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Beat Bad Habits

Updated: Feb 12, 2022

The GP gave me two more reasons, no, three, to work on weight loss. Before I go telling you my story, I want to ask you a couple of questions.

  • Does your doctor say your BMI is to high?

  • Does your doctor show you why your weight needs to be in a certain range?

  • Do you instinctively know that you need to lose some weight, because you have indigestion and because going for a walk tires you out?

If you've answered "yes" to any of those questions, then this post is for you. If you know someone who struggles with their weight, this post will give you some insight and tips so you can help.

First, let's be judgement-free here. Let's let go of any feelings of shame and guilt. Let's release any compulsion towards self-criticism.

There are plenty reasons why we develop bad habits, why we continue with them, and why we fall back into them after we've made some great progress in overcoming them.

I could talk neuroscience, but at this point, I'd prefer to talk psychology. Habits form because of antecedents, behaviours, and consequences.


One of the big periods for forming (or falling back into) bad habits, is the November-February period. Because there are so many celebrations - complete with stressful preparations and personality mixes - we stop making time for self-care.

We get busy with socialising, whether that be with home-cooked feasts or going out for expensive meals. Celebrations are antecedents. Stress is an antecedent. Socialising is an antecedent.

We eat up our self-care time, in everything associated with excess.

So, that's one time when we all can be distracted from self-care behaviours and fall into poor self-care habits. Another time is winter. Those of you in the Northern Hemisphere are lucky, in that your winter coincides with the period I've already described.

Those of us in the Southern Hemisphere have the winter months to contend with too, giving us up to seven months of the year, when we're distracted from self-care behaviours. Winter makes us crave hot foods and warming alcohol. Hot chocolate made with milk. Sweet desserts. Winter is another antecedent.

So, let's go easy! Let's not beat ourselves up about not being able to maintain a healthy diet and exercise regime all year!

There's another reason why we fall back into poor self-care habits, and that's the television. We sit in front of it for hours, everyday.

When I was living at home with my parents (growing up, or otherwise), there was a rule: no TV during the day. How Dad snuck in the cricket was another matter, but it was a fantastic rule.

As soon as you turn on the TV, what do you do? You sit down and watch it. You stop feeling like doing anything else.

Sometimes, the shows you watch might trigger emotional reactions and bring up sad memories, and you might feel like comfort food.

Sometimes, you'll feel like soft drink and popcorn while watching a movie.

At this time of year (the high celebration period I mentioned previously), TV is full of reruns and it gets boring.

I fall into the category of boredom-eater.

My nutrition is excellent at mealtimes, but I tend to snack after dinner. The GP said that I should give my poor pancreas a break.

I never thought of it that way. I've been taking my poor pancreas for granted. You only get one, and when it breaks down, well that's it. The end.

I realised today, that I need to be gentler with my pancreas. Give it a rest, already!

I started to give it entity, like a loved one. After all, it's been with me all my life, and incredibly reliable. My poor pancreas has been a true friend for a very long time, and deserves to be treated with respect and kindness.

So instead of thinking, "I have to lose weight and need to diet", I just decided to take care of my special organ, my dear pancreas.

It seems like a more manageable goal, than thinking I have to diet for the rest of my life.

I've decided to try stopping my snacks from 8pm each night, with the words,

"Not now, my pancreas is resting."

I've collected a few ideas of things I can do to distract myself (like colouring in, cleaning, fixing stuff). Let's see what happens ...

Another thing the GP did, was bring out two 10litre bottles of water. He handed them to me to show how much the extra weight was impacting my lower back.

Do you experience back pain? Could extra weight be the reason? Do you take pain killers or anti-inflammatory drugs to treat your back pain?

Imagine life without that back pain. You can do so much more. You can have more fun. You can play sport, and even become good at something you love. And, added benefit, you are saving money because you don't need to take anything anymore!

The third thing, that the GP did, was to take my blood pressure. We agreed that it was pretty good, but he said something else I hadn't thought of. My good BP indicated that I had "good genes".

Now, one thing about science. You learn that despite genetics, your environment and actions can actually change your DNA. So, I might have been born with good genes, but what I do will always effect how well they work.

We often take these little things for granted. It's only when other things start cracking up, that we realise how fragile we are.

So, let's talk about you. Do you feel that you "have to lose weight"?

Take a page and draw three columns. First, ask yourself about the antecedents.

What has led to your weight gain in the past? What makes you feel like doing something "naughty"? Just list the interactions and situations; without self-criticism, guilt, shame, or embarrassment.

In the second column, list the behaviours, as they relate to the antecedents. What do you do, when you feel like doing something "naughty"? Are there times of day or night, that seem to be high-volume? Note the times in your antecedent column. Times can trigger ...

In the third column, write how you feel as it relates to the antecedents and behaviours. Do you notice a change? Does the behaviour make you feel better, worse, or the same? Chances are, the behaviours don't make you feel better.

Now turn the page over. Three columns again. Write the antecedents in the first column; but now, suggest different behaviours that you could try, that are empowering and healthy.

They need to be behaviours that you are likely to do for at least a few weeks.

In the third column, write how you think the new behaviours might make you feel. Try to include behaviours that make you feel happy and in control.

Can you see what you're doing? You're not focusing on what's wrong. You're not focusing on what's a "bad habit". You're thinking about what you can do, that makes you happy and alive.

The feelings are the consequences of your behaviours. Just try taking action, one little step at a time.

If you'd like to join me on my latest health adventure, why not book in for your first session today, and start your own great health adventure?

Just ask yourself, "Do I want every aspect of my life to be a 10/10?" Well, it's never too late (unless my diary is full).

All you need to do, to book in for your first coaching session, is choose!

You probably know at least 3-4 people, who have come to mind while you've read this post. Why not buy them a gift certificate for their birthday? It doesn't matter where they are, because coaching is actually best when delivered over the phone.

And there's the absolutely fantastic 8-Week Breakthrough Results Program, if you are really committed to living your most authentic life.

Now, maybe you need some other tools - such as books, meditations, meditation school, a tarot and oracle card reading, or to consider what kinds of strategies you need in your life (Ahem. I am a Certified Results Coach, and you can book a free strategy session over the phone, anywhere in the world).

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