Detox Diary, Part 2
Editor’s Note: In this two-part series, frequent Style File contributor Maya Singer makes like Gwyneth and seeks out Dr. Frank Lipman and his new Eleven Eleven Wellness Remove Detox for a little “spring cleaning.” Here, she concludes her report from deprivation’s front lines.
I have one day left on my detox, and I’ve just come to a terrifying realization: It’s never going to end. A week ago, I was having fantasies about buttery croissants and supersize cups of dark roast. Today, I find myself game-planning for a life without that stuff. (Well, mostly without.) This is what happened: I got up early this weekend to play tennis. I do that sometimes, but normally getting up is a slog; I drag myself to the courts and then drag myself around them for an hour. But this particular morning, the first one back at the baseline after a couple of rainy, detox-y weeks, was different. I had a spring in my step; I was focused and fast. The only way to explain it is that I felt efficient.
So never mind that I’ve spent the past week sneaking cheats off dark chocolate bars—a fact that didn’t seem to concern Dr. Frank Lipman, the guru behind my Eleven Eleven Wellness Remove Detox plan, too much, either. “A little bit of chocolate isn’t the end of the world,” he tells me. “What’s important is that you’ve kick-started your body into functioning better, and that’s changed your attitude toward what you eat. The hardest thing to change is someone’s mind.” This conversation happens after I’ve gotten the nerve to call Dr. Lipman back and report on my progress—progress that I’ve felt a little half-assed about, despite the fact that I’ve dropped a few pounds and noticed a change for the better in my skin (and that I’m finding it easy to join friends at pasta joints and coffee shops and not give in to temptation). “Detox,” as Dr. Lipman says, “isn’t something you do for a week or two, so you can abuse your body the rest of the time.” It’s a way of life. My life, apparently.
I’ve got mixed feelings about all of this. I’m not sure I want to be the kind of girl who can’t slum a slice of pizza now and then, or who goes to a restaurant and orders everything without sauce. I like food. I like the way it tastes, and I like the communal aspect of it—family Chinese dinners, nights out at the bistro with friends and a good bottle of red, brunch where you exchange bites of French toast for scrambled eggs. “Hopefully,” Dr. Lipman says when I broach these concerns, “in the past couple of weeks you’ve reset your appetite. We all eat too much. It’s not that I don’t want you to enjoy things you enjoy, but you’ve got to realize—we’ve got to realize—that not all hunger is a hunger for food.” The issues that comment raises are too large to be addressed here. But I am looking forward to reintroducing some of the items that are verboten on the Remove plan back into my diet. To start: shellfish, strawberries, and eggs.
Eleven Eleven Wellness is introducing three plans this summer: Remove, Revive, and Sustain. Each are staged so that people can stay on track as they sidle out of Active Detox, as I’ve come to think of it, and into Permanent Detox. Along with new shake packets, the plans come with Web site support, including shopping lists and exercises, and it’s all designed to make participants detox lifers. (With some chocolate, now and then.) “Even if you’re not doing everything, you can do a few things consistently to make yourself feel better. It’s worth it. I support that approach. Of course,” says Dr. Lipman, “I’m an evangelist. I want people to feel great. I want them to drink the Kool-Aid.” Not the actual, sugar-filled fruity drink, though, of course.