You Are What You Eat

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August 31, 2010
My son, Drew, just started 6th grade.  A recent homework assignment required him to write a paper about "Twinkies".  Yes, I know what you are thinking… "How is she going to tie Twinkies to Indianapolis staffing or hiring trends unless there is a six figure job out there that has to do with food made from chemicals?". I really do see a connection so stay with me on this. 

Drew’s writing assignment provided an interesting learning experience as we pondered the concept of "you are what you eat".  Of course, I could not resist the opportunity for a life lesson for my impressionable 11 year old so I launched into a heartfelt and convincing speech. I told him that consumption is not only physical (body) but is also mental (mind).  Eating Twinkies is much like spending time staring at a TV screen or even worse, hanging out with one of those people who suck the life out of you. (You know who I am talking about). Let’s look more closely.

Here is an excerpt from Drew’s paper:

"There are 39 ingredients in a single Twinkie. The nutritional value of a Twinkie is that of a normal dessert, at 150 calories and 4.5 grams of fat; but the ingredients are crazy! The reason for the really long shelf life is that most of the ingredients are chemicals. One of the main ingredients, Corn Dextrin, is the glue that they use to make envelopes, and postage stamps stick. The main ingredient of the filling is shortening in the form of partially hydrogenated vegetable oil and beef fat. Finally, the main ingredient of the cake is Cornstarch. Cornstarch is more commonly used to make cardboard and packing peanuts. The 150 calorie, 39 ingredient vanilla cream filled snack, the Twinkie is more of an object than a food. Next time you reach for a Twinkie, just remember…you are what you eat."

Looking at this from the mental "you are what you eat" perspective, filling your brain with crap, chemicals or toxic people will result in similar damage to your well being.  I recently read an article that describes toxic people in the following way:

"Toxic people are extremely negative, nasty, narcissistic, miserable, whiny, jealous, inconsiderate, financially irresponsible, selfish, and abusive… The toxic individual exudes the dark side of human nature all of the time. They cause other people pain, craziness, and aggravation. They are not hard to recognize. Just take notice of how you feel when you are around one of these people. It will be easy to determine. You will immediately feel sick and experience physical symptoms like a headache or stomach pain."

Given that description, I think I would rather eat Twinkies.

It is important to be on your game when you are engaging in something as important as a job search or career change.  My 20+ years of experience in the Indianapolis Staffing industry have taught me that every single thing you can do to set yourself up for success each day will contribute to getting you where you want to go personally and professionally. As a mom so of course I am going to tell you to start your day with a healthy breakfast and if/when you get bombarded by negativity as you go about your day, learn to walk away.  These are fundamental rules of engagement whether you are job hunting or working.

But here is one you did not expect me to say…

Celebrate your victories now and then.  Pat yourself on the back when you get that job.  Reward yourself when you have a great day at work.  Have an ice cream cone or a beer or a bag of cheese curls.  Heck, even have a Twinkie if you can stomach it!  Everything in moderation, but never forget that "you are what you eat" and you become what you consume – physically and mentally, so surround yourself with good food and good friends as often as you can.  I promise it will help you as hiring trends improve.  Don’t forget to add to your diet a visit to our That’s Good HR website to see how we can help you with your mental consumption of information about Central Indiana jobs.