cleanse me


I like to say yes. It’s a thing I have. Like Jim Carrey in his 22nd Annual Kids’ Choice Awards-nominated performance in Yes Man, a film I freely admit I have never seen, if someone asks me a question, and I’m not sure what to say, I just say “yes.”

It has led me great places, like when someone said “Want to be in a sketch comedy show for no pay?” and I said “yes” and ended up using the same dressing room Gilda Radner had at Saturday Night Live. It has led to less exciting places, such as when I said yes to “Do you have a moment to hear about Lyndon La Rouche?” (If anyone ever asks you that question, better to keep walking.)

But overall it works pretty well. I enjoy the challenge of stepping outside my comfort zone.

Until last week, when I get a call from my good friend Cece.

“Hi,” she said breathlessly. “Want to buy my juice fast?”

I was silent for a moment.

“Pardon?” I offered.

“A juice fast,” Cece said. “You cleanse yourself and it’s fabulous and my friend lost seven pounds and I can’t do it now because I’m on antibiotics.”

I had never even considered such a thing. I didn’t really feel the need to lose weight. But I wasn’t on antibiotics, so I said, “Yes.”

And the next morning, I began a 3-day juice fast. I had a mini-cooler for each day, filled with 7 bottles of juice I was supposed to drink at 2 1/2 hour intervals. One was spinach/kale/lemon. The next might be beet/carrot/apple. UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES were you supposed to change the order, or drink anything else but water. And, oh yeah, eat anything.

David said, “This is the craziest thing I’ve ever heard,” and he’s a health nut, so that shook my determination a bit. But I was going to have this experience.

Despite the juice fast company’s testimonials that I would have tons of energy! and not be hungry at all! that was certainly not how it turned out for me. It was the hungriest three days of my life. I spent three days thinking about food. “By day three, you’ll be thinking you can do this forever!” they chirped. By day three, I couldn’t wait for it to be over.

Now, I do need to fess up here: I was not a good juice faster. No one with anything to do during those three days would be. I was supposed to drink the constantly-refrigerated juice all at once, every 2 1/2 hours. (I took a swig at a time from whatever bottle I happened to have with me in the diaper bag.) Then, I was supposed to drink 24 oz of room temperature water before my next dose of juice. (Whatevs.) I was supposed to eschew coffee. (I drank decaf.) And I wasn’t supposed to eat anything. (I have to admit to a handful of almonds, and a bite of the kids’ pizza, here and there.)

So I wasn’t perfect. But I couldn’t wait to see how much weight I had lost. If Cece’s friend lost 7 pounds, surely I had lost 4. I know I said I didn’t care about losing weight, but JC, after 3 days of juice that was the only payoff I could hold on to.

I lost zero weight. In fact, I GAINED half a pound.

I’m not sure what I have learned from this experience. Perhaps that it’s OK to say no to an experience I’ve never had if it is a patently cockamamie one? Or that you can’t swear off food if you’re making meals for your three children? I’m still mulling over it. But if you’re a mom, I’d skip the juice fast for now. Just say no.

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