January, the most depressing month of the year. Your purses are lighter and your jeans are significantly tighter. Everywhere you turn you are bombarded with health and fitness adverts seducing you into believing that with this new year, you truly can become a new you.
I’m ashamed to say I was amongst those gullible few. I decided that I would try a 5 Day Juice Cleanse to rid all the toxins out of my body thinking that I would be starting the new year fresh. Consequently if I happened to turn into a Victoria’s Secret model in the process then so be it. It seemed so glamorous on Instagram. I did my research weighing up the pros and cons, which were all really vague with neither side offering any solid evidence of success or failure. Therefore, with nothing to lose but weight, I decided to give it a bash.
It turns out I did have more to lose, happiness.
I arrived to pick up my pre-ordered juice cleanse very optimistic thinking about the inevitable health benefits that would ensue. That optimism was short lived. When starting a juice cleanse it is recommended that you have a ‘metabolising boosting shot’ to kick start the cleanse. My shot had only two “all natural” ingredients, pure ginger root and cayenne pepper. Being called a shot I assumed that this meant it was to be taken like one, so I downed the miniature in one gulp.
If you haven’t tried pure ginger root and cayenne pepper the best way I can describe it to you is looking and tasting like spicy bile, it was vile. Water wouldn’t tame the spice, it seemed to only aggravate it. Not a minute had passed after swallowing it before I was physically sick. My body literally rejected the shot, a healthy sign of what was to come.
I eventually got rid of the shot’s taste and apprehensively took the first of six drinks for the day. They weren’t quite spewing material but they weren’t far from it. I couldn’t actually tell what was in the drinks but it didn’t really matter when all of them were just plain nasty.
Just before I was about to take my last drink of the day my head began to feel as if someone was taking a chainsaw down the middle of it. No amount of water was easing the pain. I even forced down the last drink hoping it had a bit of sugar in it to level it out, but two hours on the pain continued.
I caved and had a bowl of cereal, before I knew it the pain had disappeared. When it comes down to either being able to sleep or having the desire to healthy, sleep will always win.
Waking up I had to admit I did feel slightly lighter but that was mostly due to my stomach being completely empty. The thought of only tasting those juices for the rest of the day was so depressing, but I pressed on. This was mostly due to the fact that the juices cost so much I felt I had to make it worthwhile.
By midday I was, and this is not an exaggeration, starving. The battle between being so hungry and hating the taste of the drinks was pretty challenging. I couldn’t help but think that after a day and a half of having nothing but juices (bar the tastiest bowl of cereal I’ve ever had) the inevitable bowel movements had not yet occurred.
Thought too soon. Now I’ve been to Asia, so I know how the shits work but I was not prepared for this. Stomach wrenching, uncontrollable movement below. The glamorous appeal of a juice cleanse took a dark turn, I might as well of had an enema. I also couldn’t help but notice that my pee was crystal clear, which after a nervous wikipedia search found out was actually a very good sign.
It was round about this point where my five day juice cleanse turned into a three day cleanse. The thought of continuing for another three days was unbearable. I totally underestimated my love of food. I missed the physical act of biting solids and chewing. If you like the taste, smell and look of food then you’ll struggle with a juices cleanse. I persevered with the comforting thought of only one more day to go.
I woke up feeling less groggy than usual but hungrier than ever. By day three the drinks were no longer fresh. I didn’t know how it was possible but they actually tasted worse. They were slightly bitter and had more of a sour kick to them indicating that they were beginning to go off. Because of this I couldn’t actually finish the first two.
Not only had my stomach slightly deflated due to the lack off food but so had my spirits. All I could think of was food, even the thought of coffee seemed nectareous. On the bright side I noticed that my skin was looking clearer than ever, a noted pro in my research work making me think if I just continue for another two days I’ll look more like Victoria’s Secret model and less like a swedish wrestler. That didn’t last long.
Girl, you crazy.
By dinner time I truly did not care anymore, I wanted solids, I needed solids. I am ashamed to say the fat girl got the better of me and I gave in, I haven’t stopped eating since. I’m not even sorry.
Reading this you may think that this was a pathetic attempt to be healthy and I would not argue with you. Everybody will react differently or in my case physically reject it. Looking back I do feel there were some benefits; I felt lighter mostly due to the hunger, the drinks helped me to develop a pretty good gagging reflex and my skin had the glow of a pregnant woman. However for me, this was definitely was not enough to continue. I think it has been the most counterproductive idea I’ve ever had, from now on I will only listen to Honey Boo Boo.
“i’m relaxing.. eating.. having a great time“.