Our Bodies, Our Decisions

There’s a simple nostrum nutritionists and trainers employ to encourage wellness in their clients: You wear your fat. It’s another way of saying  your body announces to the world the consequences of your behavior. Imagine applying each doughnut directly to your thighs, each bottle of beer to your belly. Instead of a Facebook post, you merely need to step outside: This is what I ate yesterday.

It’s often said that by age 40 we all have the face we deserve. A lifetime of sorrow and anger replays itself in the lines on our forehead. Similarly, a lifetime of gluttony and sloth announces itself in our physique, as does a lifetime of engagement and exercise. How we stand, how we present to the world: some of it is conscious; most of it is subliminal and unspoken. Yet the messaging is unmistakable. Our bodies are billboards for our choices. Allowing for variances in blood chemistry, generally speaking people who spend most of their lives watching television and eating chips tend to look like the sofa cushions they inhabit. People who spend most of their lives working outdoors and moving their body vigorously tend to look like athletes.

Almost all our thoughts are private. Almost all our values and judgments we keep to ourselves. The lifestyle choices we make — based on our values and judgments, our private thoughts — are brazenly public.

One of the very few aspects of modern life that’s truly remains free in an age of almost complete corporate control is what we put in our bodies. (Even what comes out is restricted). We are the gods and goddesses of our ingestion. We’re the deities of our wellness.

We are walking announcements for a kind of divinity. We are broadcasters.

What do you hear when you look in the mirror?



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