Deliberately Becoming Yourself

Aaron Pace
4 min readAug 13, 2022
Photo by Christian Lue on Unsplash

Shortly after marrying my wonderful wife, I told her that I would rather starve than “have a belly”. In my relatively young adult mind, I believed that I could always keep doing the things I was doing and not gain weight.

How naive I was!

We weren’t married long before I had packed on sixty-five extra pounds. To be fair, I was a very lean 6' 3" when get got married. Forty-five of those pounds, though, were unnecessary.

I’ve often joked with people that I’ve lost more than three-hundred pounds in the last twenty-one years. It just happens to be the same ten, twenty, or thirty pounds over and over again.

Eating healthy isn’t something I’ve been very deliberate about. You’ve heard of the popular “see food” diet, I’m sure. I see food and I eat it.

Not a great way to live, but a surprising (and growing) number of us do it.

Thomas Oppong recently wrote:

Life is. . .an evolutionary process; without deliberate intervention, we become versions of ourselves we don’t necessarily want.

I never wanted to have a “dad bod” but I didn’t do the work required to keep it from happening. Like so many of us, I needed to put deliberate attention on that area of my life. Instead, I just let life happen to me.

A friend recently told me the story of her father, a proud Greek man. “Food was love,” she said. When his thirties hit, her dad gained a lot of weight. He had a massive heart attack when he was only forty-five years old. A triple bypass saved his life. He made substantial changes to his diet. One day, however, he determined that if life was about skipping out on the things he loved, he wanted none of it.

I don’t agree with his decision, but it was, nonetheless, deliberate.

There are myriad areas in our lives where we can become versions of ourselves that are contrary to previous ideals. Even more dangerous, though, are those important areas where we have no ideal. Instead, we accept that life just happens. We fail to plan for the future, validating the statement that “if you fail to plan you plan to fail.”

Aaron Pace

Married to my best friend. Father to five exuberant children. Fledgling entrepreneur. Writer. Software developer. Inventory management expert.