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Whole 30 Day 1 : Pain & Confusion

DAY 1

12.29.16 : 9:40 a.m.

It’s day 1 of the Whole 30 “diet” for Alexis and me. I put diet in quotes because the authors were all adamant about it not being another one of those books – 17 Days to a 12 Pack, or whatever. You know the kind of popular books I mean, the ones that sell fast but usually get abandoned by January 5th.

This thing is going to be different. And it’s not going to be easy. For starters, we spent $219 at Whole Foods last night getting the basics for our first FEW DAYS of meals. So, an early note, this diet is not accessible to all. It might end up not being accessible to us, actually.

A lot of people say you’ll save money in the long run by cutting out alcohol, but since I haven’t really drank in 5 years, let alone spent any time swilling $20 Manhattans in a swanky bar somewhere, this doesn’t seem like it’s going to save me any money.

Alexis is in the kitchen right now making breakfast. And that is not a sexist comment, that is just reality. We are both hoping that this experience somehow cuts into my very serious medical condition – uncontrollable gas. Although, I make the argument that if I lose my farts then we lose 40% of all our laughs throughout the course of a day. Alexis is iffy on my position, but we’ll see.

I’ve come into day one with a bit of a running start. I cut out snack foods – popcorn, chips, hummus, cheese puffs – essentially all the greats – four days ago. I’ve already noticed drug-like cravings for tortilla chips and pretty much all snacks in general. It feels similar to the time(s) I quit smoking cigarettes. Already this is making me painfully aware of how much the food I eat controls my mind.

For breakfast this morning, I am eating an omelette with spinach and tomatoes. Some avocado on the side. I can already tell I am going to spend most of the next 30 days very hungry.

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Alexis and I talked last night about safe words and things like that. What we should tell each other if we are on the verge of a snack attack. Or what to do if I find her in the bedroom closet with a bowl of Honey Nut Cheerios and a machete. It turns out the safe words weren’t a good idea. Mine was nachos. Hers was lava cake. We decided to just hide all the sharp objects. This is a commitment. And it’s a far greater commitment than most are willing to make.

10:04 a.m.

My mind just told me this is a ridiculous diet and depriving myself of any of life’s great delicacies was an act of masochism. It reminded me of the same thought process that puts me at odds with fitness teachers when they’re trying to make me work harder than I want to. My first reaction is to blame others. I am guessing we all have this in common. Please tell me we all have this in common.

My motivators: I’ve managed to gain 15 pounds in the last year and a half from a combination of traveling 150 days a year and engaging in a domestic partnership where my body intuitively knew it was acceptable to let a little love hang over the side of my belt loops. No matter how much I work out, I’m not able to shed this heaviness that I’ve been carrying. It has also been a while since I’ve truly challenged myself. But mostly the belt loop situation.

I’ve already had 3 cups of tea this morning. Breakfast is done and I’m starving. How is it possible I’m more hungry than when I started? They say it can take a couple weeks to transition from carbs for energy to fat for energy. Can’t wait.

10:07 a.m.

Just ate an orange and a handful of mixed nuts and asked Alexis if she was going to start making lunch.

10:41 a.m.

It’s only 10:41am.

1:07 p.m.

Lunch! Dear god, where have you been all my life?

Today we have a protein salad. Chicken, avocado, grapes, celery, spring mix, and some homemade mayo.

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Okay, so this is the best salad we’ve had at home in a while. You can tell there’s some inspiration in the kitchen as we embark on our new journey.

1:17 p.m.

I’m very hungry.

Now is the time when I would have a half a bag of tortilla chips with some salsa and hummus. I opened the door to the cabinet anyway. I looked up to the top shelf, the forbidden shelf, and saw all my old friends there. I miss them.

2:06 p.m.

My head feels like it’s being beaten by an angry redhead.

We tried to see Manchester by the Sea. Again. For the third time. And it was sold out.Again. For the third time. I made sure everyone at the theater felt worthless before we left and Alexis almost bitch-slapped the parking attendant when she told us it was going to be $1.

Alexis said, “But we didn’t even get to see the movie.” I could see that vein in her neck growing.

I had cash but I paid with a credit card so she would have to work that much harder.

It doesn’t help that I’m coming off a brief visit with a cold. I’m having a hard time differentiating the source of my misery – cold or Whole 30. Pretty sure it’s Whole 30.

