Menopause, Weight Gain And The Master Cleanse

by Lisa René LeClair

Every year around the same time, I begin to feel oddly connected to my inner pudge. It typically starts around the end of October with candy-filled pumpkins and the Starbucks walk of shame, and it lasts anywhere between Valentine’s hearts and Cadbury eggs. But this year? It came early. There are a lot of things I could blame it on, like laziness or not eating the right foods, but I’m going to go ahead and call a spade a spade: It’s menopause, and it sucks.

Like most women my age, I use skinny jeans as a benchmark to know when it’s time to slow down. But last week, my zipper split in half, causing part of it to shoot upward and poke through my cornea. Now, I’m not even sure where my pants are. I would say it was a real eye-opener, having a metal clasp destroy the only youthful part of my face, but the bad pun, coupled with the fact that I’m now blind in one eye, has killed any desire for advanced learning. Still, I wake up every morning and pray that these stumps will once again be able to squeeze through the holes of my pant legs so I can burn my Spanx. Ladies, that day has arrived.

For the past two weeks, I took part in what some have called “The Stupidest Diet on the Planet.” I mean, who in her right mind would go 10 days without solid food? A desperate, middle-aged mother who blinks tears of Neosporin, maybe. The thing is, it isn’t a diet; it’s a 10-day detoxification for your body consisting of nothing but lemons, water, maple syrup and cayenne pepper. It also happens to be a quick way to shed some unwanted pounds, so why not? In my book, anything that keeps the weight off without killing me is a win-win, and the only thing I was willing to lose was an extra 10 pounds.

For those who are still curious about whether or not the Master Cleanse is right for you, I took it upon myself to journal the experience. Bon appétit!

10 Day Meal Planner

1 Shitload of lemons Water Grade B maple syrup Cayenne pepper Note: Skip the salt-water flush. Too gross.

Master Cleanse | Day 1: 3:45 p.m.

It is cold—arctic. I keep waiting for Björk to show up with a popsicle or something, but she never does. So far, I have had five lemonade cocktails and licked a stamp just for flavor. Everything smells like chicken. I’m thinking of eating the cat.

Master Cleanse | Day 2: 10:27 a.m.

This morning, I caught myself licking the computer screen in what I thought was an attempt to get a taste of a home-cooked meal. Turns out, a friend of mine on Facebook had some fake nipples posted on her wall that looked just like eggs. Remind me to pick up some Windex.

Master Cleanse | Day 3: 1:14 p.m.

When you do this particular cleanse, it is common that your tongue will turn a ghastly shade of white during the first couple of days. They say it is a sign that the toxins are leaving your body, but it looks more like Häagen-Dazs vanilla bean ice cream to me. Oh, for Pete’s sake, call the paramedics. I think I just swallowed my tongue.

Master Cleanse | Day 4: 6:25 p.m.

There is a hair in my throat that tastes like seaweed and chicken. It’s delicious.

Master Cleanse | Day 5: 5:13 a.m.

It is dark outside. I hear a scratch at my window. There is a chipmunk glaring at me with glassy eyes. What does he want? He is laughing and rolling around in the dirt. Wait, he is trying to say something. He just mouthed the word “idiot” while pointing to a bowl of lemons that I have on the counter. I think he is mocking me.

Master Cleanse | Day 6: 9:26 a.m.

I’m so ashamed. This morning, I cheated like an Ashley Madison subscriber. I tried to look away, to ignore the advances, but I just couldn’t help myself. It’s weird how possible it is to actually chew a cappuccino, but dammit, that sucker was good!

Master Cleanse | Day 7: 2:28 p.m.

My turkey neck is gone because I ate it! I hate you, Master Cleanse.

Master Cleanse | Day 8: 4:36 p.m.

I saw a squirrel today. He had the most peculiar coat of fur. It reminded me of a mixture that I once concocted of Nutella and peanut butter. Unfortunately, it did not taste the same.

Master Cleanse | Day 9: 10:56 a.m.

I can see my toes again. They look different somehow, more edible. Oh, lord. I gotta go.

Master Cleanse | Day 10: 7:16 p.m.

I did it! I made it the full 10 days without killing anyone (that I know of). I feel so alive (read: starving)! I can’t wait to parade around the gym in those no-longer-ill-fitting spandex and to chew again. I can’t wait to chew something! I wonder if it will hurt my jaw. I wonder if I’ll get full after only one bite. I wonder if food will taste the same. I wonder if Domino’s delivers to my house. I wonder if I still have that 2-for-1 deal. I wonder if I should just go pick it up.

Oh, screw it. I wonder how strong that new zipper is.