A Cleanse Wash-Out

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The great thing about gorging on hot dogs and potato salad for weeks on end, I’ve learned, is that you can undo any caloric damage in one clean sweep: A Cleanse.

Personally, I don’t remember having this option after gaining the freshman fifteen or the post-pregnancy thigh bags. Nope, I resorted to plain ol’ diet and exercise to shed those unsavory pounds.

So imagine my surprise while in Whole Foods the other day, after one particularly long barbeque-and-beer binge, when I was approached by an employee who guided me from the celery sticks I was prepared to suck on for the rest of my life, to the vitamin section instead.

“If you want to lose weight,” he told me. “You need to rid your body of all those toxins first.”

This option appealed to me, because “all those toxins” sounded like they weren’t really my fault. I mean, if you think about it, toxins can come from bug spray, or dry cleaning.

“I’m not two sizes bigger than I was a month ago because I ate and drank too much,” I reasoned to myself. “It’s all those darned toxins.”

So, armed with a five-day cause in the form of supplements, lemons and cayenne, I was on a mission of Al Gore-sized proportions. I’ve included a copy of the journal, which was included in the kit, in an effort to document my journey in hopes to make a film, perhaps.


Day 1:

Breakfast: Four supplements; one “juice.” (I used quotes, as that was the worse juice I’ve ever tasted.)

Lunch: Another “juice.”

Dinner: Four more supplements, chased by some more “juice.”

Feelings: Hungry, headache, yelling at my kids.


Day 2:

Repeat of Day 1, but now I want to eat my kids.


Day 3:

Breakfast: Eggs, toast, coffee, half a donut.

Lunch: Burrito, a “real” lemonade.

Dinner: Sushi, sake, beer, popcorn and some junior mints. Tylenol PM.

Feelings: Awesome.


Days 4 and 5 never happened, because I am a woman who values a good time as well as the safety of her children … in that order.

So now I’m faced with what to do, pray tell, about all these jiggly bits? In a community where anything that wiggles had better be a Jell-O shot, I risk becoming an outlier. Do I dare remove my mu-mu at the beach with my kids and rock this body that has seen better days, or do I take them to a movie instead?

These are the decisions that shape our kids, in my opinion. To iPhone or not to iPhone … eh, who really cares? It’s the lessons in self-image (and self control) that shape their futures – to teach them to have the confidence to live in the moment; not to miss the moments.

I should mention that I’m on my fourth pancake as I write this. My husband says I’ll justify anything to anyone who’s listening if it keeps me from putting my running shoes on. Maybe so. But what he doesn’t see is that our 7-year-old got up early this morning to make the batter – a “present” for me taking him to the Lego store later. The pancakes taste as terrible as his bribe, but, in my opinion, nothing tastes sweeter than breaking bread with the people who love you.

The mess that follows is the only cleanse my body knows.

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