The biggest impediment to your physical fitness is bottomless despair

The biggest impediment to your physical fitness is bottomless despair

Did you know there are toxins inside you? You get them when you eat stuff that contains toxins and then they’re inside you, and you can only get rid of the toxins through yoga or pooping. Yoga and pooping are the two main elements in a “detox” diet (there’s an occasional third element called “kale,” which is a type of grass that tastes like a Communion wafer rubbed with lawn mower clippings) and if you do a detox diet, not only will you lose weight, but you’ll no longer have toxins inside you. That’s what science said until two days ago, when the Guardian pointed out that “detox” diets are a myth. It’s upsetting for those of us who have been wasting time on yoga and pooping for years now.

The Detox diets – also called “cleanses” by people who don’t associate that word with Serbia circa 1994 – are the latest “fad diet” to become a thing. And now, like the Atkins Diet, the Caveman Diet, the Milksteak Diet, and the Traumatic Blood Loss Diet before it, Detox Diets are becoming a thing of the past.

I’ve always had trouble with fad diets. I haven’t trusted any sort of fad since the Pog bubble burst back in ’94 and my $900-value portfolio of slammers depreciated to a net worth of about 46¢ in the course of a single recess. The bubble burst because Mrs. Metzger said that Pogs were a type of gambling, and because gambling was un-Christian. I don’t know if Mrs. Metzger’s still alive, but seaweed enemas strike me as un-Christian, and I wouldn’t put it past her to ban them and pop the detox bubble as well.

This, of course, has meant that I’ve never totally learned how to gain or lose weight. The process is baffling to me. I’ve heard “eat less and exercise,” but both of those things sound terrible. I’d do those terrible things if I was guaranteed a long and happy life in exchange, but as far as I can make out, certain death lurks around every corner. Global warming is going to flood my lovely Jersey Shore town, and I’m going to drown because of tsunamis and acidified seas. Or maybe New York gets hit with a nerve gas attack just as a Nor’easter is hitting, and the nerve gas blows down to Asbury Park and kills me.

Maybe I’ll be killed by a drunk driver or a sudden brain aneurysm. Maybe after the economic collapse of 2018 I’ll be cooked rotisserie-style by bands of roving cannibals. Maybe my slowly-dying Christmas tree will catch on fire and I’ll die of smoke inhalation. Maybe a comet will be about to hit earth and Ben Affleck will be too busy on the next Batman movie to save us. Maybe Cthulhu awakes from his eternal slumber and sends the world spiraling into a new age of madness and despair.

All of this is totally within the realm of possibility. And it makes it really hard for me to justify working out. On top of this, what if there really is no such thing as God? What if right and wrong don’t exist on an individual level? If that’s the case, isn’t the only true “right” whatever makes me happy? And how do I balance the happiness of eating a pizza and watching old episodes of Always Sunny now with the hypothetical happiness I’ll feel if I survive to the age of 96?

The only thing I’m trying to say is that it’s really hard to pick a proper health regimen when a) there’s so much conflicting information out there, and b) I’m paralyzed by my own insignificance. Now if you’ll excuse me, now that I know toxins aren’t real, I’m going to go have a glass of scotch.

Featured Photo by Pete Kraynak

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