Breaking bad habits

We all know that the key to success in fitness and body change is consistency: a very tricky notion for naturally inconsistent beings! On good days, wellbeing (treating ourselves well) is an easy task, but there are always days where we don’t feel so good and doing well for ourselves seems totally against our natural inclination.

The problem is that 100% of our wellbeing is the result of 100% of our time. And if we deduct from this not only the times where we cannot exercise or eat well (due to social or circumstantial situations), but also days where we don’t feel great then we are lucky to maintain our weight and fitness.

I have worked with so many people who make such great progress 70% of the time, but then sabotage all those efforts with a few days of helpless binging, drinking and not exercising. I call this situation “the rabbit hole of doom”!  

“The rabbit hole of doom” is a negative cycle that becomes our default state when times are rough. All the habits we turn to actually self destruct rather than help in any way, as if to spite ourselves and our wellbeing. 

But is there any other option?! I am yet to meet anyone who says “Gary and I split up, I’m going to hit the kale hard!”

The only way that I have found is to talk to myself in third person – stepping out of the moping self-pity (a client once said to me that the saying at the weekly AA meetings was often “poor me, poor me, pour me another”). It goes like this:

“Victoria (own name is more effective I have found), you have two options: a) you can surrender to the rabbit hole of doom and prolong your own misery; b) you can choose not to take this route and conserve your own wellbeing.”

Much easier said than done, but easier done when you know it is possible. How do you NOT take this route? The answer is simple but takes enormous strength to do:

Forgive yourself for feeling rubbish.

Forgive yourself for feeling defeated with the recent events in life.

Forgive yourself for not being your usual productive awesome self.

Forgive yourself for however you feel.

Forgive yourself for whatever has passed.

However you feel will pass and tomorrow will be a new day. The only things which can make you feel better are the small things that make you feel good. My own trick is to have a list of these (written on a good day) to go back to.

Here are some of the items on my list which you are most welcome to steal:


  1. Cosy up on the couch with a cup of tea and your favourite box set or movie.
  2. Take a bath with your favourite bubbles, candles and music (it is scientifically proven that life can’t reach you in the bath :P).
  3. Absorb all the hugs you can from anyone who offers them (preferably people you know).
  4. Put on your softest, comfiest clothes.
  5. Call your best pal or mum or this person you feel really hears you.
  6. Read a book.
  7. Bake your favourite foods or make something nutritious or/and delicious.
  8. Take a nap or get an early night, sleep is often the best medicine.

Why do these do you good? They shouldn’t result in guilt and they reinforce the mantra that deep down you know to be true: “I am worthy of kindness, forgiveness and nourishment.”

I have spent days over decades disappearing down the rabbit hole, without realising there is another way to be. Wellbeing can exist on the good days and the bad days, we just have to adjust our behaviour and expectations. 

“Love is the great miracle cure. Loving ourselves works miracles in our lives.”

Louise L. Hay

Our feelings and lives may be inconsistent, but our wellbeing need not be. 

For more inspiring quotes on self love and acceptance check out this page from psychology today magazine 🙂 



Victoria Mairiaux-Jones

I'm a Personal Trainer dedicated to improving my clients health and fitness. I work with people of all ages and levels of fitness, across Leamington, Warwick and Warwickshire. Lose Weight and get fit with Free Spirit Fitness Culture.

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