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Super-Green Slimming Machine This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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“You really should be eating healthier,” my twin informed me for about the millionth time. Annoyed, I rolled my eyes at her and bit into my microwave Hot Pocket pizza.

“Who cares? It's not like the food I eat makes a difference,” I replied. “Not everybody has to eat like you do.”

Oh, how ignorant I was. Like millions of others, I had fallen into the processed, fat-filled, greasy trap that the fast-food and frozen-delight industries thrust upon unsuspecting people everywhere. Daily, I was consuming loads of fat, carbs, calories, sugar, sodium, and absolute junk. Processed, packaged foods such as Totino's Pizza Rolls, hamburgers, Toaster Strudels, chips, fries, and ice cream made up my daily diet.

I was aware that many Americans are obese, but I believed that, no way, I couldn't be obese. Obesity meant wobbling like a penguin and constantly stuffing your face with donuts. No, I was just a little rotund. Blinded by my own preconceived notions, I ignored my clever twin's words of caution. Now, looking back, maybe she wasn't condemning me; perhaps she was trying to help.

She and my mom suggested I try a 21-day cleanse. My mom cautiously informed me that I would be committing to loads of vegetables, gallons of water, repulsive supplements, and absolutely no sweets. With my mind overloaded with information and possibly under the spell of my mom's entrancing promises – I've lost 10 pounds already! – I agreed to try it.

Three weeks later and 17 pounds lighter, my mind was cleared, my body was free of disgusting fats, and my confidence was boosted. However, those 21 days were in no way easy.

Honestly, I was terrified of vegetables – they were my Darth Vader and I was Luke Skywalker. I didn't want anything to do with those disgusting, crunchy items people called “food,” but in the end, we became acquainted. A couple of servings of veggies and gallons of water down, I reflected on my previous hypothesis. Perhaps this cleanse wouldn't be so horrific after all. Wrong.

Enter the nasty green, mossy-grass-tasting, pH-level-balancing drink that I had to down for three whole weeks. To choke it down, I used multiple methods: chugging, swishing, sucking on lemon, and plugging my nose. When I finished, I'd brush my teeth vigorously then swish with mouthwash for three whole minutes, making sure no green bits were left. Despite my efforts to rid my mouth of the taste, I soon discovered that if I burped, the grass taste would show up uninvited all over again. This continued for three whole weeks.

Nevertheless, I soon adjusted to the healthy lifestyle. Fruits, vegetables, beans, rice, and water became my new diet, and I found that I enjoyed being healthy. Although I suffered through the nasty-grass drink, various supplements, and a plethora of water and earth-grown foods, I enjoyed feeling lighter, healthier, and more confident.

Since those three treacherous but rewarding cleanse weeks, I have continued my commitment to eating well, drinking gallons of water, doing high-intensity cardio training daily, running races, and sharing my story in the hope of inspiring others.

You may read this and say that losing weight and transforming your life is too hard. Believe me, I know. My mind tempted me with sweets, my body ached, my digestive system was unpredictably annoyed – I am no stranger to the hardships of becoming healthier. In fact, I'd call us best friends. Relationships such as ours go through trials, tribulations, and triumphs. Together we experienced joys, sorrows, upsets, delights, disgust, hope, suffering, gain, loss, failure, and ultimately success.

Now, 41 pounds lighter, my BMI down 7.2 points, and with a healthier lifestyle, I feel accomplished. Some may say that I've reached my goals, that I should stop working. My response? I'm just getting started.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.




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