Dan Reynolds, Whole30 & Me
Updated: Aug 13
Dear Dan Reynolds,
I’ve started the Whole30 diet because of you.
It was that awesome Instagram post on April 10 of you, shirtless. One of the ones that just had “evolve” as the caption. It kind of knocked me for a loop because I had no idea you were in such great shape. (Not that I know you. I just hadn’t ever thought of you that way.).
And then I thought, “He must have cut out flour and sugar,” and then I thought, “And obviously he works out a lot,” and then I thought, “It must be so much fun to look so great with no shirt on.” And then I was just quietly impressed.
As you made your way through show after show, shirtless, and continued to look awesome, I confess I spent a little time being disappointed that you kept your shirt on when I saw you back in October in Vancouver. Don’t get me wrong, now – it was a very nice shirt, and you looked great in it, and comfy, like maybe you were planning to go out bowling after the show ended. (Not that you would wear that exact shirt. It would be soaked in sweat, of course.)
And really, the main thing in October was that you and the band put on a mind-blowing show and made every audience member so happy. For me, the best part was that it was my 12-year-old son’s first big show. (Lucky kid. My first concert was Air Supply.)
I will never forget watching the joy on his face as he sang his heart out to every single song — I sang along with him, of course. You guys killed it!
Anyway, the point of all this is that in April I admired your fine physique and I thought I should maybe do something about my … not-so fine physique. Lately I’ve been eating a lot of chocolate and bread (I learned how to make sourdough this winter) and drinking a lot of wine.
When my friend Sandy (you’d like her, she’s great) said she was starting Whole30, I felt sorry for her. It was actually just around the time your Instagram pic went up, now that I think of it. Maybe you inspired her, too.
But I did not want to try this plan. I had visions of people putting sweet potato slices into their toasters and pretending it tasted like toast. And ... ugh... black coffee. No joy there.
But then, somehow, other people kept doing this Whole30 thing too. And then my sister (you'd like her, too, she's great) and I talked ourselves into doing it. It had to do with a pilots' strike, but that's a little off-topic.
I went on my social media to say I was starting, and tons more people (some of the sweet-potato-toast people, but lots of others, too) said they’d done it and encouraged me to try it.
I meant to post this on Day 1 and send you a little update every day, but I’ve been doing a lot more meal prep and dishes, so I haven’t had time. I've learned a lot already. Today, I've already learned that the time savings of stir-frying bok choy the night before are not worth the effort. Reheated bok choy is pretty awful. But I digress.
Today I’m starting Day 5. I don’t even know if you did Whole30, and possibly you have no idea what I’m talking about, but that pic kick-started something for me.
It’s something that’s tied in to Imagine Dragons’ music and message. I’ll never play music like you do, and I don’t think I’m going to end up looking like you in 25 more days (and that’s okay, at least in part because I’m not a guy).
But thanks for going shirtless. It’s become a kind of shorthand reminder for me that awesomeness is attainable. I can try a little more, do a little better, aim a little higher. It seems a little cheesy of me to add “Whatever It Takes” here, but that song really helps keep me on track. Partly the song itself, partly thinking of my boy belting it out beside me at the show.
As for Whole30, it’ been going pretty great so far. Thanks for asking.