I just got around to watching Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy the other night - or as I call it, Britain’s answer to The Expendables - and I can’t get this song from it out of my head. This may be due in no small part to how out of place it felt in the movie. For a film that practices a near excruciating amount of restraint in both its pacing and performances, it was a little bizarre they chose to underline the closing minutes of the film with Julio Iglesias singing “Beyond the Sea” in French. It was a little weird, a little macabre, and I totally loved it.
NBA F/M/T: The Big Three - Lebron James, Chris Bosh, Dwyane Wade
There can only be one. Of each. Based on your grandmother’s favorite parlor game “Fuck, Marry, Kill,” F/M/T frees you from any obligation to commit a federal crime by asking you to trade a professional athlete instead of killing them. Which, in the eyes of some sports fans, might be worse than murder.
Arguably the best big three playing in the NBA today (arguable, for example, in the eyes of Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, and Manu Ginobili), James, Bosh, and Wade are high value teammates and even higher value soul mates. The big challenge of F/M/T will often be deciding among the lesser of evils, but with this inaugural triumvirate I’m cursed with a spoil of riches. Each is amazing in his own right, but I’m here to choose one to F (hi mom), one to wed, and one to trade. It’s a tough job that literally no one is forcing me to do.
F: Lebron James
Okay, okay, let’s al settle down now. I know what you’re probably thinking. Not because I’m psychic (I’m definitely not), but because this is King James himself with whom I am foregoing a lifetime of bliss for one tawdry night with his South Beach talents. You’re probably saying hitch your chain to that ball, lock it down, throw away the key.
Yes, Lebron is a bonafide superstar whose skill set defies all logic and he hasn’t even peaked yet. Yes, he actually took a pay cut so he could play ball with his friends. Loyalty: who doesn’t want that quality in a life mate? And yes, James has enough endorsement sauce to ensure a vacation home away from your vacation home (away from your yacht) for life. Not to say talent and money are 1st and 2nd on the marriage material qualification list, but, you know, wanting ambition and stability in a partner isn’t completely shallow. And, he has plenty of other redeeming qualities that made this decision very difficult.
But when it comes to putting on a ring on it, unless we’re talking about a championship repeat this year, James is perpetually a game time decision. The damning evidence? He had two children with his high school sweetheart, then waited four more years before even proposing to her. They have yet to marry. Look, I don’t hate the player or the game. I’m all for domestic partnerships and non-traditional arrangements. However, when choosing among candidates as high value as these, I can’t risk ending up a Cleveland.
M: Chris Bosh
I’m already feeling the pangs of regret for trading a lifetime of this for a passionate night of this. Luckily, Lebron James doesn’t have a monopoly on fun down in Miami. Christopher Wesson Bosh has carved out his own comedy niche on the Heat, and I’m ready to get in his kitchen. In that I can take “the Heat,” thereby granting me permission to remain in the kitchen - not that being a wife is synonymous with cooking and domesticity. You’re the sexist for thinking that.
- Bosh has a great sense of humor - an essential ingredient in any successful relationship
- Bosh loves to keep you guessing - who doesn’t love a little mystery in their love life?
- Bosh doesn’t take himself that seriously - ego may be attractive at the start of a relationship, but it has a 95 FG% of being a dealbreaker in the long term. During the regular season, Bosh had a 53.5 FG%. I don’t know, something to think about.
We can all agree that a guy who picks his nose on camera clearly has his ego in check. So I say “check please” to a marriage with CWB. #YOLO (with Bosh).
T: Dwyane Wade
It would be great if I could tell you this is based on more than just the convenient rhyme of “Trade Wade,” but I’m not in the habit of lying. You still might think I’m crazy, but hear me out.
I grant you that Wade is one of the more classically handsome, not to mention well-groomed (just ask Anna Wintour), superstars of the NBA. And as Dove Men Care would like to point out, also a great dad.
F/M/T is a game of tough choices. I know it, you know it, the American people know it, even Vinny Del Negro knows it and he knows nothing.
There’s two years left on Wade’s contract, from which he will receive 20.1 million next season and 21.6 the following. Wade is already 31, and will be well into his 33rd year when his contract expires. He’s got some fight left in him, but whether or not he still has cartilage left in his knees is TBD. For 41.6 million worth of cheddar, imagine what kind of young guns the Heat could get. It might take two or even three great players to fill Wade’s shoes, but I had to trade someone. Them’s the rules.
Writing is both the easiest and the hardest thing for me to do. In the ease column, it allows me to articulate my thoughts and feelings more clearly than by vocalizing them. In a vacuum, it requires little effort on my part to string together a sentence - or series thereof. I’ve been told that I…
There are far fewer trumpets and confetti than I expected on my final day of this fad elimination diet. When I started 30 days ago, I thought today would be a day of jubilation and relief. A day where the prospect of tomorrow’s pizza would levitate my spirits throughout the rest of today.
In reality, I probably won’t eat pizza tomorrow and the downpour that accompanied me on my office commute this morning is really harshing my buzz. The purpose of the whole30, at least as I understand it, is to encourage a lifestyle change. For all intents and purposes for me it did. I lost a little bit of weight, though not as much as I expected, and I’ve cheated here and there with red wine and miniature reece’s peanut butter cups. Maybe those slips make the whole(30) thing feel illegitimate, half-finished, etc. Maybe it’s just highlighted the fact that I’m incredibly hard on myself and my perfectionist nature will never let me feel accomplished even if I haven’t had a slice of pizza or a candy bar or yogurt or bread in 30 days.
