Impressionable. I am nothing if not impressionable. ~10 years ago I read this article about a reporter who went to a spa in Thailand that demanded 10 days of fasting with twice-daily enemas. The result was apparently years of gunk being washed out (shared in graphic detail). While most [sane] people read this with a strange fascination, a shudder, a decision to maybe think about cutting down on red meat *after* plowing down their Sunday morning fry up and then a continuation of their previous life with nary a thought about it again – that is not what happened to me. Take a naive, gullible girl with a penchant for crazy diets, a touch of an eating disorder and a healthy helping of the ADHD-related impulsivity /novelty seeking and a lifelong obsession with getting rid of the gunk in her colon was born.
Initially I was going to do it in the summer holidays when I was a teacher… but while the spa was affordable, the flights were prohibitively expensive (apparently I don’t want a shiny new colon as much as I want shiny new shoes). Same went for the PhD, although I *promised* myself it would be my post-PhD treat. Until I realised I was broke as fuck and moving the US after said academic adventure. So, two more years of thinking about this article, sending it to people, reading about it – even devouring the 5 year follow up (which only fueled my zeal) and I learned that you don’t have to go all the way to Thailand to do it. People do ‘The Master Cleanse’. 10 days of you, maple syrup, cayenne pepper and lemons. Oh, and daily colonics. Self administered. But wait! Some people do ‘The Ultimate Cleanse’ – throw in the bentonite and pysillium shakes (thanks Whole Foods) and you too can have muciod plaque (go on – google it – I dare ya) pouring out of your derriere like you’ve woken up still drunk and found last night’s kebab warming on the radiator and decided to give it a whirl.
When put like that – who wouldn’t want to do it?
Of course, a 10 day ‘lemon and maple’ fast is not going to be easy. To be honest, I am not sure I can complete it. I can gag down the salt water flush. I can suffer the indignity of self administered enemas. But 10 days with no wine? No Greek yogurt? No tea? No so much So, I took the bold step of publicly announcing that I was going to do this, to force my hand, so to speak. It started with telling the new postdoc (yup, literally my first words to poor Curtis were “Hi, my name is Lekki, I am a postdoc in Epi. On Monday, I am going to drink nothing but Lemon juice and maple syrup for 10 days”). Bolstered by success (he cried “The Lemonade Diet! I tried that! I failed after 4 days, I so want to do it again!”), I brought it up at a dinner party (Ya, I am a lovely guest). David (lifelong obesity and health researcher, long suffering surrogate parent to me (whether he chooses to accept the role or not) now I am in The States and general ‘sensible person’) looked horrified. “But… 10 days? You can’t… why.. it’ll be awful.. you won’t be able to”, he spluttered as he called upon years of nutrition training to figure out what the heck was going to happen to my body. To nay sayers, I say Yay.
So, of course, I announced it at my 30th on Saturday night. When people asked why, I explained the horrors of muciod plaque (seriously.. google it…). ‘That’s going to come out of you?” people yelled. And Michelle uttered the fateful words “Of course you’ll blog about it… with pictures”.
Of course I will. So, I got through the wedding. I got through 2 weeks of fast food and slamming wine with 12 am bedtimes to get the grant in. I had the birthday celebrations. And here I am, The Ultimate Cleanse T-1. I skipped the ‘ease-in’ of 3 days of organic fruit and veg and opted instead for pizza and cookies tonight, followed by a late night sundae (OK, TWO late night sundaes) and a glass of red wine. I mean – what is the point in detoxing if there isn’t a lot of tox, right? I had my herbal laxative tea. ‘Smooth move’ if you must know. I had my 8oz of warm water. The lemons, cayenne, bentonite and assorted supplements are all waiting. And now, now I wait.
See you on the other side.