– by Cecily Knobler, Live From Hollywood –
So I have about 16 friends (all in Los Angeles, of course) who have inflicted challenges on themselves – I assume to better their bodies/minds/lives. Let me lay out a typical conversation with one of them.
Boris: “Hey Cecily, do you want to get lunch?”
Cecily: “Sure! How’s California Pizza Kitchen?”
Boris: (chuckles) “Oh God, no. I can’t eat wheat, dairy, tomatoes, any sort of bread, corn or any sugars whatsoever.”
Cecily: “Well, how ‘bout we get some coffee instead?”
Boris: “Seriously? You think I can have caffeine? Don’t be daft.”
Cecily: “A martini?”
Cecily: “Water? Can you have water?
Boris: “Only if it doesn’t have lemons or limes. I can’t have any acidic fruits right now.”
Cecily: “I think we should end this friendship.”
And this is just one of them. I have another who has given up all plants and animals, and can only have the seeds of avocados. Another can only eat decaffeinated tea and mushrooms. Still, another can only have “magic mushrooms” as she’s trying to expand the (her words) “hallways of her thoughts.” There are the sugar challenges, the gluten challenges, the exercise challenges and “fill in the blank” challenges.
And the thing is, I GET it. For the most part, there’s nothing wrong with trying to flush your system in the detox-du-jour. As someone who eats way too much sugar (and probably could slow down on the tequila) I’m sure my body is screaming for a little break. It’s just the constant Facebook posts and Twitter updates that crawl under my skin like the very yeast you’re all trying to expel. This is seemingly a good thing people are doing for themselves but to quote my favorite film Broadcast News, “Keep it to yourself.” Or at least don’t invite me to lunch!
So all this being said, I have decided to issue my own self-challenge. For 30 days, while I might not be able to give up sugar or caffeine, I’m going to stop berating myself. For four whole weeks, I’m going to stop apologizing for my lack of lipstick or my dark under-eye circles. I’m going to attempt to not second-guess every single word I say or response that I elicit from others. If I feel blue, I won’t get angry at myself for it and will trust that my brain will make up for the lack of dopamine someday. I will stop trolling exes on Facebook, comparing my life in my one bedroom apartment to their big house, wife and three kids. I will try to take my breaths a little more slowly and appreciate the beauty around me, whether that’s jasmine growing on a vine or a friendly parking attendant.
And while I’m at it, I am going to try to eat less pudding. (Oh dear, I’ve become one of them!) I’ll keep you posted on how it goes.