It was drilled into me as a child.
At school. At home. At church. On tv. Even in Comic books.
No matter where I went, someone was proclaiming, “You are what you eat” like they were the one who coined the phrase.
I’ll tell you a secret.
I never listened.
But you probably already knew that.
So now, decades later, I get to hear it again from my wife, various health care professionals, and other mean people. Only now, they often follow the phrase with a question, “So, if you believe that, then what does that make you?”
When my wife asks me that question, I almost lose it. I hold my head high, stick out my chest, and say, “Listen here, woman! I’ll be the one asking the questions in this house! Now go and fix me something filled with sugar and gluten.”
I don’t really say that. I’m not stupid.
Instead, I smile sweetly and quote the food pyramid from the 1970’s: “Well Honey, I’m 4 servings of fruits and vegetables, 4 servings of grains, 3 servings of dairy, and 2 servings of meats.”
Ok, that doesn’t happen either.
Honestly, my head hangs in shame, tears well up in my eyes, and I reply, “I’m a large pizza, a half gallon of ice cream, a bag of microwave popcorn, a gallon of soda, and one serving of broccoli.”
She shakes her head, takes a deep breath, and says, “John…”
“I’m sorry,” I interrupt. “Was that your broccoli?”
She has never laughed at that.
So I’m going back to the message I learned as a child.
I am what I eat.
My body will be made up of the foods I put into it.
If I consume healthy foods and water, I will see the benefits of eating healthy foods and water.
If I eat a lot of fat, greasy food, I will become a fat, greasy dude.
*Photo courtesy of Tim Mossholder of Unsplash