Normal and Abnormal – The Standards of Society

Normal or Abnormal

Normal 

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.

Abnormal 

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.  – 

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