When I attempted college the first time, I took a philosophy course (doesn't everyone at a liberal arts college take at least one?). We never attempted to answer that question, because of course, there is no answer.
Who we are changes, day by day. With every choice, we change our potential outcomes. And if we don't make a choice, that too is a choice that will affect us. We are governed by what we do. Therefore, it is not "we are what we eat," but, "we are what we choose." And obviously, choosing what we eat makes a lasting effect on our future options.
For example, when I was a child, instead of watching Sesame Street and learning my numbers and letters, I would come home from school and watch Grahan Kerr (The Galloping Gourmet) and learned that wine, butter and cream make food taste delicious. Instead of running around outside playing football and tag, I stayed indoors and read my encyclopedia. A to Z. Oh yes, I was THAT much of a geek/nerd, even then.
I was four when my mom bought me my first cookbook. When I was 20ish, I got hooked on PBS and the cooking shows, especially the Frugal Gourmet. Yup ... Saturday afternoons were not spent playing sports, or even watching them on TV. I watched cooking shows. And then bought the cookbooks and practiced. And a good cook eats what he makes.
Did I mention that I used to be a big boy? And a portly man? No wonder. I was set up as a child to LOVE cooking and LOVE eating. As an adult, I still feel that way, but have added a LOVE of cooking for others. It's a challenge. To do what you love, when what you love is slowly killing you, is not a good choice for the long term.
I made a choice. I changed "me." I've been eating better. And by better, I mean AWESOMELY GREAT food. Not low-cal, low-fat, low-cholesterol foods. But REAL food! I just eat less of it. Last night, I pan-fried a chicken breast and topped it with a tomato-kalamata olive topping, and served it with a lemon-leek whole wheat fettuccine and oven-roasted vegetables. Total calories: 626. Delicious! Full of flavor, protein, good fats, and fiber.
This morning, I toasted a mini whole-wheat bagel in the pan with some olive oil, then fried two eggs in the residual olive oil, and topped everything with a quarter of an mashed avocado. 370 calories.
By the way, I am not a professional photographer. Er ... that was obvious, I suppose.
So, back to the beginning of this post. Who am I? I am a guy who was fat and not fit. I am becoming a man who is normal sized and more fit. And I am making my choices, rather than letting my lack of choices make me.
You can all do this. It's not easy. It requires first that you know what you want, and what it means to you. That will tell you if you are willing to pay the price to achieve your goal. But always remember this one thing:
You are worth it.
Final note: In yesterday's post, I made an off-hand comment about never having said "someday I will run a marathon." Well, I decided to move way outside my comfort zone, and I registered for my first race that was not part of a hated physical education class. On June 9, 2012, I will participate in the 2012 Bellin 10K Run. I paid for the registration, and ordered the t-shirt. If you are in Green Bay on that day, stop by at the local hospital to visit me!
My first race. About a month before I turn 49.
You can do anything! I know you can. Now ... you need to know you can, too.