At the end of 2017, like many of us, my body was not my own. After a whole month of Friendsgivings, work Thanksgiving, regular Thanksgiving, holiday happy hours, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Years Eve, and New Years Day, I was trapped inside a meat prison of my own making. You know the old anecdote about a parent who catches their teen with a cigarette, and makes them smoke a whole pack of cigarettes to learn their lesson? That was me, except I was both parent and teen, and the cigarettes were imported cheeses.
Finally, after 27.5 years on the planet, I had finally eaten enough cheese and carbs, and drank enough champagne, that I was ready to commit to at least 45 years of just lettuce and tap water. But since the “president” is going to blow the whole planet to smithereens WAY before then, I decided on a more realistic short-term goal: one month of semi-paleo “clean eating,” via the Whole30 program. “Gotta make a change! This is rock bottom!,” I said to myself, as Karma rubbed its hands together gleefully.
A few Noteable No-Nos for those who aren’t familiar with the program: Dairy, grains, legumes, processed meats, added sugar, and alcohol. Because the creators of Whole30 have met me personally and know that I am a loophole-lovin’ piece of shit, they SPECIFICALLY also forbid “technically-compliant junk food”, such as “paleo cookies” made with almond flour, sweetened with dates, etc, etc, etc. They say “this defeats the whole purpose”; I say, “This is fascism and you are all assholes.”
Day 1: Our first dinner is filet mignon, asparagus, and sweet potatoes. DELICIOUS! Whole30 is Good. I’m going to do Whole30 FOREVER! I am Superwoman.
Day 2: I would eat a chicken nugget out of a leaking dumpster.
Day 4 (Saturday): At a loss for Sober Weekend Activities That Aren’t Eating, we go for a hike with the dog. It is nice and my butt looks great in at least 4 of the 26 the Mandatory Instagram Pictures I make Jeff take.
Day 5: I haven’t consumed alcohol in 5 days, so can someone please explain to me why I still feel hungover in the mornings? IS THIS JUST WHAT MY BODY FEELS LIKE NOW? IF SO, I’M GOING TO NEED SOMEONE TO EXPLAIN THAT AS WELL!
Day 6: Somehow I have lost the 4 lbs I gained in the 8 days I was home for Christmas (which should DEFINITELY not be possible)!!!! Without the lethal combination of chainsmoking and major depression, this has not happened since 2012. Look at me! I’m Gisele Bundchen, only smugger!
Days 8-10: I am afloat in the abyss. I smell of hardboiled eggs and am consistently sleeping until 7:35, the time that I should be merging onto the expressway.
Day 11: We aren’t going to my mom’s birthday party, because the theme of the party is beer and pizza and cupcakes, and I refuse to watch other people enjoying things that I can’t have! At my core, I am simply a large, resentful toddler.
Day 13: After almost 2 weeks of abandoning the only things that consistently bring me joy, I have lost… still only 4 lbs. Why even bother when we’re all going to die anyway!
Day 15: Halfway through! Jeff has lost 12 lbs. I try to focus how supportive he’s been, bringing me pamplemousse La Croix with a lime wedge while I sulk largely on the couch, and reluctantly place the largest steak knife back in the knife block.
Day 18: We take a pre-planned Cheat Day for a friend’s birthday party. I had 3 whiskeys and 12 tortilla chips and have literally never been happier.
Day 22: Which came first, the chicken or the egg? I’m too tired to make the rest of this joke, but it’s about… well, it’s about how I’m eating a metric fuckton of chicken and eggs. Ha ha!
Day 24: It’s the most wonderful time of the week: OMELETTE NIGHT! While they are cheeseless, they are served with Compliant Sausage, which is absolutely delicious. In unrelated news, I’ve found a new nickname for my boyfriend.
Day 26: The combination of sobriety and mind-numbing boredom has spurred me to start learning Spanish with DuoLingo. This monocled motherfucker thinks he’s got jokes!
How much cheese do I need?? NO WONDER YOU HAVE A BLACK EYE! THESE HANDS ARE RATED E FOR EVERYONE, ALBERT! SQUARE UP!
Day 29: As we near the end of the program, I take a few minutes to read the Whole30 website’s suggestions for “reintroduction”:
I’m sorry– after THIRTY DAYS of no dairy, grains, legumes, or joy, you want me to gently sniff a piece of cheese, then wait 3 days to observe my body’s reactions before gently sniffing a piece of bread?
“Learning experience” my balls. Let me be clear: I will be motorboating an entire wheel of brie, bottle of sauv blanc, slab of nitrate-packed processed salami, and crusty baguette absolutely DROWNING in hummus, at 12:01 on Day 30.
Day 31: When all was said and done, I lost 9 lbs and my will to live. (Kidding! I felt great… eventually.) Jeff lost a total of 817 lbs and is now literally a black hole, pulling in unsuspecting bystanders via gravitational pull and crushing their helpless bodies like toothpicks.
I definitely recommend Whole30 if you want a “reset button” for your bad eating habits, love almonds, and are a torture-craving masochist. Some pros include: relatively easy to stick to; not feeling overly hungry; good variety of allowed foods; not spending $45 every weekend on tequila shots for girls you just met because now you’re Best Frens. Cons include: lots of meal prep; cravings; spending all of your saved tequila money on fucking vegetables; if you’re dating a man, may turn him into a gaping void of nothingness.
This has been a special blog edition of Healthy Lifestyles with Carly. Check back next month for my review of Those Bands That Shake Your Gut For 30 Minutes A Day And It Just Disappears And You Turn Into Gigi Hadid. Thanks for tuning in!