Official Website for Amy Perry of Selah

The New Normal

I’ve had an epiphany. These last few months Selah’s been traveling non-stop. I’ve been home one weekend since mid-August. It’s been crazy. On one of my exhausting weekends where I took a Thursday night red-eye out of SFO, landing late morning in who-knows-where, I was attempting to sleep for a few hours in a hotel room and as I was laying there, restless, exhausted but unable to sleep I began to think about my weight. Again. It seems I’m always thinking about my weight. And as I lay there, I wondered how was I ever going to get this weight off. Again. When am I going to be normal; and then came the epiphany? What is normal? And why do I want to be it?

You see, I realized that my entire life I looked at thin people as “normal” and myself as not. And if I could just diet enough, I could diet myself into a place of being normal just like them. In my mind, being normal meant that I could eat what I want, exercise if I want, or not and be thin. So every diet, every exercise program, every calorie counted was working towards one goal: normal. As I lay in that hotel bed I also realized, there is no such thing as normal. As I mentally cataloged my thin friends and family members I began to realize that none of them eat what they want when they want and don’t exercise. None of them are just thin because they’re normal. They’re thin/fit because they work at it. My sister limits her carbs and walks or hikes 6 days a week. My brother runs. My thin friends at church eat clean and go to the gym. THAT is their normal. Normal is having a healthy eating and exercising regimen that keeps them at the body they desire.

Then I realized: I don’t want to be normal. Normal for me is overeating, being exhausted all the time, too exhausted to exercise and keeping my schedule so busy that I can’t even bear to cook some nights. Ordering pizza once a week is my normal. Sitting while my son plays at the park is my normal. Crying because my size 22 pants are tight is my normal. I’ve been living my life completely lazy hoping that I could find the right diet that would allow me to continue living lazy and be thin. THAT is my normal and I’m over it.

I’ve heard my entire adult life that I need to make a lifestyle change, not go on a diet. I’m so sick of hearing that phrase. I live in hotels, tour buses, airplanes and airports. That’s not changing. I have a toddler at home who is very challenging and a husband who is amazing and works a lot. That’s not changing. I have a church ministry I love and enjoy devoting time to. That’s not changing. I love my lifestyle. I love my life. I don’t want to change it. I want to figure out how to live healthier within it. I want to change how I deal with the fatigue that comes with my lifestyle and give myself more rest and better food options instead of landing at the airport and immediately ordering a pizza because I can’t stand the thought of going to the grocery store, buying something healthy to cook and then taking the time to cook it. I’ve spent so many years on diets, I know what’s healthy and how to cook it, I’ve just been so preoccupied with how to get around it. I don’t need a new lifestyle, I just need a new normal. I don’t know what it looks like yet, but that is my goal. So now it’s time to take everything I’ve learned about food and put into action for my NEW NORMAL and I am so blessed to have people in my life to help me figure it all out.

45 Responses to The New Normal

  • I love your honesty. I love your heart and can so relate to your words. Thank you for your music. Thank you for your vulnerability. Praying alongside of you that this year will be a transformative year. Blessings.

  • Oh how I love this and you. Thank you for using your gift to bless others…and I’m cheering you on toward your new normal! And if it might help and encourage?? I offer this podcast episode with Mary Lou Caskey…she’s just so wonderful and someone I think you’d love. Blessings to you Miss Amy..xo
    jacquewatkins.com/episode18

  • Amy, your words speak directly to my heart. I prayed about my obesity and immediatly found this posting. Your songs give depth to my spiritual life. Selah’s music and your search for a new normal provide a restoration and revelation for me! Joining you in prayer for God’s wisdom and grace along this path.

  • Absolutely 100% relate to your heart! The changes that stick happen in steps, for example I’m committed to eating an orange every day. That sounds silly, I know. But I’ve always said I don’t like fruit for whatever reason/excuse to not make an effort to take better care of myself. Guess what? I LOVE oranges since I started this! Lol! Thank you for sharing, Amy….you are brining awareness to us in an honest and humble way that makes me want to read every word you say.

  • Love this so much! you are such an inspiration! Thank you for being so real 🙂

  • I love that you are so real..you bless me girl.

