Stuff the Detox. What about a Retox?


This article first appeared in the Brisbane Courier Mail

You know detoxes and cleanses don’t work, right? Your body does all the cleansing and detoxifying you’ll ever need. Nobody talks about it though, because you can’t sell nothing.

If enough people are willing to pay money for a thing, someone will invent a reason you should buy it and call if science. Beer, heroin, soft drinks and cigarettes have all at different stages been touted as having scientifically proven health benefits.

Colonics are the perfect example. According to celebrities and wannabe celebrities, having a tube shoved up your butt, filling it with water, then flushing that water out does amazing things for your body.

Plenty of real doctors have many times said that it all it really does is cleas waste from your system, and you already have a system for that. If you do go for regular colonics, at least admit the truth. You like having water blasted up your butt.

People claim they feel amazing after cleanses and detoxes. Lucky them, but eating bacon, drinking beer, and watching Netflix for eight hours also feels good, and does as much detoxing as anything.

Where’s my evidence? It’s everywhere. Not the sponsored advertising kind, the real kind. Maybe you need over-priced sugar sweetened shakes filled with buzzwords and lies to get you through this hell of a life, like some people need television or football. That’s fine, go crazier than an exercise freak with a $400 pogo stick at midnight on the home shopping channel, just stop pretending it’s ‘cleansing’ you.

The movement I want to see take off faster than a concord is the retox. That’s what happens at the end of any detox, right? You cut out the fun stuff for a bit, starve yourself, pay too much for lemon flavored water, and lie about all the extra energy you have, then you go nuts. Hamburgers, fries, alcohol, chocolate, coffee, whatever.

Even better, let’s make it a three-step process. Pretox, where you load up on all the awesome stuff. Then detox, where you cut it out for a bit, followed by the retox. You get to binge on the stuff you love, revel in the anguish and guilt of denial like a religious zealot, at the same time resetting your taste buds and tolerances, then shower yourself in the so good but bad everything.

If the multinationals that sell the bad stuff ever grew some morals and admitted what their products really do to you, millions in sponsorship would come from soft drink companies, big tobacco, breweries, and the chocolate factories, and the parties would be awesome. There’s actually already three unofficial retox parties every year – Halloween, Easter and Christmas.

The problem with any detox is that has a beginning and an end. Cleansing your system of garbage is a garbage idea, but there is truckloads (a scientific term) of evidence that lasting habits do provide amazing benefits. Cutting or lowering alcohol, sugar, fat and tobacco leads to better working organs, more energy, and a longer life, all the stuff that detoxes promise but never deliver. Habits don’t sell though, unless they’re bad for you.

So, I’m having a go at the good habit forming, with the odd retox thrown in, because what’s the point of living forever if you don’t enjoy yourself? And bacon and beer are how I enjoy myself.

This article first appeared in the Brisbane Courier Mail

Xavier Toby is a writer and comedian.

His second comedy memoir ‘Going Out of My Mined’ is available now.

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