Oooooh that time of year, when we’re getting messages about ‘being good’ until Christmas, on ‘indulging…. BUT NOT TOO MUCH on Christmas,’ ‘detoxing’ before Christmas in anticipation of overeating, and the all-too-annoying January cleanses, detoxes, protocols, etc.
Personally, I don’t see an awful lot of it on my social media feeds because I curate what I see to mostly be coming from people who don’t believe in dieting, but the ads are inevitable (no matter how many times I tell them I don’t want to see that kind of ads) and some are by friends/other bloggers of mine who I enjoy as people but do participate in diet culture. I also cannot escape it in my everyday life since most people in my life who I love very much and enjoy spending time with, and are still very immersed in diet culture.
The other night at dinner with a couple of friends of ours, one of them mentioned having just been on a ‘sugar detox’ that a friend of hers who was in the wellness (ie diet) industry had recommended to ‘prep’ their bodies for Christmas treats. She went on to complain about how it changed her tastes and then was going to have to get her taste buds used to sweet foods again so she could enjoy things at Christmas, to which we both laughed and I said that it sounded completely horrible, 100% unnecessary AND ineffective.
Here’s the deal with so called detox, cleanse, clean eating, yada yada ‘protocols’ (diets), they’re bull. Absolute bull.
It bothers me that people in the ‘wellness’ industry continue to push this literal nonsense. Listen very closely. You have built in detox organs. Your liver and your kidneys are detoxifying your body all day, every single day. All by themselves. They do this by filtering toxins – whether from food, the environment, chemicals in products, etc – and releasing them from your body when you A. Pee. B. Shit and C. Sweat.
Every single time you take a shit, you’re detoxing. Every single time you pee, you’re detoxing. Every single time you sweat, you’re, yes, cooling your body down, but also releasing toxins.
Eliminating food groups does not detoxify your body. Eliminating sugar does not detoxify your body. Juice cleanses do not detoxify your body and, actually, put an incredible amount of strain on your organs that DO detox your body. Although admittedly, they WILL make you shit a lot. So if your goal is to never get off the toilet, have at it.
You cannot preemptively detox. You cannot ‘prep’ your body by juicing all of your food. If your liver and kidneys stop being able to detoxify your body like they’re meant to, you have bigger issues than Christmas freaking sugar cookies. You are dead. Or going to die. And need medical help/intervention.
I used to joke to my husband when I was taking a break from alcohol that I was giving my liver a break, to which he would always say,
“It’s your liver’s job to filter out toxins. If it takes a break, you die. Keep giving it things to do.”
We always laugh about it, because it’s true. Although, really, regular intervals of not drinking are great for your liver. It still has plenty to do 24/7 without alcohol to deal with ;).
You can support your liver and kidneys by keeping general health habits like the above (intervals of not drinking, or at least not getting shit faced on the reg), drinking plenty of water, resting, moving your body appropriately (for you), eating fats, proteins, carbs, produce, fiber, etc (all foods and food groups), and eating enough. These are things you can do. Depriving yourself of sugar doesn’t make your body less ‘toxic’ and cleanses don’t cleanse a damn thing. They will, however, probably drive you insane, make you feel crazy around food and likely encourage bingeing behaviors around the foods you’re avoiding.
If you’re backed up, maybe eat some prunes or drink some coffee to help things along, but other than that, you don’t need to be shitting 5 times a day to cleanse. Your body’s got this. You’re fine. Eat the damn cookies if you want them. Your body will take care of the rest.
Merry Christmas, friends. I hope it’s filled with love, joy, acceptance, and I hope it’s free of diet culture.
Disclaimer: I am not a therapist or medical professional. This is not meant to diagnose, treat or cure any illnesses and should not be seen as a substitute for professional help or delay you in seeking treatment. I share my experiences here in hopes of helping others, but I absolutely encourage you to seek professional help for your struggles.