Thanks for posting, happy to see you're back!
It's never too late to start so don't worry about your age! Starting at 36 is better than never
A common complaint I hear from people is that they don't look like they even train and so it's not unusual for you to feel this way because it takes time to build the muscle mass that would give you this appearance. Nutrition also needs to be on point in order to build your physique and you're also correct that crash dieting won't help you in the long run so you need to set out a long term plan and stick with it.
For example: I've been an athlete my whole life and been training seriously for many years but my physique isn't where I'd like it to be. I have a lot of work ahead of me to achieve my desired physique and it's a journey I'm always looking forward to. It's human nature to always want more and no matter how I look I always want to look better! I do believe that any progress is good progress and I'm happy about any improvements I can make in a week, month or year. It's a lifestyle commitment and very rewarding when you start to see progress.
Your food choices look good. Do you have any issues with dairy? You mentioned that you don't feel well from eating a lot of protein and even a slight sensitivity can cause this especially if you are eating greek yogurt and cottage cheese regularly. Are you measuring them each day or it's just an estimate? Also, do you use any supplements? If protein consumption is an issue there are some great supplements like MAG-10 for example that will help you get in the nutrition without feeling like crap. 5/3/1 is a great program, have you tried Plazma during your workouts? I find that since I started using it my recovery is faster and my workouts have been much more intense. Do you do any cardio? If you're looking to lose bodyfat then your diet will need to be planned out and nutritional timing is going to be very important.