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The Master Cleanse, Day 3


Let it be known that day three of the Master Cleanse really, really blows.

My day started off OK. I woke up in good spirits feeling ready to take on another day without food when I remembered that it was time for my massive morning dosage of salt water. The night before, I had premixed my oral enema and left it next to my bed in the hopes that I would then drink it immediately when I awoke and I would be so out of it that I wouldn’t fully realize what I was doing. And it worked. At least, a third of the way through it, it worked.

After that I was left to choke down the rest, and though it proved to be more effective than yesterday, I came to the conclusion that a belly full of salt water is no way to kick things off. Tomorrow I’ll be entrusting my a.m. colon purge to Chocolate Smooth Moves; because I’m already struggling to find reasons to wake up in the morning without that staring me in the face.

So, after that I got dressed and left my house for a day of work in Brooklyn, armed with 5 servings worth of the lemonade. I got to the studio where I work and took a seat, pounded a lemonade, and started on my usual tasks. Then someone dropped something and I nearly fell out of my chair reaching for it. Then it happened again. Then I spent about five minutes staring at the materials before me, trying to remember what exactly I was supposed to be doing. Then I stood up to walk to the bathroom and was struck by how limp I felt. By 2 p.m. I had finished all of my lemonade and I knew there was no way I’d make it back to my apartment if I stayed until the end of the day, so I ducked out early in an attempt to avoid going into hypoglycemic shock on the train.

By the time I got home, I was starving and very, very irritable. I drank two glasses of lemonade mixed with some digestive supplements I picked up from Whole Foods on the way home (which, I learned from some research online, are a highly recommended addition to the Cleanse) and sat on the couch, trying to rally my energy to make it to the gym.

Eventually I forced myself into my gym clothes and out the door. On the walk to the gym I considered calling people back who had called me during the day, but I realized that I had no desire to make friendly chit chat with anyone. I got to the gym and managed to churn out my entire usual workout, and felt surprisingly chipper when I was done. Endorphins are amazing.

I walked into my apartment to find my roommate and his girlfriend eating homemade burritos and drinking beer. He looked up guiltily and apologized for the food being everywhere, to which I replied, “Dude, don’t worry about it. Just because I’m not eating doesn’t mean no one else can. It’s my choice.”

Which, I guess is the whole point, and the most irritating part of this little endeavor. I could quit, literally, any time. I could have dug into the rice and black beans and veggies on the stove and it would have been over, plain and simple. And I wouldn’t die, and the world wouldn’t end, I would have just given up on a rather unscientific diet developed by a borderline crack-pot with mediocre-at-best writing skills. But for some reason, I keep trying to convince myself to persevere.

Just wait until the first few days are over, then see. Just wait until you run out of syrup and then you can think about stopping. Just aim for a week; sevens days are certainly better than nothing. Even though the Master Cleanse is interfering with my social life and my work and my immediate happiness, I keep holding on, though I can’t pinpoint why. Is it the genuine desire to rid my body of the toxins Stanley Burroughs tells me are lurking in it? Is it the sense of competition – that if others can do it I certainly can? Is it to experience how my body feels after fasting 10 days? Is it to renew my sense of taste and my body’s response to food?

I suppose it’s a mish-mash of all of the above. I just wonder if it’s enough to keep me going until next Friday.