I do not do health or fitness trends. I like to stick to the tried and true: I use the elliptical twice a week, eat a salad once a month, and then regularly complain because there is no change in my body. This health routine, while extremely ineffective, has survived the test of time for a reason. It’s not a trend – it is a lifestyle. As far as I am concerned, if it hasn’t been around for years, it’s not worth even attempting. I think “waist training” is an alternative name for learning to be a garbage man, eating paleo is probably why the cavemen had a life expectancy of 30 years or less, and the fact that people are actively replacing real life carbs with spaghetti squash is proof that hell is real, and we should be very, very afraid.
But, as Hannah Montana once said, everyone makes mistakes. In a wave of undue stress that can be attributed to formal, finals and the lack of cunnilingus in my life, for god only knows what reason, I did the unthinkable. I spent an obscene amount of money buying three days worth of juice in order to do a cleanse.
Being in college, a huge portion of my diet is already liquid. Why not channel freshman me and finally go all the way? It seemed like the perfect fix for all my problems. Easier than exercise, (almost) cheaper than therapy! It would all be worth it, because in just a few short days, I would have amazing skin, a perfect body, the mental clarity of someone who has never tried gluten, 7000 Instagram followers and a long-haired boyfriend who would pay for me to travel the world. I assume that’s what comes with every fitness trend. Giving up solid food seemed like a small price to pay.
While a quick Google search had informed me I would need to prepare my body, I decided not to do that because I would be pouring juice down my throat for three days. That would counteract the effects of the gluten I was going to consume. This was my second mistake.
On the first day, I pulled open the fridge and withdrew my first juice. It was an olive green color, which I tend to avoid since it clashes with my skin tone. I still drank it. I quickly realized that the best part of doing a juice cleanse is you don’t have to chew. That means, if you can find a long enough funnel or piece of tubing, you can prevent the juice from touching your taste buds entirely. I assume this is the only way to do it without gagging, because if you think that vegetables are gross, you’ve never tried their juiced counterparts.
I poured the rest of it down my throat and pressed on. Because normal well-adjusted people do not do juice cleanses, no one has thought to invent a purse that can hold five bottles of juice, so I was forced to hull my massive backpack around on a weekend. As I walked through campus, I did feel a little more present, and my sense of superiority around others was heightened. People were so needy with their coffee, soda, and solid foods. I could survive simply on juice alone! I was a god among men!
As the day progressed, I downed a couple more juices and peed once every five minutes. I won’t lie, at this point, I felt pretty amazing. The juice was awful; it tasted like woodchips diluted with strawberries and cucumber water. But I was flooding my body with nutrients, fruits and vegetables. A single day’s worth of juice is probably equal to being trained by Jillian Michaels. That night, I crawled into bed feeling morning skinny, like the newborn goddess that I was.
Then I woke up around 2am. I figured that a completely liquid diet meant nothing but liquid waste, right? Oh, was I wrong. At 2 in the morning, I couldn’t even leave my bathroom for a second. Maybe it was because I hadn’t prepped my body for a cleanse. Maybe it was because my body negatively reacts to non-processed foods. Either way, imagine that scene from “Bridesmaids,” except it’s a lovely shade of juice green. I’m crying and my entire bathroom reeks of rotting plant. It was bad. I slept in the shower.
The next morning, I awoke the hangriest I have ever been. I decided to fuck the juice drinking schedule because it had fucked my bowels and immediately downed the two best tasting juices of the bunch. It satiated me, but did not satisfy. Nothing can satisfy the way chewing satisfied. I grabbed a third juice and stalked my way to “distress with yoga” sisterhood my chapter was putting on.
If there is one thing you should not do on a juice cleanse, it is yoga. Somewhere between downward dog and Warrior 2, my nutrient dense but calorie starved body decided that the best thing to do was corpse pose. Thankfully, the smell of feet and sweat that radiated off the sisters who crowded around me was enough to bring me back to consciousness. Unfortunately, that meant they were in the splash zone when the potent mix of sweat and feet made me vomit. I went home, sat in bed and drank my last juices.
I woke up the next day, ready for it to be over. I stared at myself in the mirror, expecting to see the glowing, dewy skin of an Instagram model, with the lithe figure of a gymnast. Instead, I was bloated, with black bags under my eyes and acne all over my face. I looked a thousand times worse than I ever did prior to the cleanse. I plugged my nose, drank a juice and started to cry.
I wish I could say that I had finished strong. That somehow, I pulled my shit together, drank the last day’s worth of juice and all my dreams came true. The overly expensive juice absorbed into my skin, I passed all my finals, got a sponsorship deal with Instagram, and my imaginary boyfriend whisked me and my size two body off to Bora Bora. Instead, I pulled the rest of the bottles out of my fridge, climbed onto my balcony and started throwing them down into the street, screaming about how health was a myth until my roommate woke up. We then hopped in my car, drove to the nearest McDonald’s and ordered enough food to make up for the three days of calories I missed.
Diet Coke never tasted better..
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