Doing the radical alternative seems sensible when choices lose effectiveness. A return from vacation, limited food supply and preparation, and a rebellious reaction to an “eat more” message from my mentor has given me pause to question my gut instinct. “Eating down the pantry and freezer,” a way of eating food stored for considerable time has resulted, a George Costanza “opposite” approach. The theory of altering food selections, varying exercise routines, and changing daily routines, releases the rut of a weight plateau, jarring the body to readjust from its comfort zone.

Avoiding perceived risk has not proved effective lately. Clean food and exercise remain, yet daringly different choices take the stage. Frozen spinach tucked away in the deep freeze of the freezer, boot camp class exchanged for cardio interval training, and vacation-swapped stress for peace, challenge the norms. Paleo waffles on the verge of freezer burn reach the surface for consumption. Thawing highlander beef, wild boar, and organic chicken sausage emerge. The lonely, dusty treadmill awaits movement.

Playing it safe resulted in a 0.4 pound loss this week, the same 0.4 pounds I gained last week. The scales of justice have been out of favor in the past five weeks, wreaking havoc psychologically. Questioning my process establishes new action. Swinging high calories to low, alternating carbohydrate levels, and jump starting the heart rate with sprints, push me to walk the line, live on the edge, take control where uncontrollable rules. Does slow and steady win the race? Could highlighting the “should not’s,” and taking action support momentum? Applying new principles by playing a new game may catapult results. The worst and best that happens is nothing or something. Nothing changes physically, or everything changes in the reverse direction.

Questioning status quo is innately my protocol. My success contains years of challenging norms, raising havoc upon the “usual,” and raising an eyebrow toward societal rules. By considering an alternative, I option in a different path to my goals. Safe, expected, and perfected routes have lost optimization. The law of diminishing returns states that when one variable increases, there is a point when the marginal increase in output begins to decrease, holding all other inputs constant. Therefore, if I continue to do what I have always done and assume my results will be constant, I have erred greatly. Eventually when maximum results are achieved, they start to diminish. Changing the unvaried inputs is necessary for new optimization.

Going George Costanza is necessary action to shake the scale, eliminate perfection of the macro numbers, and thwart the psychological and physical stagnation. Justifying change, altering paths, while staying true to clean eating, is not making up new rules; it is embracing the parameters and stirring the settled pot. By reallocating choices that deny the usual reaction, success is possible. Change the habitual approach. Consider the default behavior; attempt the opposite. Surprise the predictable with new results. Change is only a thought and leap outside of the box. Jump ship and results appear; drowning is not an option. Yet if you do not walk the plank, you will never see what is in the water.