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Whole30 Day 20 : Taro Rock

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There is no reason for this photo other than to soften you before you begin reading.

9:28 a.m.

2/3.

66%

The big 2-0.

They have some healthcare in California that makes certain things free. For example, men can see a doctor for free for anything that has to do with their genitals. I consider genitals to be a grey area. For example, if I suspect I have strep throat I will call them and say I am concerned I contracted an STD after a bachelor party in Vegas. After they tinker with the nuggets for a while I mention something about it possibly having moved into my throat. This raises a lot of suspicion as it introduces some new elements into the equation. After a simple swab they rule out throatal warts, mouth syphilis, and impacted wisdom teeth. There’s nothing left but strep. And are they not going to treat it? I’m practically dying in their arms. What choice do they have?

I’m not going to get six-pack abs. I have a genetically short torso. They just took the top two squares off my abdomen when they were making me. But I could still technically get to the fitness level that would provide a six-pack to someone with equal proportions so I’m wondering if it’s technically correct that I just say I have a six-pack.

9:39 a.m.

Eating breakfast now. One that can only be called “Ten Minutes Until You Should Be Far Away From Me”. The only kind of men I know who eat beef for breakfast are the ones I wouldn’t want to walk behind for any length of time.

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We fucked up last night and watched two episodes. Things are getting weird between Walt, Hank, and Jesse. I was content with just watching one. I’m trying to be all in tune with my body and I knew it was time for bed. But no. Alexis insisted that we watch one more. So we did. Because I’m nice. And five minutes into the episode she was asleep. Trying to act like she wasn’t, of course.

10:01 a.m.

I’ve been friends with Michelle Branch’s sister on FB for a while and know that she is a model/actor. We were casting for a commercial a few months ago and I asked her if she would send her pricing and portfolio. Turns out she does commercials for Apple and shit and I was like, “Oh wow, impressive body of work. Looks like you are way out of our league. Thanks for sending over anyway.” And I just noticed today that I haven’t seen her post in a while. Which is the first warning that you’ve been unfriended. So I checked. She’s not there. Not even as a non-friend but just completely non-existent. So either she gave up the FB for personal reasons, which more than one actor has in their time, or she blocked me because she thought I was just a closeted pervert hiding behind a production studio. I need to have Alexis search her on her account and check this out. Then message her and be like what the hell lady you think I opened a gd business, built a website, and made up a fake commercial sheet just to chat with you?

We ended up casting our friend for the role and she did an amazing job. Hoping they get this commercial through the network in time to air during the playoffs.

11:05 a.m.

Just booked another new client. It’s raining now. Good people too. The kind you really want to work with.

11:17 a.m.

I’m also very relieved to know that our new Education Secretary is going to take a hard stance against grizzly violence in public schools. I don’t think this issue received enough attention during the presidential campaign.

11:30 a.m.

Alexis is just now eating her breakfast. Normally I would let her know how bad that is for her health and how she has to take care of herself but she was handling her own business and I know what a rush that can be so I said nothing.

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1:02 p.m.

I know it’s lunchtime. Because I looked at the clock. I’ve been working all morning and haven’t worried very much about food. Stable energy.

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Alexis is going to take Woodson to the dog park so I might just reheat some chicken from last night and call it a day.

1:26 p.m

That’s me, a regular Betty Crocker. Although I’ve just been told that I have a different view of rations.

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“You’re going to make all of those?”

“Yeah. It’s in a tupperware so I’m just dumping it all in.”

“Those have to last us til tomorrow.”

How does she know this stuff?

I am better off over here in my designated area.

Anyway, I’m excited about lunch. We have sweet potato toast, breaded chicken, chili, and some salad. I would say I contributed to 40% of this meal. And it felt good to get my hands in the game.

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2:48 p.m.

I feel quite full, still. I had just a little bloating after lunch. I wonder if there’s a diet that can make your skin thinner. Ben (different Ben) and Laurin are having us over for dinner tonight. Laurin swears up and down that she was going to invite us before the blog became a part of mainstream America. I hope they are ready for house guests that bring a laptop, professional camera, and spotlight over for a dinner party. Rumor has it there’s a recipe for taro chips on the docket tonight.

3:00 p.m.

