Detox January: An exercise in misery

There’s no other time of year when it’s deemed ‘normal’ and acceptable to polish off some soggy battered prawns, a small plate of shrivelled chipolatas, half a tube of Texas BBQ Sauce Pringles, and a handful of Roses…for breakfast. But it’s Christmas, so the rule book has been tossed onto a roaring fire. Conventional meals, be damned! If there’s one thing that Santa taught the baby Jesus – when he brought some Rusks and a Baby Einstein DVD to the stable – it’s that we should all eat like animals around the time of his birthday.

The amount we eat and drink during the festive period is bordering on the obscene. We start hoarding Christmas ‘party food’ from about June, as if we’ve heard rumours that Santa has coldly executed Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner and Blitzen, and instructed the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse to pull his sleigh across the wintery skies instead. Our ridiculously full cupboards seem to reflect the nation’s determination, not to eat, drink and be merry, but to survive a nuclear winter.

Then, when Christmas finally arrives, we gorge ourselves to the point of becoming the focus of a Bodyshock documentary (The 80 Stone Man who Sweated Prawn Rings). Even more disturbing would be a documentary about two children who, by Boxing Day, had become entwined in their whale-sized father’s navel lint. When they’re finally discovered – weak and tearful, and with pallid complexions – it’s like the scene in Aliens when Ripley and the Colonial Marines first discover the cocooned colonists of LV-426.

Eating whatever the hell we like “because it’s Christmas” can feel quite liberating, but it’s not a lifestyle choice that can be sustained; lest we become a nation of obese monsters, welded to motorised carts.

I’ve certainly filled out a little over Christmas, but a daily power-walk has largely kept the excess pounds off. I’m still slightly more rotund than I’d like to be, though, so I’ve decided to do a January detox thing. I’ve never done one before, but I’m going to give it a go. The rules are: no chocolate, no crisps, no alcohol and no coffee during the week. I’m also going to make my own sickeningly healthy sandwiches for lunch, drink lots of water, and maybe even go for the odd run.

It sounds shit, doesn’t it?

I’ve always thought that detoxing throughout January is like self-flagellation for people with low pain thresholds (but a natural ability to embrace misery). But seeing as we spend December happily debauching  ourselves with food and drink, it seems quite fitting that January (a dismal month by anybody’s standards) provides the backdrop to sensible eating, moderate portions and abstention from anything even vaguely interesting and tasty.

It’s amazing what we choose to put ourselves through after such a wonderful period of gluttony and general excess. It’s like Calum Best powering down his conveyor belt of blonde fuck-bots and making a conscious decision to engage in frottage with Susan Boyle throughout January instead. Gone are the curvaceous, sexy women, daily lapdances and wild sex sessions. In their place, Calum commits to enduring the SuBo wiggle on a nightly basis (singing ‘Wild Horses’ as she shimmies before him). Furthermore, the risk of contracting STDs is replaced by exposure to nothing more serious than stubble rash.

It’s all a necessary evil to purify Calum’s soul, banish his sex-filled days from the memory banks, and make him feel pure, righteous and at peace with the world once again. What detox is all about!

I don’t know if I’ll survive my January detox, but I’ll give it a go. I really will. First things first, though, I must demolish my Cadbury selection box. Hmmmm, chocolate, goodbye old friend. See you again in 4-6 weeks.


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