So the drunken debauchery of Christmas is over and next we’ll face New Year’s Eve and the inevitable reflection of another trip around the sun.
‘Things will be different this year’ they cry. ‘We’ll lose weight, eat healthier, promise to cut down our drinking and kick the fags into touch.’
They’ll start with the best intentions. They’ll take advantage of reduced price gym memberships and swear to their God that they will attend religiously. ‘It’s a new me’. They’ll announce to everyone willing to listen.
The consumer will cut down on consuming. They’ll buy green vegetables and promise to cook healthier. And they will. At first.
But the advertising machine is hard to resist. It’s an insistent voice constantly whispering in your ear and dangling temptations under your noses.
Valentine’s Day will see the object of your affection stuffing chocolates into their face and then there’s the obligatory overpriced romantic meal for two at a ridiculously overbooked restaurant.
Then Easter will hop along with calorie choked chocolate eggs that simply must be devoured or Jesus’s sacrifice means nothing. And the greens will be left to rot.
Somewhere down the line all those promises to get healthy and stay that way will waddle out the door belching and breathing heavy, promising they’ll do it ‘next year’ instead.
The only thing the gym membership will wear away is the bank account. Fatter and poorer the consumer will start to ‘comfort eat’. And the adverts will pour more delicious snacks in front of their eyes.
They’ll fall into the routine of getting a takeaway instead of cooking something. And before you know it, it will be Christmas again and everyone will say, well it’s only once a year, indulge yourself.
This year, shun the gym. It’s a lot of effort and money for very little return. Go for a walk. If you feel you must, go for a run. Get the heart pumping for an hour a day at least.
It’s easier to maintain than a rigorous workout in an expensive gym and gets some fresh air in your lungs rather than breathing in great lungfulls of sweaty body odour from someone who has been wobbling on the treadmill for 20 minutes.
Since I started my ‘one hour’ walks I’ve lost over 5 stone in total. I’ve cut out sugar. And only eaten carbohydrates after exercise to build up stores of depleted energy. And I feel better than I have for decades.
When I get down below my target weight I may even worry the pavement again with a turn of speed – I don’t want to break my knees or the pavement with my excess weight.
But I’m doing it slowly.
And without ‘buying my fitness’ with a gym membership. Or a half-hearted promise on New Year’s Eve.