Monday, November 15, 2010

A NEW kind of NORMAL

Isn’t it funny that one day you wake up, look in the mirror and say… "How in the heck did this happen?”  I looked at me, spun around a few times and scratched my head.  It’s kinda like a few pounds here and a few pounds there seem to go unnoticed until, one day, it hits you…kind of like a truck…a very very big truck!
Thinking back, I often would dodge pictures being taken just so I don’t have to deal with a reminder in the future that I was a certain size or looked a certain way.  As a mom, we often find ourselves behind the camera instead of in front of it…which is just fine by me J 
I have been blessed with an amazing husband that has loved me, every part of me, no matter what size my jeans say that I am.  He is the kind of guy that says “You don’t need to put make-up on, you are beautiful just the way you are.”  That is of course, when I flip down the mirror in the car to take a look and see if I agree.  My response is typically something along the lines that he “needs to get his eyes checked” or “put his contacts in.”   Didn’t he see the blemish on my chin that is like a beacon shining brighter than Rudolph’s nose?  There are many days where I could lead the sleigh instead of our 4 legged, antlered friend J
This is what I LOVE about my hubby, Jason or Og as I call him.  (If you live in a smaller town and you are a male, at some point during your adolescent years you are blessed or cursed with a nickname that sticks with you forever.  Thankfully his reflects his last name…Ogdahl.)   He has loved me, tells me that I am beautiful.  Even when I wake up with hair sticking up in every direction (like a really bad 80’s hair-do) he thinks this.  I have a pretty great guy and I am SO VERY THANKFUL FOR HIM J
But there comes a time when you just have had enough.  You are tired of your current “normal”.  You want to feel the compliments that you are being told are TRUE…BELIEVE in YOUR HEART that they are true.  That is where I found myself a few months ago.  Trust me, this wasn’t the first time I was frustrated with my current weight.  But something was different this time.  It was like I got mad and was so tired of looking in the mirror and not being happy with what I saw.  BLAH!!!  Frustration filled me as I knew I was the only one to blame.  I also knew that the extra “padding” was a result from emotional eating.  Food had become the drug that I used to cope but it also was a way for me to run from my own issues.  Food was like my own personal band-aid.  Eating to make me feel good to cover whatever discomfort I was experiencing…stress, anxiety whatever it was.  I finally realized that if I peeled back the band-aid the issue was still there...DUH, Michelle!!  Whoever would have thought this was possible??   I was a CARB addict!!  I LOVE LOVE LOVE comfort foods and exactly what it did…comfort me when I needed it most (even if it was for just a few brief moments).
 I was HUNGRY for a NEW kind of NORMAL!  I was ready to take CONTROL and become a LOSER (well of weight anyway).  I wanted CONTROL back...something that seemed so simple but is so hard to regain at times.
What I realized first, is I needed to be happy and EMBRACE myself.  I had to learn to “like” me again, “like me” exactly where I was at.  A good friend of mine told me years ago as she was struggling to lose weight, “Michelle, I didn’t gain this extra weight overnight, so I can’t expect to lose it overnight either.”  What!!!  You can’t lose all of this with a snap of your fingers…but WHY??  I realized that I needed to embrace ME where I was at and LOVE ME no matter what the size my jeans currently said.  I then needed to accept the fact that it was going to be a LONG journey, there was going to be tough days and easier days.  Baby steps Michelle…that is what it is.  You just need to take the first step…that is it.
 I know that food is necessary for living but when it is abused, just like drugs or alcohol, it can become a dependency.  The hard part about this is if it were a drug or alcohol addiction, I would have to learn how to remove that from my life, completely.  Food addiction is so different as you need it to survive…the difference is it needs to be consumed when your body needs it…not when your MIND or your EMOTIONS think you do. 
This complete shift in thinking came about the same time when a good friend of mine recommended a book that truly WOKE ME UP and showed me that a NEW NORMAL is possible.  “I Can Make You Thin” by Paul McKenna has shed a new light on how I think of food.  The word “dieting” doesn’t exist in my vocabulary anymore… "life-style change” has taken its place. 
Here were just a few key points that started the journey of my “new normal”:
  • “Emotional hunger is sudden and urgent, physical hunger is gradual and patient.” 
  • “Emotional hunger cannot be satisfied with food; physical hunger can.”
  • “There aren’t enough cookies in the world to make you feel loved and whole.”  WHAT!!!  Could this be true?  The answer is…yes. 
I am now learning to listen to my body.  Pausing before I eat so I can ask myself if I am REALLY hungry or if I am eating for other reasons other than hunger. 
This is going to be a long journey.  One in which I CHOOSE to CELEBRATE each pound lost.  Taking the first step is the key and taking baby steps after that, setting monthly goals of weight loss to reach instead of focusing on that bigger it  isn’t too scary and overwhelming. 
I recognize that some days, temptation and old habits will win…but the WONDERFUL thing is that tomorrow is a new day and you can start out fresh and NEW again.  Refocus and get back on track...that is the key...just get back on track.
This is the first time in my life that I am losing weight in a healthy manner.  I am not starving myself, stressing out about points and measuring.  I am doing this for me as this is where it needs to begin. 
A new kind of NORMAL…nobody said it would be easy…but sometimes it is necessary.


  1. Michelle, it's interesting that as us sisters grow with age, we all realize that we have similar issues with food and body image, and to make it public is so admirable!