Wednesday, October 24, 2012

The Emperor Has No Cleanse

OK so everyone who knows me, knows I'm really not the "go along to get along" type.  It's just not in my nature to agree with everyone, when I honestly disagree.  I try, I swear, I try.  But I can't ever seem to get the go along with the crowd lies out of my mouth.

This week, with my yoga teacher training group, I'm participating in a 10-day cleanse.  We're doing the cleanse from the book Clean by Dr. Alejandro Junger.  As cleanses go it isn't particularly extreme, you can have food, you just eliminate many common allergens, wheat, dairy, soy, peanuts, nightshades as well as beef and pork, alcohol and caffeine.  It's about the health benefits of alkaline vs. acid foods - or some sort of mumbo jumbo like that.  There is a looooong list of foods you can and can't eat.

I hear people rhapsodizing over their "clarity"  how glowing and healthy the skin and nails are, but I honestly have to say I feel not a thing.  So now I have to face a tableful of rah-rah true-believers and say "Great.  So glad you are loving it and it worked for you, but I feel nothing."  Or I could just go along to get along and pretend I had some sort of cleanse epiphany too.  Especially since I was very vocal about not wanting to do this during Crew season because of the very early morning practices - I keep thinking they are just going to dismiss me with a "Sure you don't feel anything because you didn't want to do it."  But isn't the only answer to that, "Well then how are you sure it isn't just working on you because you wanted to do it?"  And when I point out the inconsistency in people's arguments is when things usually get testy.

But I can't help myself.  I feel like Rizzo in Grease singing, "There are Worse Things I could Do."  Agreeing with people just to get along isn't a thing I can do.

We are on Day 4 (started on Sunday) and I feel not a damn bit different.  I've had some kale shakes, some cauliflower soup, quinoa, greens and cold-water fish salads, a lot of almonds, lentils and white beans with chicken, and nada.  I feel not one little tiny bit different. It isn't bad, it's just boring.  Other than missing my coffee when I go to pick up the Crew kids at stupid o'clock in the morning, and my glass of wine with P in the evening, I feel nothing.

I haven't lost any weight, I haven't gained any weight.  I sleep the same. My allergies aren't better or worse.  Everything is the same.  We're supposed to be doing this cleanse until Halloween, but I can't see the point.  If something doesn't feel much better by Saturday evening, I'm going out to the Crew team dinner at Outback Steakhouse with my husband and son and the whole team and eating like a normal person.

And I'm telling everyone at teacher training the truth about my experience.  Life should be about enjoyment and balance.

Happy Halloween to all.  Hope you eat too much candy, act too silly and have too much fun.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Botox Follies

Maybe it's because my birthday (Holy shit I'm going to be 49!!!!!! How did THAT happen?) is around the corner, but I seem to be succumbing to stupider stuff than usual.  The stupidest of the bunch?  My recent flirtation with botulism - ok,  Botox.  Now I have always said that there was no way I would let anyone shoot botulism in my head, because, you know...botulism. So how did I find myself one Wednesday evening, in a chair at my hairdressers, meeting a new doctor (it's OK he was just on the Today show!) and then letting him shoot poison in my head?

It all started (as so many things do) on facebook.  The hair salon I go to put up something on their page about a free Botox party.  Never being able to resist the word free, I let my curiosity about medical grade beauty products get the better of me and RSVP'd yes - then promptly forgot about it, as it was over a month away.  I figured I could always cancel if I came to my senses.  Two weeks later I'm at The Salon (really it's called The Salon, it's in Scarsdale and it's fabulous!) getting my hair done and someone asks if I'm still coming to the "Event." (wasn't that a really bad TV show from a couple years back?)  Oh yeah, I forgot to cancel.  Now I'm on the spot, and I think, "what the hell. If it's really free and there isn't some weird gimmick - FREE (with $500 purchase) - I may as well see what all the fuss is about.  I'm one of last of the women I know to bite the Botox bullet.  Everyone loves it.  Maybe I will too." So I say, "Is it really, truly, free?" And,"I'm definitely coming." What kind of crazy woman passes up free Botox?

I check it out and it is 100% free, the doctor is opening up an office in Westchester, in addition to his one in the City.  He's looking for local clients and hoping to spread some good will - and botulism.  So the day comes and P says to me, "Are you really going through with this?  I thought for sure you would have chickened out by now." (ahhhh, he knows me so well.) I would have, but for one little hitch - I told a friend about it and she thought it was a grand idea, so she RSVP'd too, and now I was driving the both of us.  If I was going to be a sniveling free toxin coward, I'd have to admit it out loud to my friend and make her brave the Hutchinson River Parkway at rush hour all alone.  Pride beat out cowardice, as it so often does.

So gentle reader, shaking in my boots (really cute turquoise blue, Frye boots), I climb up into the chair and let the oddly lineless Doctor (who was lovely and quite professional and I have no complaints at all about) shoot me with four shots, right between the eyes. He assured me I was going to become addicted.  I immediately felt as dumb as I have ever felt in my whole life.  I got out of the chair shaken and unstirred.

Now in terms of dumb things, was it as dumb as buying acid in Central Park from some random guy, or dating actors? Well, no... but as I was waiting for the doctor and reading all the possible side effects, I had to contemplate the (very, very, very remote) possibility that I could die from trying to make my forehead look less wrinkley. And I had to fervently hope that my children would make fun of me forever for leaving them motherless in such a stupid way.  Even the minor side effects were alarming, droopy lids, random numbness (I got that one - the tip of my tongue was numb for three days afterwards). My shakiness was more from being scared that I had let my self get sucked in to something so stupid than from the effects of the poison.  I lay awake all night - propped up on pillows so the Botox wouldn't migrate, hoping not to die from my own stupidity and vowing never to participate in this form of stupid American beauty follies again.

It's been two weeks and honestly I don't see that much of a difference. (I think I scared most of the toxin right out of my system by sheer will.) My forehead is a little smoother and I can't quite glare as effectively as before, but if I really concentrate I can still make the mommy evil eye.  I can't imagine paying five hundred bucks for this privilege though.  Once it wears off I think I'll keep my well earned wrinkles where they belong.

Of course later this month my yoga class is doing a group cleanse, so there is always more ridiculousness to come.