  • YOU are a ministry…this spoke to and encouraged my heart in more ways than I could ever express in words. I know every feeling and thought you describe intimately. I finally got a hold and made a new normal….lost 130 lbs…but have only been able to keep around 60 off….because I keep returning to my normal. I desperately want a new normal….and will always have to fight falling back…but I know what I need to do, know how to do it, and after reading what you have shared….am finding the courage to create my new normal, again. Something I have come across that might be a help to you with all the on-the-go your life involves, is a high quality, portable meal carrying system. Check out sixpackbags.com. I am not affiliated in any way….I have just been pining for one and thought I’d share 🙂 Thank you for not only sharing your musical gifts with us all, but for being willing to share your heart and struggles….it helps to know others truly understand. Praying great things and great health for you! <3

  • I am very close to celebrating a year of transformation. Learning a new normal for.me. Lost 56 lbs, went from size 16 to size 8. I learned concepts that I still use today. I’ll share two of them. First, I carry an apple with me and if I think I’m hungry, I ask..Am I hungry enough for an apple. If not, then I’m not really hungry. Sometimes we feed thirst. Rather than real hungar.try drinking water and see if the desire for food passes.
    Second, make time for physical activity at least every two hours for at least 15 minutes. It can be a walk, stretch bands, stretches. Anything. It all adds up at the end of a day. In Airports, walk. Do not just sit.(I’m traveling by plane today). Yes, I do this. Praying with you as you make changes. DJ

    • All of these posts are encouraging to me. I am 63 and the heaviest and eating much worse than ever before. Tomorrow I am beginning a lifestyle change. I know I can feel so much better and bring glory to God by living a healthier life. Please pray for me.

      • I am 68 so I zeroed in on your reply when I spotted “I’m 63”. I have battled the scales since I was old enough to realize what they should say …… I kept the battle going into my 40’s when finally I quit was happy that the scale showed 210/215…..I have maintained that weight for 20 + years ….. I even had a doctor tell me that ge would rather have me maintain that weight versus the “yo-yo-ing”….. So I used that as my excuse …..I’m not loosing I’m not gaining……so I’m ok….. Of course avoid the mirror….. My health has been realitively good until a blood test 2 months ago showed my blood sugar had gone up… very close to pre-diabetic…… My doctor sent me to a nutritionist who gave me a healthy eating plan and the goal of 1 pound a month……I am a busy active grandmother so I blow off a regular ex cerise program ….. I am writing about all this to show that ” my normal” appears to be ” make a good excuse”…… I like what Amy said about her new normal….. Make a plan set up an ex cerise program that will work with your schedule and praying about it …… Praying about my weight would mean that I would have to be honest with God…. Asking for help with sonething I do not want to change….. My eating and excerising habits …… But I am going to pray for just that ……those 10 grandchildren that God has blessed me with need a grandmother who needs to get a new normal so she can remain active with them for the next 32 years (yep shooting for 100….lol)thank you for giving me a place to share my thoughts and thank you for the music of Selah that spoke to me at 3:30a.m. So I “Could run to You, Jesus”……and thank you Jesus that once again when I ran to You, You were there waiting as you have always been.

  • Amy, I appreciate hearing your story, and the whole concept of changing my normal is SO encouraging. I will be praying for you. On another note, the thing I love about Selah, besides your fabulous harmony and heart for ministry; is that you stay real. So many artists hit the big time, and suddenly it’s all about them, not Jesus. I’ve seen it time after time. I appreciate y’alls devotion to the Lord, and pray for you all. Stay true to Him.
    By faith alone, a Michigan friend, Mrs
    Ali Rood

  • Amy, no matter what you decide your “NEW NORMAL” will be, as long as you keep doing for our Lord what y’all are doing, you will continue to be great. I can’t tell you what a joy it is to hear Selah sing. I wish you would come to Sedalia, Missouri so I could see y’all. May God continue to bless you as you go forward..

  • Here’s to a year of finding your best way to be healthy. I am searching for my best way as well. <3

  • Amen! Your words resonate with me. Here’s to finding a new normal! God bless and thank you for the music and the honesty. 🙂

  • Thank you for taking that first step into developing a new normal. I, too, need this. God is using you to lead the way for many of us. You are in my prayers. Please remember all of us in your prayers.

  • Thank you. This echoes my own heart. If you need someone to explore a new normal with you at home in Nashville, let me know! I would be a willing partner. I need a kickstart, too.

  • “and that’s not going to change” Interesting conclusion, I once heard a statement by a 96 year old man when he was asked his success to living so long? His answer, “If I knew I was going to live this long, I would have taken better care of myself.” Just a note: Even the apostle Paul took time to rest from his shcedule–his mission God had given him. And it wasn’t at the airport. Sometimes, a short sabbatical can do wonders for the spiritual, the emotional, and yes–the physical.

  • I love your honesty and think you are a beautiful woman inside and out! As a person who has battled with my weight all my life ppl like you let me know its ok to be “normal”. You are such an inspiration!

  • You are an amazing servant of Jesus! Thank you for sharing your struggles as well as your talent.
    God bless you as you travel this journey. And please know that you are loved and supported!

  • I will be praying for you.

  • Thank you! I needed that!

