September 2nd, 2019 Finding Normal

Yesterday was a 5-star day: I maintained the integrity of my calorie budget, I remained refined sugar-free, I exceeded my daily water goal, I enjoyed a challenging 40-minute walk while pushing mom in her wheelchair around the walking trail, and I stayed well connected with exceptional support.

The plan yesterday was to get my workout before picking up mom for our weekly outing. production work at the studio altered that plan. Normally, I’ll admit, I’d use that circumstance to justify not getting a workout. But it’s happening way too often lately. I talk and often write about carrying a solutions-based perspective in regard to the food plan, especially when dining out, so this was an opportunity for me to apply that perspective to exercise. Mom can’t physically walk the trail, so I pushed her around and around for forty minutes. Pushing a wheelchair up hills is challenging! It was slightly stressful for her, especially on the downhill turns–“son, don’t let go.” Mom, I won’t! Relax and enjoy the ride!! We laughed, a lot.

What does it mean to be “normal?” I’ve concluded “normal” is a relative term. Your normal isn’t my normal. We’re all different.

This guy wanted to be normal. He wanted to have a normal relationship with food. He had fixed in his mind a vision of what it meant for him to be normal, you know, like people who are of normal weight with normal eating behaviors who wear normal sized clothing. To him, in order to be normal, he had to simply eat less and exercise more, yeah–that would be some kind of normal.

What this guy failed to recognize is, he was already normal. He was his normal. In order to achieve weight loss success and a healthy body-weight range, the perspective on “normal” had to change. It couldn’t be someone else’s normal, it had to be his own kind of normal. He could mimic someone else’s normal for a while, but eventually his normal would override the abnormal impersonation of normal–and everything would go back to being his normal.

Enough of the third person. What I had to embrace was my normal. I had to let go of the idea that I wasn’t normal because, in that, I was constantly suggesting I wasn’t good enough or something was wrong with me. I am good enough and there’s nothing wrong with me–as long as I’m not trying to be someone else’s normal.

My normal is: I’m addicted to sugar and if consumed, it triggers biochemical reactions that send me searching for more and more–and not just sugary items–I’m talking loads of carbs and high fat– it’s on!! Nothing trips my trigger like sugar–it is my normal. So I abstain, one day at a time–and it’s my normal and I’m okay. My normal is I must remain aware and mindful of my food plan. My normal is I must pause and act instead of reacting when emotions and/or stress suggests that excess food will help.

I can drink alcohol. I rarely do. (once in the last six years) When I do, it doesn’t negatively affect me beyond a slight feeling of intoxication. It doesn’t trip anything for me. That’s my normal. I have close friends with decades of sobriety, who–if they tried to mimic my normal, it would ruin their lives for who knows how long, maybe even kill them before they found recovery again. That’s their normal. So they abstain, one day at a time, it’s their normal and they’re okay.

Embracing my normal is imperative to my success. My normal means that I take extraordinary care with food. My normal means no sugar. My normal means I remain active in seeking and offering support. My normal requires my attention and a rock-solid commitment to do what I do for my continued wellness. I fiercely protect it and never apologize for it.

One of the biggest keys for me to remain well: Embracing and accepting my normal, not someone else’s. I hope and pray I spend the rest of my life celebrating my normal. Because if I do, I have the greatest chance for continued peace and stability.

This is what “finding what works for you” is all about. Sometimes that statement is misunderstood to mean “Find the plan or procedure” that works for you. I’m suggesting that “finding what works” for you and me, starts with honestly defining our personal normal, then fashioning a plan that gives us what we need.

I don’t want to be some idealized version of “normal,” I just want to be mine.


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#dinnerout 12oz baked cod and grilled asparagus. #dailypractice #foodplan 434 cal.

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