This morning the kitchen was clean and it was a great time. I thought we just cleaned it but it’s dirty again. And I must’ve forgotten because the food has dried to the pans and plates. Which means I have to actually scrub each individual one. Which means I’ll be the first middle class American to lose his job on account of having to do dishes at home.

The portrait of Woody in the turtleneck has caused some talk in our neighborhood. A lot of people are calling for it to be printed life-size and hung in our studio window. Some are even saying we should open a dog portrait division in our company. While I resist being told what to do from anyone – even if it was Denzel Washington telling me how to act – I think that dog portraits could be a lucrative market where we live. My only fear is that Woody will have a complex when he is older and blame us for exposing him to the market before he could mature and make his own decisions. Like all those kid bodybuilders that you see walking around.

3:58 p.m.

Trying to make negotiations with Alexis right now. I wash, you dry. I haven’t even gotten around to the three hours of video editing I have to get done today.

I keep putting things on the calendar for February and thinking about how I won’t be on the Whole30 then. It feels a bit like graduating from an immersive training. Life on the outside seems to hard and scary.

4:11 p.m.

What I am best at – developing efficient work processes – is also what makes a good life seem sometimes not fun. Every time I do something I have to do it faster and neater than the time before. I have three blog tabs opened at all times – edit post, site stats, and media upload. I drag the images into the media upload tab so they will populate in the edit post tab without having to refresh the page and lose the placement of my cursor. While they are imported I refresh the site stats and check on relevant links. And after each successful import of images I delete the memory card entirely so the next import batch doesn’t carry excess images that I will not be using again. My camera sits with the lens cap off for easy access, although that gives me anxiety because of the potential for dust spots, so the lens faces the wall directly and doesn’t leave enough space to get dirty. At the end of the night I close every tab, eject all hard drives, and shut down my computer so that I can start new again in the morning.

Sometimes I may land a huge client and instead of smile, worry about how I am going to appropriately allocate the funds and deliver a great product. This Whole30 will be over soon. And it will become nostalgia. Which, in my opinion, is just the extra feeling we apply to something we wish we felt in the moment.

4:26 p.m.

She doesn’t have an account anymore. I had Alexis check.

Also, Woody got a bath.

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We are thinking about doing his DNA test. I suspect he is Italian. He’s just too slick not to be.

4:36 p.m.

I’m so conflicted. Alexis just came in and started doing the dishes by herself. If I say nothing, they will all go away without me having to do anything. I know you’re thinking you better get off your ass, boy! But have you considered how good this might be for her long-term work ethic? Am I not actually allowing her to learn important life lessons?

4:41 p.m.

I helped. Geezus, of course I helped. And now I know, thanks to this diary, that it was only five minutes of my life.

Another thing I’ve learned from this writing experience is that I always, without exception, spell technically wrong the first time. I type it as techincally.

I have also been blatantly forgetting to include critical words in emails. I’ll say, “It was great today when dog. Hope to talk soon.” When I was trying to say that it was great meeting you today when you stopped by with your dog. Last night I wrote in my personal journal that I wondered about the life cycle of words. How many someone has in a day or in a lifetime. And what are the consequences of using too many?

5:22 p.m.

I don’t feel funny today. As a result I find it difficult to write funny. Normally, I see something and have a funny conversation about it in my head and then walk to the computer to type it out. I recognize the comedy immediately and modify certain things so the story carries out better. But today I have not been given a single ounce of humor through the ether. It might lead one to fear that they have “lost it”. I just think I’ve been consumed with actual bill-paying work and haven’t been able to duplicate my mind and turn one to the comedy channel. All hands are needed on this deck.

I did just finish a video though. The first draft at least. One that was troubling me. Oddly enough, the thing that was holding me back was the text copy on the title slides. I couldn’t find the right words.

5:33 p.m.

For god knows what reason, I am not that hungry. Lunch really did me in. I couldn’t even finish 12 ounces of smoothie. Beef for breakfast and lunch. It feels like deepwater horizon is about to explode out of my ass. And now if I can’t finish my dinner Laurin is going to think I hate her cooking and probably never talk to me again. I’ll have to find my second stomach. Not eating a meal someone cooks for you is the worst possible offense.

7:15 p.m.

I ate dinner. And then I ate dinner again. And then I ate it just one more time to make sure that I remembered what it tasted like.

