Lesson Three: You Eat What You Are

English: A picnic assembles in Columbus, Ohio.
A picnic assembles in Columbus, Ohio. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’ll just say up front: this lesson ain’t always a picnic.

It’s not the most hated–that one is next, Lesson Four (oh bet you can’t wait, now). But if you have deeper issues with how or what you eat, this lesson might be a trigger, or at least strike a nerve or two. But I don’t mean for that to happen in a bad way, truly I do not. I’m not about that. I’m NOT here to bring you down.

But, I do believe in truth. The whole truth and nothing but the truth. Truth, like surgery, may hurt, but it cures. (<Han Suyin) So, if this lesson stings a little because it’s true, let me reassure you that it’s not meant for that, but you’re not alone. Hopefully you can put some ice on it, heal fast, and it will all be for good not evil.

They say you are what you eat, but I teach you eat what you are, especially to people who struggle with their body weight or health due to dietary intake. I want them to focus on themselves first, more than external things like weight on the scale, food lists and counting things. To say you ate the wrong stuff or the wrong amounts and that’s why you look or feel the way you do–isn’t that a little simple? Presuming it didn’t happen overnight, and you kept going right along, doing what you did, and now as a full-grown person with tastes, a style, tendencies and a life…now what? You ate, and now you are _________?

Say you’re heavy because you eat heavy, you’re underweight because you undereat, or you’re unhealthy because you eat unhealthy, well okay. But you can’t “uneat”–there has to be a transition to eating something new or in some new way. Enter Lesson Three:

You eat what you are. What are you? How are you feeling? What life do you live? Are you busy? Bored? Creative? Tired? Picky?

Are you well-fed by a significant other? Are you on a budget? On vacation? Are you adventurous or insecure about trying new things? Are you a traditionalist for the family table? You might eat like a mom of small children on the go. Let’s get even more basic: are you religious? Are you coastal, rural or urban? Maybe you eat uninformed. Maybe you’re in denial.

This is where the tricky part comes in with helping people. I can’t really analyze this. I can look at  food journals, and if they are honest, I will see symptoms of a lifestyle that has led to an eating style, and typical choices (made when I’m watching and they are keeping a food journal). But a person can only say for themselves,

I eat what I am, and that is: _____________________

As for me, I eat like a person who is:

  • a foodie—one who loves food, cooking and dining out
  • high energy—who needs to keep the fuels of daily needs lit
  • adventurous—who will try new things, enjoys other cultures
  • experienced—who has eaten and cooked so much and has “go-tos”
  • a partier—I like to eat drink and be merry, entertain, have fun
  • naturally-minded—I garden, eat a lot simple & fresh foods, don’t like processed
  • busy—always hoppin, so I take modest planning time, I can’t dote on it nor ignore it

I don’t diet, and never have. I refuse to have weight or food issues. (Trust me, I have issues, just not those!) My point is, I eat what I am. I am very naturally normalized with food, and it shows, and I’m grateful for it. This helps me help other people see that it’s not a dreadful life.

So, how are you, then? I’d love to hear your comments. Think about this, and I’ll post Part II of this Lesson soon. In which I tell you what to do with your new information about what you eat.


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