‘A little rebellion now and then is a good thing.’ Thomas Jefferson
Be a rebel! No, I’m not talking about taking up arms and fighting for a band of mercenaries. Not that kind of rebel. I mean – do something out of the ordinary. Do something that you wouldn’t normally consider doing. I sometimes wear my Olay night cream during the day just for the hell of it! And recently, I went the entire day wearing my knickers inside out although that probably wasn’t as much about being a rebel, as having a senior moment, so we’ll skip that one!
Day to day, most of us live our lives in pretty much the same routine. We get up at a certain time, have breakfast, rush out of the house and catch the same train to work each day. Even if you’re a stay-at-home person like me, I still have my routines that I try to stick to. I’m not OCD about it all; there are some days when for whatever reason, I’m not dressed before lunch time but I’ve usually had a brilliant idea for either my website, or one of the four books I’m currently writing, or even this blog – and rather than wait until I’m washed and dressed – and losing momentum while I wait – I sit down and write it out of my system.
Sometimes it does us good to do something different. Go to the cinema in the morning or the middle of the afternoon for a change. No, it won’t necessarily be heaving with people when you go, but that’s the joy of it. You can watch the film in peace and quiet and actually enjoy the quiet, rather than hearing the constant rustle as people unwrap chocolates.
There is something about doing that – going to the cinema in the middle of the day – that feels slightly ‘naughty’ as if you’ve bunked off school and missed double science or maths. And that in itself makes you feel different. You’ve got one over on ‘authority’; you’ve jumped ship to enjoy your day in a slightly different way. Psychologically, that will make you feel better.
There is a ‘Stepford Wives’ feeling about doing the same repetitive things over and over again, day after day, at the same time in the same way. That’s why it’s so good for your morale to break out of that mould and cast your inhibitions to the wind. You can become overly focused on dieting, or exercising so that it becomes the most important thing you have to do each day. This is not healthy.
When I have been on diets in the past, from the moment I wake up, till the moment I go to bed, my every thought is about what I can eat. From right after breakfast, I am planning what I want for lunch and after lunch, I think about what I can eat for my dinner. And that isn’t healthy, either. To be so focused as to not be enjoying your day, your life is just not good for you.
I don’t tell myself I’m on a diet any more. And I don’t ever begin a diet on a Monday because it is a busy day and therefore can be too stressful. Tuesday is a better day to begin a diet (or any challenge) and I believe you‘ll have more success if you start on a Tuesday. If you have a sensible breakfast (porridge, for example) you are less likely to get hungry a few hours later and reach for the biscuits or snack bars.
Instead, I tell myself I am eating sensibly and my brain accepts this and doesn’t go into sabotage mode. I also tell myself that I am ‘letting go’ of my weight instead of ‘I am trying to lose weight.’ When you lose something, you want to find it, don’t you? If you lost your car keys you search high and low until you find them. ‘Lost weight’ has a habit of finding itself back where you didn’t want it so let go of your excess weight. And you can do this by mentally visualising baskets of yellow fat (disgusting sight) being lifted up to the skies with balloons – up, up and away, never to be seen again.
So do something just for yourself that you wouldn’t normally do – and enjoy the experience. Be a rebel for a change.