John is watching the news and the dogs are curled up and sleeping close by. The cats are sleeping too. Soon they will all be begging like they haven’t been fed in weeks. The furnace is humming and pushing out the heat. I can hear …
Month: November 2020
The things we remember. The things we miss. When our kids were kids. Little boys. Little girls. The moments that hit us in the now. It feels like a slap in the face and a stop you in your tracks. The moments that bring instant tears to the eyes. Those moments. The ones you never get back. The ones that even now you remember plain as day. The ones that really provoke the big emotions and the big feelings.
Life is precious and life can be taken at any time. Time’s up. And there he goes. A friend of mine lost his son a few years back. It was a tragic accident. It was life altering. It was life forever changed. Forever memories are the only thing left. The ones. The kid memories. The ones that keep trying to fade but you won’t let them. Those kinds of memories.
I was talking to this friend a few weeks ago. We were just sitting and talking about things, life, jobs, people and kids. He said the thing he missed the most about his son, was when he was a little boy and would run through the house with his blanket cape. Running and looking behind, watching the flow of the cape. Watching the waves roll. The cape. The fun. The wonder of a small little boy. Watching him. Wondering what he would become. The life He had in store.
Those kinds of memories.
I have my own memories of my kids when they were little. There is one in particular that I think about and the emotions bubble right up to the surface. The tears just flow and I can’t help it and I don’t even know why. But, every single time I think of it, it happens. No rhyme. No reason. Just because. Maybe their innocence. Maybe the big cruel world to come. Maybe a big bright world to come. Maybe nothing.
John and I dropped off the boys to a movie and then came back later to pick them up. They both came running out of the theater and looked like they were getting along and having fun. They had big cheesy smiles and bright eyes. Then time slowed down. Way down. They had candy in their hands and were running towards us. They were close to each other. The little boy competition. Who will get to the pickup first. Then it happened. Their feet got tangled and one of them fell. The other looked up at me. I could see the fear in his eyes. The explanation in his eyes. His eyes telling me it was an accident. The eyes thinking he was going to get in trouble. It was an accident. We knew it was an accident. We knew he didn’t trip him on purpose. We knew.
The whole thing was less than 20 seconds, yet those memories have lasted the rest of my life. I don’t know what it is about it that just gets me. The scraped knees, the scraped hands, candy running like ants across the sidewalk or the eyes. All of it. Every detail. I remember that part like it was yesterday. I don’t remember what happened when they got in the vehicle. They didn’t get in trouble. They didn’t fight. That part of the memory is gone. So strange.
Powerful memories. I often wonder why or how we remember what we do. What is it about a certain memory that stands out. It makes me curious. It’s not like I told myself to remember this 20 years down the road. Sometimes I tell myself to remember a dream and one hour later I can’t remember it.
Life is funny. Memories are interesting. Some memories make it to the compartment in the brain that will never forget. Some get put in another compartment that may be accessible at a later date…or not. Some strike at random times. Some never strike.
The emotions and feelings tied to the memories may be why we can so easily remember those really, really important ones. Maybe that person is no longer here or maybe it was just a special day. Whatever the circumstance, the kid memories hit me the hardest.
Normal or Abnormal
conforming to a type, standard, or regular pattern : characterized by that which is considered usual, typical, or routine normal working hours under normal circumstances It was just a normal, average day. He had a normal childhood. Their reaction to the news was normal and expected.
deviating from the normal or average a person with abnormal [=exceptional] strength, abnormal powers of concentration
often : unusual in an unwelcome or problematic way abnormal behavior abnormal test results
I wanted to put a nutrition spin on this when I heard the normal/abnormal phrase in a book I am listening to The Divergent Mind by Jenara Nerenberg. She was not talking about nutrition. She was talking about people and behavior and sensory issues and many other important things and distinctions with behavior. So I don’t want to minimize the importance of that work.
But rather, normal and abnormal when it comes to our bodies and our food and our behaviors and our perceptions. And, just as an aside, I don’t believe there really is a normal. There is a societal normal or a social media normal. For this post, though, we will go with what is normal through diet and mindset and what is abnormal according to social media and then I will put my spin on them. My brain just happened to be pinged when I heard the phrase and this is what came out of that ping.
And, it is also more than normal and abnormal. It’s more like good or bad. I hate that. The tunnel of the thoughts.
Normal thinking when it comes to diet and fitness:
It’s normal to be on a diet all the damn time. It’s normal to hate our bodies. It’s normal to think we need to change for someone. It’s normal to yo-yo diet. It’s normal to binge eat. It’s normal to think in terms or all or nothing. It’s normal to think you messed it all up when you eat a donut. It’s normal to think you have to have all the self-control and motivation in order to succeed. It’s normal to think it has to be hard to change. It’s normal to have perfect skin. It’s normal there is not a speck of cellulite on your body. It’s normal to have a completely flat stomach. It’s normal.
Abnormal thinking when it come to diet and fitness:
It’s abnormal to be at an ideal weight. It’s abnormal not to be on a diet. It’s abnormal to love our bodies. It’s abnormal if we don’t think we need to change something about ourselves. It’s abnormal if we aren’t losing and gaining and losing and gaining weight as in the yo-yo dieting. It’s abnormal if we don’t have some type of disordered eating. It’s abnormal to be okay with eating donuts or ice cream or candy. It’s abnormal to think we can change. It’s abnormal to think it’s okay to not be motivated and halve willpower all the time. It’s abnormal if you have cellulite and a stomach folds. It’s abnormal.
The above is a sampler of the normal and abnormal. There are so many others.
When did our thinking become so messed up? Think back. Think way back to when you were learning about your body and learning about eating. When was that? Fourth grade? Fifth? Do you remember.
Do you remember the first time you thought you were fat? What made you think that? Was it something you saw in a magazine or something someone said to you? Let’s not kid ourselves though, we all know what overweight looks like, because we have constantly been shown.
But what I want to know is when it became “normal” to constantly be on a diet. I want to know when it became “normal” to hate ourselves so much and to bad mouth ourselves so much and shame ourselves so much. When did that happen? More importantly, why did that happen? And why was it okay and normal? Just wow on these ones.
Those are my thoughts on the whole diet and fitness industry, the whole normal and abnormal, the whole good and bad. I want normal to be the abnormal. I want that channel to change. I want the education to start with young kids. I don’t want them to be shamed by adults or coaches or other kids (who have been influenced by adults) who constantly bully them for how they look. I want them to be healthy. I want them to know what healthy is. I want them to learn how to be healthy and happy.
It takes work to change the norm. I think the work is happening though and it is working. I think the turnaround has begun. There are many social media influences who are starting to change this. They are making a new normal. It’s refreshing. It’s heading in the right direction. I applaud them.
It’s okay to be different. Embrace your different. Get confident in how you feel and look. If you want to change how you look, that’s cool, but do it because you want to change for you, not anyone else. Change for you, not because you are being forced to through the eyes of society and because you are feeling less than. Make up your own damn rules. Do it the way you want and the way that works for you. Let’s work to change that perceived normal. –