Exercise Your Inner Rebel

Parlor Pizza SignI’m really excited about today’s guest post! It comes from Julie Riddle of Random Meanderings. I got in touch with Julie because I love her perspective, not just on health and fitness, but on all of life’s “random meanderings”. Julie is all about “moseying, observing, pondering… and finding little gems in the oddest ordinary places.” Here’s a BIG gem from Julie, and just in time, too – the silly season is upon us! Now’s the perfect time to rebel…

A night out with friends at the newest hot spot in town.

Your favorite all-out holiday feast.

Triple-layer fudge cake from an office party.

Just when you’ve decided to start eating more wisely (for whichever of the 110 reasons why we all should), your willpower is seriously being tested every time you turn around.


You may need an extra dose of resolve to join in the convivial fun. A few tricks under your plate, so to speak, could help. These tactics I use are as well-worn as your favorite oh-so-comfy bathrobe.

Adopt a different mindset

You’re not “on a diet” or “avoiding” or “eliminating” anything. What you are doing is learning to like doing things differently. Secretly, in your heart of hearts, didn’t you ever wonder what it’d feel like to be a rebel? Here’s your chance. Envision it: You’re an explorer, wandering off into new corners of your local grocery, experimenting with different foods, new tastes and textures. You’re finding and trying new things that make you say “Yum!” And you enjoy it so much that all the “old” food is just so, well, ordinary.

It’s time

Half-Clock and West India QuayIf it’s your habit to have lunch out with the crowd, and you always eat too much or there aren’t enough healthy options, remind yourself you want to try something new. Look at the time off for lunch as “time,” not “lunch.” See it as a gift of a few precious moments to yourself (who doesn’t need more time alone?), and then take your own mini-meal to the nearest park bench and fresh air. Apples and grapefruit are surprisingly filling choices. With these, you can easily just sit and enjoy watching the people and birds and goings-on. Enjoy your free time. Enjoy your fruit. Enjoy the fruits of your free time!

Stimulate your senses

Become very tactile. If you don’t normally roll down the windows as you drive, do so. (Bear with me on this one.) Stick your hand out the window and feel the wind. Walk barefoot in the grass. If you drive a regular route to work, start taking different ways. Shake things up a bit; do everything slightly differently. The more you start adding spice to little everyday things, the easier it is to approach bigger things differently—like your eating habits. When you begin to see yourself as more adventuresome, then change becomes fun.

See the inherent beauty

Blood OrangeNo matter the style, whether simple and unadorned or rich and elaborate, dive into the spirit of the individual dish. Revel in the freshness, juiciness, the crunch; feel yourself enjoying it all. Imagine, even, that you plucked the item out of the field or orchard yourself. That puts a very organic and personal spin on things. It gives you ownership. And what’s yours, you’re more likely to relish. If you relish, it, that means you’re taking your time to enjoy it. If you’re savoring, then you’re eating more slowly. See how wonderfully everything ties together, one thing leading to the next?

Notice the way you feel

You might feel a little hollow, in a good way, a little more open, receptive, flexible, limber, energetic… You surely feel some pride of accomplishment, of empowerment. Run with it! Celebrate the changes! This will help you continue wanting those results.


Blackberry and Lemon TartBut do it with class and flair. Remember that “dangerous” treats must be taken in tiny doses. Instead of the three-scoop bowl of ice cream for dessert, complete with topping and sprinkles (yes, I used to do that!), teach yourself to enjoy a bare sliver of unadorned ice cream. Serve it in a tiny dish, use a tiny spoon, and go slow. Close your eyes and savor each teensy taste. Ah! You’ll be amazed how much you enjoy this! (It even works for that office birthday cake. Your colleagues will just think this is your uniquely expressive way of complimenting the baker!)

Learn to become your own best friend

Realize there are three of you involved in this endeavor to improve your overall health: your mind, your body, and your self (that part of you that wants what’s best for you). Most of us tend to be ruled by our minds trying to run the show, while our bodies keep trying to say, “Please don’t make me eat that.” It can be a cacophony in there, so talk to your body, love it, and encourage it. Build it up. Watch it start to follow you instead of cow-towing to your mind’s clamoring. Before long, you’ll start to hear your body’s voice loud and clear, and then you’ll both be a lot happier—and more powerful. Your mind will finally quiet down and take a much needed rest. And the three of you will live happily ever after as one great big happy “you!”


Prepare to be astounded by how much easier it will be than you might think. Expect, and believe in, your absolute enjoyment of your new dietary lifestyle—and it will happen!

