A Little Rebellion is Healthy—or Is it?
Consider this: You are at a restaurant with a friend and you’re perusing the menu. Your friend, with a concerned look on her face, leans in and asks you this question:
“Are you going to eat that whole entrée and get dessert? You know the portions here are massive, right?”
Do you then think, “Heck yeah, I’m eating the burger, fries and chocolate cake, even though I don’t even want it!”?
Or, how about the last time you set your alarm to get up at 6 a.m. to go for a walk because you thought you “should?” How many times did you hit the snooze?
Does your inner rebel conflict with your desire for weight loss?
If you can relate to this type of response, you have an inner rebel. And while being a rebel isn’t necessarily negative, ask yourself if rebel behavior is affecting you negatively. Does your inner rebel conflict with your desire for weight loss?
Rebel behavior isn’t always triggered in response to external comments or influences. Often it’s a reaction to what we tell ourselves we should or shouldn’t do. We can rebel when we don’t feel supported, against restrictive eating or diets, or against self-imposed rules about food and exercise.
In our hearts we may want to make supportive food choices and be healthy and active, but if we feel pressured or shamed into doing it, or feel like we’re being told what to do, it can trigger the desire to rebel. Unfortunately, the rebel response usually is the exact opposite of what we really want.
Do you think your inner rebel is making too many decisions for you?
Consider these tips
• Remember that restriction and rules are the root of rebel behavior. If exercise
expectations or diet rules didn’t exist, you wouldn’t have anything to resist! As opposed
to quick-fix weight loss programs for women, a non-diet approach to reaching your healthy weight
is truly the only sustainable way.
• When you feel ready to hit snooze on the alarm because you don’t want to exercise,
experiment with saying something like “I’ve never regretted going for a walk.” It could
remind you of what you really want for yourself and diffuse the rebel behavior.
• A simple canned response may be enough to shut down the unwanted “shoulds.” For
comments made by other people, consider these examples:
o “That’s great that _________ (low carb eating, avoiding fried foods,
not eating after 7) works for you. My body is different.”
o “I really don’t want to evaluate my lunch right now. Let’s talk about
something else, okay?”
o “I can figure out what my body needs. What do I really want to eat right now?”
o “That was my old way of thinking and I’m doing something new now.”
o “I can eat this now if I want it. If not, I’ll consider it for my next meal.”
• Pause before reacting. That rebellion/mutiny response is usually an impulsive reaction
and doesn’t send us in the direction we truly want to go, but in the moment it feels good.
Counting to 10, taking 3 deep cleansing breaths, or excusing yourself from the table to
step outside for 5 minutes might bring clarity and help us be less emotional in our response.
• Find other ways for healthy rebel behavior to blossom: Take up tango, ride a Harley, buy
peapods just for you, even if they are expensive.