Thursday, 21 August 2008

Living pure: it may not prolong your life, but it sure feels like it does

A month ago, after a particularly wild stay-up-all-night-misbehaving party, I came down with a nasty dose of the snots. I was afraid it was going to develop into full-blown flu (a catch-all phrase used by South Africans to describe any illness that involves sniffles, but which in reality is when a virus literally knocks you off your feet for at least a few days) but the achy bones and shivery skin passed pretty quickly, leaving me with nothing more than a stuffy head and an alarmingly copious flow of mucus.

Wanting to get rid of these unpleasant symptoms as quickly as possible, I decided to go on a full week’s detox – no alcohol, no cigarettes, plenty of water and fresh fruit and vegetables, and early nights. By the end of the first week I could discern no measurable change – I still felt significantly below par and there was no noticeable decrease in my phlegm production.

Still, I didn’t feel well enough to party, so decided instead to extend my detox to two weeks. By the end of the second week I noticed three things: I was sleeping better, I’d lost 2kg and my friends had stopped dropping in. Although a little perturbed by my sudden plummet in popularity, I was sufficiently buoyed by the small achievements of better sleep and weight loss to extend my detox to three weeks.

By the end of that week, I noticed five things: the minute I got into bed, I fell straight to sleep (a miracle for a lifelong insomniac), I’d lost another kilogram, my complexion was pink and glowy, my friends had stopped phoning, and I was getting annoyed emails from people asking why I hadn’t responded to theirs.

So, while I was physically looking better than I have for, probably, the last five years, nobody was bothering to pop around and notice this. As for the emails thing – the truth is that I find it just about impossible to sit at my computer and scribble without a glass of wine and a cigarette to hand. And rather than invite the possibility of these lovely indulgences, I was responding to emails strictly on a ‘have-to’ basis, replying only to urgent business matters, then fleeing the computer before temptation took hold.

Tomorrow marks the end of my fourth week of detox. I’ve lost 4kg, my skin is so bloody gorgeous it could be used for a cosmetics ad, and I’ve never slept better in my life.

On the down side, I’ve been completely and utterly shunned by my friends, both virtual and real (most of whom are, admittedly, committed party people). I haven’t written a creative word in a month. And I’m so bored I could scream.

But I have discovered the secret of those who live pure and profess to have the answer to longevity: they don’t actually live longer than we hedonists do, it just feels as if they do.

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1 comment:

Dr.Gwendolyn Gottlieb said...

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