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 believed it.
But you probably already knew that. You can look at me and tell.
So now, decades later, I hear it from my wife, health care professionals, and other mean people. Only now, they often follow the phrase with a question, “So, if you believe that phrase, then what does that make you?”
It drives me crazy when my wife asks me that question. I hold my head high, stick out my chest, and say, “Listen here, woman! I’ll be the one asking the questions around here! 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 immediately hangs in shame, tears well up in my eyes, and I answer, “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 with a smile. “Was that your broccoli?”
She has never laughed at that.
So I’m going back to the truth of the lesson 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 drinking water.
If I eat a lot of fat, greasy food, I will become a fat, greasy dude.
*Image Courtesy of Justus Menke