Tuesday, January 9, 2007

Giving normality a second chance

An old friend asks, quite reasonably, what's the plan? How are you going to carry out this project?

The answer, basically, is that I'm going to stop doing all the things that got me this far. I'm going to eat like a normal person, and after a while, I'll turn back into a normal person. What could be simpler?

I don't like being normal. I never have. I zig when everybody else zags. It's a reflex, and I'm starting to think it's not my healthiest tropism.

What seemed so wrong about normal? Normal looked boring. Normal seemed like something anybody could have; it wasn't special enough. Normal seemed unambitious, even mediocre. In a hundred ways, I have fled from normalness. In some limited areas of my life -- some very few areas, mostly involving my writing and creative work -- this instinctual aversion to the ordinary is an asset. But in nearly every other way, it's a craziness on my part, a thought-error verging on a thoughtcrime. I've distorted my body and my life by running away from normalness, and that was a mistake.

Here's the only plan I've got: Get normal. You can't afford any more specialness than you've already got. Develop a keen eye for the ordinary way. For once be the rule, not the exception. Because the normal people may have lots of problems, but they don't weigh 300 pounds apiece. They know something you don't. Study them.

1 comment:

  1. I had become so hopeless about losing weight that I finally went to see a dietician, who turned out to be extremely helpful. She came up with what she called an "eating plan," a term I received initially with tremendous distain, considering it a fluff term for "diet." Eventually I came to understand that I needed to focus on what I could eat and when, if I were to avoid the panicked feeling of emptiness that has defeated me so many times before. On her eating plan, there was always another point in the day coming up when I could eat something, and peanut butter sandwiches were allowed. So I felt I would not actually starve. I still use the basic outline of this plan to gauge how much or little I am consuming in a day. The really hard thing, then, was to avoid the post-dinner dessert, where I typically consumed most of my illicit calories. Once I was sticking to the eating plan and losing weight, I could begin considering the workout side of the equation.


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