I stare ahead blankly as I watch the wrinkly back of the fat man's head in front of me turn around to look at me as we all heard the loud rumble of my stomach's hunger pains roaring. "That's it. I'm getting a coffee." 9 days of no coffee. 8 days of no alcohol. 7 days of raw foods, three of which were juice only and it's the fucking line at Chase bank on a Saturday morning that takes me out. Truth be told, I was planning on having a glass of Champagne tonight, but I was hoping to leave coffee behind. Somewhere about halfway through a 30 minute wait to deposit a check, the "crazies" set in. Well, again let's stick to the truth Carolyn, the crazies had set in last week, or 35 years ago depending on your take. But seriously, I started to think; this whole starvation thing is really overrated. I don't feel well. I actually feel like shit. I feel exhausted. I'm scared to work out for fear of passing out. I got dizzy on the stairs at work yesterday. I have a headache and I never get headaches. I haven't even lost any weight. And I feel straight up, voices in the head, shit-house rat crazy. And I realized I wanted a coffee. So that's what I'm doing, having a coffee. And a pastry. I mean, don't get me wrong. I don't think I want to jump off a bridge into a sea of pasta and cheese. The one time I did feel great during this cleanse was after I had eliminated the meat, cheese, and bread from my diet. But cut a girl some slack, we need a little somethin', somethin' as opposed to all or nothin'.
This was not the first time I have "starved" myself. My diet is a constant pendulum, swinging wildly like so many chemically imbalanced moods. I've done it all from staunch vegan diets, strictly making lists of things I will not eat to gluttonous bingeing, consuming everything in my path, spreading butter on top of my foie gras. One or the other, constantly. I'd like to think or fantasize really, that perhaps one glorious day I could eat well most of the time while maintaining some healthy balance. Maybe we don't need to eat everything in site just because it's here. And maybe we don't need to not eat anything at all just because last month we were on the "nitrate-laden cured meat only diet". I should be used to this by now. I'm the same person who was on the "green food only diet". And this came a month after being on a three-month "Irish whiskey and gummy worm diet". I just want to be able to be moderate! But, who am I kidding? I can't even spell moderation without the help of Microsoft's auto spell correct! One time, while suffering some health concerns I found out that the zinc in shellfish, particularly oysters, is good for people with anemia. I went on an all out ticket to ride adventure. For over a month, I consumed almost nothing except raw oysters and champagne. I think I sometimes ordered a side of spinach or an artichoke. I finally started eating meat and that really helped but for a while I was convinced I was on the right path. The real trick to all of these diets is self-delusion. The thing in life I'm best at is "self-will". The thing I'm even better at is being stubborn. Once I've made up my mind that is it, nothing is changing that. I can go without food as long as I believe I can. But do I want to? Just as I was thinking this whole "cleanse" thing is a bunch of bullshit, someone at work said I looked "amazing" and someone else said "tiny". And there we have it...justification. Back on track with our old friend "the crazies". But is this how I want to live? It's grim and joyless...so not me.
You know who really has it figured out? The French. That's right, I said it. But, of course if you know me you know I think the French have everything figured out...tiny geniuses who's general apathy and suspiciously long life spans will one day leave them as last man standing so that they will once again rule the world with a debaucherus, moody fist and a cigarette dangling from their collective pouty mouth. But I do want to let the world in on a little secret. The French drink Slim Shots. They do. I swear on it. The reason Parisiennes are so skinny, even on a diet rich with butter, cheese, and foie gras is because in their morning coffee they pour what looks like a "normal" individually wrapped creamer into the cup. If you looked at the label it would say "slim shot" which is an appetite suppressant in the form of coffee creamer. How do you like that? And...and funnier than that? It's free. The next time you're in Paris at a cafe take a closer look at your creamer options. It's cream or slim shots. Seriously. Go to the countryside in France and the people are a whole lot rounder. I'm not condoning appetite suppressants; it's just an observation people. And while drifting off into my own rants and thoughts of "why am I on this stupid cleanse anyways?" and "I'll give you something to cleanse", I give up the self-delusion of the cleanse. I love food. I love coffee. But most of all I love, really really love, wine. And if the saying is true, oh you know the one, "you are what you eat", then let me tell you, I want to be oysters and Champagne.
Author's note: For the record, although the French do that whole Slim Shot thing, they also do not eat the all-american diet of corn-fed beef and high-fructose corn syrup sweetened beverages. That's what makes us fatter than them! Oddly though, they do love themselves some Orangina, so much so that the ads are these crazy over-sexed drawings of scantily-clad animals drinking Orangina. Vive La France!
And...on a more serious note. I have in the past been given some grief for my passionate take on my chosen life of gluttony. Yet, this same person keeps reading. So, if your out there Mr. I hate myself angry pants, this one's for you, hater: I've decided to add some links to websites that might help if needed. Ah, public service.
Alcoholics Anonymous www.aa.org
Overeaters Anonymous www.oa.org
Foods that heal www.curezone.com
Air France www.airfrance.us