The OCD Overhaul
Posted on Monday April 27, 2009, 17:32 by Emily Phillips in Empire States
I’m on a health kick. The sun was in the sky for approximately 20 glorious hours over the weekend, which means it is time to get in shape in case it returns any time this side of 2010. In order to do this, I revert to a mode which is arguably a little excessive and would perhaps be better suited to military planning than getting into a swimming costume. I like to call it my OCD overhaul, since I am known for my slightly obsessive compulsive tendencies. I have a desk akin to that of a serial killer’s in its neatness, and my wardrobe is colour coordinated (although my DVD shelf remains unalphabetised, so there’s hope for me yet – unlike Dan ). However, the OCD overhaul is the next step up from my usual foibles. It involves heavy reliance on counting and organization, as well as copious lists and precision time keeping.
“But what does this have to do with movies?” I hear you cry. Well, in the whirling dervish of putting together said overhaul, I came to remember the little seen film with Jim Carrey, centered obsessively around The Number 23. And I started thinking that perhaps I could get a few tips from movie neurotics to help me to gain Rain Man-like focus on my life overhaul.
So, here is what I have come up with: a movie guide to get in control of any element of life with compulsive accuracy and ruthless efficiency. Just call me your own personal Oprah / Martha Stewart.
Living by numbers
As seen in: The Number 23
Number obsession is useful in many forms, from calorie-calculating to date-deliberating and especially for weight-watching or, when at the gym, rep-reckoning. Jim Carrey’s ability to hook all manner of occurrences on a single figure is mind boggling, but the OCD Overhaul has been known to hang neatly on a selection of carefully orchestrated digits – for example, an intake of 1,500 calories for 10 days should equal almost 2lbs weight loss. This also works when justifying chocolate consumption, as 2 boxed chocolates equals to circa 100 calories, which – by my estimates – means a whole box of chocolates can be eaten per day whilst on a diet. Result!
Passion for fashion
As seen in: The Devil Wears Prada
Far be it from us to suggest that outward appearance should make any difference to one’s career development, but it is true that an obsessive eye for style can make for an altogether more put-together outlook on life. The moment that Anne Hathaway’s Andy becomes forlorn with work, a make-over is the thing that gets her back on track and in control. Demonstrating this even in real life, a post-break up Anne was savvy enough to make radical style changes to give her money-maurauder ex a poke in the eye, and single handedly up her A-list credentials five-fold in the process.
As seen in: Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind
Compartmentalisation can work in many different ways: for instance, tidying your bedroom and putting things in neat piles, or having certain pockets for certain items to save time and confusion in the morning whilst searching for your oyster card. In the case of Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, it’s all about compartmentalisation of emotions and memories in order to get them under control and keep them in check. This works best after a particularly hard break up or embarrassing moment in the work place, but can equally be applied to putting a bad day of Big Mac swilling behind you. Not to be confused with burying one’s head in the sand or sweeping things under the carpet.
As seen in: Sleeping With the Enemy
There is pretty much no way of making Julia Roberts’ psycho hubby’s obsessive tidiness in this film look good, but there is something to be said for keeping organized. This can range from merely living in the midst of a list and keeping an immaculate tick sheet of things to do to arranging every can in your larder by size and colour or ironing your cat’s socks. But certainly a tidy desk makes for a tidy mind, so doing a crime-scene sweep on your living and working space could mean you get things done altogether more quickly in the long-run. Just make sure to keep the “keeping things in check” in check as there can lead to a serious cycle of OCD decline (which, reading this blog back, I am already suffering!).
As seen in: Groundhog Day
Living each day as a routine set of steps may seem mundane, but is a sure fire way of eventually getting things down to a tee. Take Bill Murray in Groundhog Day. World-weary from his humdrum weatherman existence, he is given the golden opportunity to live one particularly rubbish day over and over again. This may seem like a bad thing, until he realizes that he gets to rephrase, refresh and restart those bits which didn’t come out good the first time. Only problem is that in real life, living by a routine doesn’t mean we can stick two fingers up at the consequences.
All weather ready
As seen in: The Day After Tomorrow
It is no surprise that, in a climatic Armageddon, the survivors will be those best kitted out. Being prepared is the only way in which to go about daily business in Britain without succumbing to harsh weather and/ or obstacles thrown in our direction. That’s not to say that we must pack snow shoes and an all-weather tent for our daily journey to work every day, but little things like carrying an umbrella and an anal-retentive commitment to having a bottle of water on your person at all times will help when attempting to get healthy and retaining optimum hydration.
So, is the OCD Overhaul up there with the Atkins diet? Or are they coming to take me away to a padded cell any minute. You decide!
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Posted on Monday April 27, 2009, 20:47
It's an original plan, could try doing a self help book on it if it works!
Just stay away from The Machinist.
(Also, "First!". I always wanted to do that...)
Posted on Tuesday April 28, 2009, 11:45
Interesting article...but surely you've got some DVD alphabetising to be getting on with.
Posted on Tuesday April 28, 2009, 12:12
Why is it people always claim they have OCD, when in fact it means they are just a bit tidier than usual? It's the equivlent of the girl at uni that used to tell people she was 'kooky' and say 'watch me, I'm a bit crazy'.
Posted on Tuesday April 28, 2009, 12:44
My flatmate has OCD in line with Howard Hughes. To all those people flathunting right now; if you can find a flatmate with it, move in. We capitlise on it to keep the dishes done and the kitchen spotless. And by capitalise I of course mean, exploit. If that seems an uncouth or perhaps amoral approach to mental illness, then you probably haven't seen Observe and Report.
Posted on Tuesday April 28, 2009, 14:37
I would imagine that part of any health kick would be cleanliness and what better film is there than As Good As It Gets when it comes to OCD cleaning and such like. Melvin Udall is a well preened man- lessons to be learned I think. At least in my case.