That said, it has really helped me suss out a few things:
I now have a better sense of the “bad” foods I actually like, and the ones I just eat out of boredom. I think/hope this will help me make smarter eating choices moving forward
I have significantly cut out my daily consumption of added sugars, dairy, and grains - and my stomach has been all the better for it
It has not necessarily helped me sleep better, but that could be due to my increase in coffee consumption to combat cravings #noregrets
I would sincerely like to stop drinking, but that’s much harder to do than I thought. This is a character trait I do not wish to unpack until my 30’s
I’m happy to have eggs and smoothies for breakfast every morning
I still think about food all the time
I like cooking dinner and packing lunch
The money I saved on eating out all the time just went to other expenses like registering for a half marathon and a marathon and clothes.
I’m bad with money.
Doing a diet has made me exponentially more self-absorbed
The last point is the most problematic. When you live in a culture obsessed with food, and then decide to overhaul your eating habits, it’s impossible not to think and fret over them constantly. And when you do that, you are constantly thinking about yourself - your schedule, your world, your needs (mostly hunger-based). The whole30 made me feel better, but I’m not sure it made me a better person. Not that eating 4 slices of hawaiian pizza, washing them down with 4 companion beers, and sleeping until 1 PM on Sunday is tantamount to good person-hood. But if I am to split my life up into 30-day increments, I’d like to spend the next few legs focusing on others.
30 days seems like no time at all. Particularly this year which has flown by at a frightening rate. But the past 30 days have felt like some of the longest of my life, and prove how much can happen over the course of one month. I trained for a half marathon, I celebrated a cousin’s birthday, I’ve dealt with and am still dealing with an extended family members’s stage 4 cancer diagnosis, an integral member of my work team just quit sending some serious adjustment ripples through our small departments, the Houston Rockets forced a Game 6 on the OKC Thunder only to fall apart in the 4th quarter, I learned how to make baked sweet potato falafel. This chunk of time was filled with insignificant moments and major changes, some of which I will probably forget in a month and some that will have lasting effects. I guess I’m thankful to the whole30 for shining a light on these particular days, while giving me permission to really focus on myself so that now I can push my energy outwards.
Tonight, I celebrate with a face full of hummus. No legumes? Seriously, whole30?!?!
whole30, day 26 - in which our heroine falls off the wagon
while it may still fall under the 85-15 rule, my weekend qualifies as a fail on a personal level. apparently what it takes to lead me astray from a strict paleo diet is a 10-mile run and two birthday parties. Over the course of 3 days, my cheats consist as follows:
1 piece of pita bread
1/2 cup (ish) of hummus (chickpeas are technically not paleo, seems counter-intuitive but i’m no scientist)
4 glasses of red wine + a tasting of champagne
A healthy few bites of crostini & artichoke dip (aka melted cheese for days)
A piece of a piece of cake
Another piece of cake (separate night)
Corn chips (organic, but still)
What a tear, right? I mean seriously, lock me up and throw away the key! In all honesty, it could have been much worse. Old me might have devoured an entire artichoke dip by myself, added a few fancy whiskey cocktails to the mix, and had 2 pieces of cake per night. It could be much worse, and I balanced my cheats with a lot of healthy meats, fish, and veggies. But as I’m so close to being done with the technical whole30, I can’t help but wonder how difficult it would have been for me to hold off for one more weekend.
It’s also a reminder of how many opportunities (read: temptations) to binge on sugar and grains offer themselves to me on a daily basis. I think the positive takeaway is not that I’m constantly at war with instant gratification impulses. But rather, since I have the chance to indulge in them on the reg, I don’t need to treat every opportunity to eat cake as the last opportunity I will ever have to eat cake.
At the end of today, I will be 2/3 done with the Whole30 diet adventure/journey. It’s been a while since I’ve written about it, mostly because I’m bored with how much I talk about it. On one level, it has trained me to snack healthier and not constantly eat. But while I no longer crave pizza at all times, I still talk about my diet ad nauseam. I speculate about what cheats are too cheaty (I have had my share of cheats), and wonder aloud whether it was smart to start training for a half marathon simultaneous to starting this diet. The thing is it’s not really a diet, per se. At least not in the traditional way we think of diets. I always thought diets meant reduction, not elimination. I will eat less of everything, go hungry, and that is the only way to get healthier. I’ve also never dieted.
In reality, though, the whole30 is just training you to make better choices. A realistic way to harness the strength of your willpower. Sure, I have eliminated dairy, sugar, grains, and alcohol (most of the time…), but I still eat very hearty meals, 3 of them every day, and have snacks in between. I’ve had the occasional carb, the occasional sweet, the occasional glass of wine, but whereas before I might have had a whole bagel slathered in creamcheese, 4 slices of pizza, or a second helping of cake - now I can just have a bite of one and be satisfied.
Some days are harder than others, but what I have found I miss is not the specific foods but rather the comfort of sugar/bread. They’re quick to consume, quick to digest - instant gratification. But they’re ultimately unsatisfying, leaving you wanting more. To some extent, the whole30 has trained me to be satisfied, to be content, to focus my energy on something other than where my next little piece of gratification.
I’m planning on keeping up with this as much as possible after Day 30, but the siren’s call of pita & hummus, a cold beer on a hot summer’s day, and 16 Handles will be tough calls to ignore.
I quit my job last month. A lot of people were surprised. To be honest, even I was a little surprised. Since then, though, I’ve fielded a lot of emails, phone calls, coffee dates, and dinner conversations about The Big Decision.
How does it feel? How did I make it? Was it the right one? (Great….