Of course, the word ‘normal’ carries with it a huge amount of emotional baggage and not all of it has anything to do with food or weight. For some of us, being labelled as normal is something of an insult. We don’t want to be normal, and resist any attempt to stick us in that basket. Normal somehow equates to boring and ordinary and seems to lack any possibility of ever being extraordinary or amazing. As a teenager I hated the idea of being normal. Well okay, maybe I’m still a bit like that today :-). Unfortunately for those parents out there, most teenagers feel like that way too. There seems to be something in our makeup that strives to be independent and not follow everyone else – even when it’s important we do.
I was chatting to some ladies in my exercise class yesterday and they were talking about how a friend of theirs had been very successful losing 15 kg on a diet. They then went on to say that she preached about it all the time, as though she was terrified that if she stopped for just a second, it would all fall apart and she’s put all the weight back on.
She’s right to be afraid – after all, that’s what history has taught us, right?
When I was born, the doctor who delivered me told my mother, ‘Well, she won’t be a ballet dancer with those legs.”
I’ve never been entirely sure why my mother told me that story. Either way, I’ve had body image issues since I was old enough to understand language.