Redefining Normal

Most people regain all of the weight that they fought so hard to lose during their diet.

It’s more commonplace to eat at a restaurant, swing by a drive-through or eat something pre-packaged & convenient than it is to cook a meal at home from scratch.

Over 66% of adults in the U.S. are either overweight or obese.

This is normal.

If you want to join this segment of the population, they’re more than happy to welcome you with open arms – all applications are accepted instantly, no questions asked.

Then there are “the others”.

These people lose the weight and keep it off.

This group carves out the time to cook their own food on a consistent basis and make movement a permanent part of their lifestyle.

This isn’t normal, and members of this group are constantly under siege.

Why are you always eating like that?

Why do you spend so much time working out?

Why don’t you just live a little?

(Read: Why do you silently make me feel bad about the choices that I’m making?)

I’m not here to tell you which group to join – that choice is yours alone to make – but I will tell you this: one group has a much higher chance of achieving their goals, maintaining their results, and changing their lives for the better, while the other group is destined to forever spin their wheels in the mud of life, constantly giving in to every urge that they have, looking for something outside of themselves as the solution.

If you’re happy with your results then who am I to tell you to do otherwise? If on the other hand you have that hunger for more, but currently find yourself apart of the “normal” crowd, then the best thing that you can do is redefine what normal is.

Photo Credit: Ebruli

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  1. Joey says

    The amount of “why” questions as well as the “you don’t need to” stuff people have been throwing at me since my body composition started improving is ridiculous.

    But the amount of “wows” and “wtf dude, you look awesome” stuff has gone up like crazy too.

    There are people who will try to drag you down and people who won’t.

    The only thing that really hurts me is getting the bad reactions from people close to me.

    All I know is that since I took up serious weight training I have been smiling more.

  2. Nancy C. says

    I try to look at my changed (and changing) lifestyle as normal and anything else as abnormal. Not easy for sure because there are so many messages (not the least of which is family) saying it’s not normal. Gotta continue to fight the mindset by living it one day at a time.

    • says

      So true, Nancy. It’s so easy to slip back into old habits if you’re not conscious and careful. It gets easier over time, but the battle never ends.

  3. Sean says

    i really appreciate this article. About two years ago, i lost about 60 lbs. and have pretty much kept it off. Meanwhile all my friends, some in shape some not, always nag me about “eating healthy.” It tends to get annoying but it’s all worth it when summer rolls around and I’m gettin all the compliments 😉

  4. says

    Changing your body is the first step to changing your life. Even if you don’t wanna look like a cover model, taking control of your health and fitness leads to greater satisfaction in all aspects if life.

    Just my .02

  5. says

    I agree with you on the cooking vs eating out thing. I made a quasi-NYs resolution to cook most of my food myself, partly for weight reasons, partly to quit wasting so much food, and it makes a huge impact on my weight. I have a great, cheap farmers market, and I eat a heavy produce diet, though not low-fat or low-carb or ….. This doesn’t mean I never go out for pizza, or a burger, or a decadent meal, but it’s much less frequent. There are a few who I’ve known from when I used to be obese, especially those who still are, who I clash with, but it’s not so bad. For example, if I go for a hike with my friend (of 18 years), D, I may bring for lunch PB&J on 12-grain bread that has to live in the freezer since I eat it so infrequently, some nuts, English peas, water, but he makes me stop so he can get a huge sandwich, chips, pepsi. He thinks walking a mile/day is a LOT of exercise, one fruit/veg a day is adequate, and shakes his head over my gym habit. When we go out to eat together, it’s a bit of a compromise on both of our parts, but we manage. It takes time and effort and shopping to not be a convenience eater, but I usually make things that’ll last me 3-4 meals, and thus stay sane.

  6. Fabiano says

    very good post man

    i am under constant provation about my food choices because i’m living on others houses on college period and they only do crap food, so i gotta do my own food, but hey life not supossed to be simple huh??

  7. says

    Great stuff, Roger. The healthy are constantly under siege by the “normals”. Unfortunately, this just demotivates people and leads to our current culture of obesity. When I finally got myself back in shape after the sympathy weight gain of my wife having our kids, my mom gave me grief because she was worried about how skinny I was getting. My BMI was around 23 at the time! Hardly anorexic. I have five overweight or obese siblings. Do you think she gets “worried” about their weight? Keep up the good work.

    • says

      Yeah Stan, it’s strange isn’t it? The one who is getting the worry and grief is the one who needs it the LEAST, and if enough people from that social circle start pushing those same thoughts onto them then it becomes much easier for them to start slipping and heading back towards that lifestyle that led to the weight gain in the first place.

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