Friday, August 20, 2010

The Quest for Normalcy

Every week or so, there seems to be a buzz word in the health/weightloss blogosphere. Maybe "buzzword" is the wrong description...theme? Is it possible that we all subconsciously influence each other, and therefore tend to experience and blog about things at the same time?

I have been struggling for two days to formulate a blog post about "being normal" as far as making healthful food choices, and not eating in excess. This spurs from Wednesday night, as I tried something different. I didn't have a plan for dinner. I wasn't hungry when I got home from work, so I didn't make anything. The boyfriend and I ran out to take care of some errands, and before I knew it, it was 8:30pm, I was hungry, and nowhere near my kitchen. Even worse? Pizza sounded SO good. So we went to a nice pizza place. We split a small 10" pizza (I had 2 pieces, he had 4) and that was that. For a split second, I felt "normal". I entered a pizza place, split the smallest size available, and was absolutely satisfied. (shortly thereafter, I felt like crap from ingesting grains, but that is a whole 'nother beast).

My initial thoughts on this experience were forgiving. I am human. Nobody expects me to eat Paleo 100% of the time (although, I would be so much better off if I could). Then I felt angry that I couldn't just eat pizza without it being such a big effing deal. Because, in my head, being able to eat whatever I want without gaining weight is NORMAL. Seriously. This is how I have always thought, and it seemed to be proven over and over by my thin friends. My perception of "normal" is wrong. Well, not entirely wrong, just under construction.

The biggest selling point for me to start down the Paleo path was the idea that I could be allergic to certain things (such as gluten, dairy, legumes, etc.) and not even know it. Somehow having an allergy or even fooling myself into thinking I had an allergy to all the items I was removing from my diet made it easier. If I had an allergy this whole time, that would explain why I couldn't just eat what I wanted to, and make it easy for me to turn down all the foods offered to me. With an allergy, people are forced to find a "new normal" because they absolutely can not partake in everything that others can. For me, and allergy would be convenient scapegoat, rather then facing what is the real problem.

I have (had?) a messed up definition of normal, and poor perception of how I am affected by food, what foods I need, and what amounts I need. If my perception of normal and these food events is wrong, then I can't possibly feel the right thing at the right time. The human mind has an incredible ability to distort facts based on what we think we see, what we want to see, previous experiences, and a whole myriad of other reasons. Perception is what makes us individuals.

So I must figure out how to be an individual, which I'm pretty sure is what 86% of thin people have already figured out way before me. What I can eat, what I can't eat, how much, etc. Each of us is different, there is no blanket "normal" that suits a large group. There is only one normal. Mine.

1 comment:

  1. You're right, there is no universal standard for "normal". All you can do is work with the body you have and address its unique needs.