Monday, January 21, 2013

My New Normal

I laughed at myself Sunday evening, when I sat down to write this post.  I felt like I had the laziest weekend...and then I remembered that I ran 8 miles on Saturday.  When did that become something normal in my life, and not an occasion to shout from the rooftops?  I think the changes that I've made over the last four and a half years to my lifestyle have become so ingrained that this is, dare I say, routine.

And I had to wonder...who am I?

Well, I'm a person who exercises on a regular basis, day after day, month after month, year after year.  No more fits and starts - it doesn't occur to me to stop.  This is what I do.  And sometimes?  I run 8 miles.  Then I go on with my day.  From the outside looking in, that is pretty bizarre, if you knew the old me.  But I think I'm finally seeing the new me.

While I always wanted and secretly hoped that I would stick with eating right, exercising, and doing what it takes to maintain my weight loss, I had my doubts.  After all, I'd never been successful before.  Many times over the last few years, I've been asked what "flipped the switch" for me this go-round.  I honestly still don't know what that was, but I think I finally understand why I've been able to keep it going.  I don't want to trivialize, but it's pretty simple:  I managed to string together enough days in a row of eating right and exercising that it became a normal way of life for me.  No huge mystery, no great secret...I just kept at it, day after day, month after month, year after year.

And that is how I can both run 8 miles AND feel like a lazy person.  Welcome to my new normal.

26 comments:

  1. What a great post, it made me smile from ear to ear. I love the new normal but I love it even more that you finally recognize her because she's been here for a while.

    You are such an inspiration!

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  2. I agree, what a great post! And I had basically the same weekend. I managed to burn about 1,600 calories, but spent all but about 2.5 hours of it staying warm inside on the couch (since the temperature here dropped to the teens!).

    And they say that it takes about 30 days to start a habit, though I found that it was more like a few months for something to really stick for me, so repetition must've been what did it for you.

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    1. I'm with you on it taking more than 30 days - but yeah, it's finally there. :)

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  3. OMGOSH.
    Id so so so still be shouting :0)

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  4. What I love about your new normal is the healthy attitude you have. You have found some kind of activity you enjoy and have been able to stick to it. I hope to get to my "new normal" soon too!

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  5. I love this post, and your reflection. Thank you so much for sharing. I'm starting to be less crazy about my academic work, something I never thought possible. But everyday I wake up, work, and that is just part of my normal routine. I force myself not to panic, and live with anxiety, and that is part of my new normal, too. Just doing it everyday makes it normal, and then one day, you don't even think about it as you've illustrated in your writing. The nature of being an academic is that the work is never done, so the only way I can "feel" that is done is by making that part of my routine.

    Again, thank you for sharing!

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    1. I remember the feeling of never being "done" when I was in college, which is probably why I've never wanted to go back. I like finishing things! I admire those of you who managed to make the academic lifestyle work, though.

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  6. I love your new normal! You should be so proud of how far you've come Shelley! Hugs!

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  7. I LOVE this post!! And I need to add--Napoleon HIll had said that the most important thing a person can do is follow the rules of cosmic habitforce. Our habits is what makes us different from animals or anything else in the un9ver. It like like that one day you decide you will have caked for dinner as a treat...and next thing you know, you have cake every night! It became a habit. Your posts area always so great and this one really resonated with me. Thank yoU!!




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    1. Interesting quote - I went down that rabbit hole with coconut M&Ms for a while, and can appreciate the cake for dinner analogy.

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  8. Love it! Its funny, because I've been thinking the same way lately. Maybe its because I don't track my exercise any more. But lots of times I will forget that I went to the gym and worked out hard that same morning! Okay, this could be considered the onset of something else, but we won't think about that right now. I choose to believe that exercise is just my new normal, like you said!

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    1. Oh, we will NOT go there with the other thing. BTW, my BF sent me a book by Nora Ephron titled "I Remember Nothing" - we're not alone!!!

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  9. Awesome post, you sum up so well what it's like to incorporate exercise and healthy eating as "normal."

    I'm still a work in progress, but when I reflect sometimes on how many incremental changes I've made to lead to a pretty darn healthy "normal," it really does make me feel pleased and grateful. Thanks for this post, and congrats on having come so far!

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  10. Thats an awesome new normal. I hope to find that someday! Congrats on your new normal and thanks for sharing this post!

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  11. I'm not sure this is your new normal. I'm thinking this is your old normal, resurrected. Only because when you talk of your younger years (and have shown us photos), you speak of being active and you most certainly of a very "normal" size and weight back then. It's really like you dug through the sediment that had built up over the years and found the old Shelley. As in "it's deja vu all over again!"

    But whatever you want to call it, you're rocking it and setting a great example for so many who are struggling.

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    1. Well, I think you're referring to pictures from when I was a kid...I don't consider myself being an "active adult" (and boy does that ever sound like a commercial for Geritol!) until the last few years. But yeah, whatever - I'll take it! :)

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  12. I have a case of the "smiles" after reading this. Thanks Shelley!

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  13. I think you are right Shelley - just keep going! That's my plan this year!

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  14. The power of habit is amazing, isn't it? We always think about habits in terms of bad ones - but the good habits are just as important!

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  15. I yearn for your new normal. Sometimes it feels so far away. *sigh*

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  16. What a fabulous both/and!! And I feel very much the same way.

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  17. I am SO Loving this post! Your new normal is AWESOME! I have a new normal, too and it's so not normal to me! LOL So, I do so "get it" what you are feeling... I love it.

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  18. Thanks so much for the inspiring post. I'm hoping to follow your example by making running a habit that I stick with this time.

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  19. I love the way you have been acknowledging and celebrating the, yes "new normal" of your life. You've definitely turned the corner from seeing yourself as "someone who lost weight" to "someone who looks like this, with this much energy and strength", and it is inspiring to see.

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