I recently started following her Facebook page for the cartoon strip The Far Side.

I had a Far Side annual when I was a teenager and, having just Googled and found that it finished in 1995, that explains why I’ve seen nearly all of them before.

Their “surrealistic humor…… often based on uncomfortable social situations, improbable events, an anthropomorphic view of the world, logical fallacies, impending bizarre disasters, (often twisted) references to proverbs, or the search for meaning in life” is good for raising a daily smile.

One particular cartoon shows a lady walking through a creepy forest with her vacuum cleaner accompanied by the text “The woods were dark and foreboding and Alice sensed that sinister eyes were watching her every step. Worst of all, she knew that nature abhored a vacuum”.

Originally coined by Aristotle, the phrase ‘Nature abhors a vacuum’ expresses “the idea that unfilled spaces go against the laws of nature and physics and that every space needs to be filled with something”.

Nature isn’t the only one though.

You abhor vacuums too.

Which is why so many of our attempts to lose weight and get in better shape don’t end up happening.

We just try and ‘stop’ doing something.

– “Stop snacking”

– “Stop drinking”

– “Stop eating carbs”

– “Stop socialising”

– “Stop doomscrolling on social media”

Or, at the very least, we try and do them “less” (and I’ll cover tomorrow why “less” rarely works).

And that just creates what I sometimes refer to as a “cake shaped hole” in your life.

We were doing those things for the perceived benefit it bought.

How it made us feel usually.

And if we just try and “stop” doing those things, without any form of replacement, we’re just relying on “willpower” to put up with feeling less good.

And, as I’ve covered many times, a willpower based approach is one that we just don’t want to do.

And one that is doomed to failure.

If we make tactical replacements of what we’re trying to stop / reduce……….

With something else that provides, at least, the majority of the benefit……….

Then we stand a reasonable chance of keeping up that change.

Something else that makes us feel better, or whatever the benefit was.

If creating a vacuum hasn’t worked for you before, it won’t work for you next time.

You abhor vacuums.

Don’t create them by making tactical ‘swaps’.

Much love,

Jon ‘Antipode’ Hall

P.S. I’ve just learned something. I googled some ideas and chose ‘Antipode’ as my middle name as it means the “far side of the earth”. Which will be why we call Australians “Antipodeans”.

P.P.S. If you want the opposite of what’s been happening recently (weight gain, decreased energy and mood, etc), then you’ll find that here —> www.myrise.co.uk/apply


RISE in Macclesfield was established in 2012 and specialise in Group Personal Training weight loss programmes for those that don’t like the gym and find diets boring and restrictive!

Jon Hall
Jon Hall

When not helping people to transform their lives and bodies, Jon can usually be found either playing with his kids or taxi-ing them around. If you'd like to find out more about what we do at RISE then enter your details in the box to the right or bottom of this page or at myrise.co.uk - this is the same way every single one of the hundreds who've described this as "one of the best decisions I've ever made" took their first step.