Life on the other side of the Whole 30 is weird. You think you’re going to want to wear donuts as bracekets, onion rings on your fingers, and swim through a sea of macaroni & cheese where the best case scenario is drowning. Speaking of cheese when you see the whole wheel at the supermarket you think, “I’d really like a piece of that,” but when you say “piece” you mean the whole thing and you want to eat it to the core like a damn granny smith apple. You want to make bread your bitch, and beat the bag inside of a box-o-wine like it owes you money. You would think this is the case, but honestly – the first time I took a bite of a cheeseburger I was scared I would get tasered. Luckily I didn’t, and I thus proceeded to make sweet love to it with my mouth for about thirty minutes.
And beer, you ask? For the sweet love of Jesus, it took you fucking 157 words to talk about beer? Beer was technically the first thing I had, and let me tell you – I would have been better off with that wheel of cheese. Beer covered two fields I hadn’t had in 30 days – gluten and alcohol. I had three drinks and the next day my body felt like I had visited a frat house. It was an eye-opening and interesting 30 days, and I’d like to share some of my overall insights with you all:
- My body is a temple. Not like the one that the Latter-Day Saints like, but it really enjoys not being treated like garbage or as something super adaptable and easy that will always heal itself. I’ve been avoiding the fact my body hates dairy like people in the 1300’s avoided the Bubonic Plague. My sister and I both developed this in our 30’s, and we think it’s really “cute.” Some people get older and wiser and we decided to go with “adult onset acne” and “aversion to lactose.” In any event, physically seeing and feeling the effects of not consuming so much of something that can irk me, was clarifying.
- Hermits aren’t just a crustacean that live at the bottom of the ocean. It was hard to be social because I felt like a burden to my friends. Who wants to hang out with the girl who orders her salad with dressing on the side and asks for water at the bar? If I became that I may as well have gotten a pair of Ugg boots, made an instagram of selfies, and totes started abbreviating all adjectives. I realized that I like staying in and sequestrating myself to Netflix, arts and crafts, my girlfriend, and that I was so content with that. We made it through the most recent season of Grey’s Anatomy and all I can say is I am fucking enraged that Meredith cannot catch a break still. I also realized as much as I like being an introvert, it’s kind of a problem. Moving forward I need to remember no matter how lame my 30’s has allowed me to be, to get out and engage with the world. I have a lot to offer it.
- Moving is so damn important. During the Whole 30 I never got Charlie Sheen Tiger Blood or wanted to run a marathon, but we made a point to be more conscious about moving whether that meant walking Nora Jones (my chihuahua mix, not the singer although I’m down if she’s down) or laying out a yoga mat to do a few poses and stretches on.
- #isurvivedworkingatabreweryandnotdrinking No one chooses to work in craft beer because they are indifferent about drinking beer. I’d say I deserve a promotion for this feat, but I conveniently got one right before I started the Whole 30. However it was not instantaneous and included a period of double-duty, and plenty of transition. Unintentionally aligning my Whole 30 with this time ended up being essential – trust me, some days I wanted to have an IV of Chardonnay mainlined into my veins; but instead I was able to stay clear-headed, focused, and deal with most stresses and anxieties that came up in my day-to-day life. Inside and outside of work.
- Speaking of anxiety, have you met me? I have that! I am a huge supporter of supporting people talking about their own neuroses and since I have a Master’s in Clinical Mental Health Counseling I have the authority to tell you it’s beyond healthy. I was an emotional roller-coaster on the Whole 30. Some days I felt like I was riding natures Prozac and my serotonin levels were soaring, other days I dressed my dachshund in infant sized denim shorts and took gratuitous photos while sobbing about how cute she was. I scoured the internet, which had numerous sources about what happened to your body during the Whole 30, but there was no discussion that existed over the mental and emotional toll. I wrote a very eloquent email to the Whole 30 official website detailing this to them and how I thought it should addressed and received a very nice form email back thanking me for my oh-so-very-crucial feedback.
Since we ended the Whole 30, we’ve now embarked on the whole rest of our lives – day 17. I’m navigating it as well as I would an actual map which as you can imagine for a directionless person is difficult. We’ve chosen to maintain the diet for the most part – but aren’t sorry when we want buttered popcorn with whatever is on Hulu, or to go up to a beer festival in Idaho where the beer flows like wine and I don’t have to say things like “No, I don’t want any of those nachos.” I’m living my life better and healthier than I ever have and continuing forward on a good path without compromising the integrity of my overall enjoyment. The Whole 30? It’s a wrap – and hey, I can eat those now.