Survival Guide

green leafed plant on sand
Photo by Engin Akyurt on

Life is unpredictable and complicated.  It will challenge you, it will push you and it can change in an instant.  Sometimes these things will be life-enhancing and sometimes not.  Such is the nature of life!!

To simplify the rocky path that is life, I put these things into three categories just so that I can try to deal with them to the point that they do not completely ‘ruin’ my life.  They are:

Small events

Broken boiler

A cancelled ‘date’

A cancelled planned social event

An annoying colleague at work

An arranged ‘date’

A planned social event (party, gathering, meal)


Going on a holiday


Medium events

Change of job

Moving House


A pay rise at work

A promotion at work

Large events

End of an intimate relationship (separation, divorce etc)

Death of a loved one

End of a once close relationship


Financial hardship

Health problems


There are many other such events but I have kept this list to a minimum as it is for demonstration purposes only.  Also, the examples I have given are based on my life, you might find that some events that I have classified as ‘large’ might only be ‘medium’ or ‘small’ for you so I would urge you to create your own list.

When we are faced with these events, we usually go back to our default way of living so that we can cope.  For example:

When we are sad

We reach out to food for comfort

We eat foods that quickly (but temporarily) make us feel better (sweets, chocolates, cakes, pies, chips etc)

We skip the lunchtime walk we planned and opt to sit and feel sorry for ourselves instead

We cannot be bothered to eat fruit and seek comfort in a bar of chocolate

Our feelings spiral out of control repeating negative behaviours

What you can do about it

First and foremost, accept that these things will happen on a regular basis, especially the small things.  On a day to day basis, we all face disappointments or occasions where we may be tempted to go back to our old ways.  The good news about the Anti-Diet is that it’s all about what you can INclude and not on EXcluding things.

When things get tough, be it a small, medium or large event, the thing to remember is to remain CALM.  Instead of being hard on ourselves during these times, we need to be kind, loving and understanding.  This is because when you are in this state, you will panic less, you will allow yourself to enjoy life, you will allow yourself to be sad etc.  Basically, you will honour your emotions which is exactly what is required during these times.  Remember, the small events are just as important as the medium or large ones.  This is because you will experience more small events and over time they will add up to be large or huge!  ‘I AM HONOURING MY EMOTIONS’, let his be your mantra, your comfort blanket and your supporter.

When you honour your emotions in this way, you can limit the amount of ‘damage’ you cause to your body.  It is only when we feel out of control, guilty and a failure that we think ‘what the heck, I’ve failed, so I might as well fail big time’. Remember, a binge, a missed exercise class, some negative self-talk will not ruin your life, only sustained, relentless, long term self-neglect will do that.  It is OK, to let go, it is OK to give in sometimes.  In fact, sometimes, it is a necessary part of progress and healing.

Here are just a few examples of how you can do this:

  • Eat that cake – enjoy it, let it comfort you
  • Miss that walk you had planned and instead relax
  • Feel sad, feel miserable, cry if you need to
  • Decide not to feel guilty about letting something slip
  • Leave the housework
  • Spend time alone
  • Talk to a supporting friend