Pray for Her Soul: Jen Stith Is on a Juice Cleanse


ONE TIME last year I tried to put myself on a diet for 5 days that I cleverly designed using my very advanced nutritional skills. I was to avoid foods beginning with the letter C for 5 days straight, including but not limited to candy, cake, cupcakes, cookies, crackers, cheese, and I threw in bread despite the obvious lack of C because it seemed responsible. I was not 24 hours into my journey before I was swinging bananas at people (this is NOT an exaggeration). I was legitimately disconsolate.

Well, that time of year has come again where I begin to feel the weight of my reverse-gluten-free lifestyle, except this time, I really want to do a juice cleanse.  Simply put, my diet is out of control. Someone once told me that if you gave a five-year-old child the unrestrained ability to choose how and when to feed herself, she would eat just like me. Given my age, this is not okay.

There is a twofold problem with this juice cleanse yearning of mine. The first is that I can’t even eliminate ONE of like 15 awful components in my diet, so where I get off thinking I could survive on juice for even 2 hours is mind-blowing. The second problem is that I recently broke off my very short-lived relationship with my Toyota Prius and traded up for an Audi Q5 TDI. In my mind, 29 is not an age to be pragmatic; it is a time to panic about being nearly-thirty/not having your s**t together, and to make highly impetuous decisions on a whim, because you feel like it. I am the queen of rationalizing something when I want it, so I worked out the upgrade justification in a matter of hours despite the fact that there really is no logical way to reconcile the transition from one of the most economical and affordable cars on the market to a luxury SUV, especially considering I live 25 miles from my place of employment.

I failed miserably to properly update my budget with a projected monthly cost of diesel fuel and undershot the mark by about $250 a month. Like magic, I now have a doubled car payment and a quintupled gas responsibility. Even still, I have NO REGRETS. My Prius was ruining my entire state of being and it had terrible juju. I’m telling you, this car had an evil spirit. I received more moving citations and made more car-to-car contact in one year of driving that demonic toy boat than in 12 years of driving my trusted Honda CRV. Plus, I’ve always made rash decisions and dealt with the consequences later. It is a desultory way of life I have embraced, but now I cannot afford a bewilderingly expensive LA juice cleanse without making sacrifices elsewhere and I don’t know how to handle it.

I’ve had the car for one week and I’ve started and ended more sentences with “I’m too poor now” than I can count, and mind you this is all in relation to things like highly unnecessary massages and designer sunscreen. I certainly didn’t leave room in my budget this month for $180 dollars worth of crudité juice. The idea of pulverized vegetables makes me want to vomit. Yet, I can no longer ignore the need to prove to myself that I can subsist on liquefied fruits and vegetables for three full days, even if it kills me or endangers others.

One way to ensure I stick to my guns on something is if it hits my wallet, which this certainly will. I have tried eating “healthily” plenty of times and it lasts about half an hour. I can’t even be blamed. It’s literally like Willy Wonka is the Creative Pantry Director at my place of employment. We have six different extra-large Lucite containers filled to the brim with assorted candy at all times, and the cabinets are almost always exploding with BBQ Lays, Chili Cheese Fritos, Gushers, Fruit Roll Ups, Double Stuf Oreos, and like sixteen types of peanut butter. I basically work at reverse Fat Camp.  And you should feel very bad for me because one can only be in the presence of such delicious treats for so long before breaking down and living it up like calories don’t exist. That being said, if I’m spending $60 a day on juice as a neophyte hobo, I’m not going to destroy it with office Skittles; but if I’m not, then I will. Did you get that?

What I’ve resolved to do here is earn my juice cleanse by proving to myself that I can make it a period of time without just one of my vices; you know, the baby-step approach. I’ve had Sour Patch Kids and chocolate for dinner the last 3 nights in a row, so candy it is. To give the sweets addiction a little more context, last weekend while at California Adventure, my boyfriend shut down my request to have a giant cinnamon roll as my lunch (or ideally in addition to my lunch) by ignoring my repeated, audible desire to purchase it. When I insisted on a massive Ghirardelli sundae shortly thereafter, he politely told me he thinks I may have a problem with “wanting sweets too often.” Like any normal girlfriend, I promptly accused him of calling me fat and probably tried to attack him with in public, but he was quick to make the distinction that he was more concerned about my overall health (or lack thereof). In my defense, it was a cookie bottom sundae smothered in vanilla ice cream, hot fudge, whipped cream, and a cherry. On what planet do you deny yourself this delicious treat? I don’t want to live in that world. Trust, I would have caused him both mental and physical harm had he tried to intervene with my fudge agenda, and he knew it, so he bought it, and I ate that sundae till I pretty much needed to be wheeled out of the park. I knew what I needed to do, but I needed time to mentally prepare.

Several days and more than several Sprinkles cupcakes later, I consulted one of my coworkers on how long I should try to live without candy for. He suggested ten days. This offended me as I had three or five days in mind. He said with great conviction that it had to be seven or three days only, so I chose three. My next thought was whether donuts count as candy. I told him my intention was to build toward a juice cleanse. His response came in the form of a fully committed laugh and the statement, “Jennie, you cannot do a juice cleanse.”


It is Tuesday night and I have accomplished just about 72 hours without candy. Are you proud? You shouldn’t be. Let me summarize my weekend for you: sliders, ranch, curly fries, ranch, crackers, more crackers, pizza, ranch, giant pretzel (no ranch). I probably would have saved calories had I just done my normal candy-as-a-meal routine.  I’m the person who went to the grocery store and bought eleven pounds of cheese and bacon when the Atkins diet came out, thinking I could eat cheese and bacon all day long for the rest of my life and be thin and beautiful as long as I avoided bread. The delusion is real. The jig is up.

I have exactly $278 in my “spending” account for the next week, and I just allocated $180 of it for a three-day juice cleanse. Deal done. Purchase made. For everyone’s edification, I declined the Deluxe Enema Kit add on to save myself a hot 35 bucks. I fully intend to drive downhill as much as possible lest I run out of gas, as I have no cash money left to fill a 19-gallon diesel-hungry tank. The juice website claims this cleanse will help me break food addictions and free me from my dietary rut. Unfortunately, I am not sure if these Kool-Aid drinkers could possibly be aware of the extent of my addiction to candy, pizza, fries, and any of their delectable friends. I could get addicted to cotton balls if it were possible. The personality trait is real. It is ingrained into my soul and I need these foods to survive. I must give myself time to accept what I have done, as I am already depressed, hungry, and furious that I have to drink juice for three days.  I’ve considered canceling the order. This is my actual nightmare. I’ll be back to update if I don’t walk the plank before I get through this.

Friends of the holy world, please pray. I’m going to need all the help I can get.

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