In 1826, Anthelme Brillat-Savarin penned the phrase destined to become linked to the relationship between one’s well-being and the food they ingest. The notion connecting what we consume with the overall state of our health is not new, nor is it declining in popularity. Lifestyle programs, such as Whole 30, exist as an extension of Brillat-Savarin’s gastronomical thoughts. Yet, the idea of food fueling a productive body is not the only extrapolation to which the famous quotation can be applied. Any type of consumption, food or otherwise, will have a distinct effect upon the consumer. The choices you make regarding social, moral, and intellectual consumption can greatly alter every aspect of your life.
It all boils down to choice and consequence. Most of us are fortunate enough to have the freedom to make many choices each and every day. Some choices are simplistic, with very little lasting impact. Others are complex and will greatly alter, not only our own lives, but the lives of those close to you. Many of us have become so accustomed to the freedom to choose, we take our ability to make a choice for granted. However, there is one freedom none of us possess. No person has the freedom from the consequences of their individual choices. Eventually the piper must be paid.
The challenge concerning consenquences is the unknown surrounding the effects of our life choices. Results, and the by-products of those decisions, are difficult to predict. Regardless of intention, each choice you make alters the person you are currently. Drinking a glass of water instead of soda will impact your health. Watching The Daily Show instead of InfoWars will impact your political outlook. The church you attend, or don’t attend, books you choose to read, indeed everything you consume factors into the complex math problem adding up to the sum of you.
In response, it might be easy to argue external factors, such as luck or environment, have the greatest impact on the person in the mirror. Yet, to ignore the influence of our internal self would be a cop out. We choose what we consume. Yes, the choices available to us might be different, but no one is forcing you to eat certain foods, watch certain shows, or read certain articles. Be responsible and accountable for what you put in your body, and your mind.
When you look in a mirror, the reflection you gaze upon is a compilation of the various decisions you have made your entire life. Each consequence, whether positive or negative, has made its mark on the image in front of you. If we are being honest, what we see is our fault. If you like what you see, congratulations. If you do not like what you see, you still have the opportunity to make choices that will positively alter the reflection you see tomorrow. Take advantage of the ability we have to continuously remake ourselves and our lives. Pay closer attention to what you choose to consume and remember, all the way back in 1826 Anthelme Brillat-Savarin said it true. You are what you eat.