I’d planned to write a top ten list of our most-used wedding registry items, but I’ve been completely transfixed the past few days since discovering the Tom vs Time docuseries being released on Facebook Watch.
As a lifelong Massachusetts resident, it was only a matter of time before I fell for the Patriots, or more aptly — Tom Brady. But the purpose of this post isn’t to explain how Tom turned me into a Pats fan, because I’m still not. Not really. Despite ten years with a sports lover in my life, (albeit, a Giants fan), I still don’t really understand football enough to be able to get into it during the regular season. But once we’re SuperBowl-bound, the excitement usually pulls me in.
This year though, this docuseries might be the hook that finally makes a convert out of me. I worked in Chestnut Hill and Brookline for years during my 20s, so it always made me feel weirdly, I don’t know — connected — to Tom when he settled out that way with his supermodel wife and family. And the fact that I also grew up and now live so close to Gillette is another weird connection factor. It’s as though football wants to be in my life but I’ve just been ignoring the signs.
Like everyone else, I raised my eyebrows in surprise when I heard about Tom’s strict diet a few years ago. No night shades? What the hell is a nightshade? I thought. And I garden. I grow a lot of my own food and even I didn’t know that one a few years ago. But I laughed about the avocado ice cream, joked with family friends that I’d probably eat better if I had a fancy chef in my mansion, and chalked it all up to an athlete just overzealously trying to keep in shape. I didn’t think he was quite the total weirdo as some, but I did think: wow, that’s commitment.
When Michael Pollen’s glorious book, Food Rules, came out ten years ago I was so onboard it wasn’t even funny. I was lucky to grow up with parents who not only cooked meals, but grew a lot of our family’s food when I was growing up, so a lot of the “eat unprocessed foods” messaging wasn’t new to me, but when you’re in your 20’s and feeling invincible, it’s a lot easier to enjoy late nights out for cocktails and rich meals and forget about planning an attack strategy for preserving yourself for the future.
But to watch Tom vs. Time, it gives some incredible insight into his philosophy about more than just his life’s work and has inspired me to pause to consider how I operate and live my life everyday. We all have a finite amount of time and time is coming for us all. I might not have the desire to win a SuperBowl and I’ve never felt that relentless drive to achieve or win on a competitive level and am pretty content with my family and life, but it had also never occurred to me to be so much more proactive with my health or fitness. I guess Tom vs Time brought it to my attention that there is another way and that it’s worth trying.
I’m only in my early 30’s but I constantly remind myself to be present because I know how quickly time passes. I’m beginning to feel the effects of two kids on me — the uptick in stress alone — nevermind the lack of sleep with a baby in the house. I’m not saying I’m going to start the TB12 method tomorrow because I don’t have the same goals that Tom does, but what watching this docuseries has prompted me to start doing is thinking more about how to align what I’m doing as far as my diet and exercise and where I want to be in the future, which is alive and living without pain and chronic illness.
If that means I incorporate blueberry/almond/chia smoothies into my mornings and resistant bands into my workouts, it seems like a worthwhile effort. And his regime, though strict, isn’t all that complicated as outlined in this 2017 article, titled: Here’s what Tom Brady Eats in an ‘average day.” It sounds to me like he drinks a lot of antioxidant-laced smoothies, lots of lean proteins and a TON of vegetables.
Here are some quick rules:
- Drink water within 20 minutes of waking up
- Drink a protein shake within 20 minutes of a workout
- Pay attention to food combining rules, like:
– Don’t eat proteins with carbs
– Eat veggies with proteins or veggies with carbs
– Don’t drink water with meals, but pretty much constntly otherwise
– Don’t eat fruit with anything else
– Fight inflammation always: avoid nightshades
- Enjoy a lunch of lean protein and a lot of veggies
- Same for dinner
- Limit alcohol to the very rare cocktail and follow it with an equal amount of water
- Snack as needed on things like chips and guacamole, hummus, raw vegetables, or a protein shake
All totally doable right? To me if feels like any other restrictive diet, but I’d approach it more like a cleanse. Mindy Kaling once described her love for the latest fad diets, like juicing, because she lives to read up on all the rules and then dive in, which I totally get. I’d approach the above with the same kind of mindset — think of it as a cleanse or a chance to reset and even if I don’t adopt ALL of the principles, more than likely, some will begin to stick with time. Any maybe, just maybe, someday I’ll be able to look back at 30 and realize I’m in much better shape for having made these changes while it still mattered thanks to some inspiration from Tom Brady just before SuperBowl LII.