I’ve only successfully cleansed once in my life. It was the end of my freshman year of college, and I was feeling overall, disgusting. I went from being a tall and lanky gymnast, to a Division 1 butch lacrosse player. Between the muscle I had gained, and the “Freshman 15” I had gained, it wasn’t good.
My fellow lacrosse team member (hi Lauren!) and I went to the extreme. We did the Master Cleanse, which, if you haven’t heard of it, consists of consuming nothing but lemon juice, cayenne pepper, maple syrup, and water for 10 straight days.
The good news was, it worked. I lost close to 10 pounds and jump-started a new, lighter diet. The bad news—it was no way to live, and of course, most of the weight eventually came back.
But it did successfully allow me to hit “reset,” and go cold turkey on the bad habits I had formed.
After that, I pretty much gave up on extreme dieting. Once I quit lacrosse and stopped eating late-night bacon grilled cheese, I fell back to my natural weight. And since finding workouts that I love (right now it’s a combination of yoga and Orange Theory), I’ve never had to overthink maintaining my weight. Everything in moderation, is my mantra.
But recently, a company named Tasty6 offered me the opportunity to try their 3-day Organic Juice *and* Food Cleanse. (It usually costs $179, but they offered it to me for free.) Although I thought I had sworn off extreme dieting, I was intrigued for 2 reasons:
(1) The diet consists of lots of nutrient-rich juices that I knew would be good for my body, (and a light breakfast and lunch). I don’t like a lot of green vegetables (I basically have the diet of a 5-year-old), so the opportunity to try a bunch of nutritious juices all at once sounded appealing.
(2) I’ve had a busy summer traveling for both work and pleasure, and have been eating out way more than usual. I’m not necessarily trying to lose weight (but I’m also not going to lie—who wouldn’t love to lose 5 pounds), but I felt the urge to hit “reset” so that I would stop craving so many fatty foods. (Read: Burgers and French fries).
So I signed up. The good news? I made it a full 72 hours. The bad news? I didn’t make it a full three days.
Allow me to explain.
The cleanse was set to start on Wednesday, so I officially stopped eating around 8pm Tuesday night. Day 1 was a breeze. Sure, I wished I could get a big sandwich for lunch, but I was actually enjoying the juices and not hungry at all. Day 2 got more difficult, but the power protein bar snacks came in handy. By Day 3, it wasn’t that I was hungry…I was getting sick of some of the flavors. While I genuinely enjoyed all the juices on Day 1 (ok, except the beet one because I hate beets!), by Day 3, my taste buds were getting tired of them.
I still wasn’t starving. I just missed food. But more importantly, I missed my normal life.
What happened next, I take full responsibility for.
It was Friday night around 8pm, and I had cleansed for a full 72 hours. That’s 3 days, right?! So I ate a steak.
I know I fudged it a bit, but in a weird, technical way, I made it 3 days. I didn’t give in because I had to, but because I wanted to. Quite honestly, I’d been traveling for work the week before, and was ready for a nice date night with my boyfriend, who selflessly signed up to suffer with me through the cleanse. (He even paid for it, too!)
We were both proud of ourselves, and ready to eat and have a good time.
And you can bet we did.
Nearly a week later, I’m still feeling great. I’m eating lighter, I feel lighter, and and looking lighter. (I swear, the cleanse was good for my skin!) I probably won’t sign up for another one of these for a while unless I have a BIG event to plan for, but it was worth it. I have no regrets—steak, included.