5:08 p.m.

Alexis is setting out to make dinner right now. We are having ground beef and spaghetti squash. She’s putting a lot of effort into these meals on our first day.

I know my Hillary voters reading at home are waiting for me to say, “I started making dinner,” or, “Alexis and I were making lunch…” Hold your horses. It’s going to be a few days. I’m still too angry about all of this to process what it would take to actually be helpful.

5:27 p.m.

Me: “I am very grateful for all your work. As a general question, and not a push, about how much longer until things are ready to eat?”

Alexis looks at the oven. I desperately follow her eyes.

“Well,” she says. “The squash has to bake for another 50 minutes before I can make anything else.”

Me:

Her:

I’m watching Woody eat his dog food and wondering what it’s like to be so free.

6:55 p.m.

I look forward to meal time because I think it will relieve me of my symptoms – anger, rage, madness, hunger, headache, etc. – but it doesn’t. Dinner was unbelievable. Compliments to the chef. But my head fucking hurts. And it’s day ONE.

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7:04 p.m.

We’re off to see Manchester by the Sea. Again. This time I bought tickets in advance. I guarantee whatever sad drama they’re trying to sell has nothing on my $219 per day diet.

9:45 p.m.

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Thought about it. Oh, I really thought about it.

Spread the word!

    14 Comments

    1. Lizzie
      December 30, 2016

      Kirk,

      As someone whose tried different diets to deepen a yoga practie, dance schedules, and clear headedness, I’ve had similar symptoms.

      I think you’re getting mentally stressed out about when you can eat next.

      Try taking a walk or meditating or kick boxing or watching skits on SNL.

      ‘Where attention goes energy flows’

      good luck!

      ps Manchester by the sea rocks

      - Lizzie

      Reply
    2. December 30, 2016

      Ok you’ve sucked me in. I saw your fb post this morning and decided to give this a go. Your anguish only encourages me to prove I’m tougher than you are. Problem is there is still to much holiday gee- dunk left over and I can’t just throw it out so it starts for real on Monday. From what I’ve read there is plenty of latitude between the lines to not go Whole Foods on everything and I plan on playing golf at least twice a week. There’s 10 hours a week of focused energy on something else right there. Looking forward to smugly following your progress.

      Ted

      Reply
    3. Carlie
      December 31, 2016

      Love this. Thank you ❤️❤️

      Reply
      • kirk hensler
        January 11, 2017

        Muchas gracias Carlie !

        Reply
    4. monique
      January 11, 2017

      where were you when i did my first whole 30?! love your posts… trying to catch up.

      Reply
      • kirk hensler
        January 11, 2017

        Probably enjoying pancakes somewhere. Thanks :)

        Reply
    5. January 16, 2017

      You had me dying in laughter, especially at the spaghetti squash part. Can’t wait to catch up on the rest of your posts, you are hilariously honest!

      Reply
      • kirk hensler
        January 17, 2017

        who would have known honesty could be so funny. i guess only when you’re suffering from starvation :)

        Reply
    6. Tina
      January 19, 2017

      Omg I am literally crying I’m laughing so hard! Thanks for that. My husband and I are on day 4 of the Whole 30. I appreciate your humor and candor because this is no cake walk! Before this I thought a healthy choice for breakfast was a strawberry pop tart because it had fruit in it, so this is an adjustment for sure. Thanks for the laugh. You’re a great writer! I’m looking forward to your posts. Take care!

      Reply
      • kirk hensler
        January 20, 2017

        this is going to be mind-blowing for you! i hope you don’t kill each other. remember it’s for the better and good luck :)

        Reply
    7. Lisa
      January 28, 2017

      Saw the link for this in a Whole30 email. My goodness, this is freakin hilarious! I’m laughing so hard I’m crying! I’m on Day 28, 2nd time around. Can’t wait to read more. One thought: you should probably have eaten more per meal to fill you up…

      Reply
    8. meg davis
      April 2, 2017

      why r u buying everything at whole foods i am a vegan while i buy alot there i try bigger markets 1st like market basket shaws stop n shop they have many lo cal vegan fresh fruits nuts and veggies at lower prices leaving whole foods for only what you can not buy cheaper at the bigger stores

      Reply
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