  • This spoke to my heart. I found myself thinking of something similar as I looked back on 2014, looked forward to focus how I want to spend the days God gives me in 2015. Part of my struggle is I over-complicate it and use it to cope instead of other ways God has for me. I have decided that I am going to follow the advice in this article http://www.becomingminimalist.com/29-days-to-better/ and starting each day by dedicating my body to God and asking Him to use me to glorify Him today. I am also looking to move more, eat healthy food I like, and take time to be with Him and my family. Not sure what’s next, but know I have plenty of head knowledge. It’s a matter of my heart.

  • I have Been heavy my entire life. This is my normal. I had a mother who was verbally abusive, always told me that I had such a pretty face but was fat and would never get a man. She was right for a long time. My self esteem was nonexistent. I have started nutrasystem and so far I’m doing ok. I have my days when I’m just to tired to do the diet. Like you I have very hectic schedule so by the time I get home it’s easier to order a pizza instead of popping something in the microwave. I’m am working toward a new me but it’s not easy when 30 years of being told and shown that your not worth much is in front of my eyes. I live day by day and some are better than others. Good luck and thanks so much for showing,e I’m not the only one going they this.

  • Sweet Amy, What a fabulous epiphany. I love your mindset and how you phrased your thoughts. I appreciate a defining moment within your post that helps me distinguish the difference between “change” and “normal”. Thank you for continuing to be “real”: Here’s to life not changing, but to finding a new way of thinking, processing. I continue to pray for you daily. No matter what your “normal” ends up looking like, know that you are loved, so much, just because you are!!!

  • Oh, Sister, I love you so much more!!!! Oh goodness. First off let me say, “You are gorgeous, outside and inside.” At the weight you are, you are beautiful. We need to know this. I say we because I have battled with this same thing…a roller-coaster ride of battling my weight all my life. I hate roller-coasters!!!!
    I was thinking about this very same thing today, a healthier way of living, with healthier choices for myself. God is working here and I love it!!! I adore Him for caring so much about us and what we think of ourselves to put this on all of our hearts to share here.
    Stay strong and love yourself enough to make the change to live healthy. I will do the same with God’s guidance.
    Keep sharing…it helps us too

  • Amy Dear Amy I have tears streaming down my cheeks your transparency in your life I can’t tell you what that does! I so need to change my lifestyle however the bills call and I’m it that pays the bills I’m single and all the fitness classes I pay for every month have been waiting and I work after class it gets too late. I keep hearing about self care ok so self care to pay the bills or self care to get in shape oh I so hear you!

  • <3 I don't like my "normal" either! Thank you for challenging me to change and be the person Christ wants me to be! Inside and out!

  • I love your honesty and openness. I struggle as well and am determined this year I will also find my new normal.

  • Thank you for your honesty Amy! I know exactly how you feel and I am determined to get healthy so that I can run and play with my toddler too. I have read Trim Healthy Mama and am attempting to learn the principles of healthy eating described therein. Praying that God leads you to a plan that works for you!

  • Praying for you, praying for myself! At 52 years old I have struggled most of my life with my weight. I understand your frustration. People mean to help but this is not a lack of “food knowledge”. I don’t have the answers. I will share I was so tempted to begin a new diet. On jan 2 of course! I decided against that. As a Christian I believe this issue is especially hard. We have Gods spirit living inside us for goodness sake! So how can we possibly not overcome this? And then begins my eternal optimism. Of course we can overcome! So I am praying for all of us. This year, 2015 is going to be a great one! We will have good days and bad days. One thing for sure we will have a wonderful sisterhood and will cheer each other on. I so appreciate your honesty and it’s gonna be alright!

  • Me too, sister! I’ve recently had this same epiphany, so know that there is another busy mom out there (though not as busy as you!) fighting the same battle! Press on!

  • Thank you Amy. I am in that boat with you and I want out. Defining my new normal is a great start. I’m praying for you girl!

  • Amy may God be with you as you discover the “New Normal” in your life. You are an inspiration in my life through your honesty,sincerity,and through your gift of song. I will be lifting you up in prayer. The battle is not ours!

  • What a beautiful epiphany! I am so glad you shared your story. I started 2015 with my own personal goal in mind with regard to my weight. I have gained weight over the last few years in part because of medication I need to stay alive. For me, I know that isn’t changing…just like my job or my crazy family routine. But what I can change is how active I am. My goal is to exercise 30 minutes a day, 6 days a week and watch my calorie intake. If I lose weight I will be elated but I am looking forward to simply making a positive life change…to set a better example for my kids. I had to let go of trying to fit the world’s view of normal because you are right…normal..is relative to the individual. I always tell my friends that they have to learn to be happy in their own skin before they can make others happy….I haven’t been very good at listening to myself..until now.

  • Normal? That isnt even a cycle on a dryer anymore. I totally get what your saying. I too have steuggled with my weightvmy whole life. I think I was born a size 16 & just went up from there. I thank you for writing this and being real and vulnerable. Ita not easy to talk about weight. At least not for me. I have to remember that I didnt get this way over night so im not goinf to be thinner over night. I have decided to not say I want to be skinny anymore. I say I want to be healthy. I know that if I am healthier then dropping weight will come with it. Its the tougher than stopping smoking after 19 years. Praying for success for all of us.

