Weight is a progressive disorder.
By that I mean, if you are overweight and you’re not doing something to lose weight, you’re going to gain it; there’s no middle ground. People who battle obesity consistently fool themselves into thinking they can “take a break” and “maintain for awhile.” They can’t. After all, if they could, why would they not have “maintained” ten or twenty pounds lower? That’s not meant to be snarky; it’s just truth.
Eventually the reality, “I’ve let it get out of control” sets in, closely tailed by panic. When that occurs, logic beats a hasty exit and all sorts of strange get-thin-quick behaviors show up on the front porch.
One of which is “The Cleanse.”
To lay all my cards on the table, I’m not a fan. One reason is that so many “cleanses” are bizarre at best, even downright unhealthy — not to mention unsustainable.
To that point, I relay a recent conversation with a friend. “I’m on day four of a seven-day cleanse,” he said. “I need advice. I’m starving. I can’t think. I’m ready to bite someone’s head off and all I can think of is eating. What do I do?”
Curious, I asked, “Why are you doing this? Why not a more balanced approach like cutting back a little here and there and adding in some exercise? That would work much better — without the side effects.”
“My girlfriend and I wanted to kick start the weight loss. We found this on line.”
“And nothing says ‘safe, reliable, weight loss’ like something on the internet, right?”
“Don’t worry. We checked it out. Besides, everyone’s doing it.”
“You know what I mean. We figured we’d knock off several pounds this week and then start eating sensibly. But, it’s driving me crazy.”
Realizing his mind was locked; I sought additional info. “How does it work?”
“For six days, we eat fruit for breakfast and nuts for lunch. At dinner, it’s boiled chicken and a cup of rice. If we want, we can have more fruit for dessert.”
“That’s pretty close to a starvation diet. A guy your size needs about 2000 calories a day to sustain himself. You’re getting maybe half of that. No wonder you’re going crazy. Can you have anything else?”
“Yeah, as much water as we want.”
“Oh, my heart be still,” I quipped sarcastically. “What happens on day seven?”
“We have the same breakfast and lunch and then at 9:45 at night, we mix one cup of olive oil with cranberry and grape juice and chug it. Then, we lie on our left sides for 20 minutes, right sides for another 20, on our backs for a half hour and then go sleep. In the morning, we are cleansed.”
“Yick. I hope you have more than one bathroom in your house.”
“Yeah, we’re a little nervous about that too. Any advice?”
“Short of what I already told you, I think your only option is to tough it out. Good luck.”
Curious about the results of their seven-day endurance, on day eight I rang him up.
“So, how’d everything turn out this morning?”
“Great! We’re done. We feel fantastic!”
“I bet. Just thinking about drinking a cup of olive oil is enough to make me sick. So, what’s the plan for today?”
“We went out for breakfast and lunch. Tonight, we’re celebrating our success at our favorite restaurant.”
“Uh, what about the diet?”
“Oh yeah, we’re going to maintain for awhile. We’ll start next month.”
About the author: Scott “Q” Marcus is a nationally known weight loss expert for baby boomers and the CRP (Chief Recovering Perfectionist) of www.ThisTimeIMeanIt.com. Check out his new series of free weight loss videos and other inspirational material at www.FourMonthsToGoal.com
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