Normal—what an aspiration. For years all I wanted was just to be normal.  As a super morbidly obese woman, I was a head-turner, but not in a good way.  Everyone knew I was there. I just wanted to be normal so I wouldn’t stand out in the crowd.


Hugging one of my best friends, Linda Jeffrey.

Now that I am nearing normal, I wonder will things get better or will they go back to that old way of life? I know I am a new creation. I know old things have passed away, but are they really? Are they gone? Will they come again knocking at my door demanding entrance?

Will I have the courage to turn them away, stand firm in my resolve and go on to normal?

I’m nearing normal weight, even though the body mass indicator says I need to lose 17 pounds in order to enter that classification. Actually, a New York Times article, Absurd Fear of Fat, says only 26 percent of men and 35 percent of women in the U.S. are not classified as overweight or obese. So, on average, we are not normal!

Besides normal weight, I want my emotions to be under control. My children are grown and survived my yelling, screaming anger rages. I know this was related to the massive amounts of sugar I ate which propagates wide mood swings, anger and irritability.

The crazy emotions are a thing of the past. I can’t bring them with me into normal.   

I am finally open to revisiting what I thought were hard and fast realities of my Christian faith. I want to experience all of God and not just my Americanized version of Him.

What is normal anyway? Do I really want to go there?

Will I be happy there? The closer I get, I know the answer. I know I want this. I want to be normal. And I am OK with that.

Nearing normal things do begin to look and feel different. I physically feel better. I’m not constantly hungry. My body is not constantly hurting. I fit in normal size clothes.

I can walk through the discount superstore three or four times, making trips back to get what I forgot the first time and my body has energy to spare. And I am OK with that.

Nearing normal things begin to be different. My emotions are stabilized. Yet, I express joy when I’m happy. I cry when I’m sad.

I give hugs when I feel loved. I touch when I want to express concern.

I raise my hands in praise just because I want to and I don’t care what anyone says or thinks.

I am angry and yet not accusatory or brash or rude. My anger is against injustices done. My anger moves me to right wrongs. And I am OK with that.

Nearing normal things begin to make sense. My mind and spirit are open to new ideas and concepts. I have let God out of the box I stowed Him in. I let Him wreak havoc with my thinking.

I let Him stir me up to have aha moments and to believe I do not have to be anything more than just who He made me to be. My spirituality is a little messy right now. For once I do not have all the answers. And I am OK with that.

Nearing normal colors are brighter, smells are more distinct, sounds more joyous, tastes more specific and touches more intimate.

The soft grip of a baby’s hand on my finger brings goose bumps.

The sound of a loved one’s voice from 6,000 miles away make me feel loved.

The smell of lavender wafting on the breeze brings me delight.

The delicacy of fine steak grilled to perfection warms my inner being.

The vision I see of Jesus dancing to the song I hear playing on the radio as I walk another round on the water track, makes me smile. He is literally dancing over me with joy.

And I am so OK with that.

What does normal look like to you? Do you aspire to be normal?


Through Nov. 5 when you purchase the paperback version of Sweet Grace: How I Lost 250 Pounds from this link, I will autograph your copy. If you wish, though you can get it by going to the Amazon link. No autograph there, sorry. Kindle will be ready soon. Then, be sure to come back here and download the study guide from the link in the book.

Teresa Shields Parker
Teresa Shields Parker is a Christian weight loss author, coach and speaker, who has lost more than 250 pounds. Her book, "Sweet Grace: How I Lost 250 Pounds and Stopped Trying to Earn God's Favor", is the number 1 Christian Weight Loss Memoir on Amazon. Her other books include: "Sweet Journey to Transformation: Practical Steps to Lose Weight and Live Healthy", "Sweet Freedom: Losing Weight and Keeping It Off With God's Help", "Sweet Change: True Stories of Transformation" and "Sweet Hunger: Developing an Appetite for God".

She also offers Overcomers Christian Weight Loss Academy and VIP one-on-one coaching program, both available under the weight loss tab. To book Teresa for your next event, check the Speaking tab on her website. Also check out her blog and Sweet Grace for Your Journey podcast under the tabs by those names.