I tried to give a basic and quick rundown of the things I indulged in since my Whole30 ended and how I felt afterward, but it turned out terribly long and boring. If you can’t be bothered to read all that junk but still want to know (for some unfathomable reason) how I will proceed with my diet from here on out, feel to scroll down to The Bottom Line (which is still rambley and long as shit, but pffft oh well).
All of the rice in my bento and onigiri made me feel bloated and heavy, and while I was eating it, it felt like a lot of flavorless filler. Eating a bowl of cereal with dairy milk felt much the same way, and I couldn’t even finish it. The milk tasted watery and the cereal was like mulch. I drank a can of Kirin lager, my typical go-to basic beer, and it seemed so bitter and yuck. I was really surprised about this, since I know I love beer and I was missing it acutely. I had a couple different pastries too, a type of cream puff and a sort of danish, both were given to me at work and both made me sluggish and felt like rocks in my stomach. Really, the most shocking part of all of this is that none of it even tasted good to me and none of it was satisfying. After eating these things I felt somewhat ill, but I also felt like I hadn’t really eaten anything at all. I was still hungry for something more substantial.
This isn’t to say that there aren’t things that I am stoked to have back in my diet. I had a piece of milk chocolate the other night with nuts and fruit and it was heavenly. Chocolate is a keeper, now and forever. I am drinking a macadamia nut mocha which is packed with sugar I am sure, and it is really delightful. You can’t go wrong with coffee either, let’s face it. Cheese is something that I can’t let go of either, though it has to be true cheese (imported or specialty) and not the weird mysterious white cheese that Japan is in love with. I also tried some candy, gummies and cookies I have been giving to my kids this week as prizes in some games, and they suited me just fine, though they weren’t anything to write home about.
Something I haven’t had yet is bread. I know that I won’t go back to Japan’s weird, super-thick white bread. I never even liked it in the first place. But I love a good crunchy, crusty bread, to dip in olive oil and balsamic or used for a sandwich. That type of bread, and but that I mean the good stuff, is hard to come by in Japan, so until I find an especially good-looking loaf, I am going to put bread on hold. I also haven’t had any beans, soy or otherwise. I never had any trouble with those in the past though and doubt I will have trouble with them in the future. Two things I am excited to try again are ice cream and sushi, two of my absolute favorite foods. I will give them a whirl this weekend, for better or worse.
All right, enough rambling. Let’s get down to it.
The Bottom Line.
The bottom line is that going back to “normal” food had, in less than 24 hours, made me feel shamed and icky, both physically and mentally. Sure, I took a no holds barred type of attitude about transitioning back into non-compliant food and let myself get down with a whole lot of junk. But before the Whole30 doing that is something I would’ve loved and happily indulged in. Now, it feels like something I have to slog through. I’m not enjoying it, because it doesn’t taste as good as I remember, and it certainly doesn’t make me feel good. Physically it is making me feel sluggish, bloated, heavy, and somewhat ill. What’s even worse though is how it is making me feel emotionally.
I started the Whole30 because I needed and craved a set of guidelines to help clean up my diet. Doing this wasn’t always easy, and there were days when I wanted to (and did indeed) cheat. The Whole30 didn’t totally release me from all of those cravings, but it has helped me realize that I absolutely have the willpower to say no to them. And, as I mentioned at length above, it even showed me that my tastes can change, or even that maybe I wasn’t actually craving/enjoying those things at all; I was just seeking some weird comfort or solace in food that I am no longer looking for.
Perhaps all of this seems like bullshit, but I really do feel like doing this diet has given me a real feeling of self control and food freedom. Before the Whole30 I was suffering from indecision and shame all of the time; eating was so difficult, which sounds so stupid! Now, I know exactly what I can eat. I can eat as much of it as I want until I am full, and I never feel guilty about it. And you know what, it tastes really great! Sure there were days when I thought, “Oh Lord, not another goddamned salad.” But honestly, it forced me to become more and more creative in the kitchen, and I ended up making some of the best meals I have made in a long time!
Can I do Whole30 everyday of my life? Mayyybe I could. Will I do Whole30 everyday of my life? Absolutely not. I am far too passionate about food to do that! So I am going to be really critical of the things I am putting in my body and why from now on, and remember to take a step back every once in a while to evaluate my food habits so that I don’t start falling back into the same traps that I have been in for most my life. And if I start backsliding againand am unable to have those liberties without taking them too far, then it is back on the Whole30 again to remind myself that I can indeed restrain myself.