You Are What You Eat Part II

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As I wrote in the previous post, I believe the old saying “you are what you eat” is true literally and figuratively. Our bodies are mostly made of the atoms from the food we eat.

But, I think there’s some figurative truth to the old saying. How you eat, how much you eat and what you eat defines you. There’s so much of our own emotion wrapped up into our palates that it becomes difficult to separate our eating habits from ourselves, sometimes to our own detrimant. And, I don’t just mean health-wise detrimant.

Of course, health is the most obvious thing that will slip if we don’t exercise some self control. But, we also miss out on enjoyment of food if we narrow our choices too much. People are all over the spectrum. We have the vegetarians and the “meat-and-potatoes” crowd. Then we have the low-carbers, the low fatters, high-protein bunch. Those that skip breakfast, others that skip dinner. Some just eat pizza.

I think it’s beneficial to understand what drives my eating habits. When I was gaining weight, eating voluminous amounts of good food drove my eating. When I lost weight, eating specific amount of calories per day without feeling hungry was the main driver. As I maintain my weight, I seek to enjoy a wide array of foods in moderation while being conscientious about keeping a well balanced calorie budget (i.e. calories in minus calories out).

To a lot of people that doesn’t sound like fun. But, to me it wasn’t fun being overweight and I realized that overstuffing myself on good food detracted from my satisfaction. I still have to fight the very same urge I had when I was a kid – “that tastes good, I want more.” But, it’s easier than it use to be.

Whatever drives our eating habits also becomes our filter for what others are saying about eating. There are those who I talk to who’ve read my book that get it. I can tell they have read and understand it. Then there are those that read and I realize they don’t get it. They read “rabbit food rabbit food rabbit food” or something like that because whatever is driving their own eating habits prevents them from actually understanding the real message of my book, which is eating in moderation, eating a wider variety of food and understanding how calories work. Anytime they hear the words “weight loss” or “diet”, their minds default to “rabbit food” (as in, “I’d love to lose weight, but I don’t want to eat rabbit food”) so they can scurry on with their eating habits having rationalized away yet another opportunity to learn.

I realized this when I ate a bite-sized chocolate bar at my parent’s house. My Mom said to my son, “your Daddy’s eating something he tells others not to.” I replied, “you can eat anything you want, just don’t eat two pounds of it in one day” knowing that while she has read my book, she really hasn’t READ it.

So what’s driving your eating habits?

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You Are What You Eat

1 Comment

We all hear that at a young age. It’s literally true. Almost every atom in our bodies came from something we ate (with the exception of the stuff we breathe in). Our amazing bodies automatically break down the food we eat and use it to build and rebuild our body structures and to fuel our activity.

But, I think there’s yet another truth to “you are what you eat”. (more to come…)