Years ago, a coworker did this crazy diet -- he consumed nothing but lemon juice, maple syrup, cayenne pepper and water for ten days. It looked miserable during the ten days, but he kept saying how he felt really good. He lost a pretty significant amount of weight, and then switched to a vegetarian diet, and is still thin today.
I was intrigued, so I researched it. Called the Master Cleanse, it is intended to remove toxins from the body and give the digestive system a rest so it can get rejuvenated and ready to go again. Toxins end up in our system from fast food, processed food, chemicals in the water, etc. Now, I don't subscribe to any of the conspiracy theories about the government trying to poison us, but I do know that a lot of the chemicals used in foods to brighten up the color or enhance the flavor haven't been around long enough to *really* know what they can do to us long-term. I really don't want to use my body as a part of that experiment, so I thought I'd give it the old college try.
I made my first attempt a couple of years ago. I tried out the concoction, and it actually tastes pretty good, and does a decent job of keeping the hunger pangs to a minimum. However, I derailed at day three when french fries were consumed in my presence. I love carbs, and I just didn't have the willpower to resist those fries. And then I moved. And then I got married. And then I got pregnant. And then I miscarried. And then I got pregnant again. And then I was pumping. Some of those were probably excuses, but several were legitmate reasons not to do, in effect, a starvation diet. So I held off. And then I did it in April. I finished all ten days of the diet with no cheating or anything. I had two really tough days in there (day four and day eight), but otherwise it was just the boredom of the same thing every day that was more of a factor than the craving of any food in particular.
I lost 9.5 pounds on the cleanse, and really felt pretty good -- energized and ready to take on the world again. When I returned to eating regular food, I have been following the diet I did while pregnant with gestational diabetes (but with occasional alcohol). Mostly, that entails eating more salad and fewer/better carbs. And I eschew most fast food (I love the word eschew, but now I want a cashew). I certainly expected my weight to go up as I added calories and solid food back into my, but it hasn't gone up much. At a week out from finishing the cleanse, I appear to have stabilized at about a 6-7 pound loss. Add to that some exercise, and I should be in good shape. My goal was drop a few pounds to reduce my likelihood for developing gestational diabetes if we get pregnant again.
So, when my period was late, I didn't give it a second thought. I figured I was essentially on a starvation diet for 10 days, and that's bound to mess up a woman's cycle. As I ate more normally again, my body would naturally start doing those things it does. And then, last night, I realized I'm now 8 days late. Like a good woman of childbearing age planning to start trying to get pregnant again this summer, I had some tests on hand. So I took one this morning -- fully expecting a negative result. Surely I'm just late because of the diet.
And then there was that faint second line. And now I feel awful. I was doing this diet right when I would have ovulated, and that's not a great start for a baby. Praying hard today that everything is okay.
The Monk of Mokha by Dave Eggers
2 months ago