26 Aug 2015

When Bad Habits Aren’t So Bad

kirsten dunst as marie antionette, photographed by leigh johnson for sony pictures, vicki archer

Sometimes bad habits aren’t so bad.

We want to eradicate all our wrongdoings and walk a path of perfection but when it comes to diet and exercise it does not always work out like that.

The trick to managing bad habits is to keep them short term. When a bad habit becomes a pattern we end up in trouble.

Yesterday, as I walked home in the grey, fighting the drizzle at the end of an English summer day I felt the need to revert to “bad habits”. Thoughts turned to comfort, translate that into relaxation and food. As much as I wanted to dream of all things lean and sportif my mind had other ideas, conjuring up delicious afternoon teas and cosy companionship. Going to the gym or taking a long walk was far from my mind. Weather is such a trigger for activity and it is so much easier to avoid bad habits when the sun is shining.

What a great excuse and an easy trap to fall into. I am on high alert when it comes to rainy days!

Indulging bad habits every now and then is a good thing. Life is to be enjoyed and living with rigid disciplines day in and day out is not what we signed up for. Moderation is the answer when those temptations win out. Moderation, an awful word, I know. Keeping our bad habits in check, containing them means they won’t take over our lives and undo all the good work.

Deprivation is as damaging as over indulgence.

I’m not encouraging bad habits by suggesting too many chocolates or glasses of champagne are beneficial to our regimes. I am simply recommending small doses from time to time.

A little taste in the name of motivation, xv.

image, kirstin dunst photographed by leigh johnson for marie antoinette

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Anita Rivera

And I think that moderation is a very French approach; my French friends are slim, very fit yet eat their pain et pâtes, desserts and of course, le vin. BUT they have taught me about the “M” word, something that as an American living in the land of quick and plenty food, has always been hard to swallow. And though I’m rather small, it’s GOOD HABIT to simply watch how much you eat. It’s all for the taking, but the question is for me always, HOW MUCH should I take?

Enjoy the walks, the rain, the tea, that one tea cake all in your good judgement!


LOL Yes… Good judgement is required…
Pouring down again today so the salad lunch is fast losing its appeal… :) :)


Vicki it really is all about moderation and portion size, something America has certainly thrown out the window for the most part – too, too much of everything, from the grocery shelves groaning with choices to the restaurants plonking down huge platefuls! Personally, these days, I welcome getting away on trips because I get in much more walking exercise and eat less when I’m not preparing meals in my own kitchen. . . . . . . . or, and I admit to it, sneaking a snack now and then!
A toasted teacake on a damp English afternoon sounds perfect though LOL!

Enjoy – Mary
P.S. Will be in France soon – lots of walking and better eating habits planned!


Vicki and that is the French way, instead of the American way of super-sizing nearly everything. Having those little treats makes life so fulfilling!

The Arts by Karena
Artist Alex Katz

Mary In Napa Valley

Dear Vicki,
Just wanted to leave you a note to let you know how Much I adore the fabulous photos you gift us with. You have such an “eye” and I can hardly wait to see what amazing eye candy you will treat us to next! Mary in Napa Valley


Thank you so much Mary… we have great fun here sourcing them every day.. :)
It’s time I get out and take some more of my own!

Leslie in Oregon

Thank you for this very simple yet very important reminder. I couldn’t agree with you more! Except when it comes to drizzling rain. It’s been so long since rain has been part of any day in this usually-verdant area that I think we all will be dancing in the streets, totally invigorated, when it finally comes! Will you be returning to Provence soon, to enjoy the late summer?

Jenny Rose-Innes

I’m sure every woman in the world will relate to this post Vicki! I often feel lucky to have Arthritis as my best friend who sits on my shoulder most days with a finger wagging!! Am actually in the process of doing yet another clean-up process of my daily intake and food prep! Love your blog xx

Tracy Wood

Vicki, are relaxation and food really bad habits? Obviously as we become older we need to pay more attention as to what we eat and drink, and exercise is needed, as much for your mind, as for your body. But, there is so much guilt associated with so many things that we do, and I for one, are fed up. I am a food stylist and recipe developer, so eating and drinking is very much part of my life. I try to walk every morning, and when work permits I exercise with a group of lovely girls. But, women in particular seem to feel so guilty all the time, especially when it comes to eating, Moderation is all very well, but let’s not make it a big deal when we’re not. Enjoy the moment, and start again the next day. XTracy


I agree Tracy… never guilt..
I think that’s why I said they aren’t so bad… :) :)

Linda B

This is such a great topic. I have to admit I often feel bad when I let myself have a treat–and I shouldn’t do that to myself! It seems so hard to find the balance sometimes. I keep trying–and if I am honest with myself, I do better than I think I do.

What I would give for a nice jog in cool rain! I am struggling to stay motivated every morning under the hot desert sun. . .But I do get out–just means being out the door very early, before it is too hot!


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