I was looking through one of my old reference books that got interested in sports nutrition and helping people lose weight called The Leanness Lifestyle by David Greenwalt – a motivating book and a good read (www.leannesslifestyle.com). David Greenwalt has helped hundreds of people of various lifestyles lose weight, as well as being a competitive bodybuilder for over 25 years. I would recommend it to anybody interested in losing weight and or preparing for a bodybuilding contest.
On the first page of the book, Greenwalt explains how the Surgeon General of the United States reported that more than 60 percent of the U.S. is overweight or obese. This means that over 100 million people in this country fall into this category. Impressive. Do you think most of the country is impressed? Why or why not? Are you one of them?
One definition of “normal” is “being approximately average or within certain limits.” Well, if 60 percent of the US is overweight or obese, then that would mean to be at a healthy weight is not the norm – in fact, it would mean that being at healthy weight puts you in the minority.
So what would that mean to be a “normal U.S. citizen” with regard to his/her body and health?  David Greenwalt has some in-your-face definitions I would like to share with you with regard to normalcy in America:

  •  Normal is being a man with 25-30 percent body fat. A healthy man will have less than 15 percent body fat.
  • Normal is being a woman with 35-40 percent body fat. A healthy woman will have less than 23 percent.
  • Normal is walking around with a huge Goodyear tire at your equator.
  • Normal is huffing and puffing if you have to walk three flights of stairs. God knows you would never walk them for the heck of it.
  • Normal is earning the right to eat at all the best restaurants  (which of course serve portions big enough for a family of four).
  • Normal is spending five full minutes looking for the closest parking space at your favorite department store because you deserve it.
  • Normal is being embarrassed poolside.
  • Normal is having your kids embarrassed for you.
  • Normal is ordering a Big Mac combo with a Diet Coke because you’re “watching your weight.”
  • Normal is the father who drinks after work with his buddies. Normal is the tension in the house when he comes home half-in-the-bag. Normal is the fear and confusion his children feel when they see their father drunk, feel the tension between the parents, and hear the arguing. Normal is having excessive drinking ruin times that should have been good.
  • Normal is drifting through life without a plan and without any real goals, other than making it through the day.
  • Normal is eating a whole box of Snackwells or an entire bag of Baked Lays potato chips because they are low-fat or fat-free.
  • Normal is going to a buffet and eating as much as humanly possible because you paid for it.
  • Normal is setting up social functions around food and drink.
  • Normal is continuously rewarding your children with food for everything they do well.
  • Normal is not becoming educated and falling for “one-fact diets.”
  • Normal is relying on your body to help you work your butt off in the office and with clients for 12 hours a day, but not making time for exercise and good nutrition for optimal daily performance.
  • Normal is thinking that you must Either work hard at the office Or follow a healthy lifestyle.
  • Normal is going home tired and crashing without taking a moment to tell the people closest to you that you love them and care.
  • Normal is excuses, excuses, excuses.
  • Normal is claiming you are doing better than you were, so isn’t that enough? Good enough almost never is.
  • Normal is using junk “food” to make you “feel” better.
  • Normal is going from one fad diet to another, losing weight, then gaining twice as much back rather than changing your lifestyle.
  • Normal is getting a gym membership, working out for two weeks and giving up because you “just don’t have time.”
  • Normal is looking at others heavier than you and giving yourself a pat on the back for not being as heavy as them, as you eat your doughnut.
  • Normal is having a blood pressure of 145 over 100.
  • Normal is having Type II diabetes for no other reason other than excess body weight.
  • Normal is having joint problems below the waist for one reason – excessive weight.
  • Normal is a total cholesterol of 300+.
  • Normal is preaching the “I’m a victim”-speech versus “I’m a victor.”

As you can see, this is not a pretty picture he has created of American normalcy, but is he wrong? The choice is yours: you can settle for mediocrity or strive for excellence. In his book, David Greenwalt makes one point very clear: you cannot make normalcy your goal and reach your potential. Unfortunately, in this country, our health and fitness level are not normally viewed as a goal worth achieving.