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Personal Narrative: The Master Cleanse

Few months ago, I got caught up in an unhealthy lifestyle brought about by too much work. As a result, I gained weight. I set the panic button at 165 pounds–that is when my weight leaves the healthy BMI recommendation for my height—and weeks ago, the scale wailed its alarm. I went back to exercising but fell short on tackling my bad eating habits. That was when I decided to do a detox, reset my diet and go back to a healthy routine. Last year, I did Dr. Oz’s 3-Day Detox Cleanse. This time, I opted to try something else—The Master Cleanse.

I first heard of the Lemonade Diet (more known as the Master Cleanse) probably eight years ago when a former boss of mine tried it for three days. Though called Lemonade Diet, Master Cleanse is actually a fast, not a diet. It is a modified juice fast consists of drinking at least 6 glasses of lemonade (made of 10 oz. purified water, 2 tbs. freshly-squeezed organic lemon juice, 2 tbs. grade B maple syrup and 1/10 tsp. of organic cayenne pepper) each day for a minimum of 10 days. It requires you to not eat anything while on it giving your body a break from food allowing it to work on removing built-up toxins.

My Experience: Day 1: I chose to start my 10-day cleanse during a day off work to make peace with the bathroom. On this day my body would starts releasing gunk and toxins that have built up over the years. My starting weight was 165 lbs. Indeed, as per BMI chart, I was officially overweight. I pooped after my fourth drink. I can tell by the color of my bowel that it was the cayenne pepper that made me. Feeling light-headed and dizzy, I took a nap in the middle of the afternoon. I did another dumping following my sixth lemonade.

In celebration of surviving Day 1, I treated myself to an Epsom salt bath while sipping my laxative tea that night then retired to bed early. Day 2: I was expecting myself waking up really, really hungry but surprisingly, I was not. Weight down to 161. 6 lbs. I know, right? They say the first three days are the hardest, but I was surprised with the energy I had. I even managed to get out and did some errands. I took a nap in the afternoon and woke up with dull headaches. Put together empty stomach and caffeine withdrawal and voila! welcome headaches. It slowly went away after I sipped another glass of lemonade.

I finished Day 2 with remarkably no cravings nor feeling hungry. Day 3: I gulped on the sea salt water drink first thing in the morning. One liter of salty water was too much for an empty stomach, I immediately felt bloated, as if I was going to vomit. Luckily, I didn’t. I have done the sea salt water flush before so I knew what was going to happen next—horribly gross. I will be doing laxative tea and sea salt flushing alternately in the next seven days. Weight at 160. 3 lbs. I lost almost 5 pounds in three days. I went to work anxious about how I would survive the day with an empty stomach.

At the end of the day, my worries were all a waste of time as I finished the day at work full of energy. Afterwards, I did a light 25-minute exercise which I completed with no difficulty. Day 4: The struggle began. I woke up with stomach cramps (common side effect of tea laxatives). I also noticed white coating on my tongue. It is said that the white film on the tongue is an indication that the body is starting to detox. When the white coating fades away and the tongue turns pink, it’s usually a sign that the body is free of internal waste. Weight at 159. 8 lbs. Day 5: Weight remained at 159. 8 lbs.

It was a usual day at work until the hunger game set off and worst, the odds weren’t in my favor. My energy started to flag in the afternoon. I felt so hungry I could eat a horse. Partly, I should be blamed. I got busy at work and didn’t drink my lemonades on time. I suppressed the hunger by drinking plenty of water. I went to bed as early as 8 pm. Day 6: Woke up with a joy feeling all the energy back. The hunger pangs were gone. I made sure to drink my lemonades on the dot. I felt light and energetic throughout the day. Still stuck at 159. 8 lbs. I have reached again my weight loss plateau. I must admit I was a little disappointed.

I’ve felt somehow the magic suddenly stopped working for me. Day 7: I cut down the lemonade drinks to the minimum 60 oz. a day from my usual 70 oz. Day 8: As I expected, my weight went down to 157. 6 lbs. I cut down my calorie intake on Day 7 and will do the same for the rest of the days. I spent the whole day having fun at Legoland California with friends.

I was amazed on how I survived the day with merely 60 oz. of lemonades. I knew I have overcome the psychological need to eat as I turned out fine being surrounded with people eating snacks and lunches. Day 9: Weight at 156. 8 lbs. I reduced the maple syrup to 1 tbsp. or every lemonade drink. Day 10: I went to work feeling really well. I felt incredibly good on this cleanse, hey, this was my last day too.

Weight down to 155. 6 lbs. Again, as a result of lowering my calorie intake. Morning After: Weight at 154. 0 lbs. I lost 11 pounds in the process. I thought easing off would be easy but I was wrong. When your stomach gets used to having plain lemonade only for 10 days, introducing something new will surely cause digestive distress. Now I am on my third day of easing off and I am excited to gobble my first solid food later in the day after 13 days–a vegetable salad.

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