This I Believe

Vanessa - San Diego, California
Entered on April 28, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30

I work with two groups of rowdy 10 and 11 year olds. Two days a week, I travel to two different elementary schools in the San Diego area. The organization I work for is non-profit and is called “Jump for Life”, or JFL as my co-workers and I call it. The program was started by San Diego’s own ex-Charger, Donnie Edwards, who now plays for the Kansas City Chiefs. My job title is “Nutrition and Activity Leader”. The goal of the 10 week program is to get kids motivated to make healthier food choices, to set down the video game controllers, and get some good old fashioned exercise.

As I reflect on my childhood, I remember my mom teaching my brother and me to choose healthy foods over fast food, candy, and other junk. “Everything in moderation”, she used to tell us. I didn’t know it back then, but the words of a Registered Dietitian are great to live by. I apply her “everything in moderation” phrase to my eating habits everyday.

I remember a night when I was younger, when we were all sitting at the dinner table eating dinner. My mom made some type of food that I apparently didn’t like because it was “healthy”, and I said to her “I hate that you’re a dietitian”. I was angry that what we were having for dinner wasn’t as tasty as a pizza or french fries. I didn’t appreciate her knowledge back then because I was too young to understand. Now, I am more thankful than ever.

While in the process of thinking of the topic I was going to write about for this essay, I recognize that I truly believe in staying healthy by eating right and exercising. I have been so incredibly inspired by my mom that now, as a 21 year old college student, my entire life is surrounded by my belief. Not only do I strive to be the healthiest person I can be, I want to teach others how important it is. I am grateful that my job allows me to do just that.

As a nutrition major at San Diego State University, I’m on my way to becoming a Registered Dietitian, just like my mom. Along with my healthy habits, my choice of job is just another example of how my belief has affected my life.

Some might find it hard to believe that my life core belief has to do with staying healthy and active. Others might believe in God, war, or dancing. But my belief is nutrition. Because nutrition and wellness has impacted me so greatly throughout my years, my life goal now is to inspire and encourage others to understand how important eating a balanced diet and working out is for the body.

I will continue to live by the words of my mother and I plan on eating Oreos “in moderation” for as long as I live.