Your New Normal

Change is something I often resisted in my life. When we contemplated moving from Florida to Virginia several years ago I was pretty resistant. (Although I was glad to move back to Florida after fighting DC traffic for two years.)

I think that my tendency to be resistant to change made it a bit more difficult for me to embrace a total lifestyle change when it came to exercise and healthy eating. Every time I tried a new program or just decided to “go it alone” when I was morbidly obese, I did not want to think that the healthy eating choices I was trying to make were going to be my new normal. Instead I really wanted to believe that I could lose some weight and then go back to my old normal.

The truth was that my old normal was not a healthy way to live. However, a new normal meant that I had to make major changes and that was scary and difficult.

My fear of change almost kept me from discovering that a new normal was going to be a better normal. Sure it was different to look at food from the perspective of weight maintenance and health, but the differences in my life at a new normal were almost all positive.

The new normal for me included changes like eating a real breakfast instead of cookies, exercising every day, breaking bad food habits such as grazing uncontrollably after dinner, learning how to cook healthy meals, and putting the brakes on all day snacking.

Another aspect of my new normal involved getting rid of all the plus size clothes in my closet, having more energy than I had since I was in college, feeling strong and positive, and sharing my new normal with other people.

Part of your weight loss journey really does involve learning to embrace your new normal and not fear the change. Additionally, facing the fact that if you go back to your old normal you will also go back to your unhealthy weight is a reality that we all have to confront. Even though your old normal was comfortable, it was not the healthiest lifestyle for you or for your family. That realization can be a hard one to embrace and accept, but accepting it helps you move forward into your new normal.

Because I had over 100 pounds to lose, I had a long time to learn to embrace the new normal. By the time I got to a healthy weight I had gone a long way toward being excited about my new lifestyle and being able to put aside the old habits that had caused me to becoming morbidly obese in the first place. I’m glad that I was finally able to embrace a new, healthy normal.

Do you ever think about a new normal? What impact does that have on your decisions? Diane

15 thoughts on “Your New Normal

  1. Elizabeth says:

    I agree that embracing change can be scary and it is all about the right mindset. I too struggled with giving away my plus sized clothing. Some of the clothes were security blankets and favorite pieces that I could feel good in at a heavy size. I even put some away in storage for some time thinking I may need these again if I fail again in my weight loss.

    I am trying hard everyday to reprogram my brain.

  2. Laura Jane @ Recovering Chocoholic says:

    Change is difficult. Our old ways feel so comfortable and familiar. I find that even after I’ve been doing well at my new lifestyle for a while (like 10-12 weeks), it still doesn’t feel normal or come naturally. I think a lot of people (myself included) don’t stick it out long enough to really get a sense of a new normal. It takes longer than a few weeks for all the changes to really feel like you.

  3. Karen@WaistingTime says:

    OMG yes! But for me I use the terminology a bit differently. I have talked a lot on my blog about aspiring for “normal” with my eating and have evolved to thinking that I might never be that vision so instead need to define it for myself.

  4. Amanda says:

    I absolutely struggled for a long time with the thought that eventually my eating could go “back to normal”, and like you I finally realized that my old “normal” wasn’t healthy. It was, in fact, the reason I’d gotten to the point where I needed to lose weight in the first place.

    I like my new normal. I’m not starving, there are foods I like, and if I have a weekend where I have a little too much pound cake (ahem) it’s still not a struggle for me to get back on track the following week. Okay, it’s not much of a struggle. I do love my pound cake, LOL

  5. michelle says:

    GREAT blog!! After 5 months, I think (?) I’m starting to embrace the ‘new normal’ way of eating…I’m not at my goal weight, yet, (oh so slow over the age of 50!) but more often, when I consider how I will eat when I do reach my goal, I’m picturing myself continuing to avoid the high fat/junk foods I loved. I guess that truly is one of the positive aspects of losing weight slowly; it gives you plenty of time to adapt to new ways of approaching diet/exercise/lifestyle! Thanks for putting your thoughts out there for me to ponder : )

  6. E. Jane says:

    This is such a great post, Diane. Yes, I struggle with thoughts of who I will be when my weight is in the normal, healthy range. I have been overweight for so long that it’s truly a part of my identity, even though it’s caused me to be stressed and unhappy much of the time. I think that fear of the unknown future can cause us to relapse when we’re on a path toward “true normal.” Sometimes we don’t even know that we’re doing it, because we bury our fears and anxiety in the food instead of understanding that sometimes we may feel anxious and scared along the way–and it’s part of the process.

    I have found this weight loss process to be more than just putting down the food. I am also having to deal with my emotions and reactions to my feelings. It’s very complicated, but working through it and enduring some uncertainty is the only way to get beyond the obesity that I want to get rid of.

  7. mamajuliana says:

    My new normal sometimes surprises me. I am in the middle of spring housecleaning before Easter and my old ‘normal’ was to take a couple of weeks to do it because I would just get so tired. IT was only one room a day, if that much. This year it was done in four days from top to bottom! I also did all the laundry and finished our taxes during those four days!
    I still have to get used to all this available energy!

  8. Taryl says:

    One of the nicest things about having done this slowly and taken mainenane breaks, planned and unplanned, over the past few years, is that I have had ample time to make this my new normal, my default. I was resistant to change as well, at least until I realized I wasn’t being deprived just because I couldn’t eat a whole pack of Oreos! I had to redefine my relationship with food, as you did, and that was a tough but necessary step.

    It still crosses my mind on occasion, what it would be like to eat the way I used to, but it doesn’t hold much appeal next to how I look and feel now.

  9. Jody - Fit at 54 says:

    Such a great post Diane! Yes, this is not just with weight loss too – it can be so many other parts of our lives! I did embrace the new normal but now with age & for years, the new normal keeps changing – dang these hormones! 😉

  10. Leah says:

    Living my new normal is something I’ve been finding a little difficult when I have family visiting. hhmm…it’s also very eye opening as to where I used to be and where I am now. I just don’t eat like I used to. It’s a good thing, but rough to do sometimes when the visitor is the woman who used to cook my food growing up.

    Happy Easter, Diane!

  11. Jennifer says:

    I totally agree! But, since I am not at a healthy weight and have not been a healthy weight ever as an adult, I am still in the wilderness so to speak, and will have to find out for myself one of these days. I do think it is getting easier. Plus, it is helpful to remind myself that the new normal is so much better for me. I do want to be healthier!

  12. jeanette says:

    Happy Easter Diane! Yes, a new normal is slow in coming for me, but it is a great new normal. I love my new life of health. I feel so much better and my outlook is great.
    Thanks for all your encouraging posts.

  13. Jane says:

    Because I had so much weight to lose, I think it gave me the time I needed to open my brain and accept that my new normal was NOT going to be the same normal I envisioned when I was 300 pounds or 250 pounds or even 200 pounds. My normal does not include desserts every night and all hell breaking loose in the pantry on holidays. If you told me that at 250 pounds I would not have believed it. I also would not have been willing to consider it. Not then. I needed experience and time to be on my side before I could accept ‘my new normal.’

  14. blackhuff says:

    I think one need to be ready for change, to succeed.
    I’m like you, still with some things in my life, resistant to change and this is a big downfall for me.
    Coming back to when my journey started, I was ready for change then and that is what made me succeed in where I am today.

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