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Roasted chicken, sweet potato mash, roasted veggies (broccoli and carrots from the garden (suck on that)), and possibly a handful or two of taro chips but I don’t remember. What a delight to be cooked for for a change.

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I want to reiterate what a treat it is to have someone reach out and offer to cook for you while you are on this diet that makes you sit in corners late a night yelling at yourself for having thoughts about brie.

7:39 p.m.

A lot of times I try to live parallel lives to the characters in the books I read, or let’s be honest, the TV shows I watch. Right now I am relating to Jesse Pinkman as he is back on the meth. I’m contemplating the meth you ask? No. Taro chips. A delicious goodness that I didn’t know much about until forty minutes ago. Allow me to take you through a visual journey of their existence.

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I thought I was strong. I was just bragging about how I’m not even tempted by cravings anymore. And then the tray came out of the kitchen. And I took one bite. And it reminded me of a time when I used to enjoy the company of a chip. I gave myself a small handful. They were made of compliant ingredients. Then I had another small handful. And then everyone started looking at me more and more while not saying anything and I realized they all thought I had a problem. With the tray back in the kitchen I took an opportunity to help Ben take the dirty plates into the kitchen. I’ll just have a few more. It’s not going to hurt anyone.

I finally had to announce to the group that I was having a hard time being in the same room as the taro bites (coined it, already own the domain).

I’m in the other room now. All I can think about is going back. I thought I had come so far but I am powerless. Experiencing real guilt and shame and confusion. What is the point of this diet if not to show me that life is unfair and there is no way to walk away ahead?

There is talk in the kitchen right now of how many taro chips they should send us home with. They are talking to Alexis like she is my sponsor. I can hear the tension in Alexis’ voice. Maybe fear.

I don’t know guys.

I mean, yeah they’re compliant. But that’s not the point.

Have you seen Kirk with his snack bowl?

This is life in California, people – a “chip” made out of a root vegetable cooked in organic coconut oil is causing my friends to whisper about me in the other room.

7:45 p.m.

I just had two more. That was it. And I chewed them slowly. Did I tell you guys I used to gamble in middle school? I had a bookie and bet on at least ten basketball games a night. Not a big deal. I had a portable blackjack table I brought with me to friends’ houses when we wanted to roll into a quick game. And then it was the cigarette smoking that started when I was fourteen. Most people hate their first cigarette. I loved mine. Anyway, I’m learning how to make the taro chips now.

9:14 p.m.

We are home now. But are we safe? It depends if you consider the two pound tupperware full of taro crack to be safe or not.

 

Read Day 19 HERE.

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    6 Comments

    1. Tanya Stenton
      January 19, 2017

      As a veteran of many W30′s( I know your thinking why?) I related with your pain every step of the way. I never take my phone to the toilet. Ever. Seems silly for a task that’s not meant to take ages. But I couldn’t stop reading. As I’m doing my business and read the part about Woody trying to lick your weiner, I can’t stop laughing. For like 5 minutes. On the toilet. So now you know, your words are read in the loo. Alexis is a saint and makes very yummy dishes. Woody makes me laugh and so do you. Thank you. I’ll be there reading til the end. Hang in there.

      Cheers from Tanya
      Perth Australia

      Reply
      • kirk hensler
        January 20, 2017

        hahahah ! that is hilarious. i’m laughing now too. thanks for passing it back to me.

        Reply
    2. Jessica
      January 19, 2017

      Researching…where can I buy Taro root.

      Reply
    3. W. Eric Rau
      January 19, 2017

      Kirk, thank you for this beautifully written and photographed blog that is also insightful and hilarious. I started binge-reading it three days ago, when it was recommended in the Around the Web section of Whole30′s Wholesome newsletter and have been recommending it to my Whole30 compadres and comadres. I’m so sorry about your rough times on Whole30, but so delighted by your recounting of them! I hope you and Alexis find yourselves changed in good ways as you go into your post-Whole30 lives. My husband and I are doing our third Whole30 this month and have had an overwhelmingly positive experience despite the fact that it is a tough journey. As if by magic, my husband’s insomnia and migraines were blissfully removed by the first W30 in June, as was my joint pain and my need to consume 16 Ibuprofen per day. I look forward to reading you each day, even after you finish!

      Reply
      • kirk hensler
        January 20, 2017

        that is unbelievable. i am happy for you guys. thank you for the comment and the reads :)

        Reply
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