exact opposite of you.Step 9: Go three whole days without any caffeine.
Don’t kill anyone.
But also don’t have a single clear thought in your head for three whole days.
Decide that thoughts are kind of important.
Start drinking caffeinated green tea, which only kind of makes you feel like your chest is going to explode.Step 10: Get rid of everything in your fridge you can’t eat.
You realize this may be a bit rash and wasteful, but you just can’t even deal with looking at it any more.
Except for the cheese.
Don’t get rid of the cheese.
You’re still holding out that maybe the whole no-cheese-thing doesn’t apply to you.Step 11: Attempt to eat cheese.
Become instantly sick.
Realize the whole no-cheese-thing does apply to you.
Become dead inside.Step 12: Buy a whole bunch of fancy herbal teas.
Teas with names like Rooibos Goji Berry Parfait and Eco Organic Ginger Lotus Root Surprise.
Start drinking them after meals and convince yourself that it is almost dessert.
And it is almost dessert.
In the same way that I am almost Cameron Diaz.Step 13: Go to a new doctor. Get new meds. Update everyone on Facebook about the status of your medical condition.
Because, again, that’s totally what Facebook is for, right?
But, instead of posting comments of sympathy and commiseration, your friends start speculating on what’s really wrong with you.
One friend suggests you get your gall bladder checked.
Another friend says you might have an East Asian parasite.
Someone else mentions stomach cancer.
Suddenly your Facebook page has become an episode of House M.D.Step 14: Stop posting anything on Facebook.
Except for cat photos.
But that’s kind of a given.Step 15: Go grocery shopping. Buy all the vegetables. Seeing as you can pretty much only eat vegetables.
Spend about half as much as you usually do.
Turns out your cheese and carton-wine habit was expensive.
Who knew?Step 16: Run out of ways to cook vegetables.
Start reading vegan cooking blogs.
Discover there are people out there who make cheese from nuts.
Wonder how many cheese-less months it will take before you get to this stage — this stage where you’ve become that person who makes weird nut-cheese and blogs about it like it’s a good thing.Step 17: Start packing food with you every time you leave the house.
You even bring an apple with you to the county fair.
You are pretty sure you’re the first person in history to eat an apple at the county fair.
Cry a little bit when you see a sign for deep-fried pie, and you realize that you may never be able to experience the wonder that is deep-fried pie.Step 18: Realize that you’ve now become one of those people with special dietary needs.
This is pretty much your worst nightmare.
After all, you pride yourself on how you’ll eat anything at least once.
You’ve eaten puffer fish in Japan and gnawed on chicken legs in China and sucked on curried snails in Nepal.
This is really your only talent.
It’s the only thing that’s gotten you through almost eight years of living overseas. It’s endeared you to your Japanese colleagues and your Chinese students and that Malaysian rice farmer you spent two months working with on that Malaysian rice farm.
After all, you’re not blonde or particularly beautiful.
You’re not good at languages.
You’re not even all that nice.
But you eat.
And you will happily eat whatever is put in front of your face.
People love that about you.
Who are you anymore if you’re not that girl who will eat anything?Step 19: Turn down all invitations for lunch or drinks or anything fun ever.
Stay home with your cat and roast vegetables.
Read sad Internet forum posts written by fellow sufferers of acid reflex, giving advice on such topics as what salad dressings you can eat.
Accept that this is your life now.
This is who you are now.
You are not the girl who eats anything any more.
You are the girl who roasts the vegetables and researches salad dressing for fun.Step 20: Finally agree to go to happy hour with your coworkers. Even though you’re pretty sure you’ll be miserable.
Drink one measly glass of white wine washed down with lots of water just like the Internet forums suggested you should.
Order a salad and ask if you can get the salad dressing on the side.
Everyone else orders cheese burgers and cheesy mashed potatoes and cheese-covered nachos and cheese-fries and cheesy-deep-fried-cheese-cheese.
Feel a little bit righteous when someone makes a comment about how healthy you’re being with your salad. Feel even more righteous when you only eat half of it and ask the waitress to pack up the rest to go.
Maybe this is who you are now.
The person who orders a salad at a bar and then only eats half of it and then blogs about it like it’s a good thing.Have you ever been on a detox diet? How horrible was your life?