  • When you find that new normal, I’m asking you too share with me. My email is nickiecharlesaltman@gmail. com. I’m just like you! I’m so busy in my life and it is easy to buy something fast and fatting,then call myself going and rest now. Knowing that I’m getting bigger.Need to find that place where I can be discipline and still not have to feel like I’m not myself.I guess what I’m saying is i need balance. And don’t know how to do that. So if you learn a plan, please share with me. Thank you! God bless,I pray that the blessing of the Lord would chase you down and over take you all the days of your life. AMEN

  • All my life I have heard well intentioned people try to “fix” my weight problem. It’s as if the only way I was going to be “normal” was if I was thin. Well, I got thin, and those same people had new things to judge me about. Now I’ve gained 50 pounds back, and I’m worn out from this battle of losing and gaining weight. I’m tired of the comments and the shame I’ve felt for not measuring up to someone else’s ideal of how I should look. I honestly don’t think I can go through it one more time. That’s where I was at. Then I read a niffy little book by Timothy Keller called the Freedom of Self Forgetfulness. For the first time in my life I got how Paul could tell the Corinthians “But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged by you or by any human court. In fact, I do not even judge myself. 4. For I am not aware of anything against myself, but I am not thereby acquitted. It is the Lord who judges me.”

    So how does this help me with my weight issues. I know I need to lose weight. I know I’ll be healthier for doing so, and it will increase my ability to do the things I like to do. But it no longer is about being like someone else, or feeling judged because I’m not thin. The only one who can judge me is God, and He loves me so much He sent Jesus for my salvation. So these days I’m saying to myself, “The verdict is in. I’m not guilty. I’m free, and out of the courtroom.”

  • True. I’m with you! 🙂

  • Amy blessings! Thank you so much for these words and the honesty of heart. At 61 years old I have struggled with weight many years. I’m praying to make better choices and move more. I know that it is a heart issue for me. Am I willing to give up my way of doing things and learn a new normal? Am I willing to surrender what I want when I want it for better choices and the opportunity put God first in this area of my life? Praying that we all find a new normal that will bring glory to our heavenly Father.

    • Nonie, I am so thankful that you posted your age. I am past 50 and have heard every reason why I should take better care of this temple and every lie from the devil as to why I can’t at this age. I am praying for you, as well as all the people awakened by Amy’s post. “For today, Lord, we ask for the strength to be victorious..for Your glory.”

  • When the valley is deep, when the mountain is steep, when the body is weary, when we stumble and fall.
    When the choices are hard, when we’re battered and scarred, when we’ve spent our resources, when we’ve given our all.
    In Jesus’ name, we press on
    In Jesus’ name, we press on
    Dear Lord, with the prize
    Clear before our eyes
    We find the strength to PRESS ON!

    Just a little song I love, that might help you to PRESS ON! 🙂 😉

  • I think that you have had a breakthrough in knowing your choices are not what they should be. And with that knowledge and now accountability, by posting something on your blog, you are ready to do something about it. I know that when I go to my place of no sugar and little carbs I find myself healthier and stronger. People tend to go to the fad things. Please find something that works for you. Sometimes it is an hour by hour choice during the day. Sometimes it just choosing 1 thing for the day or week. When the food temptations come (or any temptations come) fight it with God’s word and prayer. The hardest part is starting something. Power and strength in Jesus’ name to you……

  • Amy, your words are such an inspiration. I am battling being overweight and I like how you put normal into perspective. Thank you for sharing your struggles and successes, and thank you for coming to Auburn, Maine to sing! It was a wonderful evening that I will always treasure.

  • LIKE! Thank you for sharing your walk so transparently. And with NO agenda. You ROCK!!

  • I am in the midst of a transformation. I can’t say that I eat super healthy, bc I snack and drink sodas a lot. But, in the past year or so, I just became so appreciative of my body as a vessel, as the way that I can even BE here! How awesome that God knit me together, to keep my soul in that womb, to guard and keep me through that whole process within my mother, to see me through birth and then every day and every breath since then! I started declaring, “I am fearfully and wonderfully made.” – often, daily, even when it wasn’t really fully realized by my logic. I started declaring over my immune system, over any impurities or attacks. And then – this was the real turning point – I said to my belly, “My Father is abundant. He lavishes me with enough of everything I need and more. I command any extra fat to go, to be removed from my body, because I do not need it. I will never suffer starvation. I have everything I need, in Christ.” And, it started falling off. There are other changes, but this mindset and outlook of abundant provision, of complete rest in Jesus, this is what has transformed me.

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