Cleansing the fun out of life |

Cleansing the fun out of life

Alison Berkley

I just finished a week-long detox/cleansing program that basically entailed giving up fun stuff and subsisting on a diet of lemon water, brown rice and a bunch of supplements.I know what you’re going to say: “Was it the maple syrup cayenne pepper fast?” Or, “Did you pay that lady 500 bucks to do colonics and prepare raw food meals?” Only in Aspen would you pay that kind of money to starve yourself and have someone stick a hose in your bum. (Yes, I know it’s gross, which is precisely why I didn’t do it.)When it comes to masochism, I’m a do-it-yourself kind of girl. A friend of mine leant me a book on the subject and I actually went to the trouble of reading it. And, let me tell you, reading a 350-page book about nutrition (I took notes and everything) was a lot easier than starving myself and giving up all those fun drugs I normally use to get myself through the day.For the last couple years I’ve been running around bragging to everyone how I lost all the weight I wanted on the Mary-Kate Olsen diet of caffeine, nicotine and alcohol (oversize sunglasses and hobo clothing not required). That worked out great for me and my size 26 jeans, until one night I got drunk on an empty stomach, made out with a gay guy and got in a fight with three of my four best friends. (One of them still isn’t talking to me, but he seriously needs to get over it. I haven’t been punished like this since I was grounded for stealing my mom’s Mercedes when I was 15 and that was only for two weeks.) I do think the people who I have allowed into my inner circle should seriously cut me a little slack. But I feel bad. I decide I should probably clean up my act a little.I make up my mind that I’m going to clean up, like literally, and do this cleanse. I imagine my insides are like my room when it’s messy. I’m going to pick all that dirty laundry up off the floor, wash it, fold it, and put it away before it gets dirty again. Hell, I might even iron and starch it. I can picture my organs going from dust-covered and stained to all pink and neat and perfect. Most of all, I can visualize my heart, pumping harder and stronger instead of feeling like it might just break. (Sniff, sniff)So I go and spend like a gazillion dollars on all these supplements and organic beets and purified water and a rice cooker and a body brush and all natural toothpaste and soap. (The butt-cleaner lady who does the raw food meals was probably cheaper in the end.)I wake up on Day 1 and I’m starving. I have this horrible headache, like someone is sticking their fingers in my eyeballs and realize I’m going through serious caffeine withdrawal. I feel like one of those drug addicts you see in movies, writhing around on sweat-soaked bed sheets, seeing things and screaming and puking. (OK, so it wasn’t that bad, but you get the idea.) At one point I call Tim because I’m kind of freaked out about how bad I feel and he goes, “Maybe you should drink a Coke or something.” I hang up on him and tell myself that I really need this. I tell myself my insides will be scrubbed clean like a mud-covered Jeep that goes through the car wash, all waxed and polished and pretty. When positive thinking doesn’t work, I crawl into bed and sleep for 18 hours.After two days of fasting I weigh less than I ever have in my life (yessss!). I get to start eating brown rice, which, after two days of starving to death sounds like the most amazing thing ever. I go to hot yoga every day and everyone fawns all over me and tells me how good I look (yesssss!). In yoga, I am super-bendy and have steely focus. (As Bikram himself would say, “I don’t even blink.”) My caffeine withdrawal has gone away. I’m productive, focused and writing up a storm. The dark circles under my eyes are gone and I look 10 years younger (yesss!). In fact, I feel awesome. I almost forget that half my friends are mad at me for being a drunken ass. I’m actually kind of bummed because now I know I can’t go back to the way I was living before. I fear my double life as a health-food-eating-yogi-runner-snowboard-chick by day and derelict by night might be over. I’m afraid I might have to retire my stunt double. That girl who frequents the bars and does things she shouldn’t because she thinks it’s fun might not be having so much fun after all. The worst part is, I know I’m going to miss her. She’s cool.A lot of us Aspenites live a double life. By day, we’re these psycho-athletes who train for uphill this and endurance that. By night, we’re all out late night partying like rock stars. Hello, you know who you are because we see each other every night of the week, especially during offseason.I remember this one night, I saw my old yoga teacher at the Cigar Bar, cuddled up with a whiskey soda at like o’clock in the morning.”Shouldn’t you be at home doing pranayama breathing?” I asked. He sneered at me like he was ready to break my face with his glass. Let’s just say he was hardly a picture of peace and serenity. He was human.I’m just afraid that the “play hard, party hard” mentality of life in Aspen might be out the window for me … at least for now.For even more intimate details on the life of the Princess, check out her blog at

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