The Cleanse

Still losing weight! The Somae Health program is kicking my butt, but it’s working better than I expected it would.

So with Phase Once complete, it was time to move into Phase Two, which is a lot like Phase One, except with fewer calories. But prior to fewer calories, it was time for essentially, well, no calories. The transition from Phase One to Phase Two includes – THE CLEANSE.

Basically, a cleanse is a two-day non-religious fast where you can drink all the water you want, along with a wild concoction consisting of water, freshly squeezed lemons and limes, and grade B maple syrup, with just a dash of cayenne pepper thrown in. It sounds nasty, and it tastes… well, it tastes OK, actually. Sort of a rugged lemonade with a kick. You’re not supposed to add all the cayenne pepper at once, because you prepare a gallon of the stuff the night before, and cayenne gets hotter the longer it sits in water. So I mixed up a gallon, poured it into 12-ounce water bottles, and dropped in a dash of pepper before consumption took place.

The next two days did not allow me to separate myself from the food-eating public. My kids were in a huge group piano recital at the mall, and their piano teacher had bamboozled me into playing the role of “The Phantom,” a generically evil guy who would do dastardly deeds while a horde of prepubescent pianists accompanied me with a song by the same name.

I didn’t want to play The Phantom. In the first place, it was stupid. In the second place, it was very stupid. I grumbled and mumbled and made excuses, but she cornered me the day before, and when asked point blank, I found I couldn’t say no.

“Oh, that’s terrific!” she said. “Let me
make it up to you – dinner anywhere, on me.”

When your only dinner is cayenne lemonade, that’s not the most exciting offer in the world.

So, anyway, I phantomed, a process which involved me peeking around pianos and making goofy aces while dressed in black pants, a black turtleneck, a black wool trenchcoat, and black sunglasses.

The black pants were skinny pants that I hadn’t been able to squeeze into for several years. I should have given them away, but there they were, ready and willing to accommodate a phantom. My neck size has also shrunk an inch and a half, which allowed me to squeeze through the tight turtleneck without feeling like a cow. All in all, if the choice was between food and fat clothes and phantoming in skinny clothes, I liked my options.

(I should note that I took liberties with the costume. She wanted to put a kid’s Dracula cape on me and paint my face. I preferred the phantom-as-mugger look that wouldn’t require makeup remover.)

My parents came to the recital, ad my mother, the diet and fitness guru that she is, couldn’t stop congratulating me on how skinny I looked. She was also impressed that as he took my kids to lunch at the food court, where they gorged themselves on Panda Express and some mustard-covered bunned beef thing, I sat and ate nothing, dutifully sipping my pepper juice. That night, they took the kids to Sweet Tomatoes, an all-you-can-eat soup and salad place, and, again, I came armed with the drink that cleanses. I kept offering sips to my kids and my brother’s kids, who joined us at the restaurant.

“Do you know what that looks like?” my nephew asked.

“Yes, but it doesn’t taste like that,” I replied.

They weren’t convinced. I took another sip, and they buried their heads in all-you-can-eat frozen yogurt. Only my lovely bride was brave enough to sip from my cup, but she wasn’t willing to do it unless I avoided adding pepper.

Surprisingly, it didn’t bother me much. I was proud of myself for not cheating on the program, and while I was a little light-headed, I wasn’t insanely hungry.
I lost five pounds in two days.

But then came Phase Two…

(To be continued…)

Phase Two and a Big Head

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