It's become tradition that I do my Cleanse program the beginning of each new year. I also have most of my clientel do it.
The Cleanse is a nutrition program I developed back in 1997. I had a personal training client of mine that was in her 50's. She exercised quite hard and very consistently, yet still wanted to shed 10 to 15 lbs. She had tried every diet out there, but as we know, these many times offer up false promises or don't work. I had watched many clients battle with diets and I realized that the reason most didn't work was because they weren't breaking old, bad habits, and establishing new, healthy ones. The other thing was that most people work better with a deadline.
I came up with the concepts of the Cleanse because I wanted something that would do just that, cleanse. It had to be easy on the GI system and it also needed to get the metabolism firing off efficiently. I came up with two weeks because I thought that those doing it could see an end to their plan, and, in the back of my mind, knew that if one followed it 100%, they'd want to carry it on for longer because they'd be feeling really good by the end of week 2.
The Cleanse was never a diet or weight loss plan! It, again, was a way to break old habits, establish new ones, and cleanse the system. One of the main benefits derived from it however was the sense of empowerment from having the willpower to stick through it for two weeks. Those that did, and did'nt cheat, not only reaped the physical rewards but also felt really, really good about their accomplishment. But weight loss was never the main objective. It has, however, become a side effect if you follow the plan 100%. In fact, the average weight loss over the two weeks is 7 lbs and I know most of you are thinking that "this is just water and you'll gain it all, blah, blah, blah..." but the weight stayed off because of the changed habits and increased mental strength and discipline. My 50+ year old client that I first developed this for was fitting in her high school jeans for the first time since high school, and her energy was through the roof.
OK, now that we have a history of the Cleanse, let's jump to the last two weeks. I received more e-mails and phone calls from the athletes I coach saying things like "I eat pretty healthy so I'm doing a modified version." or "I don't want to lose weight so I don't need to do it." or "I am starving on this damn diet." My responses were always; You are copping out by modifying it. How many times have you been on the Cleanse? How many times have you finished it? It appears that you need it more for the mental challenge and willpower than for the physical benefits. We can justify anything, so keep telling yourself that you could do it if you had to but since your healthy, a modified version would be fine. It's, again, not about weight loss. You're not freakin' starving! Unless you haven't eaten in a few days, you aren't starving. In fact, the Cleanse isn't as low in calories as you think.
Lisa and I finished the Cleanse on Saturday and went out to the Bar in New Haven to meet friends who joined us for the Plunge that day and had some great pizza and beer. After eating clean, we both awoke the next day feeling like shit. Lisa said she was hung over, but she didn't drink enough to be hung over. She really just had food hang over, as well as I!
This past Saturday, we did our third annual Plunge in LI sound to raise money for something charitable. The first year, it was to raise money for the Tsunami victims in the South Pacific. That event went so well, that I organized it again the next year for my friend Denny White's nephew who was battling cystic fibrosis. This year, I chose two other friends who have two children, both diagnosed with autism.
People commented that this years plunge would be easy since the weather has been so warm here in New England. I don't know about anyone else, but it's still not that comfortable diving into 50 degree water on a 45 degree day!!! However, compared to the year it was 17 degrees out and windy, this was a cake walk.
I'm always encouraged, thankful, amazed, gracious, at the amount of support my friends show for these fundraising wacked out ideas of mine. We raised $8000 for the Wade family. They have been wanting to get their kids into this specialist in Boston, and the funds we raised for them will do this.
It was really great seeing friends Saturday morning take the plunge with me, or come out to watch, or send in contributions even though they couldn't attend.
When I originally sent out a note recruiting people to Plunge and raise $$, I mentioned that I'd dip in my speedo if we made over $5000. I stayed true to my word as the pictures and video on the home page attest to.
Thanks everyone. I'm honored to be associated with such decent and great people.