The Willpower to do….

Currently I am on Day 8 of the 10-day Master Cleanse. This is the second year in the row I’ve done this cleanse and it is definitely not for the weak hearted. Most people refer to it as the lemonade diet and use it for weight loss, but I’m doing it to cleanse my body of all the dietary toxins I may have accumulated over the last year. I think everyone should flush their bodies of toxins, build-up, and any other harmful things they digest. When I first heard about it, the thought of it seemed easy, but as the process began, I realized how much willpower I needed to complete a 10- (long) day restrictive diet. I usually try to do the cleanse during low stress periods because being under stress and trying to complete the cleanse isn’t the healthiest way to go. The cleanse takes a lot of discipline and anything can cause you to throw in the towel if overwhelmed by stress.

So 8 days ago, I went and got the items that were needed for the cleanse; organic lemons, grade B maple syrup, distilled water, cayenne pepper, unrefined sea salt, Smooth Move laxative tea, and  vegetable broth. Between running from Whole Foods, Traders Joes, and Giant, my grocery list was satisfied and I was ready to begin. I knew I was going to be drinking about 3 liters a day of this stuff, so I broke it up into making 2 batches of the concoction every 6-7 hours (you can not make the whole thing at once because the first batch spoils after a 12 hour period- the enzymes in the lemonade become less effective). Anyhow, when you first taste the lemonade, you may be surprised, that it doesn’t taste horrible (but it definitely doesn’t taste great). It is what one would call an “acquired taste”. It is a taste you need to get used to because it is all that you will be tasting for the next 10 days. Whoopee!!

My first day was a breeze, but I credit that to being mentally prepared from last year. I drank this cayenne-spiced lemonade whenever I got hungry and continued on with my day trying not to think of food. Now, some people have said they have gotten an excruciating headache the first day, but I believe that everything is mind over matter; get past the first day and things will get easier.

With that said, my second day was not so easy. Willfully, I fought through my hunger pains by drinking the mix, but it was frustrating and difficult. However my mindset was, this wasn’t the first time I had experienced hunger pains. It was just the first time I refrained from my first instinct of quenching my immediate desire by eating. This day was going to be my ultimate test of will. I was cranky, my stomach growled continuously, and I was uncomfortable. In my opinion, being uncomfortable for some people is not an option.  I believe some people self-medicate in their everyday life to ease their pain; whether it be with alcohol, sex, food, or drugs. Those type of people never make it through the cleanse.

Days three, four, and five, weren’t a walk in the park but it beat out day two. I was even able to workout because my energy level was so high. The funniest part of this cleanse is the heightening of your sense of smell. I was able to smell the frying of the chicken from Hip Hop Chicken as soon as I hit the corner of Reisterstown road, and it was only nine o’clock in the morning. The doors and lights were off but I knew someone was back there frying up a juicy chicken leg.

By days six and seven, I was tired of the taste of the lemonade and craved for something different. I’m a girl that likes variety so the monotony was driving me crazy. The one thing that kept me on track was the visual changes to my body. My stomach miraculously had no fat (no overlap when I sat down).

So now I am on Day 8, with two more days to go. The one thing I truly detest about the Master Cleanse is the sea salt flush. At the end of each day, you are to drink the laxative tea before you go to sleep. In about 6 hours, your body will wake you up (if you know what I mean!). You must first drink warm water with a teaspoon of the unrefined sea salt, which will run through you like a Russian racehorse at a Kentucky Derby. That first day was the most horrible stomach pain one can imagine. Your body can not throughly process salt that is not iodized so it cleans out all of the toxins you have stored. As the days go by, it definitely gets easier, but that first day is a doozy.

All in all, I think the cleanse does wonders. It is something I don’t look forward to but I do because of the end results. Sometimes that is how life is; there are things you don’t like to do but the effort always pays off. I’ve learned that my willpower and endurance are stronger as a result. My will to win is bound with hard work and determination. When the going gets tough, I don’t throw in the towel, and I can hold out if the pay off is worth it. I don’t succumb to peer pressure and  have no problem being different. I don’t cheat and when I put my mind to something I complete it. These are all the emotions and obstacles you overcome with the cleanse. Your mind and body have to be in sync to make it work. While doing the cleanse, I have cooked for people, had dinner meetings, been at functions catered with delicious food and still been steadfast about my mission. Even when it came to traveling, I packed up my items and made it work on the road. No excuses has been my motto. If you are in great health and want to challenge yourself, then this is something for you to try. At the end, you will feel healthier, energetic, and proud that you were able to complete something this difficult. Your body will look great and your willpower will be strengthened.

I go to http://www.themastercleanserecipe.org for the correct measurements and overview of the process. It is more like  a 14 day process, because after the tenth day, soft solids are allowed, vegetable broth by Day 11, and so forth. Because your body has been purified, nutrients and vitamins absorb into your bloodstream better. This is my second year and I have not been disappointed with any of my results.

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