Over these past three days a scene from the film Mean Girls kept replaying over and over in my head. It’s the one when Regina George sits at the lunch table and tells her clique of pals that she “really wants to lose three pounds.” Her statement could have easily been the answer to a question I was asked multiple times during this cleanse: “why are you doing it?”
However, my answer has nothing to do with weight loss. During high school, I had a troubled relationship with food that involved minimal eating and trying to convince myself that fat and sugar-free products tasted good (reality: they don’t). Part of what made these past three days difficult was the feeling in my body harkening back to those days when my stomach felt empty. While I am long past the days of rigid calorie counting and exercising mainly so I could eat, I would be lying if I did admit to some days of guilt associated with the an evening out for dinner, followed by dessert and then drinks and sometimes late night munchies. Why then did it I do it? Mainly as a way to evaluate and assess how I feed and fuel my body and how my body feels in response.
I woke up Friday morning having gotten nearly 10 hours of sleep, a rarity for me. I felt awake and better than the previous evening when I had fallen asleep with a headache and without finishing juice number six. Yet, I still felt hungry and even then I struggled to finish my first juice, putting me further in a calorie deficit. But I trudged on.
Not surprising for those who know me, I had no problem finishing the kale detox juice that followed (note to self: it’s supposed to work well for hangovers). That was enough of a boost to get me through a lunch break yoga class at a nearby studio. The hour-long session was welcomed as it gave me the opportunity to get my body moving while also letting go, albeit only for an hour, of all the thoughts in my head.
By evening I cheated (again) so I could prepare my body for my scheduled training run this morning. I stuck to the tonics throughout the day, but substituted a Sweetgreen salad for dinner made solely of raw foods (spinach, peaches, avocado, raw almonds, basil and a balsamic vinaigrette). Yet even with real food in me, I spent the rest of my Friday evening starving. There is something to be said about this cleanse that my GPS running watch calculated that I burned as many calories during this morning’s run as I had consumed on a daily basis on six the six tonics (Disclaimer: I am not good at following directions, as it is not recommended that participants in the cleanse spend their first morning post-tonics running nearly 10 miles in D.C. humidity).
As previously mentioned, the limited number of calories over the three days was my biggest concern. Had I not taught a spin class on Thursday, I imagine my body would have felt less fatigued on Thursday evening. Nevertheless, I did manage to go the three days only drinking out of a straw and eating a minimal amount of fruits and vegetables in green and red hues.
So would I do it again? A three-day cleanse, no, but I would not be completely opposed to taking a day every couple of months to detox my system.
I’m going to spend this weekend nourishing and refueling, my body, especially after such a hot and sticky run, with real food again, but still staying away from dairy and alcohol for at least the next two days.I don’t have a scale, so I can’t even say whether I did in fact lose weight, however the look and feel of my stomach tell me yes. Even so, I would rather do a 1000+ crunches to feel an ache in my abs than drink juice for three days to feel a hollowness in my stomach.