Traveling through life with a timer and sneakers

Redefining “Normal” — Exploring my relationship with food & weight-maintenance

Weight loss is a battle. It’s an absolute struggle and I completely relate to anyone who is fighting to take off those pounds. But I have discovered an even more difficult task.

Keeping it off.

On Monday I was working out with a friend and talking about how gross I felt. I began to review all of the terrible things I had eaten while working at a middle school debate tournament. For the first time in over a year, I had eaten at McDonalds and over those two days I had actually had TWO meals from the Golden Arches. And that wasn’t all!

What happened to me? What had possessed me, during a week I was trying to eat on the lower end of my calorie range due to an upcoming vacation, to eat so many of the terribly high calorie foods offered to me?

I started off each morning with a blended shake. I even packed meal replacements and vegetables. I was exhausted but I had a semblance of a plan. To stick with a Healthy Solutions “More is Better” approach because I knew it would be very stressful and I make terrible choices when I am stressed out. Something I have learned about myself over the last 13 months.

However, people offered me lunch delivery from the lunchroom. And I accepted. And then they went around taking McDonald’s orders. And I placed one for myself.

Why?

I realized upon reflecting on the weekend that I just wanted to appear “normal.” After a year of being on such a strict diet, I wanted to be like everyone else and eat whatever I wanted. I wanted to eat like they did.

Like a carnival funhouse, I was tricked by this notion of “normal” and I was the fool.

My concept of normal used to be “what everyone else is doing” but I realize that this isn’t what gave me success in my weight-loss journey. What gave me success was setting a new standard of what normal looks like. And when I reflect upon the weekend, other people turned down these various options in favor of something healthier. Which meant what I had perceived as normal really wasn’t the norm for everyone.

While I anticipate a gain on the scale this week, I have also gained something else. I have gained a better understanding of how I operate and the triggers that entice me further into the Gap.

In middle school we would joke that normal was just a setting on a washing machine. Maybe I just need to listen to my 7th grade self again. Embrace the idea of being me and not being like everyone else. After all, being me is what got me this far in life. And I like who I have become.

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3 responses

  1. Cruz, Gregory T.

    Great post!! Make me thing of this great quote that I heard yesterday. “ Normal is the average of everyone’s brokenness” This one is going to have to get read to my core class.

    Greg Cruz
    Behavioral Health Educator
    HMR Weight Management Program
    Palo Alto Medical Foundation
    (650) 404-8256
    http://www.ahealthyweight.org

    “Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.”
    – Winston Churchill

    December 11, 2014 at 12:08 am

  2. Anne T.

    Carol, I love this! I did the same thing a couple weeks back, to feel “normal”. I like your solution to redefine normal.

    December 11, 2014 at 7:26 am

  3. Pingback: Reframing the power of the “Meal Replacement” | The Healthy Academic

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