Day Fifteen: The Breaking Point

Here draws to a close Day Fifteen of the Thirty Days of Serious Dietary Inconvenience. Morale on this particular evening is good, but this past weekend brought troop morale to the breaking point.

I think I’ve mentioned it before, but I’m the sort of plain fellow who likes to start a Saturday with four or five pancakes of no insignificant size. Following that, I rarely eat much (if any) lunch, and then am accustomed to a rather generous dinner (particularly when Saturdays are spent in physical labor). Following a double bacon cheeseburger with all the fixings and fries, there are Saturday evenings on which I consider having another bacon cheeseburger, and even some evenings on which I actually do so.

I’ve been told that eggs and bacon do have calories in them, and that said calories are of a special variety designed for long-term sustaining energy rather than the short-burst energy that pancakes provide. However, the Whole Thirty diet has apparently not yet repaired my metabolism to the extent that it knows about this fact. Saturday breakfast left me satiated at the time, but hungry by lunchtime. At lunchtime I made the mistake of just poking around at leftovers and not really going wholeheartedly into the thing. By dinnertime I was ready for about one and a half of those bacon double cheeseburgers, but it was not to be. Instead, the dinner was three hamburger patties and a pile of spinach topped with raspberry-flavored cleaning product.

It was at that moment, staring at children with delicious slabs of cheese and actual store-bought white bread hamburger buns, that morale nearly cracked. I sat there, a sort of bleak look on my hollow face to accompany the hollow feeling in my bleak stomach, feeling wan. This is not worth it, I thought. This is ridiculous. But I ate my blighted Whole Thirty dinner anyway. And afterward I could have eaten three more hamburger patties on the spot, but I didn’t, because I saw no point in it. I’d have felt the same hunger after eating them anyhow. I don’t know why this is, but meat alone has never made me feel full.

Next morning was Sunday, and instead of starting it off right with a solid stack of pancakes, it was eggs and bacon again. An even half-dozen of the former and two strips of the latter, and I was hungry all the way through church. That was followed up by a birthday celebration for my daughter, featuring (at her request!) a salad bar. (She loves salad. I cannot understand it.) I had two sizeable plates of salad generously topped with chicken, mushrooms, eggs, and more raspberry-flavored cleaning product. After that, I felt exactly the same as I did when I started. I could have eaten two more plates of the stuff, except my jaw was tired of chewing. I probably had a net loss of calories from that meal just from the chewing and work involved in digesting lettuce.

However, the story has a happy ending. (Well, “happy” as relative to the Whole Thirty diet.) My kind wife took pity on me and cooked up what she says was about two pounds of ground beef with seasonings and mushrooms and a can of tomatoes plus two large yams. I ate it all except about half a pound of the beef and a child’s portion of diced yam, and at last my stomach was full. In fact, that glorious feeling carried over into today, wherein I ate an average Whole Thirty diet and yet am not starving unto death.

On a sidenote, I learned that tobacco is actually verboten on this blighted diet, which just goes to show you that the rules are really only about the authors’ personal prejudices. I imagine Whole Thirty adherents will latch onto the two pipes I smoked earlier on as the reason it’s not curing my heartburn.

Though actually, heartburn hasn’t been so bad today, so maybe it is curing it after all. I’m not sure whether I would be happy or sad about that. But I’ve already decided that if this ordeal does cure heartburn, I’ll just have to take omeprazole for the rest of my life, because I’m for dang sure not spending the rest of my life eating this kind of diet.

Tomorrow is supposed to be “Tiger Blood” day. I’ll let you know if I find myself mauling any safari hunters.

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