What does normal mean?
The dictionary defines normal as:
* conforming to a type, standard, or regular pattern;
* relating to average intelligence or development;
* free from mental disorder: sane.
With regards to weight, normal is defined as
having a BMI between 18.5 and 24.9.
Many people consider the word “normal”
to mean “average”.
“Normal” is different things to different people.
Each of us have our own definition of what “normal” is.
Our viewpoint is influenced by our family and friends,
and our cultural and social background.
The advertising media is part of our social background,
and have had a large part in shaping our concepts of “normal”
in our own lives, and the lives of our parents,
and even the lives of our grandparents and great-grandparents.
So, we tend to define “normal”
based on what we have been TOLD is normal.
The word for being not normal is “abnormal”.
The word “abnormal” simply means deviating from the normal or average,
but that word has a strongly negative connotation for most of us.
Why is “normal” even important?
Because deep inside, most of us believe that
being “normal” is good, and
while being better than normal is good,
being “abnormal” is bad.
What is considered “normal” eating in our culture?
* Hamburgers go with french fries and a soda or milkshake.
* Sandwiches go with potato chips and a soda.
* Ice cream, cakes, pies, cookies. candy and other sweet desserts
should be frequently eaten as part of our normal meals;
as snacks; during social events; and especially all during holidays.
* Chips and crackers and popcorn are acceptable between meal options
as well as excellent side dishes.
* Cold cereals (most of which are 90%+ sugar)
are optional and suitable breakfast foods.
While dieting, those of us with weight problems
learn to eat differently than “normal” while we are losing weight.
But most of us expect to return to “normal” eating,
once we’ve achieved our goal weight.
Unfortunately, when we do this, we regain our lost weight plus more,
and we beat ourselves up emotionally…because we aren’t “normal”.
I’ve found that in order to succeed at maintaining my large weight-loss,
it has been necessary for me to redefine normal.
My ongoing job is to establish a NEW normal.
That is what a change in lifestyle actually means.
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