The Weekly Vlog

3 Lessons from the Super Bowl

Feb 28, 2024

I recently had the opportunity to take my 12-year-old, Maya, to the Super Bowl. I was born and raised in San Francisco, and we’re huge 49ers fans. I grew up in the golden era of Joe Montana, Jerry Rice, and Steve Young and I remember the thrills of those years.

I have three BLE-related lessons to share with you from this once-in-a-lifetime experience.  

The first lesson has to do with planning and preparation. We flew into Vegas on Saturday morning. In my carry-on suitcase, I packed seven meals, my teddy bear, my 5-year journal, toiletries, a pair of underwear, and an extra 49ers hoodie. (Doesn’t everyone pack seven meals and a teddy bear in their carry-on? Lol.)

While Maya ate NMF for lunch on Saturday, I asked her if I could make a phone call and she was fine with it, so I got away from that food, stepped into the sun, and called a Bright buddy. Yay!

I went out to eat once while we were there, but other than that I packed all my meals. No food or beverage was allowed into the stadium, and we were three or four hours early—we arrived at 11:30 and didn’t get out til eight or nine p.m. I was hungry, but I used this mantra: hunger is not an emergency. And it was fine. The body is equipped to fast. 

It is never a waste to plan and prepare. Plan for your trip, pack your food, get support, and surrender when necessary.

The second lesson has to do with the one aspect of recovery that I never think of, don’t feel particularly good at, never prioritize, and am usually not feeling in the mood for, and that’s play. On the flight out, Maya and I began noticing people wearing football clothing. We challenged each other to find as many teams as possible. 

It became a game to scout out fans. We approached people who were dressed in team clothing, and we met many lovely people who were happy to share their love for their team with us. By the end of the game we’d found a fan of each and every one of the 32 NFL teams, and we were thrilled!

It was great fun. I know there are coaches on the Bright Line Eating team who advocate for play as something to incorporate into our Bright lives and I’m always surprisingly delighted when I invite it in.

My third takeaway is about unstoppability. I didn’t think the 49ers were going to win, but the stats were in their favor for most of the game, and we were hopeful when they had a 10-to-nothing lead. 

And then they lost in overtime. It was heartbreaking. And that’s when the recovery lesson started.

I think that when someone is Bright for a long time and then has a break or a binge, there’s a mental effort to metabolize the experience. What does it mean? What just happened?

Later, I told Maya that it was our job now to create, protect, and defend our memory of the experience. The reality is that we had the most incredible trip, ever. The 49ers losing did not take that away from us. She lit up when I told her that.

We are the guardians of our minds. If the 49ers had won, it would have been easy. But would there have been a teaching opportunity there? Probably not. 

Instead, I was able to teach my kid how to square your shoulders and deal with pain. I modeled embracing a nuanced understanding of hardship, where no one is necessarily at fault and there may be no easy answers. I showed her how to manage that kind of experience responsibly. It’s the essence of being unstoppable. 

My hope for you is that if you have a break in your Bright Lines—or any setback in life—that you remember the BLE value of unstoppability, and cull that lesson for all it can give you. The reality is we don’t grow without hardship. Nothing good comes easily. 

Click here to listen to this episode on Bright Line Living™ - The Official Bright Line Eating Podcast.

Susan Peirce Thompson, Ph.D. is a New York Times bestselling author and an expert in the psychology and neuroscience of eating.  Susan is the Founder and CEO of Bright Line Eating®, a scientifically grounded program that teaches you a simple process for getting your brain on board so you can finally find freedom from food.

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