Disclaimer: I make no claim of 100% success, however, when exposed to such temptations as the 85% cacao dark chocolate bar that flashes your name in neon lights. You need your own game plan for that one.

9 thoughts on “Exercise Your Inner Rebel

  1. Lance

    The dark chocolate – ah, my weakspot (I had a piece as I was reading this…). It’s great to see you here Julie!!! And, Monica, cool – you have an awesome guest poster today!

    The part about sticking your hand out the window – reminds me of something I started to do with my kids about a year ago. One day I stuck my hand out the window, and then held it up to the windshield, like a duck. I then proceeded to name my hand Mr. Duck, and make crazy duck sounds (I wasn’t driving, my wife was!). They loved it. And now, they’ll do it – and say “do you know what I’m doing”! It’s great – and all because I stuck my hand out the window – so, Julie – I say your ideas are golden! If this one works, I bet they all do! And some of them are downright funny!

  2. Julie

    LOL, I love love LOVE dark chocolate! …so I was just now tossing back some peanuts (one at a time!) so the crunching in my head would prevent me from hearing that candy bar calling…

    You’re such a cool dad, Lance. I love the duck story and the image you paint! Your kids think you’re the greatest, I guarantee it. Reminds me of my family. Maybe that’s where I started learning to have fun with everything, even the hard stuff. My dad played with his food; he draped spaghetti over his nose… Who wouldn’t eat their dreaded lima beans after being promised another show like that!

  3. Evita

    Monica what a great idea to get Julie to write a post here! Her perspective indeed is one-of-a-kind amazing!

    And Julie fantastic job! Your energy resonates throughout this post exceptionally and you bring into it the complete mind, body and soul connection as you have a great way of doing! Truly a balanced life is such a pleasure to live!

  4. Davina

    Excellent guest post. Well done Julie! I especially appreciated the section on stimulating your senses. Very helpful for changing focus and breaking old patterns.

  5. Dave Fowler

    Hi Monica, I just dropped in because I’m following Julie around the internet. I’m pleased to see that you love Julie’s thoughts and perspective. So do I.

    Julie, a great piece, I loved it. This is the way I see it too.

    Having the right mindset is key.

    I love ice cream and eating it the way you suggest can be so pleasurable. The taste is the same whether you load a tablespoon into your mouth or a teaspoon. If enjoying eating is about enjoying the taste of our food, then this is the way to go. Great guest post Julie! 😀

  6. Julie

    Evita: Thanks so much! Yes, it is about balancing, getting all the parts that make up us back in alignment, isn’t it. We’re our own worst enemies, yet we’re out own best friends, too! 😉 Life’s just so much easier when we’re “all” happy! No more “sibling” rivalry…

    Sagan: Simplicity is so beautiful, isn’t it!! Simplicity can move the world…and dietary changes. For me, anyway, it’s all about bringing it all back to the basics of enjoyment, pleasure. When I look at eating a meal, now, it’s not just the act of eating; it’s the FUN I have being creative with whatever’s on hand, really digging into the discovery that’s inherent with preparation—the scents and colors, focusing on the act of slicing and dicing and stirring, smelling—seeing how pretty everything is on the plate (but never, somehow, as pretty as Monica’s photos!)… After all that, eating is relegated to a back seat. 🙂

    Davina: Yes, when we can activate some other pleasure zone (besides our eye/mouth connection), we enjoy everything so much more! I find it IS about focus, intent, attention…

    Dave! I’m honored, indeed! This is the first time you’ve commented. 🙂 I’m glad you enjoyed it. Yes, I admit I haven’t yet completely given up some of my “bad” things (like chocolate, pastries, desserts, caffeine, wine, the occasional microbrew, peanuts…), but at least I’ve found a way to still enjoy the treats. Where I really am stymied, though, is at the office potlucks and holiday meals or, as Monica so rightly said, the “silly season” (I like that!)…but even tiny portions work well there, too. And smaller plates. And not having seconds! When doing these things, we’re buying a little time for the tummy to be able to talk to the brain. 😉

  7. Dave Fowler

    Julie, I caught your post (linking to this one) in my feedreader and I knew I just had to come and support you as you have supported me many times). A guest post is a big deal and you’ve written a great one here. I wanted to cheer you on for a change.

    I’m still with you on the idea of a diet. All the things we love can still have a place in our choices, but maybe not so much and maybe not so often. Basically there’s a compromise to be had and you illustrate that point well. 😀


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