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The Master Cleanse, Game Over


So, uh, I quit. I quit Master Cleansing.

I tried to talk myself in to sticking it out. I really did. I kept telling myself all the little motivators I mentioned in my last update. I told myself that if all sorts of other people could do it, I damn well could. I told myself that not only were all my friends and family aware I was doing it, but I was broadcasting it on the internet – to quit would mean failure, and everyone would know.

But then I went to the gym. And I’m totally one of those sick people who genuinely enjoys the gym. I love to sweat, use my muscles, feel all strong and healthy and accomplished. And when I found myself sprawled out on the workout mats, head all fuzzy and discombobulated, too tired and pissed off to do a crunch or run on the treadmill, I thought, this is totally moronic. I’m miserable. I don’t care if I’m so loaded with fucking toxins that I mutate in to the Incredible Hulk, this Master Cleanse sh*t has got to stop.

So, I gathered up my stuff, walked out of the gym, walked to the closest cafe, bought a parfait, and f*%king chowed down. And it was AWESOME. Immediately, everything turned around. I was cheerful, happy, energetic, ready to run on the treadmill and hang out with my boyfriend and paint my room and do all the things that seemed utterly insurmountable while I was living off of f*%king syrup and lemon juice.

Believe me, I know it seems absurd that realizing eating is good was a revelation for me. But in theory the Master Cleanse sounded like such a great idea. Clean out your system! Rid yourself of all your ailments! Reset your body! And honestly, I talked to a number of people who did it and gave it rave reviews. But now I know that these people a) are superheroes, or b) have something profoundly wrong with them. Honestly.

Maybe if I had stuck it out for, like, one more day I would have reached the point where I could have ridden it out, but damn. Every day, it just got worse; I only got more pissed off and had less of a will to get out of bed. It wasn’t even like I was craving food, because I wasn’t, really. I was just exhausted and my brain was all messed up. I was obsessed with the Cleanse; it was all I could think about. Attempts at higher-level thinking, like decision-making or, say, processing something I had just read were damn near impossible. It was like I hadn’t slept in days, when really, sleeping was almost all I was doing.

I will say, though, that I’m glad I tried it. It’s something I needed to experience first hand, and if I had never done it, I would still believe all those people saying it’s glorious. Plus, even though I didn’t do it for the full duration, I still did get some of the benefits. Like, I haven’t wanted an energy drink at all, which just proves that my addiction to them is all in my head. And by not eating for a few days I’ve realized that a lot of times when I eat I’m not even hungry; it’s just force of habit. And I’ve learned that, if need be, I can toss back a quart of salt water, which I’m sure will make me some money somewhere down the line. (“No. No WAY you can chug that. I’ll give you ten bucks if you do.”)

Final conclusions about the Master Cleanse? Here’s what I’ve determined. Sure, it cleans out your body, to some degree, because you’re not putting anything in it. I don’t know about flushing out years worth of built up toxins or whatever, but your colon and intestines are probably squeaky clean. However, a similar effect could be achieved by drinking a fiber shake every morning, if you’re that concerned about it. And as someone mentioned in the comments on my first post about the Cleanse, you do have a new appreciation for food when you’re done because you haven’t had any in TEN DAYS.

And all those euphoric feelings and high energy levels that people reported having while on the Cleanse are probably result of being half-starved and running solely on maple syrup. Thinking about it now, I really can’t believe that consuming only that mixture seemed like a good idea. I get carried away sometimes.

So I guess that’s it. Like I said, I’m glad I did it, I learned some things, but the bottom line is, I need food. Period.

And Stanley Burroughs is a f*%king nutjob.

[That delectable photo is courtesy of]