At the beginning of last year I resolved to lose some weight and get a bit fitter. Not an unusual thing to do at this time of year.
It didn’t go well.
Over the past 12 months I have gained weight and given up the gym. I think I should call that a fail.
I could tell that things were getting bad around the middle of the year, when a photograph of me appeared on Facebook. I was stood casually chatting with friends (at a brewery!) and the photo caught me in profile. My bloated stomach caused me to remark that I looked like a wok smuggler.
“Not a very good one”, responded one of my ‘friends’.
You might think that such a hurtful remark might have driven me to do something about it, but alas no.
There are many reasons why I struggle to lose weight and get fit. In no particular order, the main amongst these are:
- I’m a lazy sod. I had a friend who was in the army and his philosophy was: don’t run if you can walk, don’t walk if you can stand still, don’t stand if you can sit, don’t sit if you can lie down. I took this to heart, but it is not such good advice when it is not interspersed by periods of extreme activity.
As I already mentioned, I quit the gym last year. This was precipitated by events which I may bore you with another time, but it hasn’t helped. I hated the gym, but I got into a routine and forced myself to keep at it. Having quit I decided that I would simply go running and cycling outside instead, but I never managed to get into that routine, mainly because I’m a lazy sod.
- I can resist anything but temptation. I have absolutely no will-power. Well, that’s not quite true: if I decide that I will have absolutely nothing of something – say, absolutely no cakes – I can do it; but who wants to do that? I love food, so instead I go down the route of moderation, and that doesn’t work at all. Clearly it’s all or nothing with me.
- My friends are a bad influence. As I mentioned in my earlier blog, I have some very good friends, and they all like to party and drink. It would be rude not to join in wouldn’t it?
But now Christmas is over it feels like my wok is concealing a medicine ball, so despite all of the above I intend to try once again this year to lose weight and get fitter.
I am not starting yet though.
No, although traditional, January seems to be absolutely the worst time to take on self-improvement resolutions that require such serious deprivation.
It is well recorded that January is the most depressing month of the year. It already has the highest rate of suicides – I’m sure it is no coincidence that it is also the month where hundreds of people put themselves on strict diets and take on the challenge of Dry January. Madness!
There are also practical concerns. Over Christmas my body has become accustomed to over-indulging. I need to ease back gradually to normal levels before committing to further deprivation. There is also the matter of all that left-over Christmas food and the sweets and chocolates bought as gifts. You can’t let all that stuff go to waste – food waste is a huge social issue and I refuse to be part of it.
And my final excuse is my friends – there have already been two parties this year for January birthdays, and what kind of a friend would I be if I didn’t help to celebrate. And that is aside from all the people who have said ‘we didn’t get together over Christmas, we really must meet up for a drink in the New Year…’
So I think I will leave it for another month or two before I start to properly think about dieting and exercising – that should give me time to come up with some more excuses…