Friday, February 27, 2009
There Will Be Binging
This morning I received in the mail a package from my mother. “Oh fuck,” I whispered when I opened it. It was my belated Valentine’s Day present and it contained a huge box of Godiva chocolates (36 pieces strong) and two boxes of Girl Scout Cookies (Thin Mints, Peanut Butter Patties).
I guess I should mention that today is Friday and I haven’t eaten since Sunday. For the last five days I’ve been doing the Blueprint Cleanse, a fast where all you drink are six juices a day. And before you get all “that’s just unhealthy” on my ass, know that this ain’t your Beyonce’s maple-syrup-cayenne-pepper bullshit fast. The Blueprint juices add up to about 1200 calories a day so you’re not starving yourself. According to the site, the cleanse uses live juices to remove toxins and promote healing by supplying your blood with the vitamins, minerals and enzymes it needs to keep you going while you detox and reboot yourself from the inside out.
I just decided to try it because my friend Jessica did the three-day cleanse and swore she had more energy, was suddenly craving leafy greens and had no appetite for junk food anymore. She no longer even needed coffee. Another reason is because I’m writing a book about doing one thing every day that scares me for one year. And if the idea of going without food for five days doesn’t scare the shit out of you, then you must be on a juice cleanse like me and have nothing in your bowels.
(Believe me, the irony was not lost on me that I was paying not to eat for a week when millions of people go hungry every day. Paying a lot, for that matter. That’s America for you.)
I have to say, it’s been nothing short of a revelation. I’m a decently healthy eater but I’ve never felt so hale and hearty in my life as I did this week. Mind you, it wasn’t always easy. At the end of Day One I had a pounding headache. According to the Blueprint website, this was a symptom of withdrawal. I was also ready to slap somebody for a plate of ribs. This is also, I’m assuming, a symptom of withdrawal.
But that night, when I went to slather my lips in Carmex like I always do before bed, I realized I hadn’t applied Carmex all day. In and of itself, this was remarkable. I usually have to apply lip balm (no lie) at least 10 times a day. I’m never without a tube. If I happen to leave the house without lip balm, I have to stop at a drugstore and buy some. Otherwise, in a matter of hours my lips go all science fiction and bad things happen. A few days later I noticed that my skin was brighter. Apparently, I normally live in a state of perpetual dehydration.
I never understood what people were talking about when they said that certain foods made them feel sluggish and other foods gave them more energy. No matter what I ate, I always felt the same way – a little lethargic, foggy-headed. I thought that was just, you know, the way it is. I’ve never really felt the urge to go outside and do anything except maybe sit down. But for the last five days, I actually wanted to do things! I was clear-headed and focused like never before. I could work for hours without break. It was like caffeine without the heart palpitations, shaky hands and energy crash. However, it was the mood change that really sold me. I was in a fantastic mood every single minute of every single day. Even when that person on the subway sat down in the seat that I was so clearly making my way towards.
I can't say I've abolished my junk food cravings like Jessica. This much was clear when I opened that box today. It took everything in my power not to stick my head in and make face love to its contents. But I'm definitely not looking forward to the return-to-sugar fallout. Yesterday I ate a small piece of candy and the result was instantaneous. I felt as if I’d been hit over the head with a sledge hammer. A cloud settled around my brain, making it difficult to concentrate. If that’s in any way a preview of what I’m in for tomorrow after I tear into those cookies, I’m going to be needing a Girl Scout insulin patch. Because come breakfast time I’m stacking those bad boys in my mouth six deep and showing no mercy.
P.S. Thanks Mom!