I haven’t always enjoyed watching football. My affinity started about 15 years ago, when I was talked into joining a fantasy league (due to a romantic relationship, of course). I lucked out with some high-performing picks (Brady as QB; that good-looking Tony Gonzales as my aptly-named tight end), and, shockingly enough, I won the entire league by a large margin. Throughout that season, I grew to appreciate the strategy behind the game; I started to see how each movement on the field was connected to the next, and how many (sometimes cliched) metaphors for life elements of the game reflected. And so I’ve been watching football – not zealously, but on and off, and mostly around the Vikings and Packers – ever since.
Last night, the top-seed Ravens were upset by the sixth-seed Titans, and it wasn’t even close.
The network experts, as well as the Twitter “experts,” were collectively stunned. Prior to the game, numerous commentators were raving about the presumptive league MVP, running QB Lamar Jackson, and stating unequivocally that the Ravens were “the best team in football.” Despite having offed the vaunted Patriots the week before, the Titans, with a record barely over .500, weren’t considered a serious contender to win and advance.
So I’m yammering a lot here. What does this have to do with the Whole30?
The Titans’ decisive victory over the Ravens, who held the best record in the NFL, proves that sometimes, maybe even often, the power of the mind can overcome raw ability. The Titans had to be on top of the world after their upset of Gisele’s husband, and, though they were coming in as the underdog again, their heads were saying, “We did this once. So why not again?”
And such is how, as I approach the halfway point, my Whole30has been going. As I complete each successful day, I see more success ahead. I’m letting positivity and momentum keep me in the game.
Overall, I’m feeling terrific. Lighter and well-nourished. I had a case of the grumpies on Day 8, but I was also just feeling harried as we crammed too much into our evening.
UPSIDE: I found a new favorite at Asian restaurants: laarb salad! It’s basically just meat, lettuce, green onions, chives, thai chiles and lime juice; compliant and delicious, and generally one of the least expensive things on the menu. Love!
CHEATS?: None conscious. I’ve had two salads (one takeout and one work lunch) where I couldn’t be completely sure about exactly what was in the dressing, but it was such a small amount that I’m not going to worry about it. (I skipped the warm breadsticks and giant, gooey cookies and ate the salad, for Pete’s sake. That’s a big victory!)
UPSIDE: I’m approaching a new cycle, and I haven’t been feeling the usual symptoms, so that’s promising. A few of the women in my Facebook group said they had some late starts while on round, so perhaps it’s still to come. I usually have horrible pain during my TOTM, so TBD: maybe I’ll find that improves, also.
UPSIDE: The fun and challenge involved with finding new recipes, shopping and cooking together have brought my dude and I closer. We are spending a lot of time in the kitchen, and it’s pushed us out of our routine 10-12 recipes.
DOWNSIDE: My athletic performance is being affected; not dramatically, but I can see it in my running times at Orangetheory in particular. Skiing and my circuits at Dragonfly have felt OK. It’s given me ideas about what to add back first (brown rice; quinoa) and in what amounts.
VANITY VICTORIES: There’s no question my skin looks better. I seem to have more golden color, and the redness is definitely fading. I think my eyes are clearer, too. I’m not noticing a huge difference in fit of clothes, yet, but my stomach is dinner-plate flat – you could eat breakfast off of it.
NON-VANITY VICTORIES: I love feeling disciplined. During my fitness comp years, I won a T-shirt slogan contest with Discipline is the price of excellence. Discipline has always been one of my core values, and I like that it’s being reflected in my food and health choices again.
RANDOM CHANGES: It’s much easier to get up in the morning. I’ve been getting going an hour or so earlier than usual, lining up teas and water and my lunch items, and it’s amazing what that does for my productivity. In addition, my extrovert seems to be coming out more often than my introvert. I’ve been seeking out more opportunities to connect with friends old and new.
18 more days to go!